The festive season is upon us and with it, a myriad of shared meals. We usually host a raucous holiday potluck for our fellow expat friends, but since several of us have had babies recently, we've switching things up and doing a holiday brunch this year.
If I'm hosting brunch, I like to make things that come together with minimal fuss and are more or less hands off. As much as I love making pancakes for a crowd, it generally means being chained to the stove and not really getting to socialize much. Might I suggest a baked oatmeal instead?
If you haven't tried baked oatmeal before, it is amazing. Crispy on top, custardy in the middle, and studded with nuts and fruit, it's the ultimate comforting yet still healthy breakfast offering. This version is completely vegan, made with flax eggs and almond milk, and is packed with heart-healthy oats and walnuts. It's definitely on the lighter side, but still feels stick-to-yer-ribs indulgent. And it feeds a crowd with minimal effort.
Got leftover baked oatmeal? Try cutting it into slices and pan-frying in a bit of coconut oil, then serving with a bit of maple syrup drizzled over the top. It doesn't get much better than that.
- coconut oil for greasing the dish
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ tsp fine-grain salt
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- zest and juice of one large naval orange about ½ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- Preheat your oven to 375°F, grease a 9 x 9 inch square or 5 x 8 inch rectangular casserole dish with a bit of coconut oil.
- Combine the flax seeds and warm water in a small bowl, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, walnut pieces, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine the almond milk, orange zest and juice, and maple syrup. Add the flaxseed mixture, and stir to combine.
- Scatter a handful of cranberries over the bottom of your casserole dish, followed by about half of the oat mixture. Add the remaining cranberries, and finish with the remaining oat mixture.
- Pour the wet mixture over the oats, and give the casserole dish a little shake to ensure it has reached all of the nooks and crannies in there.
- Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden.
- Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.