I love December. Every year, without trying, I get stupidly excited about Christmas – and go at it with the enthusiasm of a six year old who’s acquired a few domestic skills along the way. But with that, though, comes the stress of the season, which gives everything sparkly about this month a run for its money. I am busier than ever this year but I don’t want to let holiday stress cast a dark pall over these next couple weeks, so I spent some time really considering what I need to keep myself from turning into a scrooge. I made a list and I will be checking it twice. A list of things that make me happy, that inspire me, that calm me down. We all need one of these. Here’s a few of mine: evening walks, podcasts, friends, nourishing + cozy food, hot mugs of tea, reading, getting away from the internet, getting enough sleep, going out to dinner, nerding out in front of the Christmas tree with sentimental movies. (I do that.)
A lot of these things are obvious, right? It’s hard, sometimes, to remember to do when we’re so busy, but so important at this time of year – taking a moment for ourselves. This baked oatmeal is all about taking care, taking that moment. It’s nourishing and healthy but hearty and cozy too. And, it’s made a believer of me. Oatmeal’s everydayness sometimes leaves something to be desired. Making it like this takes it to another level. I made it late at night for the following morning but think it’s best immediately out of the oven. You get this wonderful, toothsome crust and a kind of buoyancy and heft to the oatmeal that’s very much absent in its stovetop form. Hope your season’s bright.
BAKED OATMEAL WITH APPLES AND PERSIMMONS
adapted from Heidi Swanson via Lottie + Doof
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/3 cups almond milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 firm apple, cut into chunks
1 firm, ripe Fuyu persimmon, cut into chunks
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, pecans, cinnamon, cardamom and sea salt. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract with the egg. Next, fold in the apples and persimmons.
Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-inch baking pan. Pour wet oatmeal mix into baking vessel.
Bake at 375 degrees for roughly 45 minutes – but be sure to check on it around 30 minutes in.
Serve with more almond milk and maple syrup if desired.