Staples for Living a Healthy Lifestyle: Winter Baked Oatmeal with Seasonal Persimmons and Apples (Written from Italy)

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I’ve been in Italy this past week where the weather is barley above freezing and although I’ve been enjoying stewed oatmeal for breakfast, I have undoubtedly been craving a simple recipe that I developed right before I left sunny California.

 I want to introduce a reworked Staples in the Kitchen version of one of the most popular recipes on 8th and lake – Winter Baked Oatmeal with Persimmons and Apples.  The summer baked peach and blueberry recipe has quickly become a staple in my kitchen for living healthy as it serves a few functions that without, I'd find myself backtracking and enjoying too many corner-store bagels.

Breakfast recipes are ones that I rely on more than any other as they are a way to set healthy intentions from the start of the day.  A nourishing and delicious breakfast has the ability to inspire you physically and mentally for continuing on enjoying a healthier lifestyle.  When I first started eating a bit healthier I became so innamered with oatmeal in lieu of sugary-boxed cereals.  Stewed oatmeal with seasonal fruit has now become a staple in my kitchen.  As I’m partial to breakfast ( my favorite meal of the day) I wanted to find a way to enjoy it even when I'm in a rush.  This is why I consider my baked oatmeal to be a staple in any kitchen. 

The way I prepare my baked oatmeal is simple yet makes the rest of my weekly breakfasts effortless.  I bake the oatmeal during my Sunday batch-cooking day and after I let it cool, I divide it into 5 servings, scooping them into airtight containers to be enjoyed for each day of the week.  This is a fantastic option if you're not a morning person and would rather sleep in longer in lieu of preparing a stewed oatmeal.  Its also perfect if you’re just pressed for time!  My mom is a devout follower of this method as she takes one container per day for breakfast to her office. 

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Winter Baked Oatmeal with Seasonal Persimmons and Apples |

I’ve adjusted this recipe from the summer version since I wanted to utilize all the gorgeous fruits of the winter season.  Using seasonal fresh fruit almost automatically insures the juiciest most delicious bites.  Seasonal fruit will also be at its cheapest!  Once you ease your way towards eating more staple foods, such as, nuts, grains and beans, you will have more of these foods on hand - making it easier to whip up healthy recipes when all you need to buy are fresh fruits and veggies!  With this recipe, I had the majority of the ingredients in my cupboard and just needed to pick up the persimmons and apples.  I couldn't recommend this breakfast enough.  The fresh juice from the squeezed oranges and tender persimmons brings such a sweetness to the crisp apples.  This is all balanced by a beautiful warmth from the cinnamon and spicy ginger that really warms you through a chilly winter. 

 Persimmons are a stunning red/orange fruit that hails from ancient China.  They are filled with vitamin A, C and fiber (vital to a healthy digestive system).  There are a few types of persimmons - most commonly seen are the Hachiya (large acorn shape) and Fuyu (small like tomatoes).  Either will work perfectly in this recipe, providing a healthy boost of nutrients and a note of sweet honey.  Enjoy!

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Serves: 4-5

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for the Baked Winter Oatmeal:

- 1 cup fresh orange juice (usually from 2 large oranges)

- 2 persimmons

- 1 large apple

- 2 cups rolled oats (oatmeal)

- 2/3–1 cup water

- 2/3 cup currants/raisins

- 1 large handful of pecans (or any nut)

- 2 tablespoons honey

- 2 teaspoon ginger powder

- 3 teaspoons cinnamon

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Start by preheating your oven to 350F and boil 1 cup of water.  In a separate bowl add the oats and pour enough hot water on top until all the oats are damp with water.  Let this sit until the oats have absorbed all the water.  In the meantime cut the persimmons, pecans and apple into bite size pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.  Add the remaining currants, cinnamon, ginger powder and honey to this bowl.  Now also add the oats and fresh orange juice to this bowl and mix very well so that all the fruit is coated in the delicious cinnamon-orange juice. 

Now simply pour the batch evenly into a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Feel free to reheat this the next morning until warmed.  I have done this many times and it still tastes delicious!  Enjoy this at anytime of the day!