I typed the first draft of this post on my phone and auto correct kept changing brûlée oats to "burly pats" and I almost left it because Burly Pats is a fantastic name for anything really.
Do you ever just run out of stuff to have for breakfast? Sometimes I just don't even eat anything until like 9 AM because I can't think of anything to eat. That is ridiculous and I probably shouldn't have told you, but it's true. I open and close the fridge 20 times, look in the cabinet at the sad box of cheerios from over a year ago, and wish I had a muffin and a latte. This is especially bad when you are responsible for the belly of a tiny beautiful angelic toad smoocher.
I've learned a few things about feeding a toddler (my toddler anyway). One thing is don't offer too many choices. My mom is a fantastic cook and I have distinct memories of her asking my friends "need anything to eat? A sandwich? Quiche? Layer cake? Lasagna? Calzone?" To which they usually just ran away or said "no thank you, I'm fine". Too many options = no thank you. It sometimes works best if I just pick one thing and put in in front of Ruthie, but as a two year old, it's important she has some skin in the game so I'm working on giving her two choices. So that means I need to have TWO HEALTHY BREAKFAST OPTIONS every single day. 😩
Eggs are almost always an option, as is a smoothie with fruit & veg, avocado or nut butter on toast, or oatmeal.
Only thing is, oatmeal is literally the most boring food on the planet and Ruthie prefers it to be smothered with sugar. In her book, if you haven't added enough sugar to see the piles of crystals, you have failed. As a result, brûlée baked oatmeal has become a recipe I make almost weekly. The sugar crystals are ON TOP and totally visible and they're broiled into a fine layer of crispy crackly crunch. Because of the brûlée layer, I don't add any sugar to the oats and it still gets eaten (top first, obviously).
Roasted strawberries add another hit of sweetness and roasting makes strawberries so. much. better. Strawberries are already pretty damn good but tossing them in a little sugar and roasting before adding to smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal or pretty much anything else makes them amazing. I've posted snaps of Ruthie on all fours licking the roasted strawberry juice off of a piece of parchment paper. That's how good they are.
Makes 4-6 servings
1 lb strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I've also used almond and it was 👌🏻)
1 cup plain yogurt
2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup reserved for topping*
*I make this without the sugar in the oatmeal and it is good! If you want a little extra sweetness without adding sugar, try adding 1-2 smashed, ripe bananas to the oat mixture.
Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease a 9 x 9 square pan (or pie pan). Combine all ingredients in a large bowl reserving 1/3 cup sugar for topping. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with sugar. Turn broiler on low setting and return pan. Broil for about 3 minutes, watching closely to make sure sugar doesn't burn.
Roasted strawberries: Toss hulled strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and scatter onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Broil on low setting for about 3-5 minutes (again, watch closely, broilers are tricky!). Let cool a bit and serve with warm oatmeal.