Matt and I have never been regular boxed cereal eaters, first for reasons of frugality and now for health reasons AND frugality, so we’ve always cooked something in the morning, usually microwaved oatmeal or eggs. But now that it is no longer the just the two of us, breakfast is a lot more complicated. When our toddler wakes up in the morning, he is hungry and trying to fend him off while cooking something, even in the microwave is daunting. And I’m not a morning person. That is, I was a morning person, until I started not entirely sleeping through the night for the last almost 4 years, having been pregnant and/or nursing and sleeping with a baby since July 2009. Thus our 2 day a week breakfast cooking regime was born. Now, we only cook breakfast twice a week, keeping breakfast simple and homemade, without going nuts.
There are many ways to simplify a breakfast routine. Josh’s granola recipe is certainly one of them, but I thought I would share our method. First, we usually eat the same things for breakfast every day. Right now, we usually eat baked oatmeal. We’ll switch it up on weekends or “just because” with other favorites like pancakes, waffles, frittatas, and eggs with rice, but usually it is baked oatmeal. Baked oatmeal has become such a hit in our household because we bake a lot of it at one time. The recipe that we make uses 18 cups of oatmeal! After we bake two huge pans full of this stuff, we freeze some of it and eat the rest over the next four to six days. When that stuff is gone, we pull more out for another two to four days of breakfasts. We serve it along with fruits or vegetables like homemade applesauce, our own canned peaches, bananas, oranges, or baked winter squash with apples. I take mine straight up, Daddy puts his in a bowl with milk, and Pete likes to dip pieces in a bowl of milk.
This recipe came from a local Mennonite birth circle I attended about nutrition and it calls for the oats to be soaked overnight in whey to aid in digestion. One relatively easy way to get whey is by straining plain regular or Greek yogurt through a lint-free cloth or cheesecloth. The stuff left in the cloth is a delicious yogurt cheese, almost like cream cheese and the liquid that comes out of the yogurt is whey. Or, if you don’t want to soak it overnight at all, just mix the ingredients together and cook immediately. This is the single version of this recipe, but when we make it we are multiplying it by six. We also DRAMATICALLY reduce the sugar because that is what we are into right now. We use about 3/4 cup of sugar for the whole six recipes, but I’ve included the original amount below. If you use this recipe, experiment with how much sugar or honey you like for your family. We also always include the eggs.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned)
- 1 cup of kefir/milk/buttermilk/yogurt or combination (less any amount of whey for soaking)
- 1 cup brown sugar/honey/sucanat
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs beaten (optional)
To soak: combine butter, oats, and liquid: put up to 6 tbsp of whey in a measuring cup, then fill to 1 cup measure with either kefir, milk, buttermilk, or yogurt. Cover and let sit 8-12 hours or overnight.
Add remaining ingredients and bake in a 10 x 10 pan at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!