Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baked Butternut Squash Oatmeal with Quinoa

My friend Rachael recently came to visit and we spent lovely days baking, cooking, hiking, and talking. One morning, we went out to breakfast. One morning we cooked together. One morning, I made this dish, based on a baked oatmeal recipe from a cookbook Rachael brought with her called Simply in Season. It seemed like a delightful base recipe to prep us for a long hike and it's nice to eat seasonal foods, even when some of my ingredients come from a can (more on this later).

Why this dish? When we were planning our day, the evening before Rachael said she'd never had baked oatmeal--not true, I reminded her. When we both still lived in the Midwest and ate breakfast together on Friday mornings with two other friends, I'd made a baked oatmeal recipe a handful of times. Baked oatmeal was something introduced to me a year ago this past summer, at a retreat center I stayed at while on a field trip focused on sustainable agriculture.

One of the lovely things about baked oatmeal is that it's warm, hearty, and can be prepped the night before. The recipe from Simply in Season did not recommend mixing everything the night before and then just sticking it in the oven. But, you could do this, I think, based on my previous baked oatmeal experiences. This is especially good if you're rushed in the morning. And, you could make this vegan by substituting the egg for either a commercial egg replacer, or a flax seed egg. You don't have to use the quinoa, if you don't have any on hand, but I wanted to include it to up the protein a little. If you decide to leave it out, you should increase the oatmeal to 2 cups.

We used butternut squash, because that's the puree I had on hand. At times, I might make my own rather than buying processed, but honestly I could pick up these cans of organic butternut puree for ridiculously cheap and it wasn't nearly as labor-intensive, and when I have butternut squash I've baked, I really just want to eat it. Immediately. You could also use pumpkin for this, or applesauce (as the original recipe suggests).

You could use pumpkin pie spice for this, if you didn't have these spices on hand, or leave the spices out entirely--the original recipe didn't use spices. I might have also added cardamom, if I'd thought about it early enough, but this combination of spices created a lovely taste reminiscent of autumn.

Note: although I've labeled this gluten-free, some people with Celiacs and gluten-sensitivity also do badly with oats, including gluten-free oats. If you are one of these people, or preparing this for someone who is gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, please check to make sure GF oats are okay.

Baked Butternut Squash Oatmeal with Quinoa
Dry Ingredients
1 3/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (GF)
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup demerara sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup raisins (or other chopped, dried fruit, optional)
3 tablespoons chopped almonds (optional)*

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Wet Ingredients
1 cup milk (I used coconut)
1/2 cup butternut squash puree
1 tablespoon oil
1 egg

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix in the spices.
Add the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, in a greased 8 x 8 pan (or equivalent) 25-30 minutes, until a knife stuck in the center comes out moist, but clean. Serve warm with milk.

*I didn't incorporate the almonds, but left them chopped, on the side to be added later. You could also use walnuts or pecans, if you prefer.


  1. A typo! Thanks for for catching it. It's now been updated -- demerara sugar, a natural brown sugar. If you don't have it, regular granulated sugar will work fine.