Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Busy Baked Oatmeal Cups: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Protein Packed, and Easy! Working gal's dream...

Hello again! Been a bit too long between posts according to my calendar. I've missed you all. Things have once again just taken my life by storm. Anyone else ever feel like they are moving in fast forward? I have realized that unless I get myself extremely set up for the week, everything will pile up and get out of hand, ha. There's a lot of food prep to make sure meals happen, weekend cooking and baking to make sure we have food for the work week, and power purges of cleaning in order to make sure we don't live like dusty hoarders until the next weekend rolls around.

This weekend we had company so, none of those things happened. Last weekend too, ha. We in general have way too many amazing friend and family members- all we ever want to do is goof off with them! As I said, in order to make SURE a lot of other things happen, I rely heavily on meal prep to make dinners and breakfasts happen. Otherwise we end up eating out or grabbing Starbucks on our way to work. One of the super easy as well as healthy and protein packed ways I have found to make life easier is this recipe: baked oatmeal cups. Like muffins but full of health, not a bajillion calories.

Here's the deal with these guys: they take 5 mins to make in a bowl and 30 mins to bake in your oven. They are amazing. They are healthy and delicious and flexible to add ins (like CHOCOLATE, as seen here) and all kinds of nuts and dried fruit options. 

Pictured in this post are pumpkin baked oatmeal cups with walnuts and chocolate chips. Currently made in my kitchen are banana baked oatmeal cups with almonds.

The power is yours, guys. Be as healthy or unhealthy as you like with these while knowing the base is solidly good for you. 

This recipe has changed my life and will hopefully help you with your mornings. I *try* to make ours on Sunday so that we have them for the work week while running out the door and then Saturday we can polish them off before a fresh batch on Sunday (each batch makes about 12 muffins).

Originally found the recipe here at Green Lite Bites. Her blog is awesome, especially if you are like me and always looking for ways to get more real food into your diet in a quick, routine manner.

Preheat your oven to 375. 
Use your mixer to combine:
-1 can pumpkin (or 3 mashed bananas, or 1 cup applesauce depending on the flavor you'd like)
-1 cup almond milk (Soy or any milk on hand also work)
-2 eggs
-1 tbsp baking powder
-3 cups Old Fashion or Rolled Oats
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Let the oatmeal mixture sit for a moment while you spray your muffin tin with non stick cooking spray. If you want to do cupcake liners, they also work. You'll still want to spray them or they stick to the baked oatmeal.

Now that your oatmeal mixture has rested for a moment and your tin is good to go, stir in your mix-ins! For example, a sprinkle of chocolate chips, 3 tbsp walnuts. Anything you'd like in your oatmeal. When I make pumpkin and apple baked oatmeal, this is when I like to add some cinnamon. Yummmm!

Divide your batter up into your muffin cups. Usually 12-15 cups, all just about filled. Bake for 20-30 mins, when the edges are starting to brown and they aren't jiggling around. Let them cool 5 mins and you'll have some easily grabbable baked oatmeal cups. Almost like a denser, healthier muffin.

I hope this recipe helps you guys out too! As we had company, I didn't make any this weekend so tonight will be a fresh batch. I am thinking apple cinnamon with walnuts. Thoughts?

Hope your holiday weekends were relaxing and your workday back wasn't TOO rough so far!