When we became a family of six, breakfasts (and every other single thing) became a whole situation.
Do you ever find yourself making a bowl of cereal for one kid, microwaving oatmeal for the next and whipping up scrambled eggs and toast for another? I used to do this one handed while holding (and sometimes nursing) my newborn baby. Let’s just let that sink in for a minute. I’m getting sweaty and stressed out just remembering it.
My mornings used to start with complete insanity. My kitchen was a mess and my brain was scrambled eggs before I even loaded up the car to drop everyone off at their three different schools.
That first year with four kids was hard. It was in that year that I realized I cannot live one breakfast crisis to the next and it was time to get organized. At this time I had been finally getting into a groove with meal planning all of our dinners. Lunch still throws me off to this day – How? Not sure. Noon rolls around every single day and I’m still surprised and unprepared for it. I’m usually saying to the boys “didn’t you just eat breakfast?!”
Each morning I was asking everyone “what do you guys want for breakfast?”. If you are a mama of more than one, you know asking the masses what they want is the best way to start a war among them. You will inevitably have to chose sides if your children don’t unanimously agree. It’s just a whole thing. Every situation with four kids becomes a whole thing.
This is why we now “batch” breakfast. There are zillions of online resources for meal planning family dinners, but not much about feeding a herd for that most important meal of the day — breakfast. Every day I make one breakfast either the night before or before waking the ravenous beasts. (Before you start thinking I’m really amazing, know that we boxed cereal is on the menu at least once a week.)
Thus, the magic that is baked oatmeal. Before you write this off because you don’t like oatmeal, know that I was never an oatmeal fan myself until this recipe! I bake and serve it in a pie plate because my husband brought a love for pies into my life and because we fancy.
I had to really dig through the depths of my Pinterest boards to find it, but here is the link to the original recipe that inspired it all. Below is my own Pumpkin Chocolate Chip version with different variations.
Important note: If you like terms like “1/3 cup” vs “some”, you may want to follow the link. Measuring isn’t my thing. There is no time for fancy things like measuring when my little boys have turned into small monsters gnashing their teeth because they are “starving to actual death”.
Oscar’s Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
2 cups old-fashioned oats (tip: I do measure this with my large glass measuring mixing bowl from Pampered Chef and then use this bowl to mix the rest of the recipe)
1 tsp baking powder
1 shake of salt
*A sprinkle of brown sugar (less than the original recipe calls for, because I believe sugar is poison, but I’m also a shameless addict)
*1 cup canned pumpkin
*Handful of Chocolate Chips (I like the semi-sweet mini chips from ALDI)
*1 Tbsp of cinnamon
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups milk
Extra milk for serving and cooling down.
Preheat oven to 350.
Non-stick spray a pie plate (or 8×8 pan). In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add in egg and whisk well before adding in the wet ingredients one at a time. Pour into said pie plate.
Bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Serve immediately. My littles like a splash of milk (or half and half) in their bowls on top to cool it down and keep it from drying out.
* These are the ingredients that make this dish this particular flavor. To change the flavor, sub these ingredients below:
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Baked Oatmeal:
Handful of Chocolate chips
1 pint of quartered strawberries
Dash of Cinnamon
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal (Lucy’s favorite):
Fried apples (from scratch or a can)
Lemon Poppyseed Baked Oatmeal:
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup poppyseeds
Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal (Clara’s favorite):
1/3 cup Skippy peanut butter (because I love Skippy)
2 overripe mashed bananas
1 sliced banana
(Tip: I will occasionally mix the dry ingredients together and spray my pan the night before to save myself some time in the groggy morning)
If you make this recipe please share with me! Leave in the comments what you thought…or suggest other flavors!
What breakfasts are your family’s favorites? We are always looking to add variety!