I have this jar of artisanal jam that is probably on par with gold bullion in terms of per-ounce unit cost. When I bought it at the farmer’s market, I had all kinds of delicious visions of leisurely breakfasts. The sun is shining through my kitchen window, and I am reading the newspaper. There are cinnamon-flecked lattes and fresh scones slathered in farm-churned butter. Edith Piaf is singing Je Ne Regrette Rien in the background, and she is accompanied by the birds who like to hang out on my fire escape. My fantasy, my soundtrack.
A month later, the jam is still sitting in the back of my refrigerator. I made a few sad attempts at putting a spoonful or two on some semi-burnt toast, but that was pretty much it.
The truth is, I am a disaster in the morning. I need like three cups of coffee to get myself organized enough to leave the house fully clothed and in one piece.
So tonight I decided to stop the self-delusion and bake some oatmeal. I added the strawberry jam because I couldn’t bring myself to continue letting it go to waste. Also, I had some strawberries in my refrigerator that were starting to look a little worse for wear.
You can use whatever kind of jam you have, and fresh bananas or apples would probably be totally wonderful too. I kept it vegan and healthy with almond milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup. It’s still good, I promise. Especially served warm with vanilla ice cream. For breakfast or anytime.
- 2 cups of quick cook oats
- 1 cup of almond milk (soy milk would be fine too - or regular milk if that’s what you use)
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 1/4 cup of strawberry jam
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup of walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of strawberries
Bake the oatmeal:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the vegetable oil and strawberries. Set aside for at least ten minutes.
Meanwhile, coat a 9 inch square baking dish with the vegetable oil, and slice the strawberries. Pour the oatmeal mixture into the dish and top with the sliced strawberries.
Bake at 400 degrees for about forty-five minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it feels kind of springy and cake-like to the touch.
Remove from the oven and let cool for at least ten minutes. Refrigerate and cut into pieces for your breakfast or snack over the next few days.