Oh, how I love when a dessert is nutritious enough to serve for breakfast, and a breakfast is delicious enough to be considered dessert. This peachy oatmeal bake is exactly what I mean.
Although the season is wrapping up, our markets are still filled with the fruits of summer, especially stone fruits and berries. I've been loading up my hand basket and hoarding as many as possible to make sure we don't miss our final opportunity to savor these juicy rays of sunshine before they're gone for the year.
As much as I enjoy eating peaches just as they are, I also really love them cooked. Grilled, sautéed, baked, simmered into jam, you name it. Adding a little heat really intensifies their flavor, and the texture becomes so soft and juicy -- it's pretty hard to beat.
This oatmeal bake is hearty, slightly sweet, crumbly, juicy, and totally deserving of a place on both your breakfast and dessert plates. It's easy to whip up, lasts up to 3 days in the refrigerator, and is totally beaming with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and nourishing fats. So, let's dive in!
For the filling:
5 fresh, ripe peaches (skin removed if not organic)
1 tsp. raw honey
For the topping:
1 cup whole-grain, thick-cut rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded / flaked coconut
1/4 cup raw walnut pieces (or whole walnuts chopped)
3 Tbs. grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil, softened
2 Tbs. chia seeds
2 Tbs. ground flax seeds
2 Tbs. hemp hearts
1 tsp. ground ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp. raw honey
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of pink salt
*Preheat oven to 350F
Slice the peaches in half and discard the pits. If removing skin, use a small sharp knife to carefully work your way around the surface of each peach.
Roughly chop the peaches into bite-size pieces, and place into a medium-sized oven-safe casserole dish (or 9x9 baking dish).
Drizzle the honey over the peaches, and stir to evenly coat. Once the peaches are coated, use the back of your spoon to spread them into an even layer across the bottom of the pan.
To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the oats, coconut, walnut pieces, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir well to combine.
Add the softened butter (or ghee / coconut oil), and use the back of your spoon to mash any clumps. Once the oil is fully incorporated, drizzle on the honey, and stir to evenly coat.
Pour the prepared topping over the peach layer until it is completely covered. Press gently to even it out and fill in any crevices.
Place the casserole dish on the center rack of your oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and crisp.** You should hear the peaches sizzling.
Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool. Transfer large scoops to a bowl or plate, and top with a generous dollop of your favorite yogurt -- or ice cream if having for dessert -- and an extra slice of peach or berries if you have any on hand.
*If your honey is solid, place the closed jar into a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
**For a more tender, less crispy topping, cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil before baking.
Hemp hearts and oatmeal are two of the richest food sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is a necessary component of prostaglandin production (hormone-like chemicals that are needed for various functions all over the body).
GLA helps to moderate inflammation, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death to remove toxic or damaged cells from the body before they turn into / proliferate as cancer cells), regulate body temperature, reduce PMS symptoms, reduce ADHD symptoms, and protect against cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
The nutritional benefits of peaches are vast and significant. Phytonutrients in peaches have been shown to be anti-tumor and anti-cancerous, fiber keeps the digestive tract running smoothly, vitamins A + C improve skin and eye health, and zinc keeps the immune system strong.
Walnuts contain ellagic acid, which is one of the most well-known and heavily studied plant-based nutrients for fighting cancer and neutralizing oxidation in the body (cancer prevention).
Eating a breakfast rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats will keep you feeling fuller longer, reduce mid-morning cravings, and keep blood sugar and energy stable throughout the morning.
Alternatively, if enjoyed as dessert, these same properties blunt the release of glucose into the bloodstream, reducing a blood sugar spike and dip due to rush of insulin to the bloodstream to transport glucose into muscles and tissues for storage to keep blood sugar within tolerable levels.
That's it for today. Let me know how you like the recipe! Use hashtag #EatWithPurpose to show me your creations!