There’s one meal I have to make that’s almost always a source of stress for me. For this particular meal, no one in my family likes to eat the same thing. One person in the house takes their serving to go, while two others chow down at different times and are usually rushed in doing so. The baby will happily eat anything for this meal so he’s no trouble to feed, and I never feel like much, but force myself to sip a smoothie only because I know it’s good for me to do so. The meal? Breakfast.
Does it surprise you to know I’m a closet hater of the morning meal? I find no joy in firing up the stove first thing in the morning while the boys wrestle – literally – their way into the washroom amid constant reminders to BDT (make bed, put on deodorant, and brush teeth) after showering. At the same time, the dog is looking to be let out, Rob’s readying himself to walk out the door mid chaos (can you blame him?), the baby needs to be fed, and the lunches packed and put into backpacks. And somehow, in the middle of all of it, there are four people wondering what might be available to eat for breakfast, and, like I said, none of them like the same thing.
Some days I foolishly fall victim to their whiny ways and make something different for everyone, a recipe for morning insanity if there ever was one. So, lately I’ve been letting the boys make their own meal, and the result is a) cold cereal or b) a sweet SuperStarch, usually known as pancakes or waffles. Sadly (for them), I’m not a fan of either option, or the bevy of breakfasts I’ve been making. Enter plan B.
I’m a little late to the overnight oatmeal game, but definitely consider it a life-changing solution to my morning misery. I’ve experimented with a few different recipes and every person in my house will eat the one I’m sharing today. Yes, you read that right. Some like it more than others, but when one meal that can mostly be made the night before will feed five people the following day, you can be sure it’s going into the regular recipe rotation.
This particular overnight oatmeal happens to be vegan, if that’s your thing. But it’s also adaptable, and if you want to use ordinary milk instead of the almond variety, by all means, please feel free. The original version of this recipe calls for applesauce instead of pumpkin purée, so you can use that, if you prefer. Whatever you do, don’t trouble yourself with making a meal first thing in the morning. Just pop this into the oven when you stumble down the stairs, leaving it on the counter for those who want to pack theirs to go (the dad), shovel it down the hatch after that third reminder to apply deodorant (shall remain nameless), or eat in peace once everyone is out the door (mom and baby).
Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Lightly grease a 2qt. baking dish and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl or large glass measuring cup, combine the almond milk, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix well.
4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats and stir to combine. The mixture will be soupy in consistency.
5. Tip the mixture into the prepared baking dish, giving it a shake to smooth the top. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
6. In the morning, remove the casserole dish from the fridge and preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until the oatmeal is tender and the liquid is completely absorbed.
7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with a splash of almond or regular milk and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Adapted from Oh She Glows.
P.S. We had a wild lion in our house for Halloween!