This Berry Almond Baked Oatmeal will make a great summer breakfast and it won’t make you feel guilty one bit since it is gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free and vegan!
Things I learnt this past week.
I can live without cake
My brain wont die without coffee
My world won’t collapse without chocolate
Cooking without oil or any kind of fat is not awful
Berries and nuts make as great a snack (if not better) as cookies
I can be a cynical person. I have always been skeptical about diets and I never understood why and how some people can be on constant diet. Giving up good food, different kinds of food, the ability to indulge in fried / cheesy / decadent goodness in order to be thin always seemed like sacrilege!
I believe in balance and being healthy and eating well. But lately, I had been at the other extreme of the leaf-eating kind, with way too much sugar and indulgence and no self-control. I follow enough food bloggers to know that they don’t sit and eat their amazing cakes for all meals. Many of you give it away to friends and neighbors or share with work colleagues. Since I don’t have any neighbors to share with (still the new-comers in the hood) and I don’t work to share with colleagues and I hate wasting food, I found myself reaching out for the goodies sitting in my fridge way too often.
So, first things first, I had to do some sort detox/ cleanse aka diet that would wean me off sugar and lose a few pounds in a healthy way
Second, I have a fear of crash diets (that lead to inevitable weight gain once you are off of it), so I had to find a program that is recommended by someone close to me. Something that had a timeline like a month or 28 days and something that focused on resetting habits and mindset rather that rapidly losing weight and clinging on to that weight loss by giving up eating forever.
Third, figure out what to do with the blog while I am on diet
Making up my mind to go on a diet was the easy part. Actually starting the diet – not so easy. I have been contemplating this since January, efficiently finding excuses every time to procrastinate.
Finding myself a program was also super easy since Steve’s sister went on the Fast Metabolism Diet before Christmas and said it made her feel good. I still did a good amount of research, read a bunch of reviews and articles before committing to it. What I liked about it was that the focus was eating good, whole foods and normal portion sizes.
The blog was my real dilemma and also the main excuse I found myself putting off the diet. What will I post? How can I post desserts when I am not eating them? How can I even bake when I am not allowed to eat or test? Do I just take a break from blogging and social media? Do I bake a whole bunch in advance and then stash them in the freezer and churn out the posts on my diet?
It just didn’t seem right. A lot of us love blogging and social media because we feel like we are part of a community. If I start lying to that community, I am diluting the purpose of being here and doing this. So, I am sharing.
Today I start second week of the 28 day diet. First week was hard. I am hoping this week will be better. I am determined to stay strong and complete the month. And I know that at the end of this a slice of cake will taste better than ever!!
I decided that if at all I do like some of the food I am eating during this program, I will post it here. So here is a Berry Almond Baked Oatmeal that changed my perspective about oatmeal because prior to this, oatmeal was something I ran away from. I hate that stove top porridge. But baked… hmmm not bad – pretty good – actually, like it. Has a chewy texture. And it is barely any work. You just throw everything into a bowl, mix, bake and voila – a healthy, hearty, delicious breakfast / brunch is ready!
Heck, you can even impress your mom with this on Mother’s Day (I know a lot of moms are perpetually dieting) Do add a little sweetness though. After all, it is a special occasion and I know my mom would love it with some extra fresh berries and some honey!
– If you like mangoes, add chopped mangoes instead of berries a pinch of cardamom. After baking top with some coconut cream and you have a tropical oatmeal bowl that is super delicious.
– This is diet compliant, so there is no egg and no sugar. If you prefer a touch of sweetness, add 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup or honey or some Stevia into the mixture before baking.
Berry Almond Baked Oatmeal
Ingredients – Make 2 generous portions
1 cup steel cut oats
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup slivered toasted almonds
½ tsp baking powdered
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon to taste
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mixed berries
Preheat oven t0 375F. Lightly spray a 5×5 baking dish with oil.
In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients first. Then add the milk, extract and berries. Stir well. Throw it all into the baking dish. Bake for 20 – 25mins.
Eat warm, feel good!