Monday, February 3, 2014

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

I am always looking for different, new, quick, sometimes-even-healthy breakfast ideas.  So when a facebook friend recently posted a link to something called breakfast cupcakes, I was intrigued. Looking at the recipes, it's actually more of a baked oatmeal, baked to be single-serving-sized in cupcake tins, but hey - nothing wrong with that!

The recipe makes over two dozen muffins, so I decided to make a half batch. It comes together super easily.

The dry ingredients, for the most part, are oatmeal and spices. I added a couple tablespoons of chia seeds and a quarter cup of wheat germ to the mix to add an extra boost to the muffins.

The wet ingredients are mostly comprised of mashed bananas, but also include water, maple syrup (or agave nectar or honey, if you choose) and vanilla. If you remember to add it. Which I didn't. Oops.

Then simply mix until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and scoop it into a muffin tin!

I packed the muffin cups as full as I could. I didn't think it would all fit into my 12 muffin cups, but it did! Since there's not leavening agent in there, you don't have to worry about overfilling them and having them puff out into a big, giant mess, so just pack it in there as tightly as you can!

Then bake! And I took the recipes suggestion of switching the oven to broil for two minutes after they are done to give the tops a nice, golden touch.

And then it was time for breakfast!

I'll be honest - I'm the only one who liked these. Little miss said no after one bite, little man took his time and then decided against them after about three bits. And daddy's still on his carb-free diet, so he'll have to try them some other time. But I liked them - both the taste and the easy portability of these. And, even better, you can pop these into the freezer and then just microwave them as needed.

These also make a great snack after exercising.  Maybe it's psycho-somatic, but these tasted even better after four miles on the treadmill.

I definitely think I'll be keeping these around in the freezer as breakfasts, recovery-snacks and on-the-go treats in a pinch. And I think I'm going to try adding chocolate chips or fruit next time, too.  Yum!

Baked Oatmeal Muffins
(adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 - 1 1/2 cups over-ripe mashed banana (I used three medium sized bananas)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

optional add-ins: shredded coconut, chopped walnuts, ground flax, raisins or other dried fruit, chocolate chips, diced fruit... or anything else you think will go!

Preheat oven to 380, and line 12 cupcake tins. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir together. 
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and then mix in the remaining wet ingredients. 
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring to incorporate, then pour into the cupcake liners. Don't be afraid to fill the muffin tins completely.
Bake muffins for 20 - 22 minutes. When the muffins are baked, switch the oven broil and cook for a further 1-2 minutes to give the tops a nice, golden hint (if you'd like).
These oatmeal cakes can be eaten right away, or they can be frozen and reheated for an instant breakfast on a busy day.
(Note: If you let them cool completely, they're a lot easier to peel out of the cupcake liners.) 

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