Nama-stay for another helping of this make-ahead wonder.
Few breakfasts are quite as satisfying as a really good bowl of oatmeal. Egg sandwiches, omelets, pancakes, waffles, and fancy avocado toasts are all delicious. But for pure stick-to-your-ribs wholesomeness, oatmeal wins. My favorite bowls of oatmeal taste creamy but hearty, with lots of extra mix-ins like nuts and seeds to make it even more nutritious and satisfying. But this oatmeal goes one step further: It cooks itself, and can be sliced and eaten all week long. This healthy baked oatmeal recipe, inspired by a yoga retreat, is everything.
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Why You Can — and Should — Bake This Oatmeal
I have heard of overnight oatmeal, multigrain oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal, quick oatmeal, oatmeal packets, extra-thick rolled oats, and porridge. But I never knew that baked oatmeal was a thing until relatively recently.
Up in the beautiful small Berkshires town of Lenox, Massachusetts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is the famous, highly-regarded — and yes, vaguely woo-woo — retreat where people come to detox body and mind, take wellness and health seminars, practice yoga, journal, hike, rest, and read in comfy sweats, athleisure, and slippers. This all happens along with a diet of all-natural, eco-conscious, nutritionally-balanced cuisine prepared by a team of expert chefs with backgrounds in health and nutrition.
You may now tempted to say, “Sounds awful. They probably just serve bowls of mush.” And yes! It’s true! There are lots of bowls of mush, especially at the Ayurvedic buffet, where everything seems to be heavily laced with turmeric. But actually, those bowls of mush are really, really good! (There’s “normal,” solid food, too.) At my Kripalu stay a couple of years ago, favorite “bowl of mush” was far and away the baked oatmeal, so good it almost tasted unhealthy. I’ve adapted this recipe from theirs.
Not only is this baked oatmeal recipe healthy, it also tastes satisfying and lets the oven do the work. No time-consuming pot stirring first thing in the morning. In fact, I like to make this at the beginning of the week and then reheat slices throughout the week.
Recipe Notes: Healthy Yoga Retreat Baked Oatmeal
- A healthy baked oatmeal recipe needs healthy ingredients. This has no artificial sweeteners, processed ingredients, or anything that is not whole grain. And in addition to the whole-grain oats, seeds, and nuts, this oatmeal has the benefit of added protein from eggs.
- Feel free to play around with the mix-ins, swapping out walnuts for almonds, pumpkin seeds for pecans, or leaving in or out anything else. All you really have to do is keep the ratio of oats to liquid the same.
- If you want an extra-creamy baked oatmeal, use all milk or milk substitute. I prefer half water, half milk.
- This is not a soupy bowl of oatmeal; it’s a creamy slice of oatmeal. The finished baked oatmeal, especially right out of the oven, will have a soft, creamy texture, but should still just hold together on a plate. Leftovers will continue to firm up and be more solid.
"Yoga Retreat" Healthy Baked Oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more to grease the cake pan
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 1/2 cups milk or milk alternative
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1/8 cup to 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I find 1/4 cup to be a good amount, lightly sweet but not sugary.)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
- 1/2 cup combination of toasted slivered almonds, walnut pieces, chia seeds, or pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9" cake pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, water, maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the the oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, seeds, dates, fruit, and nuts.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and stir to fully combine. Pour into the cake pan and bake about 25 to 30 minutes, until the center has set.
- Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot.