Sunday, July 12, 2015

Peach Almond Baked Oatmeal


I do my grocery shopping on Monday mornings. Have for years. In fact, the people at Fry's would probably put out an All Points Bulletin on me if I didn't show up there on a Monday morning. It's a routine I enjoy, planning meals over the weekend, proudly stowing my canvas bags in the cart, choosing which wholesome foods will fill our mouths and bellies this week. But my Monday shopping means, of course, that when Sunday rolls around, our refrigerator looks about as empty as the fridge at one of those extended stay hotels (only not as clean): 


I'm telling you, by Sunday, it's all condiments. And maybe one or two other essentials, like that Starbucks iced coffee front and center. Otherwise, I think I just saw a tumbleweed blow through this refrigerator.

I pride myself on trying to use up the food we buy, but when the Sunday breakfast choices are stale bread or one bowl of cereal cobbled together from three separate boxes, I need a better plan. Something I can put together using non-perishables, like perhaps rolled oats, nuts, and canned fruit. Something like a baked peach almond oatmeal, perhaps?


Don't mind if I do! 

This baked oatmeal, with its heavy use of non-perishables, has saved my Sunday breakfast-making hide more than once. And it just so happens to be my absolute favorite baked oatmeal ever. This probably has to do with the fact that it calls for almond extract to add flavor. I don't know how they make almond extract, but I have to assume leprechauns and incantations are involved, because that stuff is MAGIC. Add it to crunchy sliced almonds, sweet peaches, cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats, and you have the Oatmeal to End All Oatmeals.

Now that peaches are in season, you could of course also use fresh peaches in this recipe with even more delicious results, but for my purposes, the lonely yellow can in the back of the pantry does just fine, too. As always with baked oatmeal, I bake it the night before, refrigerate, and reheat individual portions in the microwave with a splash of milk in the morning.


See? No one has to be the wiser about the barren wasteland in the fridge. Now if I could just figure out what to make for lunch...



Peach Almond Baked Oatmeal
(Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

Ingredients:

2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped almonds
3 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
2 c. unsweetened almond milk (or cow's milk)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 c. sliced peaches, divided (or 1 15-oz can sliced peaches in light syrup, drained)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Scatter about half the peach slices around the bottom of the dish.

3. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and 2/3 of the almonds. Pour evenly over peaches.

4. In the same bowl, whisk together melted butter, almond milk, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour evenly over the oat mixture, giving the dish a few thwacks on the countertop to evenly distribute, if necessary. (Just don't thwack too hard!) 

5. Arrange remaining peach slices on top and sprinkle with remaining almonds.

6. Bake about 40 minutes until the top is golden and set. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving. 

Serves 6.

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