Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reinventing Breakfast: Oatmeal Cups

At least, it's reinventing breakfast for us. Lately, the only thing E has wanted for breakfast is half of a bagel or a muffin or pancakes. And who can blame him? I love all things bread, too. But when I read about how bagels are horrible for you the mommy guilt crept in crashed in like a tidal wave and I decided I needed to make some changes.

Enter baked oatmeal cups. You've probably seen them on Pinterest boards or heard about them from the crunchy types that like to flaunt their nutritionally sound "baked goods" in our donut-loving faces. I made some a couple of weeks ago and surprisingly, E took the bait! He ate two at breakfast with his yogurt and I gave myself a big ol' pat on the back - job well done, me. Job well done. The recipe actually made about 40 oatmeal cups so I froze some before they dried out. Unfortunately, E doesn't like them reheated from the freezer (they are a little dry so I just slather butter all over the top. What? It's still oatmeal).

This time, I decided to make half a batch and to add some extra goodies to the mix. This should appeal to both cooks and bakers because while there is some measuring involved, there's also room to tweak it and make it your own.

Let's get started.

First, mix all of your liquid ingredients. Since I halved the recipe, I needed 1 1/2 eggs. Womp womp. If you've never halved an egg before, it's actually pretty easy. Crack open your egg and whisk it until everything is blended. Then measure your egg by the tablespoon into a new bowl (there's typically 3 tablespoons in a large egg). Once you have your total, simply use half. I also tend to eyeball it, which works just as well in this case.

You're also adding vanilla and agave at this stage.

Next, you'll add your fruit. I added a chopped banana (sliced lengthwise and then chopped), blueberries and unsweetened applesauce. An applesauce cup is actually the right amount so you don't need to measure it again.

Also, I used defrosted blueberries so I got the added bonus of purple color everywhere. Yours may not look exactly like mine.

Now mix your dry ingredients - old-fashioned oats, baking powder and cinnamon - together. At this stage, I also added in chia seeds and flaxseeds. These are completely optional, but I had them in the pantry and they're supposed to be super foods so why not?

Finally, add the dry ingredients to the other bowl and mix well.

Then add your almond milk (we like the vanilla almond milk) and you're done with the prep work. Your mixture will have a lot of extra liquid, but don't be alarmed (I had concerns the first time).

Spoon the mixture into baking cups (I recommend silicone because they pop right out) and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

I only have one muffin pan so it takes me twice as long to bake everything. On the upside, I decided after the first batch that I would add chocolate chips to the second, which stretched my ingredients far enough to get another 12 cups making a grand total of 24.

And seeing as I've already eaten two (hey, I just worked out) we can probably eat all of these without needing to freeze them.

Oh and for the record, they actually taste good. The bananas keep everything moist and there's enough sugar in there to forget about all the healthy stuff. I'm sure the ones with chocolate will be even better (update - these may as well be dessert cups. All I could taste was warm chocolate. I dropped one on the floor accidentally. I almost cried.).

The recipe is below.


Baked Oatmeal Cups (click here for printable version)
1 1/2 eggs
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup agave
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups almond milk (get the vanilla!)
1/3 cup chia seeds (optional)
sprinkle of flaxseeds (optional)
sprinkle of chocolate chips (optional)

Mix all of the liquid ingredients together, except for the almond milk. Add fruit gently to the mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Add the milk and mix thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into muffin cups (spray them with Pam first) and bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Enjoy!

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