Orange & cranberry oatmeal bake

Baked oatmeal is a lovely way to start a cold winter’s day. Who wouldn’t like to start their morning with warm, fruity oats, straight from the oven (and a cup of hot coffee, of course) when the mercury is hovering around zero? This is sweet, fruity, delicious – and filling enough to keep you going all morning. And it has a protein boost as a bonus.

I can already hear the complaints of “But I don’t have time in the mornings!” So save this for the weekend when you do have time. Or prepare it the night before, then just nuke your serve in the morning and you’ll have a warm, healthy and filling breakfast ready in about 40 seconds. Plus extras for your breakfasts for the rest of the week, or for a tasty snack or even dessert. But honestly, this took me maybe ten minutes to throw together, and while it was baking I went off and showered, put on my make up and got dressed for the day. Then I barely had time to make a coffee before breakfast was served. No excuses. 🙂

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Serves 4-6

2 large oranges
1 banana
2 tbs Craisins
Cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1-2 tbs brown sugar
50g unflavoured whey*
2 tbs chopped walnuts
1 cup water

Heat oven to 180ºC. Mash or chop the banana. Peel and segment one orange, then roughly tear the segments into pieces and place into a square 20cm baking dish or deep pie dish with the banana. Add the craisins and sprinkle cinnamon over.

In a bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, whey and walnuts. Zest the remaining orange (you only need 1-2 tsp of zest so don’t go crazy), then juice it. You should get close to a cup of orange juice. Add the zest, juice and water to the oat mixture and stir to mix well. Pour the mixture over the fruit in the baking dish and gently spread evenly with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is slightly crisp and beginning to brown.

Serve with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and some extra walnuts sprinkled over.

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*If you don’t have unflavoured whey or just want to reduce the sugar, substitute vanilla flavoured whey and omit the brown sugar.

Nutrition stats:

Per serve (4 serves)
Calories 373
Protein 16.8g
Carbs 55.8
Fat 7.1

Per serve (6 serves)
Calories 249
Protein 11.2g
Carbs 37.2
Fat 4.7g

Fresh fruit compote

This recipe was inspired by Liz, who served me something similar when I stayed with her a few weeks back. It’s perfect for breakfast, added to muesli or on top of your porridge, or it would make a great dessert. It can be served hot or cold, so it’s ideal for any season – just vary the fruits to use whatever’s available.

Fruit compote recipe

Serves 4

1 medium apple, any sweet variety (not Granny Smith) or a pear
2 small or 1 large peach
2 small or 1 large nectarine
6-8 whole dried apricots
1 tbs dried cranberries (“craisins”)
A strip of lemon or orange rind
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste*
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice or water

Core and quarter the fresh fruit, then slice into smaller, bite-sized wedges and place into a small saucepan. No need to peel, although you can if you prefer not to eat the skin…if leaving the skin on, make sure you wash the fruit thoroughly and remove those annoying stickers. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, breaking the cinnamon quill in half first, and stir to mix well. Place a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Give it a good stir, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Check that the fruit is soft (this will depend on how ripe it is to begin with and whether you use an apple or a pear) – if not, simmer for a few minutes more. Bring the mixture back to the boil with the lid off to reduce the liquid to a syrup; this should only take a few minutes. Stir regularly and watch that it doesn’t burn.

Remove the cinnamon quill and lemon rind and discard, then either serve warm or allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating. I ate this warm with a big dollop of natural yoghurt and a little muesli sprinkled over. Voila:

Fruit compote recipe

*Note: Vanilla bean paste is available from most supermarkets. You can substitute half a vanilla bean or use a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you prefer.

Vanilla bean paste for fruit compote recipe

Spiced vanilla cookies with cranberries

This was a spur-of-the-moment idea, just a variation on my choc-peanut butter-banana cookies.


Makes 2-3 serves

30g rolled oats
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 sachet of Lipton’s chai latte
30g vanilla whey protein
3 tbs dried cranberries
1 & 1/2 tbs flaked almonds
A shake of ground cinnamon
About 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (I didn’t actually measure this….)
1 tbs almond spread
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. In a separate small bowl, mix apple sauce and almond spread till well combined. Add the egg white and vanilla and whisk until the mixture becomes a bit fluffy. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking paper-covered tray. Bake at 160C for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and leave to cool on the tray. The cookies will still be soft, but they’ll crisp up a little as they cool. They stay moist in the centre. Let them cool right down before storing in an airtight container or they’ll go soft.