Christmas is almost upon us and that usually means there is a lot that has to be done. No matter how joyful the holidays are, there is always a certain amount of stress that seems to accompany this festive season… especially if you’re the one hosting! This year is our first Christmas where both sets of our parents will be joining us for the holidays. With our parents living in cities on opposite sides of the country, we usually rotate where we spend Christmas. However this year, my in-laws are traveling to Calgary for the holidays as I’m too far along in my pregnancy to fly. My parents and brother will be joining the festivities as well.
Of course I have all these wonderful visions in my head of the perfect Christmas – warm, wintry music, snowy hills full of sledders, wrapped gifts and glittering evergreens. I picture an extravagant magazine-worthy Christmas dinner and a delicious brunch to follow a memorable morning of opening gifts. Of course there would also be snow falling softly outside the living room window and the gentle sound of Christmas carols in the distance.
Okay so perhaps I’m thinking of the Christmas movie I saw last weekend. I’m certain that reality will be far less perfect and will likely include a little chaos and a whole lot of yelling from my dad for our dog to stop humping his leg. And you know what? I will love every minute of it as I’ll be surrounded by all the people that I hold so near and dear to my heart.
This isn’t to say that I’m not going to do my best to prepare some delicious food to accompany the merriment. But I know for certain that I don’t want to spend precious moments cooking in the kitchen instead of enjoying the company of family. Thus it was my mission to find a delicious and healthy meal that we could enjoy on Christmas morning… but that could also be prepared in advance! I tried many different variations of baked oatmeal in the last few weeks to get just the Christmas taste I was aiming for.
I hope you and yours love this Pumpkin Berry Baked Oatmeal as much as my husband and I. I can’t wait to take it out of the oven Christmas morning and top it with a big scoop of Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream! Perhaps with a nice big cup of coconut milk eggnog or my very favourite All Natural Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- Pumpkin Berry Baked Oatmeal:
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 pasture-raised organic egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup fresh cranberries
- ⅓ cup fresh raspberries
Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream:
- 1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge
- 1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp bourbon (or substitute Cognac for a non-grain based alcohol)
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside. Place a large mixing bowl in the fridge to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, egg, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir in oats, almonds, cranberries, and raspberries until evenly distributed.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the oatmeal is lightly crisp and the oatmeal has thickened.
- While the oatmeal is baking, prepare the coconut whipped cream. Retrieve the coconut milk from the fridge and remove the lid. Scoop the thickened cream from the top and leave the liquid behind (can be reserved for smoothies or other uses). Place hardened cream in chilled mixing bowl. With a hand mixer, beat on low with maple syrup, bourbon and vanilla until creamy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and continue beating until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
- Serve baked oatmeal with a dollop of the Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream. When the oatmeal is fully cool, it will firm up enough to be sliced into squares.