If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for breakfast. It tends to be the meal I can count on eating at home, and it's important for me to make time in the morning to sit with Ryan and start the day on a good (read: delicious) note. If every day could begin with a yoga practice and a leisurely breakfast (with coffee!), that would be my dream world.
But as much as I love this time of day, I don't always have the time to whip up something elaborate. Enter: baked oatmeal. I've talked about this before, but it is so nice to make a big batch of this oatmeal, with any spices/fruit/toppings my heart desires, and then enjoy it for a few days during the week.
This new version came about when I was brewing a batch of chai tea (I used this recipe as a guide), and thought how replacing the milk in oatmeal with chai-spiced milk would be sort of delicious. Add to it some of the perfect fall fruit - apples - and you have a delicious and satisfying make-ahead breakfast.
Apple-Chai Baked Oatmeal
For the oatmeal:
5-6 small apples (I used Gala)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon plus extra for sprinkling
2 cups chai-spiced milk (recipe below)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for greasing the skillet
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and chop 4 of the apples. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, 1/2 of the walnuts, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the apples and stir to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and melted butter.
In a buttered 8-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe dish) spread the apple oat mixture evenly. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients until it is completely covered. Thinly slice the remaining 1-2 apples (I used 2, but it depends on the size of your apples) and place on top of the oatmeal. Spread the remaining half of the walnuts and sprinkle cinnamon on top of the sliced apple layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, and enjoy right away or reserve for later. This tastes just as good reheated over the next few days, with a side of yogurt. Serves 8-10.
For the chai-spiced milk:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 slices fresh ginger
6 whole peppercorns
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 6-8 minutes. Strain milk and use in recipe above.