My roommate Allison pulled a tub of strawberries out of the fridge. It was the robin’s-egg-blue-colored, recyclable cardboard crate that they give out at farmer’s markets.
“Will you make me strawberry cheesecake oatmeal in the morning?” she asked. “My mom bought me these strawberries and I need to use them up.”
I hesitated. My mind recalled all my failed attempts at that very recipe from earlier this year. Maybe it just needs a little lemon juice. Less lemon juice. Maybe some apple cider vinegar will help. More cream cheese. More yogurt. Less yogurt. I eventually came to the conclusion it was an impossible feat, yet she was requesting me to attempt it once more. This time, however, I wouldn’t have to jump the hurdle of making everything nondairy, and that could be cure. Sorry, but Tofutti sucks.
I knew from the moment I set the ramekin in the oatmeal that I had failed to replicate an actual cheesecake, but I remained hopeful that I was providing a suitable alternative. I presented the baked creation to Allison, who was sitting eagerly on the couch in her pajamas. “Berry Cream Cheese Baked Oatmeal,” I titled it.
“Ohhhhhhhh my GOD!” Allison exclaimed after her first bite. I don’t know if I’ll ever have success at making a cheesecake oatmeal, but for the time being, I know I can make a hell of a cream cheese baked oatmeal. 🙂
What you'll need:
- 1 rounded tbsp (or 1 oz) cream cheese*, room temperature
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3-5 strawberries, diced, or a handful of blueberries, or a combination of the two
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a single-serving ramekin with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix first four ingredients with a whisk or a fork. If possible, you can also use a blender or immersion blender.
- Add in dry ingredients: oats, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined.
- Stir in diced strawberries.
- Transfer to the ramekin and bake for 18-21 minutes.
Just an FYI:
*Vegans! You can certainly try this recipe using your favorite brand of vegan cream cheese. However, as I explained above: there's a reason I haven't already posted a recipe like this with vegan cream cheese. I've literally made half a dozen attempts at a vegan cheesecake recipe, and the vegan cream cheese just does not meet my expectations. Other than that, if you feel satisfied with the quality of Tofutti and the like, give this recipe a shot and let me know how it turns out!