Days with a small child can be unpredictable. Some mornings my 19-month-old daughter will go straight to her shape sorters and forget the rest of the world exists for a while. Other mornings it can take some ingenuity for Mom to make a pot of coffee without interruption. Having breakfast already planned makes one variable, at least, more predictable.

Baked oatmeal is a breakfast my daughter loves. She especially likes the baked apples at the bottom of the dish, so I make sure to add lots for her. This time around, I had enough apples on hand to make an extra pan of baked apples just for her (I just greased an 8×8 glass pan, added apples and water, and baked at 350 for 35 minutes). She devoured them!

To make this kid-friendlier, I peel the apples. The first time around, I didn’t peel the apples, and my daughter handed most of the unpeeled apples back to me (or, actually, threw most of them on the ground). If I took the skin off, she would eat gladly them. But who wants to dig for apple skins in an already-baked pan of oatmeal? I learned my lesson and peeled them beforehand. If you have older or more texture-embracing folks in your home, you can skip this step. I often leave most fruits and veggies with soft, edible skin unpeeled if I can get away with it!

The recipe below is a result of my quest for more protein. After making my go-to baked apple recipe a few times, I was feeling a little shaky a couple hours later. I decided to make a version with peanut butter.

It took some experimentation. The first time I made it, the oatmeal was too dry. So this version skews a little more toward an apple-and-peanut-butter French toast texture.


Kid-friendly Apple Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal
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Cook time: 
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Pro tip- if you refrigerate your peanut butter, take it out of the fridge when you start this process
Ingredients
  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup peanut butter (softened)
  • 4 medium apples (enough to generously cover bottom of pan)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Combine oats, baking soda and cinnamon in one bowl, then maple syrup, vanilla, milk and eggs in another.
  3. Pour wet ingredients over dry and let sit while preparing apples (approx. 10-15 minutes)
  4. Peel and chop the apples. (You can chop them very roughly - they get so soft that big pieces are fine!) Arrange on bottom of pan.
  5. Stir peanut butter into the oat mixture.
  6. Pour oat mixture over the apples.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and then covered with foil for remaining 30 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.