Apple Cheddar Oatmeal Squares and #CabotFit Maine Trip Recap

Apple Cheddar Oatmeal Squares | Teaspoonofspice.com

Disclosure: As part of the Cabot Fit Team, Cabot Creamery covered my travel expenses for the 2015 Beach to Beacon 10K. I was not compensated to write this post.

Needless to say, it was a thrill and honor to be invited back to the 2015 CabotFit team this year – along with Anne, Brianne, Diane, Julie, Kelly, Kita and Whitney – to participate in the coveted Beach to Beacon 10K held in Cape Elizabeth outside of Portland, ME.

2015 CabotFit Team: Pineland Farms

Of course, I was stoked for the beautiful trip to Maine but also to get another opportunity to promote Cabot’s message of wellness through nutrition, exercise and good eating WHILE getting to meet some Maine dairy farmers who are a part of the Cabot Cooperative family.

My dairy roots go way back. My dad is from a dairy farming family outside of Erie, PA and for 9 years I worked as a communications specialist for Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. What I loved most about that job was working for my local dairy farmers – some of the most dedicated, hard-working people you’ll ever meet.

And Maine farmers did not disappoint.

Trip Highlights (here’s my actual race highlights):

1) Visit to Pineland Farms

2015 Cabot Fit Team visits Pineland Farms

If you are ever in the Portland area, it is well worth the 30 minute drive to New Gloucester to visit Pineland Farms. It’s a 5,000 acre farm, business campus and recreational center open to the public. You can get up close and personal with the cows, see how cheese is made, hike, ride horses, eat/shop at The Market – and more.

2015 Cabot Fit Team visits Pineland Farms

The view is beautiful and the farm is one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen. We got to visit with the cows. These ladies only get milked about 20 minutes a day and the rest of the time, they get to chill in the barn or go out to pasture when it’s cooler outside.

2015 Cabot Fit Team visits Pineland Farms

We also meet Hemi, who is a 95-point World Classified Holstein (she’s basically an international cow rock star!)

2015 Cabot Fit Team meets Hemi, 95-point World Certified Holstein

Love this Instagram pic of Hemi taken by Jenni Tilton-Flood – another Maine dairy farmer who accompanied us on our tour and was full of interesting and fun dairy facts.

Cabot Fit Team meets Hemi

We also visited the dairy pens where I took a shine to Red Glare, a sweet 2 month old calf.

2015 Cabot Fit Team with Pineland Farms calves

Miss Red Glare loved having her neck scratched – just like a cat!

2015 Cabot Fit Team with Pineland Farms calves

Pineland Farms also boasts a small creamery where they make Cheddar, baby Swiss, Feta and Monterey Jack. We learned about their cheese making process and all the safety tests that milk goes through before it is accepted for human consumption – whether it’s for our glass or to make cheese.

2) Staying near the beach

2015 Cabot Fit Team - Higgins Beach Inn

We stayed in the adorable and rustic Higgins Beach Inn which was a short 5 minute walk to the beach. Which we took advantage of daily (especially right after the race.)

Morning walk with Cabot Fit team at low tide.

2015 Cabot Fit Team at Higgins Beach

CabotFit -beach walk3

2015 Cabot Fit Team at Higgins Beach

Blue Moon at Higgins Beach.

2015 Cabot Fit Team - Blue moon at Higgins Beach

3) Maine eats!

We got to spend some time in downtown Portland as well and let me tell you, it did not disappoint when it came eats and drinks. It seems like every other store front was a cool restaurant, bakery, ice cream shop or brewery – my kind of town!

Delish pizzas with a view at Flatbread Company.

2015 Cabot Team - Flatbread Company

Lobster cookies at Standard Baking Co.

CabotFit -lobster cookies

A scoop of Graceland (banana and peanut butter) at Beals Ice Cream.

CabotFit -Graceland Ice Cream at Beals

Lobster roll #1 of the trip at Higgins Beach Inn.

2015 Cabot Fit Team - Lobster rolls at Higgins Beach Inn

The afternoon before the race, we got to participate in a Cabot cheese and beer pairing at the Cabot Farmers Annex. There are only three of these Cabot stores in New England and so it’s a must visit if you are ever in Portland.

2015 Cabot Fit team - Cabot Farmers Annex

The Annex features pretty much every Cabot product – like Old School (a 5 year aged Cheddar you can only buy there or online – SO good) as well as local Maine specialty foods, brews and crafts. Having a small suitcase was what kept me in check from buying out the store.

2015 Cabot Fit team - Cabot Farmers Annex

My favorites I sampled (besides that Old School): Clothbound Cheddar, Tuscan, Everything Bagel and Horseradish.

The store manager, Susan, also brought out samples of Cabot cottage cheese mixed with maple syrup that one of the Cabot farmers produces from the maple trees on their farm, which was delicious – another simple but oh so good taste.

The beers were a selection of Shipyard brews and the one that immediately caught my eye was the Chamberlain Pale Ale – named after one of Maine’s most famous sons, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

2015 Cabot Fit team - Shipyard Chamberlain

If you don’t know about this guy, well, neither did I until I met my husband, history major and Civil War buff. JLC is probably his favorite historical figure (I’ll let you read his creds on Wikipedia vs. listing them all here) but to quote the hubby, “The guy is a total stud.”

So, knowing I couldn’t bring back a case of Chamberlain beer, I bought a t-shirt instead, which Jim put on as soon as I got home (extra thanks to Regan, Anne & Julie for huffing it across town with me to the Shipyard gift shop to make this purchase.)

2015 Cabot Fit team - Shipyard Chamberlain

History lesson over. Time for a Cabot-inspired recipe!

*******

Apple Cheddar Oatmeal Squares - easy to make and perfect for a quick breakfast or snack. @tspbasil

So, I had to get in the kitchen with some Cabot cheese once I got back. These snacking squares are riff of my Baked Oatmeal Squares with Cherries recipe that we often eat for breakfast or snacks.

I figured I do an apple and cheddar version (after all fall is coming, even though I’m denial) with some Cabot Extra Sharp.

Result? A yummy on-the-go breakfast or sit-down-with-a-cup-of-tea-and-nosh snack. Bonus: they freeze well, too.

Print

Apple Cheddar Oatmeal Squares

Apple Cheddar Oatmeal Squares | Teaspoonofspice.com

These easy to make apple cheddar oatmeal squares are perfect for on the go breakfasts or snacks.

  • Author: by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
  • Yield: 16 squares 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup Cabot plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples, chopped (with peels still on)
  • 4 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, applesauce, oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix until just incorporated. Gently mix in apples and cheese.
  5. Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly in pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.

Notes

*For an extra kick of cheddar, sprinkle an additional ounce of grated Cabot Extra Sharp over top batter in pan before putting it into the oven.

Apple Cheddar Oatmeal Squares | Teaspoonofspice.com

Have you ever been to Maine? What were your trip highlights? And I always have to ask, do you have a favorite Cabot cheese?

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