Jessica's Jottings:

On faith, food, family and frugality

Tropical Baked Oatmeal – a recipe makeover

Tropical Baked Oatmeal

Pineapple, Coconut, and Raisins, oh my!

So…my family LOVES this Baked Oatmeal recipe from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

I love that it’s healthy. They love that it tastes like a dessert.  (I may or may not, ahem, have actually taken this as a dessert to a potluck lunch meeting.)  😀

And…we’re getting ready to move. Our rental does not have a deep freezer, so we’re trying to eat down the contents of our freezer – including the remains of the, ahem, 50 lb. bag of oats that I bought last year in the summer. Uh…yeah. (For the record, we’re down to the last gallon-sized freezer bag.)  😉

This “eating down” process also includes our pantry where a 6 lb can of  pineapple chunks has been in hiding residence for awhile.

So, when I opened the can of pineapple to make homemade sausage pineapple pizzas, there was a LOT of leftover pineapple. This is cool, because now we get to experiment! In addition to the pizzas (which were great, btw), I plan to make some pineapple ice cream (following this recipe and subbing pineapple for the kiwi) and more of the Tropical Oatmeal.

Tropical Baked Oatmeal

This is actually a mishmash of Kelly’s recipe and another recipe with some Jess thrown in for fun. So when you look at Kelly’s recipe and see the amount of oats is different, it’s due to the amount of oats from the other recipe getting stuck in my head. I thought it might be dry, but it worked out wonderfully and I’ve been using it ever since.

4 c. old fashioned oats
2 c. yogurt or dairy kefir
1/2 c. melted coconut oil (if it’s hard, dump the pre-measured amount into your baking pan and put it in the oven for a few minutes while it’s pre-heating. Voila! Melted coconut oil and greased pan in one easy step = win/win.)
1/2 c. Grade B maple syrup (Grade B has more of the trace vitamins and minerals that make this a less bad sweetener.)
4 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Redmond Real Sea Salt (Why Redmond?)
1 tsp. Aluminum-free baking powder (Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s…need I say more?)
1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 c. raisins
2 c. pineapple chunks, with most of the juice squeezed out

Mix your oats and yogurt/kefir together in a medium sized bowl. (You can let it set out for 24 hours at this point if you’re concerned about phytic acid – I’m undecided at this point.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In another large bowl, mix the coconut oil, maple syrup and eggs together until well blended. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and baking powder and mix well again. Now add the fruit, coconut, and oats mix. Blend well one last time and dump into your greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake for about 30 minutes – you can do less if you like it more goopy or more if you like it drier. Serve either as cake or in a bowl with some milk poured on top.

About leftovers: this recipe reheats well if you must have your oatmeal hot. It’s also great straight out of the fridge.

How do you like your oatmeal?

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Mango Ice Cream

Yup…there’s definitely a theme going on. We are ice cream making machines. But, oh my…it’s SO good and, dare I say it…It’s healthy. Yes, healthy ice cream.

Sounds like a piece of heaven on earth, am I right? 😀

Ingredients:

2 mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped

2 eggs

1 can of coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 c. sucanat

a pinch of salt

Directions: Put mango in food processor and puree. Add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into the ice cream machine canister and follow your machine’s instructions.

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Mac and Cheese Makeover

Let me start this off by saying that I am NOT a mac and cheese fan.

This recipe, however, has changed my mind.

I was assigned to make mac and cheese for 20 for a recent dinner meeting. I figured that someone was having fun with me as my loathing of mac and cheese is fairly well known. :p

This recipe though…it was amazing. I learned how to temper an egg from the great video embedded on the page. I used a multicheese mix from the store, but also shredded some parmesan and asiago cheeses into it. Instead of the regular elbows, I used brown rice macaroni.

Lemme say it again: it was amazing. it was so good that after Nathan left for the meeting (I was keeping 2 sick kiddos home so as to not spread whatever “ick” they were fighting off), I used the leftover noodles and cheese to make another batch.

Between the two batches, where the first batch had the bread crumbs followed the recipe and the second batch was neither crumbed nor baked, the second one was the better of the two. And, without bread crumbs, this recipe could easily become gluten-free by subbing some arrowroot powder for the flour.

So…while I’ll continue to pass on Kraft’s or even Annie’s, I can easily see Alton’s Mac and Cheese gracing our table again soon. And this time, no assignment will be necessary. 🙂

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