Full disclosure: This Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bake was an accidental invention that came about from a major kitchen brainfart. Get the recipe and learn how this momentary lapse of judgment served as a life lesson in more ways than one!
We've all had those moments when we're doing one thing, but our mind is in a totally different world. This is exactly what happened to me this morning. I had just finished making a pot of oatmeal on the stove, and I was in full out "clean up mode". One minute I was rinsing dishes in the sink, the next minute I looked down to see that I was holding my brand-spanking-new container of oats under the faucet. I immediately snapped out of it, but it was too late...the entire container of oats was completely submerged in water. Ugh.
What was I thinking!?! What planet was I on?!? and What the heck am I going to do with these sopping wet oats?!
Some would just toss this up to a brief moment in "la la land". And most people would just toss the oats in the trash. But not me! I was determined to turn this "kitchen oopsie" into some kind of victory. The oats must be salvaged! And that is how this Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bake was born...
Warning: this is a no-recipe recipe. I totally just raided my refrigerator and pantry and improvised. There was no measuring, and a lot of guessing. Below are rough estimates, but trust your instincts as far as how much of each ingredient to use.
- 3/4 container of sopping wet oats (about 3 cups)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup almond butter, cashew butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
- 2-3 ripe bananas
- chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil. In a food processor, puree the bananas with the cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt, almond butter, and coconut oil until a smooth "batter" is formed. Whisk your eggs and almond milk together, and mix them into the wet batter. Add your oats, and stir. It should look like there's way too much liquid - that's good - your oats are thirsty and will soak up this liquid, trust me. Next add your fun additions: chopped walnuts, raisins, dark chocolate chips, whatever your heart desires. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish, and bake for about 15-30 minutes. Depending on how long you cook it and how much moisture remains, you can either serve this in a bowl and eat it with a spoon (it will be like an oatmeal souffle!) or, if you cook it long enough for most of the moisture to evaporate, you can let it cool and cut them up into squares. I went with the squares, and I stored half in the freezer, and half in the fridge. These little nuggets became breakfast on-the-go, a delightful afternoon snack, and of course, a delicious post-dinner treat!
- Nothing is ever ruined. The saying goes, "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Well, I say, "If you hand yourself wet oats, make an Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bake!" This mentality, of course, can be translated to any cooking "disaster" or hiccup throughout life. There's always a way to salvage something. It's up to you to stay positive and improvise. Adapt. Adjust. Overcome.
- Sometimes the best things are created by accident. Almost nothing goes according to plan - in the kitchen, and in life. I never would have created this recipe if it weren't for my silly brainfart. So remember this: When something doesn't go as planned, rather the harp on how it went all wrong, focus on how it sent you in a totally new direction that you never would have explored had it gone right in the first place.
- Life is a beautiful mess: Let go of unrealistic expectations and accept your flaws and imperfections. Not everything is pretty or goes according to plan. Embrace it. Be willing to laugh at yourself. I actually love this recipe more because of how it came about - it has more personality than all the rest, it has a great story, and it's more meaningful because of how it came to be.