There are two qualities I like my breakfast to have on Christmas morning: easy and delicious. This year, I wanted to make something that was so tasty it could literally be served as a dessert and I think I have done just that. I tried not to get too carried away with sweetness, because even though Christmas is all about indulging in the treats you don’t eat on a regular basis, no one wants to start Christmas day off with a sugar headache and a blood sugar crash.
So oatmeal it is! Oats are wonderful for sustained energy and paired with the cinnamon in this recipe, you’ve got two powerhouses to help maintain stable blood sugar levels – which we all need for a day of family and festivities. And don’t worry, it still tastes like dessert.
The main flavours in this oatmeal are mandarin, cranberry and wild blueberry – the three fruits that most remind me of Christmas. I figured most people have some combination of these fruits around during the holidays, so although these three work really well together in the oatmeal, (the tartness of the cranberries balance out the sweetness of the blueberries and mandarin) feel free to use what you have on hand. I also used pecans not only because they’re delicious and are my favourite nut to pair with oatmeal, but also because they’re a staple for many families during Christmas time. They pack a nice crunch to an otherwise very soft dish, so even if you don’t have pecans I would recommend topping this one with whatever nuts you have on hand! And if you have a nut allergy, top with whatever crunch floats your goat my friend.
Next I thought, what is more decadent and festive than salted caramel? This salty/sweet topping is the perfect contrast to the fruitiness below. And just because it’s Christmas and I wanna feel fancy, I topped it off with a dollop of vanilla vegan yogurt. My favourite plant based yogurt when I want something thick and dessert-y is a soy based yogurt, however the grocery store only had almond which worked just fine. The cold yogurt actually helps tone down the richness of this warm, flavourful dish so I would highly recommend not skipping this step. The yogurt to this oatmeal is like ice cream to a warm slice of pie.
I used full fat coconut milk in this recipe because it makes it that much creamier and richer, but you could sub out whatever plant milk you like. Also, I can’t take credit for the salted caramel topping. That one comes from the infamous Minimalist Baker. (Recipe here). I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee, I’ll admit. I just used the amount of dates that looked like it would produce the amount of caramel I wanted and then added water and salt as I pleased; I added water until I got the desired level of liquidity and salt until I got the taste right. I used my ninja and although it worked well, I think the texture would have been smoother had I not forgotten to soak my dates.
NOTE: You’ll notice in the photos, I have used a mini casserole dish. This is purely to avoid food waste. When I am trying to create a new recipe, I don’t want to make a huge batch of it in case it doesn’t work out. And then when I know the recipe works and I am making it just to shoot photos, again, I only like to make a small amount unless I know I’ll eat it in the next day or two. The recipe makes four times the amount of the mini one in the photos, so don’t worry, you can feed your whole fam.
So here’s the recipe friends! If you give it a go, be sure to let me know! Comment on the blog, or post on instagram with the hashtag #eatbythesoul
Christmas Morning Baked Oatmeal: Cranberry, Mandarin, Blueberry with Date Salted Caramel
- Blender or Food Processor
- 1.5 cup oats I used rolled, instant works as well
- 1.5 cup full fat coconut milk Can sub any plant milk, but this works best for thick, creamy texture
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup blueberries I used frozen wild blueberries
- 3/4 cup cranberries I used fresh
- 3-4 mandarin oranges Amount will depend on how large your mandarins are
- 1/2 cup crushed or chopped pecans Amount really depends on how much crunch you want!
- Plant based vanilla yogurt I prefer soy for this, any yogurt will do
Date Salted Caramel Sauce – see Minimalist Baker link for details
- 1 cup dates pitted and soaked
- water add until desired texture achieved
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
- Add oats, coconut milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon to medium-sized casserole dish. Stir until combined.
- Add in cranberries and blueberries, stir until evenly combined.
- Separate individual mandarin pieces and lay flat, covering the top layer of the oatmeal.
- Evenly sprinkle pecans on top layer.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes – keeping an eye to make sure oats aren't drying out (over baked)
- While the oatmeal is baking, combine dates, salt and water into your food processor or blender. Blend until desired consistency. (see Minimalist Baker for details)
- Remove oatmeal from oven and let cool.
- Serve with desired amount of salted date caramel and dollop of plant-based vanilla yogurt
- I have tried this recipe with both instant and rolled oats and it is essentially the same.
- The salted date caramel recipe is from Minimalist Baker!
- Feel free to adjust the amount of fruit and/or the ratios between the fruits to your liking. The possibilities are endless…
- Any plant milk will do, but full fat coconut is the creamiest
- This is great for leftovers! Store in the fridge, and then when you want to enjoy again reheat in a pot on the stove, add in a little bit more plant milk to get it nice and moist again (I used full fat coconut and it was DELISH) and maybe a bit more cinnamon and its GOOD AS NEW. The oats do dry up a bit in the fridge so definitely don’t skip adding more coconut milk when reheating.
Happy Holidays and happy eating!