Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baked Oatmeal with Cinnamon Rhubarb

As we edge closer to the end of the spring rhubarb bumper crop, I invent ways to get my fix before the season fades away. My latest brainstorm hit while flipping through the pages of Heidi Swanson’s fabulous book, Super Natural Every Day, where she layers oats with bananas and blueberries in a unique breakfast casserole. I’ve been bored with my oatmeal lately, so what better way to wake my taste buds than with tart and tangy rhubarb? And so I set out to create a gluten- and dairy-free version.
Start off by combining certified gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (I’ve had luck with the ones from Bob’s Red Mill as well as those from GF Harvest) with the classic brown sugar-cinnamon combination. Almond milk pairs well with the oats as a dairy-free liquid, but you could substitute your favorite milk in its place. Toss sliced rhubarb with more brown sugar and cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest and bake it right atop the oatmeal for a fantastic sweet-and-sour combination. I suspect strawberries would be an ideal addition if you want to tinker with the topping. Try it with half strawberries and half rhubarb for a slightly sweeter version. (Keep in mind that oats are gluten free, but they are often cross-contaminated. Use only certified gluten-free oats, assuming your body can tolerate them.)
Cut the baked oatmeal into neat squares for serving, and drizzle a touch of pure maple syrup over the top. Then, as your family showers you with compliments, just try to think of a sneakier way to serve them vegetables for breakfast! Enjoy ~LbR
-Laura b. Russell