Spiced Cranberry Baked Oatmeal + Vanilla Fig Almond Milk
Here's a delicious gluten free and vegan breakfast that warms you up with cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and nutmeg in the sweet and slightly tart cranberry filling, and hearty baked oats topped with crunchy pecans and seeds. It's easy, can be served to holiday guests or kept and reheated throughout the week for breakfast on the go. I'm also sharing my favourite vanilla fig almond milk recipe, which is so rich and good that it will be my eggnog substitute this year. I'm obsessed!
I’ve been away from this space for a while now, without actually intending to be and without any real plan for when to return. My last published post was dated June 11th, and now it's somehow November! Thank you for continuing to pop by, I appreciate it so much. I’m planning a post or two that will serve as an update of sorts, to share all the fun things that have been happening with MNK over the past few months. That post is not quite ready yet - I'm still collecting photos and my thoughts. Right now, I want to share a really delicious breakfast in honour of my favourite season, and my first post back which incidentally is also my first post since the one year anniversary of this blog (so late, as officially our first birthday was June 21st).
So! On with things :) This is my absolute favourite time of the year. I love Autumn, Thanksgiving, going for long drives on the weekends to see the leaves change colours and check out local farm stands and wineries. The air smells so earthy, and the market is full of such deep jewel-toned fruits and veggies. I LOVE IT. Summer is always fun with it's impromptu gatherings, bonfires, berries and getaways. I love that too, but this year I'm just relieved for the restful and restorative feeling that the cooler temperatures bring. And nothing says relaxation like a lazy, cozy, wholesome but delicious breakfast, especially when enjoyed with people you love and maybe a little extra time on your hands.
The tart cranberries are paired with warming cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and nutmeg and sweetened with coconut sugar. Chia and ground flax seeds hold it all together without getting too firm like some baked oatmeals can be, and the whole thing is topped with crunchy pecans and maple-sweetened seeds. I love to serve it with a little nut milk, pomegranate arils, and honeycomb. It comes together quickly enough to leisurely make your coffee and maybe whip up this vanilla and fig almond milk. The almond milk has been on rotation for me since we visited Moon Juice in Venice Beach last winter, and it's honestly so good that I plan to serve it at holiday brunches this year - the perfect alternative to egg nog. Actually, the combination of these two beauties may just make it to Christmas morning.
I hope you enjoy this for breakfast soon, and I'm so happy to be back! xo
ps!! recently I was interviewed for the WE Nation Podcast by the lovely Janna Overend, and we chatted about the symptoms that had me searching for an answer, my journey to health, my favourite ways to stay well, and how MNK began. Check it out here!
one last thing! last year around this time, I made Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal, which was also delicious. You can find that recipe here.
Spiced Cranberry Baked Oatmeal
Serves six. You can vary the nuts and seeds in the topping by what you like or have on hand.
2 cups whole cranberries, washed (1 package/227 g)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp warm water
2 cups gluten free oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups cashew milk (use another milk here if you prefer)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup gluten free oats
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the ground flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of warm water and set aside.
Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Turn the pan to coat the bottom. Add the cranberries, coconut sugar, spices, arrowroot or tapioca starch, and 1 tablespoon of water and stir. Simmer over medium-high heat until some of the cranberries begin to burst and the mixture becomes like jam or compote (this only takes 3-5 minutes, total). Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, chia seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the flax seed mixture and cashew milk, and stir well until the chia seeds begin to soak up some liquid and are spread throughout (not clumping together). Evenly pour the oats over the cranberry compote, smoothing with the back of a spoon.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and combine with the maple syrup. Add the pecans, pepitas, 1/4 cup oats and sesame seeds and toss to coat. Spread the topping over the oats.
Place in the oven to bake for about 35 minutes, until topping is lightly toasted. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. To serve, I like to scoop out some oatmeal, then pour a little extra cashew milk in my bowl, and top with pomegranate arils. Honeycomb or bee pollen go nicely here too.
Fig + Vanilla Almond Milk
Makes slightly more than three cups, inspired by Moon Juice
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight (8-12 hours)
3 cups fresh water
5-6 dried figs, sulphite-free
a pinch of pink salt or sea salt
2 tsp raw honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lucuma powder (optional)
Fill the carafe of your blender with 3 cups of fresh water, and add the dried figs, salt, raw honey (or maple syrup), vanilla and lucuma if using. Drain and rinse the almonds, then add to the blender. Blend on low speed and gradually increase to high until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Set a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth over a large measuring cup or bowl. Pour the mixture through the nut milk bag/cheesecloth and squeeze as much of the milk out as you can, leaving the dry pulp. Transfer to a jar to serve. Nut milks tend to separate a little as they sit, so just give it a shake before serving to re-emulsify. Keeps in the fridge for 3 days.