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Pre-fast meal: Baked oatmeal [UPDATED]

One of the “positives” of the pandemic has been more home cooking. This isn’t only because of restaurant closures and limited errand running, cooking — and eating — has remained one of the few of life’s activities not curtailed by the pandemic. I don’t think I’m the only one — I’ve never spent so much time reading recipes and planning menus. I’ve also probably never ate so well, so consistently, for six months straight — and I don’t think I’m the only one.

A blog I discovered that I’ve been working my through is “Budget Bytes.” Not only are these recipes wallet friendly, making them ideal for a time of economic uncertainty, they’re usually pretty easy too, and tasty. Some, like a chickpea scallion sandwich filling, I’ve already made multiple times.

A dish that I’ve seen on “Budget Bytes” and had never heard of is baked oatmeal. Some years back I discovered that oat-based dishes are ideal for before a fast. Before Tisha b’Av I now always have the Swiss dish of Birchermüesli. While this is usually served at breakfast time, in Switzerland it is often eaten for lunch or dinner, and I’ve found that the mix of oats, yogurt, fruit and nuts keeps me going well into the next day.

This year, for the pre-Yom Kippur meal, I’ve decided to try something similar but new — the baked oatmeal, in particular, “Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal.” Again, it’s oats, fruits, dairy and optional nuts, so carbs, fiber, protein and sugars, all the things you want to make sure to eat before the fast. I’m thinking about serving it with toasted cranberry-walnut bread and butter. Sure, it’s sounds more like breakfast than an evening meal, but wasn’t “brinner” all the rage a few years back?

Test the recipe along with me, or tune back here on Sunday to see how it turned out . . . UPDATED: Final product below.

Note: If you use steel cut oats as pictured, use only 3/4 cup for the 2 C milk called for.

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