Oatmeal’s got game these days. Cook it on the stove, soak it overnight in the fridge…and bake it? I have been hesitant to try baked oatmeal (although it seems Pinterest was really rootin’ for it). I like my breakfast low-key, packable, and with little preparation required. I checked out a few recipes to gauge the ingredients and time commitment, then set out to create my own version of minimalist carrot cake baked oatmeal.
With 30 minutes until my favorite gym class and a semi-empty refrigerator, I managed to produce a delicious new breakfast favorite, one that allows for plenty of variation and sloppy measuring (all of which I wish were characteristics of real baking).
I will caution this: it is not real carrot cake. But if you want to slather some cream cheese frosting on top, I won’t report you. My sister put it best when remembering her friend’s first cheat meal at a restaurant since going paleo. “I thought the food was meh…he thought it was the most flavorful, tasty, satisfying meal he had had in forever.” The message here is that although this baked oatmeal is delicious, it probably won’t stand up to a slice of carrot cake. But then again, I am trying to stay reasonably healthy and thus have outlawed eating slices of cake and frosting first thing in the morning. Sometimes.
This recipe made 6 small muffin-sized portions.
1/2 a ripe banana, peeled
1/3 of an apple (I used a Granny Smith)
16 baby carrots
1 and 1/3 cup of oats
1/2 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon of dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of roasted almonds or walnuts
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
*I also added 1/2 tablespoon of flax seed meal. I found the muffins mildly sweet but if you like things extra sweet, add a tablespoon of brown sugar and/or honey or agave.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all of the fruit and nuts in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Let yourself sneak a pinky taste – even alone these ingredients combined are heavenly!
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the almond milk, cinnamon, baking powder, and any additional ingredients (sweeteners or flax meal), and stir thoroughly until evenly combined.
Grease a muffin tin or a small cake pan and empty in the contents of the bowl evenly. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm and remove from oven (they will continue to firm up while cooling).
Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla yogurt!