A few years ago, when I had my first encounter with baked oatmeal, I really fell in love with this dish. I began to make it frequently and so it came that I tried out different variations. I came up with the idea of separating the eggs and folding in the stiffly whipped egg whites. In the German and Austrian kitchen they bake a lot of desserts with whipped egg whites and believe me when I tell you, that most of them taste incredible, as does this oatmeal bake breakfast cake I did.
I already mentioned that I am neither a vegan, nor a vegetarian. I tried both for some time and I decided for myself that vegan is not the only solution for a sustainable world. I think, when you go in deep, and do some research, you find out, that this whole topic isn’t as simple as “the whole world should eat vegan and than everything is solved”.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT – BE BETTER THAN VEGAN
There is so much more to this than just a classification. So many vegan blogs, vegan cafés and vegan lifestyle articles, promote healthy vegan recipes, consisting of avocados, quinoa, amaranths, pulses, nuts, coconut products, dates, exotic fruits and so on. They use these ingredients frequently without communicating what is urgently important when buying these products from overseas, and that it is not sustainable to eat a conventional avocado from South Africa, and especially not every day. That even eating a regional organic egg from an animal friendly breeding is more sustainable than an avocado grown in an high danger drought region, where water is really a rare commodity. Where a part of the population lives even without a water connection and one of the biggest conventional avocado farms builds a 30 km pipeline to transport the water from the hills into the valley. These avocados are then transported overseas by boat 26 days in a 6ºC degrees container, with a controlled air humidity level and CO2 concentration. Arrived in Europe they even have to go into a ripening room for a couple of days. All this is a highly energy consuming transportation, not considering the effects by using pesticides, the caused water scarcity, as well as bad working conditions for the local population.
When buying an organic regional egg, I myself can decide where to buy it. There are so many cool farms around Berlin, which really work hard to make it comfortable for the hens. Some of them move every 14 days with mobile barns to offer them always new grasslands, and to avoid destroying the soils. Or avoid killing the male chick, keep just an appropriate amount of chickens, respecting and bind with them. All this is possible, but you as a consumer must be ready to pay 4 Euro for 6 eggs.
Unfortunately most people are not willing to pay these high prices. A lot of people claim to be environmentally friendly but when it comes to grocery shopping all claims seem to be forgotten and the price appears to be more important.
For me, every food is a superfood, and every food I highly respect, and I am thankful that some people out there have taken upon themselves the work by using the treasures of nature, to provide me with this precious foods. I would however, not be thankful for greedy large corporations, who cultivate in monocultures, exploiting local population and the environment, and finally selling it as a healthy and harmless product, just to make as much money as possible.
The dates I used come from an organic Oasis town in Tunisia. These Oasis towns are often archetypes of sustainability. Over thousands of years they have cultivated principles that are so intelligent and able to make so much with scarce resources. Dates also have bad reputations concerning their cultivation and the sustainability aspects. This can be blamed on the newly cultivated private date plantations. As mentioned above in the avocado case, this also happens with dates. Mineral fertilizer and other pesticides slowly destroy the soil, which make these big plantations more and more dependent on high irrigation, taking the water away from small farmers. These organic small farmers work with a 3 storey system, where the date palm is the highest level, taking the brutal heat and giving shade to the other two storeys which are fruit trees and vegetables on the lowest level. In addition they have some livestock who help them to produce manure and make the soil more fertile. Theses Oasis systems are so sophisticated in how they manage to grow such a big range of fruits, vegetables and wheat grains, with such a high biodiversity, not having much water. Some universities are even conducting research to learn from them, which might be very important for the future ahead of us concerning the climate change.
This being said, their dates are super tasty. The blueberries I but from the local market and I am really enjoying them as the berry saison will slowly come to an end.This oatmeal bake breakfast cake is very special for me and my family. We usually make it every sunday. My little son loves it, although his favorite breakfast are my healthy spelt buckwheat hazelnut pancakes. The recipe for them will follow soon.
OATMEAL BAKE CAKE
110 g oat flakes
60 g spelt flakes
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
360 ml plant based milk
5 dried dates
1 cup blueberries (around 180 g)
3 eggs, yolks separated
1 tsp vanilla sugar/ or vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon sugar
30 g almonds
NOTE: – Use the finest flakes you can get for both the oat and spelt flakes. In Germany they are called “zartblatt”. You are free to substitute the spelt flakes by more oat flakes. – I love to use spelt-almond milk in this oatmeal bake.
Preheat oven to 220ºC (upper and lower heat). Grease an ovenproof dish with coconut oil (mine is 30cm x 19cm, but it doesn’t have to be exactly of this size).
In a large bowl combine oat and spelt flakes, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Quarter the banana lengthwise and then cut into 0,5 cm pieces. Cut dates into small pieces. Add the milk, the chopped banana and the dates to the large bowl with the flakes and stir with a fork. Then add one egg yolk at a time and stir.
With an electric hand mixer beat the egg whites stiff and add the vanilla sugar. Gently fold the blueberries into the flakes mixture, leaving some aside for the topping. Then gently fold in the stiff egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish. Scatter the leftover blueberries on top and the cinnamon sugar. Roughly chop the almonds and spread them on top.
Bake for 25 minutes and then enjoy this healthy breakfast oatmeal bake cake!
Healthy for people & planet – please go always organic!