I still remember the time I tasted a baked oatmeal dish made by a friend. It was the first time I had ever had a baked oatmeal breakfast, and it was so good I knew I had to try to make it myself! From the original recipe (which called for about ¾ cup of sugar, 2 eggs and a cup of cow’s milk), I’ve since experimented and made some changes to reduce its sugar content and make it fully plant-based, while keeping it delicious, super-satisfying and filling.
I’ve even added in some cooked red lentils to make it more nutrient dense, but you can leave this out if you don’t have it readily available in your home. If you use certified gluten-free oats, then this vegan, egg-free and dairy-free recipe will also be gluten-free.This is now a family favorite recipe we make frequently in our household. As you can see, it is very versatile and you can really customize it to make it special for your family. The extras (if there is any left) freeze really well too in a covered container, so you could double the recipe and make more to freeze some for later. My children absolutely love this dish!
A vegan, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free filling breakfast suitable for the entire family.
- ½ cup canola oil [120 mL] (or any kind of vegetable oil)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 cups old fashioned, rolled or large flake oats [330 g] (quick cooking oats would also work)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup fortified soy milk [240 mL] (or other fortified plant-based milk)
- ¼ cup brown sugar [50 g] (or chopped dates, honey, maple syrup or agave nectar)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce [120 mL]
- ½ cup raisins [70 g]
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 apple (peeled and diced)
- ½ cup cooked red lentils [90 g] (drained well of liquid)
- ¼ -1/2 cup fresh/frozen berries [weight varies]
- additional fresh fruit (e.g., mashed or chopped banana pieces, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, diced pears or apricots)
- ¼ cup additional dried fruit [weight varies] (e.g., chopped dates, apricots, currants, figs, cranberries or prunes)
- ½ cup chopped nuts [weight varies] (e.g, walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, almonds or hazelnuts)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.
Rinse a half cup of red lentils with water in a small pot. Drain the excess water, then refill the pot with about 2 cups of water. Heat the pot on a medium stove fire setting until pot contents are on a gentle boil. Turn down the fire and let cook with a gentle bubbling boil for about 10-15 minutes. Drain the cooked lentils well and set aside in a small bowl.
Prepare the flax egg: mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water in a cup. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before whisking the mixture quickly for about 2-3 minutes.
Mix all the base ingredients together (either the night before or the day of – see my additional notes in the article) and then add in at least 3-4 additional optional ingredients from the list!
Bake in an 8 x 8 pan for 30 minutes. Remove immediately at the 30 minute mark and let cool slightly before serving.
Portion into serving bowls. Eat the baked oatmeal by itself, or with a ½ cup of fortified plant-based milk poured over it, like a cold cereal!
Before baking, add a bit more fortified plant-based milk (if the mixture is looking very dry), and stir it in to mix well.
Don’t let the baked oatmeal overcook! Take it out exactly after 30 minutes.
I usually combine all the ingredients together the night before and let it sit in the fridge (this helps to soften the oats and also makes breakfast the next morning easier!). Then in the morning, when I’m preheating the oven, I just add in fresh chopped fruit to the mixture before baking it. That way, breakfast is ready in just about 30-40 minutes in the morning!
You can adjust the sweetness level according to your taste, and experiment using other natural sweetening agents such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or chopped dates instead of the brown sugar. In general though, the more fresh, frozen or dried fruit you throw into the mixture, the more the natural sweetness of the dish will pop out and the less sugar you will need to add.
What I actually usually do is just put in 3 tablespoons of brown sugar in the mixture, add lots of dried and fresh fruit, then after it has come out of the oven I sprinkle over the top a teaspoon of brown sugar to make a very thin ‘fairy dust’ coating. The sweetness factor is just right for our family then. You could also drizzle a small amount of maple syrup over the top if you like instead before serving.
This recipe is egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, so it’s suitable for those with allergies. I love the fact that I can just literally throw whatever I have available in the kitchen (within reason) into the recipe and it will still taste delicious. So go ahead and throw in those bananas slices, fresh or frozen or dried fruit, berries, nuts, chia seeds and ground flaxmeal. It’s really hard to go wrong!
(Source: Inspired by a recipe from Shauna Lammiman. I am grateful to her and my friend Anne for sharing the original recipe with me.)