This Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Bake is vegan and gluten free and works for breakfast, brunch or dessert (yes dessert!). Before I get into the how-to, a little random reflection.
Lately, I’ve been baking a lot, cooking a lot in general. My hands are sore from doing so many dishes and I barely bother to put them away anymore. There is just a cycle of cook, clean, cook, clean. And even though i hate that, I also love IT. I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to devote so much of my time and energy to culinary creations.
I had an inkling I liked to cook and was smitten with the culinary arts in my last year of high school. I flirted with the idea of applying to culinary school in Montreal, and it kind of came out of nowhere.
That seemed like a real, legitimate option for about 0.3 seconds and then I got to thinking about which real, adult career I should pursue.
I agonized over this. I remember seeing the career counsellor in my first year of university. We superficially chatted about my problems with indecision and my meh attitude towards most traditional career options. We resorted to career aptitude tests, hoping this would give me direction.
“Are you a people person?”…I dunno, I think.
“Do you like working with new ideas and creative thinking?” …Not sure, it sounds like I should.
“Do you like problem solving? Are you a good problem solver?” …Like math problems? I don’t know. Maybe?
I felt like the career test kind of made it worse, essentially reminding me that I hadn’t taken the time in high school to find out what I liked or who I was. I was good at studying. I studied a lot and got good grades. That meant didly squat when it came to choosing a career path, even more meaningless for a life path!
So I dragged myself through these long career and personality tests and at the end of it all, no joke, my main area of strength was the culinary arts…a cook, chef, caterer etc.
I didn’t even think twice about it, I just assumed the whole process was a load of bull crap and I was still stuck at square one. I chose the science path and did a pharmacy degree…people person, problem solver, adult career. Check, check, check.
Turns out I like working alone most of the time, I’m creative and not too much into problem solving (unless it’s like what flavour is missing in this quiche?).
And here I am. Up to my eyeballs in food most days, trying to make it as a food blogger, nutritional freelance writer and educator and my ultimate goal is a cookbook.
Holy bananas it all comes full circle.
I often wonder what would have happened if I had gone to culinary school when I was 18. Where would I be now? I think my love for food (cooking, eating, writing about it) gained a lot of momentum from just dreaming about it for so long.
Just an interesting thought I’m having on this cold and wet winter morning. I’m thinking out loud while I sip some jasmine green tea (when I really want coffee) and plan my day of kitchen activities.
But today, this Healthy Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Bake is what’s happening!
I originally came up with a version of this Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Bake for a brunch potluck, then I made it again and again and again. Now I make it on the weekend, divide into portions and breakfast is ready to go for the rest of the week.
It’s vegan, gluten free and oil free and very filling! It’s great for a Saturday breakfast or brunch but it’s also ideal for dessert!
I made this one on Sunday and had it smothered in Almond Caramel from The Plant-Based Cookbook for dessert and then had it re-heated in the oven with some maple syrup and fresh blueberries for breakfast the next morning. I’m working on different variations of this bake, and have some dedicated recipe testers helping me out Note that I like this Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Bake to be warm and a little gooey on the inside. It may seem like the batter is too loose when you pop it in the oven, but it will work out. If you want a firmer finished product, reduce the almond milk by 1/2 cup.
An update for Canadians on some gluten free labelling:
Canadian friends, you may have noticed that somewhere between 2015 and 2016 oats went from being labelled “wheat free” to “gluten free”. In May of 2015, after consultation with scientific experts, Health Canada registered a Marketing Authorization allowing gluten free claims for specially produced oats and products containing these oats.
Over the last 10 years it’s been shown that individuals with celiac disease can tolerate oats grown and harvesting without exposure to other glutinous grains. Oats that contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten can now be labelled as “gluten free”.
When I started buying gluten free oats and could only find wheat free oats, I got really confused and had to do some digging. I elaborate more on this here on my Overnight Slow Cooker Oats post, but now the oat conundrum is put to bed and Canadians can easily decipher gluten free oats from their potentially gluten contaminated counter parts.
If gluten isn’t an issue, use regular rolled oats (not instant or steel cut) for this Healthy Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Bake.
Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Bake
- Casserole or Baking Dish
- 3 cups large diced apple your favourite variety, about 2 large or 3 small apples
- 2 flax eggs 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 5 tablespoons warm water
- 3 cups old fashioned gluten free rolled oats not instant or steel cut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Chop the apples and transfer to a large bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon (this prevents browning).
- Make the flax eggs by mixing 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Set aside and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix the rolled oats, nuts, raisins, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, hemp seeds and salt.
- Add the following to a blender: almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and flax eggs. Blend until smooth. You can also whisk this by hand in a bowl but I find the blender more convenient.
- Add the blender mixture to the dry ingredients and mix using a spatula.
- Drain the apples well in a colander and add to the bowl and mix. The mixture will seem loose, this is ok.
- Transfer the mix to an 9x9 casserole dish or non-stick brownie pan. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes remove the tinfoil, sprinkle the coconut sugar (if using) on top and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice and serve! Top with Almond Caramel from The Plant-Based Cookbook, nut butters, maple syrup, additional nuts and/or fresh berries.
To make this dish into a dessert, serve warm with your favourite ice cream (coconut, soy or almond ice creams will work nicely).
This freezes well too. Wait for it to cool, separate it into individual portions and then place in a freezer safe baggie or container.