Those of us in Colorado are in the midst of a spring filled with sunny days hinting that summer is on its way, followed immediately by blizzards leaving 10 inches of snow. It’s been a stranger than usual spring for us. Our household, community, and garden are in a constant state of confusion. No one knows what season it is. Our grocer is confused as well.

On a recent grocery trip we were overcome by the scent of summer and brighter days in the produce aisle — nectarines. They were amazing; like holding spring in our hands bringing hope to our achromatic landscape. We couldn’t resist them! With our bag of nectarines in hand we trudged through the snow to make our way home.

The confusion of the seasons combined with the treasure from the grocery store inspired a Saturday morning breakfast that mixes autumn on the bottom and spring on the top. Just like our weather.

This baked oatmeal recipe is one of infinite variation. That’s the fun of it. It is a hearty oatmeal dish that can serve a crowd and is very filling, making it perfect for our family of six. Fruit can be baked into the bottom, it can be topped with fresh fruit or nuts, or neither, or both. Top it with milk, cream, or yogurt to provide a cool contrast to the warm baked oats.

For our version we baked apples, cinnamon, and rapadura (drizzled honey works just as well) into the bottom to create an autumn flavor. The meat of the dish is the 2 inches of baked oatmeal in the middle. The topping was a combination of fresh mangos and nectarines simmered on the stovetop to remind ourselves that spring will come… eventually.

There are many reasons to eat more oatmeal: it’s full of vitamins, it’s full of minerals, it’s full of antioxidants, it may reduce certain kinds of cancer, it may lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, and it may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

This dish is about none of that. This dish is simply delicious. Those with whom you share it, who will have full bellies, will be grateful. That’s reason enough.

I usually make enough breakfast on Saturday so that we don’t have to make, or think about, breakfast on Sunday. It’s a challenge with this recipe as the Barbarians of our household continue to ask for more. And more. As the requests began coming in for thirds my wife turned to me and said “You might just have to give up and start making two breakfasts.”

I knew that day was coming.

Every household has their own rhythms. Saturday morning has naturally become a time of gathering around the table for our family, probably because I love breakfast so much. On Saturday mornings we are excited about the leisure of the weekend ahead. On Saturday mornings we are looking forward to soccer games and projects in the garden. On Saturday mornings we have time to enjoy our breakfast. It’s unlike any other day of the week.

I’ll be posting here what our family is doing on Saturday mornings in hopes of inspiring your breakfast table. Likewise, I want to hear from you. What do breakfasts look like at your home? Do you have suggestions of what we should try? I’d love to hear from you as we are always looking for new adventures.

See you next week.

Print Recipe

Baked Autumn Oatmeal with a Topping of Spring

The family baked oatmeal recipe with a little spring and fall mixed in.

Course: Breakfast

Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 Apples For the bottom (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon For the bottom (sprinkled)
  • 1 Teaspoon Rapadura For the bottom (sprinkled)
  • 6 Cups Oats
  • 6 Eggs
  • .75 Cups Applesauce
  • .75 Cups Maple Syrup (Not the fake kind!)
  • .75 Cups Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • .25 Cups Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon Sprinkled on top
  • 2 Mangos For the topping
  • 7 Nectarines For the topping

Directions

  1. Butter a 9″x13″x3″ baking dish
  2. Spread the apple slices along the bottom of the dish
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon and rapadura over the apples
  4. Mix oats, eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking powder, and honey in a large mixing bowl
  5. Pour mixture into baking dish on top of apples
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top
  7. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until golden brown
  8. While the main dish is baking, mix fruit into a pot on the stovetop. Gently warm and stir, then top on oatmeal servings.
  9. Smile and enjoy your morning.

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