Persimmon Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Persimmon Pecan Baked Oatmeal 5.jpg

The colder temperatures have me trading in my overnight oats for a warming bowl of porridge lately. And while making oats on the stove takes all of 5 minutes, it can still be too much of a process on those hectic mornings.

My solution? Baked oatmeal. I make a pan on Sunday night. Then, it's ready and waiting to be reheated with a splash of milk during the week. It's that comforting bowl you're craving in literally 60 seconds.

This version uses persimmons and pecans. If you're not familiar with this fruit, they have a delicate, sweet taste and are in season late fall through early January. I've used Fuyu here, which can be eaten while still a bit firm and are delicious thinly sliced on salads too. The Hachiya variety remains tannic unless very ripe and mushy. It's best for puddings, cakes, and jams. 

If you can't find persimmons, or they're out of season, this oatmeal bake can easily be adapted for almost any fruit/nut combination. Try walnut pear in the late winter months or cherry almond in summer. I've even used frozen fruit with great success.

Persimmon Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Serves 6 (or more if part of a larger spread)

4 Fuyu persimmons (peeled + cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 2 cups total)
4 Tbs. pure maple syrup, divided
2 Tbs. coconut oil, melted + divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other dairy-free milk of choice)
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped + divided
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
2 Tbs. flax meal
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
scant 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish with coconut oil. 

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup, the persimmons, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the juices start to bubble and thicken. You want the fruit to still be firm. Turn off the heat and add one teaspoon vanilla. 

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk, additional tablespoon of coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup, and remaining teaspoon vanilla. 

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine 1/2 cup pecans, rolled oats, flax meal, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and sea salt. 

Spoon 2/3 of the persimmon mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture, then drizzle the wet ingredients over the oats. Tap the pan gently to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed and all of the oats are submerged. 

Scatter remaining fruit and pecans over the top, making sure to drizzle any remaining syrup from the fruit on top as well. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the oats are set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Drizzle the top with additional maple syrup if you want a sweeter dish. 

This dish is best served warm, but it's also good at room temperature or chilled straight from the fridge. Leftovers keep for several days are are great for weekday breakfast. To reheat, simply portion into a bowl, top with a splash of almond milk, and microwave for 50-60 seconds. 

Note: Feel free to swap out any fruit / nut for the persimmons and pecans.
A few of my other favorite combinations are Blueberry Banana Almond and Apple Walnut.

Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday