I usually serve small slices of the baked oatmeal with pats of butter and a side of sausage patties or fried eggs to balance everything out. The oatmeal squares are plenty sweet for my kids but sometimes a drizzle of maple syrup or raw honey over top is just perfect!
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- 1 cup raw nuts and/or seeds of choice, chopped (I just pulse them up quick in the food processor. Almonds or pecans work well)
- 4 cups oats (Not quick oats. If you are gluten free be sure they say gluten free on the packaging)
- Juice of 1 lemon (Or a few TB of whole plain yogurt or whey – whatever you have in house. This is for the soaking process)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 2 eggs (If you are egg free use 2 flax eggs or 2 gelatin eggs)
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce (I use my own simple baked applesauce - if you use store bought you may want to add more cinnamon and maybe cloves or nutmeg for more flavor!)
- ¼ cup – ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (coconut sugar or honey would work too)
- ⅓ cup melted butter or coconut oil
- 2 tsp almond extract (vanilla extract would work too, but the almond extract is so amazing in this!)
- 1 TB cinnamon plus some to sprinkle the top
- 3 small/medium apples, chopped (I pulse them quick in the food processor. Any kind of apple works – whatever you have in house!)
- 1-2 apples sliced for the top (This is optional but pretty!)
- The night before you make the baked oatmeal, put the nuts, oats, lemon juice, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl and fill with water to cover by an inch. Give it a stir to combine and leave the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen over night. This soaking process helps the oats and nuts digest better, and makes more of their nutrients available to absorb.
- The next morning put the oat mixture in a strainer to drain.
- While the oat mixture drains, put the rest of the ingredients except the sliced apples for the top into the large mixing bowl, and combine it with the drained oat mixture.
- Pour the batter into a buttered 9x13 baking dish, top with sliced apples, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Let the baked oatmeal cool about 10 minutes before cutting.