When I’m coming up with new recipes for the blog, I’m torn between two things. On one hand I want to provide new and exciting recipes. It’s fun to challenge myself in the kitchens and make new and exciting recipes. I love to try old classics that I haven’t yet conquered in the kitchen. In addition, my creative juices get flowing when I bake up a mash up of two of my favorite dishes combined, like Lemon Meringue Pie Cookies. And then there are the crazy recipes I come up with out of nowhere and think sound exciting and rather tasty. I think you all appreciate new recipes and I love making and tasting them. You never know when you might discover a new favorite.
On the other hand, I have my favorite recipes and I know all of you do as well. Those things you make over and over again and can’t get enough of. We all have different favorites. For me, it’s Peach Blackberry Pie, Blueberry Buckle, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies among others. You might also have noticed I love granola bars and Rice Krispies Treats and have shared many different variations of the two.
It’s tough striking a balance between these two ideals, but I do try. Take this Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal. Baked Oatmeal is another one of my favorite go-to breakfasts. It’s easy to make, versatile, and comforting. Plus, leftovers last in the refrigerators for a few days, so it’s perfect for those busy mornings when you have not a single second to make breakfast. But I’ve never made anything with fresh figs here on the blog.
I tried fresh figs for the first time last year and fell in love with them. They have a unique, slightly strong flavor that is a bit of an acquired taste. A taste I have grown to like more with each bite. I simplified this baked oatmeal, so it is extra easy to prepare. I recommend getting the dry ingredients ready the night before and placing them in a plastic bag so there’s no hassle in the morning.
Cherry season has unfortunately rolled to a close, so feel free to use frozen, thawed cherries for the bottom layer, which adds a sweet, jammy contrast to the perfectly cooked oatmeal with just enough bite left to it. The figs on top add a bright flavor that works perfectly with the cherries and vanilla bean paste in the oatmeal mixture. Oh, and this is gluten free and vegan, so long as you use gluten free oats and non-dairy milk, like I did. I know you’ll enjoy this new and exciting, yet classic and comforting favorite as much as I did!
2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)
½ cup walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk, use what you love)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 cups cherries, fresh and pitted or frozen and thawed
4 fresh Mission figs, quartered
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cherries in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish.
In a medium bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, baking powder, and cinnamon. This may also be combined in a zipper bag the night before.
Add the milk and vanilla bean paste to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the cherries. Arrange the figs decoratively on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbling. Serve warm. Oatmeal may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May be served cold or reheated in the microwave.