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Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip and Pepita Baked Oatmeal [Clean, Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Looking for a winter baked oatmeal recipe to feed a crowd? Why not try out this less than 10 ingredient recipe! It is clean and vegan depending on your chocolate chips and can be boosted with a dose of protein if you add peanut butter on top! This can be used to feed a crowd, or as a breakfast meal prep dish to have all week!

Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip and Pepita Baked Oatmeal [Clean, Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is enjoying the season.  Christmas for me this year was very different from what I’m used too. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it home. As you know, I am still a transplant at one of the VA hospitals we rotate at which is 3.5 hours away from my apartment. I had Monday off (thank you federal holiday), I thought perhaps I’d make the journey back to my apartment and stay there.

I also had an invitation to spend Christmas weekend with one of my patients. Haha. He found out that I would not be able to make the trip home and decided that I was going to come with him and his wife. He also wanted to introduce me to his friend that lived just 7 miles away, lol. It gets better, though, because as I’m writing out his medication instructions for him he goes and calls his wife and told her that he was bringing his doctor home for Christmas. She was very excited about that and very welcoming. I know this because I was then required to talk to her so she could tell me how delighted she was to meet me. I was all like:

However, I ended up being persuaded to go to Houston with one of my co-residents to celebrate the holiday with her family since- as she so bluntly stated- “You can’t go home and there is no point driving all the way back because you have nobody/nothing here either.” Um, ouch, but she had a point.

So, eventually, I caved and decided to go with her to Houston. I’d never been to Texas before either, aside from some of the airports (which don’t count in my book). What I did not know was that  35+members of her extended family were also going to be there in addition to her immediate family sans one sister. Yeah, one might say that that was a bit intimidating. To make matters more difficult, I also learned that they pretty much only converse in Spanish….ahem. Although being fluent in Spanish is a dream of mine, let’s just say I am not anywhere close to achieving that dream.

There were a ton of differences from what I’m used to for the holidays. Aside from the extended family and different language here are a few of the other differences. I’m from up North and am used to cold and snow and winter. There it was a frigid 78 degrees, lol (but really no complaints, I love the heat).

Her family had different food that what is typical (but again no complaints because every meal I had there was hands down AMAZING and I also had tamales for the first time and salsa verde..with avocado= new food crush). There was a pinata and games and a nativity scene play. They also celebrate with presents on Christmas Eve at midnight.

Well I suppose that’s one way to get the candy…

Let me tell you, that was incredibly difficult. I’m used to going to bed pretty early now a days and had had to wake up super early to make the trip there that morning. So, no presents Christmas morning (strange), but they did have another party entitled “leftovers” which wasn’t really comprised of the leftovers and instead there were mostly new dishes, but regardless it was so good.

I appreciate that they welcomed me and let me participate in their traditions. It was really hard though being away from my family and the traditions that I am used to, but that’s ok. Thankfully, I ‘ll get to see some of them this weekend for the New Year so I am excited about that. Until then, I plan on continuing to smother all my food now with this salsa verde that I was given and have decided that I really need to figure out how to make it myself haha. If anyone knows, I’d really love to know because it’s amazing even on non-Mexican food. (I may or may not have smothered my pork chops and broccoli with it as an afterthought. I have a bunch of it and let me just say it was an excellent idea.)

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Did anyone do anything different this year?

Meanwhile, although I don’t have a salsa recipe for you at this time, I do have a crowd pleasing baked oatmeal recipe!

Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip and Pepita Baked Oatmeal [Clean, Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip and Pepita Baked Oatmeal [Clean, Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon


  • 1/2 pomegranate seeded
  • 1 1/2-2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 T pepitas
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 T peanut butter (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x11 or 9x13 oven safe dish

  2. Mix your oatmeal, chocolate chips, pepitas and cinnamon in a bowl

  3. Seed half a pomegranate and add it to your oatmeal mix

  4. Add water, or liquid of choice until oatmeal is slightly runny

  5. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked through

  6. Slice into 4-6 pieces and top with peanut butter if desired.

  7. Eat and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container

I link up with Deborah and Sarah’s, and running on happy’s/ the fit foodie mama’s Meatless Monday, #recipeoftheweek, Best of the BlogosphereHomestead Blog Hop, The Homstead Hop,glutenfreefridays,  #healthyveganfridays,  What’s for Dinner, Sunday Fitness and FoodGraciousPantry

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Monika Dabrowski January 10, 2017, 2:10 PM

    I love the addition of pomegranate seeds in this recipe, and I would definitely add the peanut butter to it! Looks delicious:)

  • Mary Ellen @ VNutrition January 4, 2017, 11:02 AM

    The idea of your patient inviting you for Christmas and then the spanish thing really cracked me up! You have such great stories!

    This oatmeal sound delicious! I need more healthy breakfasts.

    Thanks so much for linking up with us for Healthy Vegan Fridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon January 4, 2017, 4:27 PM

      Haha I’m glad to have made you laugh. I feel like most of my life is made up of ridiculous and funny stories so I’m happy other people are getting enjoyment from them!

  • Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands January 3, 2017, 1:59 PM

    This looks simply delicious! We like our oatmeal, especially my youngest and I during these cold winter months.

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon January 3, 2017, 8:52 PM

      It’s particularly great then! (Although for some reason my baked oatmeal kicks always seem to happen in the summer which I really don’t understand lol)

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner January 2, 2017, 2:57 PM

    Really interesting combo I need to get back on the oatmeal thing.thanks for linking up

  • Helen at the Lazy Gastronome January 1, 2017, 11:17 AM

    Sounds like a fun Christmas adventure!! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up!

  • Jeri Glynn December 28, 2016, 5:34 PM

    what an amazing Christmas holiday you had. I love experiencing different cultures & traditions…how fun. Please share salsa recipe when you figure it out.

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 28, 2016, 5:39 PM

      I will. I have some ideas of what to use to make it, I’ll have to try it when I get finished with this rotation and get back into my actual apartment! I’m so happy I got a container full of it to use now though! It’s so amazing

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