Celebrate Mother's Day at home with baked oatmeal, fresh fruit smoothies

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mother's Day is Sunday, and while the tradition of going out for brunch is on hold, you can still make mom something from scratch that doesn't require a lot of special ingredients.

I'm a big fan of doing nothing on Sundays, so today's idea is perfect for a Mother's Day spent at home. It requires less than 10 minutes of active prep, and lets the oven do most of the work.

So mom gets a break this weekend, and you get to make something really impressive, easy and inexpensive for her. I'm going to actually make two things: a baked oatmeal dish as well as my favorite fruit smoothies.

We're starting with the baked oatmeal. I've got some steel cut oats here. You could also use cracked oats. You don't want to use instant oats. I'm adding boiling water. The ratio is one cup of oats to three cups of water. I'm doubling my recipe since I want to feed about 5-6 people, so I'm using 6 cups of water for my 2 cups of oats.

You could use almond butter or peanut butter. I'm using a little of both - this adds some creamy richness and a little extra flavor. Mix it in, doesn't have to be perfect, some lumps are fine. It's going to hang out in oven for an hour.

A pinch of salt, cinnamon and then cover with foil and into a pre-heated 350 oven for an hour. Just stir it one time.

With 5 minutes to go, I make the smoothies. Always want frozen fruit. I lay them flat in a bag then freeze them. I use about a half of a banana per person. I've also got strawberries in the blender with orange juice (you could use apple juice too). The sweetness comes from either agave syrup or honey (I use honey). I blend on low for about 30 seconds on low, then turn it up to high for another 30 seconds.

To finish, I add some chopped apples, though you could add almonds or pecans too if you like a little bit of crunch. Definitely offer brown sugar and maybe a little drizzle of heavy cream; maple syrup is a great option too, just not too much!

Baked Oatmeal


Serves 3 - 4

1 cup steel cut or cracked oats
3 cups boiling water

cup peanut or almond butter
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of cinnamon

For garnish:
Maple syrup
Heavy cream
Brown sugar
Chopped apples, pecans or almonds

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Add boiling water to oats in a baking dish, then the almond/peanut butter; stir but don't worry if there are lumps. Add salt and cinnamon, cover with foil, bake. After 30 minutes (which is half way) stir up the dish, then finish baking after one hour total.

Stir up the dish again after removing from oven. The liquid will have been absorbed by the oats. Add to bowl, then garnish as you wish with any/all of the options.

Smoothies


Serves 2

1 banana (frozen)
1.5 cups strawberries (frozen)
2 cups orange or apple juice
2 Tbsp. honey or agave syrup
Optional garnish: fresh mint

All ingredients to blender, then blend low for 30 seconds. Turn to high and blend another 30 seconds until everything is incorporated and the blender runs smoothly, showing no chunks of fruit remain. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
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