You know how pancakes are really just an excuse to have cake for breakfast? Or how a muffin is really just a slightly disheveled cupcake that forgot its hat? I often can’t tell if folks are actually fooled, or just casually ignore these excuses. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that you never eat pancakes for breakfast and then feel good about that decision a couple of hours later. Well, make excuses no more! Today I am here to tell you that you can have caramel apples for breakfast. Say whhaatttttt?
Of course, I am going to insist that the caramel apple goodness is mixed with oatmeal and then baked first, but I promise you this is something you will thank me for. This breakfast is great for a Sunday brunch or could even be swung on a weekday I could imagine (stumble to the kitchen, throw it all in the baking dish, and then allow it to bake while you get ready and presto: you exit the shower to a warm cinnamon caramel apple towel wrapping you with delight). You get all the taste sensations of a caramel apple, but all of the healthy goodness of hearty oatmeal. The fiber rich oatmeal gets your digestive system off on the right foot and helps slowly release the natural sugars into your bloodstream to fuel you for the day.
Oh, and speaking of sugar: there is no added sugar! Ummmm, doesn’t she know that caramel IS sugar? Not when it is made out of dates! I had bought dates to sweeten some oatmeal muffins last weekend, and in a stroke of brilliance, decided to whip up some “date caramel” to turn my apple oatmeal into caramel apple oatmeal. I can’t even handle how brilliant I am sometimes. I highly suggest putting this date caramel on… on… well, really anything! I also added some ginger and dried lemon peel to cut through the luscious caramel apple and give the dish some brightness. Top it off with warm and freshly frothed almond milk and your body will be thanking you all day long!
Caramel Apple Baked Oatmeal
Serves 2 a Hearty Breakfast
For the Oatmeal
- 1 cup rolled oats (I use a nice mix of oats, barley, kamut, rye)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
- 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 cup almond milk (divided into 2)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup date caramel (recipe below)
For the Date Caramel
- 6 medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To Make the Date Caramel
- Place dates in food processor and process until they start to form a ball
- Stream in water and vanilla.
- You will have to stop and use a spatula to move the caramel from the sides.
- Process until smooth.
To Make the Oatmeal
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease small baking dish.
- Mix together oats, spices, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds in a medium bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together ½ cup almond milk, applesauce, ¼ cup caramel, and apple.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.
- Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
- Spoon into individual bowls and top with remaining caramel sauce and almond milk.