Baked oatmeal loosely based on ginger molasses cookies stuffed with apples. Easily dairy free and gluten free.
Folks, it’s a darn crazy world out there.
Today’s the day of the first Republican primaries held after the GOP field was whittled down to one candidate: Donald Trump. Did anyone see that coming? I sure didn’t.
There’s an episode of The Simpsons that depicts Lisa becoming US President several decades in the future. Here’s a line from that episode, entitled ‘Bart to the Future’, which first aired in 2000:
President Lisa: As you know, we’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump.
It could happen people. We could live a cartoon-esque world where a man with a yellow toupee and the catchphrase ‘You’re fired!’ becomes president of the most powerful nation in the world.
Like I said, it’s a darn crazy world out there.
What does any of this have to do with baked oatmeal? Well, today West Virginia is holding both its Republican and Democratic primaries, and Republicans will also be voting in Nebraska. This baked oatmeal is, oddly enough, inspired by the state of West Virginia.
In particular, it’s inspired by two completely random facts about West Virginia:
- The golden delicious apple is the official state fruit of West Virginia
- West Virginia holds an annual Molasses Festival
(In case you hadn’t guessed, when I get bored I look up random fun facts. And think about oatmeal).
Once the idea of a baked oatmeal reminiscent of ginger molasses cookies and stuffed with apples entered my mind, I simply had to make it. And I’m certainly glad that I did.
This breakfast is really quite simple – it is oatmeal, after all. The oatmeal batter is primarily made from rolled oats, blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, applesauce, eggs and milk. Plus cinnamon, ginger and cloves for flavor, and raisins and walnuts for some extra excitement.
As I mentioned earlier, the result is something very reminiscent of a giant ginger molasses oatmeal cookie.
A quick note about blackstrap molasses: Blackstrap molasses are the darkest and most intense form of molasses out there. If you don’t have any blackstrap molasses, the best substitute would be dark molasses (or black treacle). Otherwise, use light molasses (or golden syrup) or more brown sugar, although the flavor won’t be as strong.
Then we come to the apples! While I usually chop or grate apples into oatmeal, this time I decided to keep them mostly whole. All you need to do is core two apples and slice them in half.
If you’re thinking, ‘But wait, Claudia! You didn’t core those apples in the photos!’ then I have an explanation for you. For some reason, I was convinced the photos would look more interesting if I left the cores in the apples – almost like an apple garden. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the greatest idea (especially considering that apples grow on trees…).
If you do decide to leave the apple cores in, at least try to remove the seeds. After halving the apples, I removed the seeds with a melon baller. They’re surprisingly handy, those melon ballers.
Of course, I used golden delicious apples, as a little homage to West Virginia. Golden delicious apples are a little softer than most varieties, which makes them ideal for baking. But any kind of apple should be A-OK.
By the way, if you’d like to make this breakfast dairy free, then that’s very easy. Simply replace the milk with your favorite plant-based milk (I used almond milk). And it’s easily gluten-free if you use certified GF oats.
Also, I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day last weekend (or just a great weekend, if it wasn’t Mother’s Day where you live)! Here’s a final fun fact for you: while there are many origin stories for Mother’s Day around the world, the holiday is commonly traced back to a two West Virginian women, Anna Jarvis and her mother, Ann Jarvis.
I’ll be sharing the cake I made for Mother’s Day on this blog in a couple of weeks. But, for now, it’s baked oatmeal time!
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (120g) applesauce
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) blackstrap molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (200g) rolled oats
- ½ cup (55g) chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup (40g) raisins
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅔ cup (160mL) milk
- 2 apples, cored
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23cm) square baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Add the applesauce, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Whisk until smooth.
- Mix in the rolled oats, chopped walnuts, raisins and baking powder. Add the milk, and mix until well combined.
- Slice each apple in half across the waist. Place the four halves sliced side down in the prepared baking dish.
- Pour the oatmeal batter around the apple halves, and smooth out the batter with a spoon (or spatula). The apple halves will be mostly submerged in batter.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the oatmeal is golden brown and relatively firm when touched.
- Let the oatmeal cool in the dish for 5 minutes before serving, if possible. Enjoy the oatmeal by itself, or with steamed milk (or even ice cream).
You can leave the apple cores in, if you’d prefer. But try to take out the seeds!
You can make applesauce by using a blender or food processor to puree cooked (or canned) apples.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Replace the milk with almond milk (or another non-dairy milk) to make this breakfast dairy-free.
If avoiding gluten, make sure you use certified gluten-free oats.