We all know how healthy Oatmeal is, for kids and parents alike, and thanks to Quaker’s, it is no longer boring either. With loads of fruits and nuts added to a traditional oatmeal, it has become an acceptable norm in many US households, including ours. However, all the health benefits are linked to consumption of old-fashioned plain oatmeal, not the fancier varieties which are loaded with sugar, and artificial additives. But that does not mean that the latter are not good, the nutrition value dips slightly due to use of preservatives and additives, and they add more calories to the end product.
Here’s another neat way of eating your Oatmeal, and something that clicked with me and my toddler the very first time we made it! An Oatmeal Cake – the name itself will get your kids attracted to take a bite. The softer, more cake-like texture is better accepted by younger kids compared to the chewy granola bar version, and you are not compromising on any nutritional value. In fact, this freshly baked Oatmeal cake, is free of preservatives, tastes great, and you could even cut this into small portions and store them in a refrigerator for 8-10 days. The original recipe at Whole Foods market called for eggs, but I replaced them with Butter; you could even use egg-replacer or flax seeds if you like.
Baked Oatmeal & Dried Fruit Cake
Prep time: 15 mins
Bake Time: 45 mins
2 cups frozen mixed berries
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 organic apple, peeled, cored and grated (about 1 cup)
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil a (9-inch) pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the berries, oats, pecans, baking powder, salt and apple.
In another medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, syrup, vanilla and butter; stir this into the oat mixture to form a hard granola-like dough.
Transfer to the prepared pan and level it out using a spatula. Bake until firm and golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.
Let it cool completely once done, then cut into slices and serve. You can even store these, separated by wax-paper liners, and refrigerated for about 10 days.