Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

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I am an oatmeal fanatic. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in fact have eaten for it all three meals (Not all in one day – I’m not that crazy… yet.) I like it hot, cold, simmered away on the stove, or made in the microwave ten minutes before I leave for work. With a million weird toppings or a pinch of salt and a splash of maple syrup, it is one of my favorite foods and my trusty standby. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, and no matter what’s in the fridge or the pantry, oatmeal is always there for me <3.

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Now I know not everyone is as gung-ho about oatmeal as I am. For example, one of my coworkers said “Ew” when I told her I had a recipe for baked oatmeal. BUT, let me tell you, if there’s a way to convert people to the O.G good-for-you grain, this Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal is it.

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Somewhere between a virtuous breakfast and a dessert, it’s creamy, nutty, and perfectly sweet, thanks to coconut milk and a healthy dose of maple syrup. The toasted coconut flakes and slivered almonds on top add a really nice crunch – a welcome addition to anyone who’s ever pushed oatmeal around in a bowl and declared it “mushy.” On a winter morning, there is no more comforting breakfast than a big cup of coffee and a heap of baked oatmeal, fresh from the oven and drizzled generously with maple syrup. And the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house is a total bonus.

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While I don’t usually cook with any particular dietary restrictions in mind, these days, it feels impossible to have a group of friends over without navigating a handful of allergies and personal preferences. This recipe is one of my go-tos when hosting brunch for a group, because it’s a hit with both the health nuts and the dough-nuts. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and can be nut free if you omit the almonds. And while food made for special diets can often end up feeling like a dreary alternative to the delicious food on the table, this oatmeal is anything but that.  I eat everything, and this is one of my favorite breakfasts EVER. Hope you love it, too.

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Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal


Ingredients

  • unsalted butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup slivered, blanched almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, such as Bob’s Red Mill
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup, divided
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups rolled (“old-fashioned”) oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light, unsweetened coconut milk, such as Native Forest
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8x8x2 inch square baking pan with butter or coconut oil.

In a medium (10-inch) sauté pan, toast the almonds and coconut over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut begins to brown. Begin stirring almost constantly and continue to cook until the coconut is golden brown (about 10 minutes total.) Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and ¾ teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, egg, vanilla, water, and maple syrup. Whisk vigorously until thoroughly smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries, pour into the prepared pan, and top with the almond and coconut mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through. Let the oatmeal cool for 5 minutes, and serve in squares or scoops with additional maple syrup on the side.


Baked Goat Cheese with Balsamic Glazed Figs

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Did you ever notice that no matter what else you serve at a party, if you put out any kind of warm, melty cheese, it will be devoured in about thirty seconds? This Baked Goat Cheese with Balsamic Glazed Figs is no exception. It’s a serious crowd pleaser and a lighter alternative to baked Brie or Camembert. And with fresh rosemary, dried figs, chopped pistachios and a generous drizzle of honey, it’s the perfect festive appetizer for a holiday spread.

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I love fresh figs, but with their short season they can be hard to find. Dried figs, plumped up with balsamic vinegar, honey and fresh orange juice, are just as sweet and delicious.  I spoon them onto warm goat cheese flavored with rosemary and chili flakes for a spread that’s savory, sweet, and a little spicy. If you can find Mike’s Hot Honey or another spicy honey, it’s especially good drizzled over the goat cheese just before serving. 

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Serve this right from the oven (on a hotpad!) with plain crackers or crusty baguette slices. Then take a step back and watch it disappear before your eyes. In fact, you might as well make two while you’re at it! I’m making these for a Christmas brunch this weekend and am planning on doing exactly that. 

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Baked Goat Cheese with Balsamic Glazed Figs

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces plain, creamy goat cheese, softened at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried Calimyrna figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon shelled roasted and salted pistachios, roughly chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer) combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and salt. Beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed, until smooth and lightly whipped.

Transfer to a small (7 or 8-inch diameter) ovenproof skillet or shallow baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and lightly browed around the edges.

Meanwhile, remove the hard stems from the figs and cut them into quarters. Combine the figs, honey, vinegar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. (The figs should fit snugly in one layer.) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thick glaze, about 8-10 minutes.

Carefully spoon the figs and any remaining liquid onto the center of the goat cheese.  Sprinkle the pistachios over the figs, drizzle the cheese generously with honey, and serve hot directly from the baking dish with pita chips or thin slices of baguette.