• Alex

Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal

Updated: Jan 23

This week's theme for Wellness Within 2021 is fuel the brain and body.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I figured what better way to fuel our brain and body than with a nice slice of warm baked oatmeal?! This recipe is dairy free and vegan. Oats are naturally gluten free, but be sure to check packaging if you have Celiac Disease. Baked oatmeal works great for breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert! It's an excellent recipe to keep on hand as part of any meal prep routine. I used locally grown apples and pears from my crop share, homemade applesauce, and maple syrup from Maine. Using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible ensures quality ingredients that are packed with the right types of vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and strong, both physically and mentally.


Whole grains, like oats, are so important for brain health (think memory + mood), plus they are great fuel for our body. Carbohydrate sources are our body’s preferred food source to break down and give us energy. Enjoying a slice of baked oatmeal in the morning is a great way to kickstart your day and give your body a boost! Whole grains also help with gut health, and the high fiber content in oats and fresh fruit help with regularity. Additionally, walnuts and flax are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids which not only decrease inflammation in the body, but also improve brain function. Serving up a slice ensures you are getting a balanced meal of whole grains, healthy fats, plant based protein, and fresh fruit.


When we think of fueling the body, we are talking not only about the physical body but our soul as well. Pay attention to how you feel when eating these types of foods. Do you notice a mental shift? Does your mood or energy level improve? Last year Nicole and I shared a mindful cooking and eating video with apple crisp and the same techniques can be applied here so be sure to check it out in case you missed it. Learning a new recipe is also a great way to boost our memory and sharpen our cognitive skills. By connecting our thoughts with the types of foods we are eating, and where they come from, we help connect our brain and body with the very nourishment that keeps us going.


Ingredients:

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1/3 c. walnuts

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 c. almond milk

1/4 c. maple syrup

1 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 c. applesauce

1/3 c. cranberries

2 apples

1 pear (optional)


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375’F.

2. Prepare a flax egg: mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water in a bowl and let sit for 3 minutes.

3. Finely chop the apples and optional pear.

4. Grease 8x8 baking dish (could use 9x9 or 11x7 as well).

5. Melt the 2 tbsp coconut oil.

6. Mix all ingredients together except for the walnuts and cranberries.

7. Spread mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle walnuts and cranberries on top; packing down lightly with a spatula or spoon.

8. Bake at 375’F for 45 minutes.



There are so many variations of this, so feel free to omit the nuts, swap out fruit, or swap out almond milk as needed. This recipe tastes like dessert without the added sugars! I even eat it for an afternoon or after-dinner snack. Spread a little peanut butter on top for some extra goodness.


Be sure to check out Harp and Wellness tomorrow on YouTube. Nicole will walk us through mindfulness exercises every Saturday at 3 pm ET to complement our weekly themes all throughout January. Tomorrow’s video will focus on a mind-body-heart alignment!


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To access Harp and Wellness on social media:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Y27hRHcTrgw

Instagram: @harpandwellness



Wishing you all a healthy and peaceful New Year!



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