Baked Cranberry Christmas Oatmeal

I have spend all day cleaning (so boring I know) and then finally decorating the apartment for christmas, yay!! Favourite decorations have got to be the ropes filled with presents, one rope for me with four nice tempting parcels and one rope for Jonas! I know that presents aren’t the most important part of christmas at all (it is the FOOD), but I really do think it adds a lovely twist to everything. The fact that you can spend a little money on your friends and family, and give away some “wrapped up” love is just amazing. I actually think the best part is giving presents to the people I care about. I just love to see the surprise and gratitude on their faces when they open up the goodies.  However, the days and hours you spend with these fantastic people will of course be filled with much more than presents. It will be filled with colorful dishes, sweets, laughter and protruding stomachs! The loved and feared Christmas parties, lunches and dinners are what I absolutely love the most about Christmas, and I have slowly started sneaking in new colorful and healthy dishes to accompany the classic ones. This makes it a little easier to avoid the overfilled stomachs and the extra pounds.

Because you get so much food during the holiday Christmas season I believe that some have a tendency to skip breakfast during Christmas. However,  if you eat a really healthy and wholesome breakfast in the morning, you will most likely eat less of the calorie filled food at the Christmas table.

That is why I have created this Christmas version of baked oatmeal. It will be perfect to throw in the oven a snowy winter morning and to be enjoyed freshly baked, topped with cold milk while sitting in front of the fire with your loved ones…okay a little dreamy, but this is definitely what I will be doing on Christmas morning!
I used cranberries for this version and they are in the fine company of a date and lemon cream, which is perfect when balancing the sour and tart berries. On top there is a lot of nuts, oats and of course some warm Christmas spices. You can use even more spices and nuts if you want. I actually used more nuts when I made it the first time, but it does get a little energy dense with too many nuts. As a result, I skipped some when I created the recipe.
Baked oatmeal is not very common in Denmark, many of my friends didn’t even know what it was when I told them. But it has really grown on me, and it was only recently that I tried it with cold milk, which only makes it even better!! So if you haven’t tried it before; do it now. And if this is already your preferred breakfast then you should try this tasty, wholesome and spicy version!!

Baked oatmeal with cranberries
Serves around 10 portions

Cranberry layer
20 dates, pitted (200 g)
1/5 cup apple juice (50 ml)
Zest from 1 organic lemon
½ tsp ground vanilla
2,5 cup fresh cranberries (250 g)

Dry  ingredients
½ cup hazelnuts (65 g)
¾ cup walnuts (75 g)
½ cup pumpkin seeds (75 g)
2 cup rolled oats (200 g ) Use gluten-free oats if you wish to avoid gluten.
1 spsk cinnamon
1 tsk cardamom
½ tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Wet  ingredients
1-2 Tbsp honey/syrup (depends on how sweet you prefer it)
1 egg
200 ml soy milk (or any milk after your choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/175 °C. Grease a baking pan with butter or oil, approximately 8 x 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) of size.
2. In a blender mix dates, apple juice and vanilla, and blend into a smooth and creamy texture. Transfer to a bowl and add lemon zest and cranberries and mix well together. Spread cranberry mix into an even layer in the baking pan.
Then mix all of the dry ingredients and drizzle it in a even layer on top of the cranberries.
3. At last mix all of wet ingredients. Pour it over the oats so everything is evenly soaked. You can use a fork to press firmly to help soak all oats.
4. Bake in oven for approx. 30 min until golden and crisp.

Serve straight away with cold milk or a dollop of yoghurt. Also, it will be perfect to eat for the next couple of days! If you wish to heat it a bit before eating it, just drizzle with a little water to avoid it getting to dry.

Baked cranberry oatmeal