Goldilocks and the Three Berries: A Fairy-Tale Worthy Porridge

Summer Camp Menu Plan... including great oatmeal

 Fresh fruit is a staple on our 3 Week Summer Camp Menu

Fresh fruit is a staple on our 3 Week Summer Camp Menu

I know what you’re thinking: how edgy, how risky - to claim that porridge can be anything but tolerable. I, too, was a porridge skeptic - never quite grasping how people so readily gobbled down that gluey, flavourless goop. Fear not, fellow foodies! This recipe isn’t even in the same category as instant oatmeal or boring stove-top porridge. This baked oatmeal recipe, featured in the CampHacker 3 Week Menu Plan, has been known to cause pot scraping and spoon duelling; a true fiber-filled fantasy.
Typically, porridge refers to any grain boiled in milk or water. Porridge made of oats is referred to as oatmeal. Now, I don’t know how many of you have ever made anything involving boiling milk in mass quantities, but it can be tricky. Without close attention, it can lead to scary fireside stories like ‘the cigarette flavoured pudding’. To avoid such regrettable legends, this recipe is baked instead of boiled.
There are many ways to tweak this recipe. I love the berries, but as you can imagine, it can be adapted to many flavours. I’ve included a few of camp favourites, but the possibilities are endless! In large quantities, this recipe takes quite some time to bake. To cut down on baking time, I use instant skim milk powder constituted with hot tap water instead of cold milk from the fridge. The results are identical, but use whichever you prefer!

Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal - Serves 20
Ingredients:
 9 C Quick Rolled Oats
1 tbsp Salt
4 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 C Brown Sugar
6 C Warm Milk

3/4 C Melted Butter or Margarine
1 C applesauce (optional)
2 C Frozen Raspberries
1 C Frozen Strawberries
1 C Frozen Blueberries
Directions:
1. Combine oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. In a second large bowl, combine brown sugar, warm milk, melted butter, applesauce and berries.
3. Combine the two mixtures and bake covered at 350 in a greased roasting pan for 20 - 30 minutes. Scrape down sides and stir thoroughly, and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, until slightly firm on top but still liquid-y below.
4. Stir thoroughly and serve hot. Easily re-heated in microwave with a little added milk.

Optional Adaptations:
Peach: A close second-favourite of mine. For peach oatmeal, use canned peaches in juice or water (syrup is too sweet for this recipe). Rather than berries, cut up about 3 - 4 cups of peaches, and add 1 cup of the canned liquid to the wet ingredients.

Apple Cinnamon: Double the cinnamon and scrap the berries. Use 4 cups of peeled, diced, firm apples, like gala or granny smith. Instead of adding the apples in at the beginning, add them in when you stir the oatmeal midway to preserve crispness.

Chocolate-Banana: An excellent use for over-ripe bananas and the chocolate may help encourage younger or more ‘selective’ diners to dig in. Replace the cup of applesauce with 2 cups of mashed over-ripe bananas and 2-3 cups of chocolate chips instead of berries. If you prefer chocolate chunks over chocolate melted throughout the oatmeal, stir in the chips right before serving.

[Note from Travis: If you like Meghan's summer camp recipes you'll LOVE her 3 Week Summer Camp Menu! Purchase it from our site right now!]