If you’re looking for a warming, healthy breakfast alternative to your typical oatmeal, I have just the thing for you. This apple baked oatmeal makes a week’s worth of easy breakfasts or is perfect to serve to a crowd. You can even include it on your holiday breakfast table as a hearty, sweet side dish. 
I’m constantly getting inspiration from the healthy food blogging community. I created this recipe based on Heidi Swanson’s baked oatmeal and the many incredible baked oatmeals from Family Fresh Cooking, which has gorgeous photos and unique, real food recipes. Gordon Ramsay was also an inspiration. He made Spiced Baked Porridge on his cooking show using pears, and spoke of it so eloquently, that I bought the ingredients the next day to make it.

Even if you’re not a breakfast eater, this would make a great snack. If you leave the house early, you can pack a piece to heat up at work and add almond milk, nuts and fruit at your desk. I suspect kids will like this too. When it’s chilled, it can be cut into bite-sized pieces, making excellent finger food for little ones, free of added sugars or preservatives.  

Breakfast improves cognitive function, concentration, improves athletic performance, stabilizes blood sugar and prevents overeating later in the day to help you stay at a healthy weight. Your brain needs a good supply of glucose to get-up-and-go first thing in the morning, making this recipe a great thing to have on hand if you're requiring a little extra brain power.   

While any fruit can be used in this recipe, I’ve chosen apples. Apples contain pectin, promoting digestive regularity. Pectin also sweeps away LDL “bad” cholesterol and promotes healthy intestinal flora. The tartaric and malic acid in apples works to reduce fermentation in the stomach, reducing stagnation, leaky gut syndrome, bloating and food intolerances.

A study published in Nutrition Journal, stated that the polyphenols contained in apples are associated with a lowered risk of chronic diseases, such as asthma, cancer and cardiovascular disease. The flavonoid quercetin, present in apples, is a natural way to combat seasonal allergies, along with having anti-inflammatory benefits.

Apples sprinkled with cinnamon and dipped in almond butter can make an easy, healthy breakfast option as well. If you are unconvinced of this statement, maybe this post on Chocolate & Zucchini will change your mind. This combination also makes a satisfying snack. In fact, apples or bananas with almond butter is my go-to snack that I eat almost every day.

This apple baked oatmeal is simple, but bursting with flavour. If you love warm apple crisp, you'll love this. I've left the skin of the apple intact, as much of the nutrition is located in and directly under the skin. The skin softens and provides a welcome textural contrast against the crunchy walnuts and juicy raisins. Honeycrisp apples were used in this recipe but most varieties should work. Other fruit options include: bananas, blueberries, pears and blackberries. This recipe can easily be switched up with whatever fruit is in season. 
More baked oatmeal goodness from around the web: 
Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries & Bananas via Skinny Taste
Baked Peach Almond Oatmeal via Two Peas & Their Pod
Maple Nut Baked Oatmeal via Eat, Live, Run
Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Bites via Kath Eats Real Food
GF Gingerbread 'Proatmeal' Bake via Nutritionist in the Kitch

What's your favourite breakfast? Do you like savoury or sweet foods in the morning? 



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