An Easy Breakfast To Serve Post-Thanksgiving

Photo: Courtesy of Crunchy Radish.
This is the perfect "make-ahead" brekky that works well for a holiday brunch. Use this recipe to impress your visiting in-laws or to simply set yourself up for a breakfast time success story.
I have talked at great lengths about the importance of integrating breakfast into the everyday routine. It is the meal that literally breaks your overnight fast. For all you breakfast skippers out there, you could be going ten to sixteen hours without adding any fuel to your system — enough time to put your body into starvation mode and slow your metabolism down.
Apple And Pear Oatmeal Bake
Serves 6-8
2 cups rolled oats — I like Bobs Red Mill, gluten-free oats if celiac or gluten sensitive
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
2 cups almond, hemp, rice or skim milk
1 large egg
3 tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 apples — peeled, cored, and chopped into 1-inch cubes (thinly slice 5 pieces for decoration if you wish)
2 pears — peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish with coconut oil or butter.
3. In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the baking powder, spices, and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, add maple syrup, milk, half of the butter or coconut oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
4. Arrange the apples and pears in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, reserving the decorative slices. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple of shakes to make sure that the milk moves through the oats. Arrange remaining apple slices on top of the oat mixture and scatter remaining walnuts. (At this point, the bake can be chilled overnight and baked in the morning.)
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the top with the remaining melted butter or coconut oil. Serve or portion out into individual containers.
This dish is dairy and gluten-free (if using gluten-free oats and coconut oil). It has complex carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, and omega 3s depending on your nut and milk selection.

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