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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Gluten-Free PB&J Baked Oatmeal (Soy, Wheat, Egg, Milk and Fish-Free, Can Be Nut-Free)

In this house, we are huge peanut butter fans.  It is the one pantry item that we go through the quickest because it makes its way into breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and even desserts (sometimes all in the same day).  It is also the one pantry item my husband tends to get as gifts (he's a fan of Kroger peanut butter, and we don't have a Kroger up here, so he gets said peanut butter for his birthday and/or for Christmas from relatives that live near a Kroger).  That being said, when I get a chance to try something new with peanut butter or make an existing recipe that already contains peanut butter, I do. 

This recipe is a modification of my Gluten-Free Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal, and it was an instant family favorite!  It tastes like a PB&J, so it is a bit nostalgic for us adults, and it is a real hit with the kiddos.  It is also soy, wheat, egg, milk and fish-free (if all your ingredients are), and can be nut-free (see variations).  You can also eat it for breakfast, lunch, a snack, or dessert.  That makes this recipe a win-win-win-win-wi...Well, just a big win! :)  If you are a fan of PB&J's or love someone who is, you'll want to add this recipe to your rotation!

Gluten-Free Baked PB&J Oatmeal

3 Cups gluten-free quick cooking oats
(Do not use instant oatmeal or old fashioned oats!)

1/4 to 1/2 Cup jam, preserves, or jelly of choice
(You can use any flavor you like on a PB&J, but we normally opt for strawberry, sour cherry, or raspberry in the Smucker's Natural line.)

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
(Our favorite brand is Hain.)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 to 1 Cup soy-free peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
(We normally use JIF Natural Creamy or Smucker's Natural Creamy, and almost always use 3/4 Cup.)

1 to 1 1/2 Cups juice of choice that you believe will taste good with your jam, preserves, or jelly choice
(We normally use white grape juice, but you can use apple juice/cider, orange juice, cranberry juice, etc.   You can even use a juice blend if that fits within your dietary needs. We also almost always use 1 Cup of juice.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
  2. Grease a 9x13 glass pan and set aside.  (Note: Use whatever grease fits your allergen needs.  You can use butter, oil, lard, etc.)
  3. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, and salt until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Add peanut butter, jam, and juice to the oat mixture and mix until well-blended.  (Note: The amount and type of peanut butter, jam, and juice are based on personal preference.  If you like it more peanut buttery and a bit more fudge-like texture, add more peanut butter.  If you like the idea of bits of peanut in your oatmeal, use the crunchy peanut butter.  If you like it more chewy, add more juice.  If you like it a bit drier, use less juice.  If you like it sweeter/want more jam taste, use the 1/2 Cup of jam.  If you want it less sweet/less jam taste, use 1/4 to 1/3 Cup.  My personal favorite is to use closer to 3/4 Cup creamy peanut butter and to start at 1 Cup juice and add a little more if needed to give it a soft cookie dough looking texture.  I also almost always use the 1/2 Cup of jam.)
  5. Scoop mixture into the prepared pan, spread the mixture evenly, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the middle is set.  (Note: You do not have to bake this oatmeal beyond having the middle set, which is more toward the 20 minute mark, sometimes even as little as 15 minutes.  If you like your oatmeal a little more crunchy/dry (though it won't be completely like that - it will be more like soft oatmeal cookies with a slight crunch on the edge), bake it a bit longer, though you shouldn't have to bake it past 30 minutes.  I normally bake mine for 25 minutes to get a soft bottom with a slightly crunchy, cookie-type top.)
  6. Enjoy hot, warm or cold.  (Note: We've found that the flavor is most intense when this baked oatmeal is enjoyed completely cool.  It's good at any temp, but wanted to throw that little tidbit in there for those who want to enjoy the most PB&J flavor!  So, if you try it hot and don't think it's quit strong enough in flavor, try it again when it is completely cooled before you modify the recipe.  You may find that it is exactly what you want flavor-wise once it has completely cooled. :) )

Makes anywhere from 12 large servings to 24 small servings.

Variations (Please keep your individual allergy and dietary needs in mind when using substitutions!):
  • Peanut-Free or Nut-Free:  If you cannot have peanut butter, you can sub any tree nut or seed butter for the peanut butter with success.  It will have a slightly different flavor, but should still be equally delicious.
  • Grain-Free: If you have trouble with all grains, including oatmeal, sub quinoa flakes for the oatmeal and make as directed.
  • Reduced Sugar/Less Sweet: If you do not like juice, don't have any, cannot use it, or find the baked oatmeal too sweet for you even if you use the lesser amount of jam, you can sub water.  You can also use a reduced sugar jam if that fits within your dietary needs.    
  • Flavor Profiles: When choosing what juice to use, consider what jam you are going to use.  You want to use flavors that work together, not fight each other.  For example, use orange juice with cherry jam or orange marmalade or even strawberry jam, but only if you like the thought of orange with peanut butter.  Use white grape or apple juice with any berry jam or grape jam or apple jelly.  Do not use grapefruit, lemon or lime juices as those are way too tart for this recipe, and they don't go well with peanut butter.  I would not recommend using pineapple juice either unless you like pineapple with peanut butter.  Cranberry juice would work well with berry, apple or grape jam if you like cranberry with peanut butter.  If you do use a tree nut or seed butter, that could open up the juice you use, because you might like orange flavor with almond flavor or pineapple flavor with macadamia nut flavor where you wouldn't like them with peanut.  Also, note that apple juice and white grape juice have a more neutral flavor, so they will work with most jams and jellies.  The flavor combinations are endless and only limited by your palate. :)
  • Alternative Flavors: For a chocolate and peanut butter version of baked oatmeal, see my Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal recipe by clicking hereHere is the link to my original Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal, too.
  • Mix-In Ideas: This oatmeal is great plain, but you could mix in some peanuts, nuts, or seeds of choice, dried fruit of choice, flaked coconut (this might work better for a seed/nut butter than for peanut butter, but do what you like :) ), or even some chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a great allergy-friendly choice) as desired.  Use whatever combo you want that you think would work with the jam and juice you picked.  I'd limit your mix-ins to 1 Cup total, though.

PB&J lovers of the world - this one's for you!


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