Yet Another Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole

4, 2, 1, 1/2

That’s not a cryptic combination to my high school locker or a secret code. It’s what I had to keep saying in my mind over and over to remember the recipe I put together, half from memory of another family favorite, and half ad libbing, improvisational cooking in the kitchen. Each of the liquid ingredients is 1/2 of the one preceeding it (if we are loose with our definitions of the egg measurement)

4 eggs
2 cups milk, in this case, coconut milk
1 cup melted fat, in this case, Kerrygold butter (which is not cheap enough for me to do this often, I think I’ll stick to coconut oil, regular butter, or sunflower oil)
1/2 cup molasses

Stir this well. Add a teaspoon of lemon extract (vanilla will do and it’s what most of us would have. Rum flavoring might be tasty).  Oh, and some ginger!   (I used ginger people’s ginger paste which is stored in the fridge, and I used extra cinnamon because I love it)

Add 1/2 cup of Chia seeds (optional, but they are supposed to be super healthy)

In another large measuring cup (I used a four cup), add:
1/2 cup of ground flour, or a little over that- I used pastry flour, buckwheat would have been my preference, but it was midnight, I was the only one up, and Jenny having recently cleaned my kitchen, I couldn’t find the buckwheat. The pastry flour was in the freezer.
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and ginger powder if you didn’t have minced ginger

Mix that well, then add:

Enough oats to bring the oats up to the 4 cup level.

Here is why I added the ground flour:

Taking the lead from another phytic acid study, I have recommended in the now-defunct e-course to add a bit of fresh ground wheat, spelt, rye, or buckwheat to the oatmeal and then soaking it. The phytase in these other grains will work to reduce the phytic acid in the oats. I have recommended using about 10% of the complementary fresh ground grain to 90% oatmeal, though often I add a heaping tablespoon to a cup or so of rolled oats.

Okay- so now you should have six cups of flour/oats/spices, mostly oats. Stir this into the egg, milk, butter, molasses recipe.

Grease a large baking pan- 9X13 or even the next size up.

Fill the bottom of that pan with one bag of frozen pineapple. At least, that’s what I did. You could use canned, I am sure (in which case, I’d use the liquid from the pineapple for some of the liquid in the casserole).

Spread the oat/molasses/etc mixture over the top of the pan. Put it in the oven. I made this at midnight and set my timer to start cooking the casserole at 6 a.m. for half an hour. I figured the little boys would be up, dressed, and ready to eat at 7, and this would give the casserole time to finish baking in the still hot oven, and then time to cool off in the cooling oven.  Otherwise, bake for 45 minutes, remove, let cool ten minutes, and then serve.

So how did it turn out?

Everybody loved it, except our youngest godson, the exceedingly picky, accustomed to cold cereal when at his own home, pine-apple loathing, Nod.  Blynken had thirds.  My husband raved.  My son is 13 and too cool to rave or even say something nice to his mother, but he had thirds.

Because I used butter and eggs from pasture fed animals, and added Chia seeds, this dish should be high in Omega-3s and other good stuff that we don’t get enough of in our corn based diets- diets where for the most part, even our meat is based on corn, as are the things we drink and all kinds of foods you’d never imagine had corn in them, unless you end up, as we did, with a child who is allergic to corn.

In case you’re interested, here’s the story of the original oatmeal casserole recipe, which I’ve been making for breakfast for nearly 25 years now.

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