Baked Cherry Berry Oatmeal

Baked Cherry Berry Oatmeal

President’s Day weekend, I’m doing a 12.3-mile hike of Taum Sauk Peak in the St. Francois Mountains. It’s a small section of the larger 400 mile Ozark Trail. It’s also the highest peak in the state, coming in at just under 1,800 feet. It’s not the Rockies, but hey, a girl has to start somewhere! Anyway, my go-to pre-hike breakfast is always a hearty bowl of oatmeal. It’s filling and gives me a steady supply of energy, especially on the long hikes. As with most recipes, I always imagine how I can make them better. Hence, the Cherry Berry Baked Oatmeal, hearty enough to eat with a fork, it can be modified in an infinite number of ways. It’s great because I can wrap it in foil and eat it in the car. I like to top it with flaked coconut, a little drizzle of warmed maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon! 

Many baked oatmeal recipes use eggs, which are used for two things- adding protein and binding all of the ingredients together. Some recipes also use applesauce or mashed banana, which are great for reducing the calories. Unfortunately, they also have reduced binding capacity. For this recipe, I opted to use the often overlooked, great at hiding in the background chia seed! Chia not only adds protein with minimal calories, but they are also an excellent binder. They’re loaded with antioxidants and omega-three fatty-acids! I added baking powder to lift this otherwise dense and sometimes hard to swallow dish! Trust me, my ability to speak has been rendered useless by oatmeal on more than one occasion! Insert wink emoji.

You can make this a year-round treat by adding other seasonal stone fruits, like apricots and plums! You can make it on Sunday and enjoy it for the rest of the week! It’s also a nice change-up for me from my typical fruit and vegetable smoothie. The truth is, subconsciously it’s my desire to make my house smell like cinnamon and baked fruit. Enjoy!


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Baked Cherry Berry Oatmeal

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (plus additional 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 3 cups old-fashioned whole oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cherries and mixed berries, fresh or frozen (divided in half)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Vegan whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Mix the water and chia seeds in a liquid (glass) measuring cup and set aside.
  2. Place the oats, nuts, and 1 ½ cups of the cherry/berries in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring 2/3 cup brown sugar, banana, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the coconut oil has melted and ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat. Add chia mixture and milk, stir until incorporated.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry oat mixture and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch round or square baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, until oats are slightly golden.
  5. When oats are done, remove from oven and let cool, about 20 minutes. The oatmeal should be a little soft when you remove it and will firm up as it cools. 
  6. Meanwhile, while oats are cooling, add the remaining 1 ½ cups cherry/berries and 1/3 cup brown sugar to a medium saucepan. Over medium-low heat, simmer berries and brown sugar with a pinch of sea salt until berries break down and become syrupy, about 7-10 minutes.
  7. Serve hot berries over cooled oats and add additional toppings such as whipped cream, coconut flakes and pecans, if desired. Enjoy! 
  8.  

Notes

This oatmeal keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.   

This mixture can be stripped down into a no-bake, and made hike-thru friendly by subbing protein powder for milk and using dried fruit.  Also, skip the coconut oil and baking powder.  

Vegan Breakfast Slider

Vegan Breakfast Slider

St. Louis is known for many things: the Arch, Budweiser Beer, Chuck Berry, Bob Costas, and Joe and Jack Buck.  We are second only to the New York Yankees for the most World Series wins, we are the current Stanley Cup winners (Go Blues!), and former home to the Super Bowl Champion, St. Louis Rams. Yo, Kurt Warner! And we eat things that nobody else has ever heard of outside of St. Louis, like toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, and the slinger.  

The area in the Lou famously referred to as “The Hill” is home to baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. It is also home to our beloved toasted ravioli. As the story goes, a fresh ravioli fell into the fryer at a place called Mama Campisi’s on a day when Joe Garagiola was there. After this fateful event, these little pieces of fried heaven allegedly began appearing on menus around town. Served with a warm marinara sauce, all I can say is, sono così deliziosi!

The Gooey Buttercake, another St. Louis favorite, also came about by accident. Although nothing like a traditional cake, this chewy goodness is part coffeecake and part gooey custard. And if you’ve ever had a piece, you know how sinfully delicious it is. Some say that in the 1930s a baker mistakenly mixed up their ingredients for a traditional coffee cake and voila. Accident, or fate? You be the judge! 

And finally, our favorite of the three, “The Slider.” A meal best appreciated and usually served between the hours of midnight and 3:00 AM, at places like the “Eat Rite” diner near Busch stadium, the Slider is essentially anything you want it to be. Yep, it’s that post-drinking, pre-pass out frankenfood that has become a right of passage for those who dare tread in our waters. The basic version is hash browns, eggs, and a hamburger patty smothered in chili, then topped with cheese and chopped onions, and it will leave you feeling a bit dizzy and crying fire in the hole the next day! But the best part of any slinger is it can be any combination of your favorite foods slapped on top of each other and consumed in relatively short order. We prefer to make a healthier vegan version that will not only leave you feeling satisfied,  it’s also a great way to finish off all of those leftovers!      

Our slinger begins with a basic Tofu Scramble from The Minimalist Baker, which we cook for about 8 minutes before adding a half pack of Trader Joe’s Vegan Chorizo. Made from soy and only a few other natural ingredients, their chorizo tastes just like its traditional counterpart, but without all of the disgusting greasiness. We layer scramble with hashbrowns or roasted potatoes, and then garnish with salsa, avocados, cilantro, hot sauce, 1/4 cup of vegan gravy, or my favorite Cashew Queso! In this picture, I also added a delicious vegan Chili Colorado.   You’re welcome.  

 

Gluten-Free Gravy Mix

Gluten-Free Gravy Mix

This is a super easy and delicious gravy mix. When I first began my search for an excellent vegan gravy recipe, I was sorely disappointed. I desperately wanted to find something that even closely resembled the gravy I grew up eating. However, that gravy was made from sausage grease and whole wheat flour! Oh, and did I mention that I also needed it to be gluten-free? So for a few years, I used various time-consuming methods to achieve a mediocre gravy. After years of experimenting, I give you this! Now I can make a delicious vegan gravy with all the flavor and consistency of the gravy from my past! Vegan Slingers, here I come!

 


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Gluten-Free Gravy Mix

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x

Description

This is a super easy and delicious gravy mix. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

Add to mason jar and shake well.   Store in a dry place.

To Use: 

  1. Add 1/4 cup of dry mix to a sauce pan and add 1 1/2 cup milk of plant-based milk.   
  2. Stir well and bring to a boil. 
  3. Reduce heat and add more milk, if needed, 1/4 cup at a time. 
  4. Add additional salt, if needed. 

 


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan, GF)


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This is an absolute favorite in our house.  The problem is we can’t keep them in our house.  When I take them hot out of the oven they’re gone before they’ve even cooled.  They’re that good!  I’ve modified the original recipe to make it gluten free.  Gluten free cooking often requires slight modifications, including cooking time.   I have also made a few substitutions that I felt made this recipe perfect for me!   I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

What You Need: (Makes 16 regular or 8-9 large muffins)

  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (makes them moist and less dense)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 4 super ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dairy free vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease your muffin tins or use muffin liners.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and the oil.  Add the mashed banana to the sugar mixture, then add chocolate chips, and vanilla.

Finally, add the flour, and mix everything well.

Evenly pour the batter into the muffin tins. Place in the oven for about 18-20 minutes if using GF flour.  If using regular all-purpose flour, test at 20 minutes.  Add more time (three minutes at a time) as needed.

***Cool for at least 5 minutes before you remove from the pan!

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Mixed Berry Acai Bowl

I love Smoothies.  Every day my husband and I have a fruit and a veggie bomb for breakfast.  But sometimes a girl wants some substance.  Enter the Acai Bowl.

The Acai berry is one of the most powerfully healthy berries on the plant. It stimulates the immune system, trace minerals, boosts energy levels, has anti-aging benefits, and improves mood, skin, and hair. This Acai bowl is loaded with antioxidants (help fight off free radical damage), it’s filled with Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, and B3. Protein, Omega 3’s, fiber, Iron, Vitamin A, Zinc, all 8 Essential Amino Acids, Copper, Biotin, Electrolytes, Anthocyanin’s and polyphenols, (anti-inflammatory).

Acai Bowl

(Makes 4 cups) Freeze then thaw, or refrigerate extra.

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 frozen peeled banana

1 package of frozen unsweetened Acai packet (I used Sambazon)

1-cup plant-based milk of choice

1 Tbsp Cacao powder (Wal-Mart carries in Gluten free section)

2 Tbsp Orgain Organic Vanilla Bean powder (Costco or Amazon)

Blend well. Should be smooth and creamy.

**Top with raw unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, walnuts, blueberries, goji berries or any other yummy treats you have on hand.

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