Breakfast on-the-go: Healthy Oatmeal Muffins
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Dan and I are trying to eat healthier. We already eat a lot of salad for lunches and dinners, but finding an easy, healthy breakfast proved to be more of a challenge for us. Sure, I load up on those mini Greek yogurts when they’re on sale, but there’s only so much peach Chobani I can take. (Plus, I have concerns about how healthy Greek yogurt is when it’s mixed with preserved, sugary fruit. Kim? Any input here?) A handful of trail mix on our way out the door was another breakfast go-to. While delicious, my stomach was always growling again by the time I got to the office. The search was on – we wanted something healthy, quick, and satisfying. Luckily, my friend Sarah just happened to mention a recipe she’s been making a lot lately – a recipe for healthy oatmeal cupcakes. I didn’t waste any time gathering the ingredients and making a batch myself.
This recipe fit our breakfast search perfectly. The natural sweeteners (unsweetened applesauce, overripe bananas, and maple syrup) would make our resident RD, Kim, happy. The whole oats leave you feeling full until lunch. Then there are the add-ins for an extra kick of health and/or fun. I added chia seeds, flax seed, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and cherries, and a few semi sweet chocolate chips. These “cupcakes” are also conveniently portable. You can make a large batch on the weekend and you’ll have plenty to pack for breakfast all week and even some left over to freeze for a later date. Simply warm them up in the office microwave for 30 seconds and you’re ready to go! Eating them cold isn’t bad either!
The recipe is from Chocolate-Covered Katie (check out this blog for even more sweet and healthy treats!) and I adapted it very slightly based on what I had on hand. One final note on why I love this recipe – it’s not super strict. Yes, you need to have about the right amount of liquid to solid, but everything else is just an estimate. If it looks good, throw it in! It’s an easy, laid back way of cooking.
5 cups rolled oats (not the instant kind)
dash of salt
1/4 + cups each of ad- ins (think dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, chia seeds, flax seed)
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups total of a combination of mashed, overripe bananas and/or unsweetened applesauce
4 tbs maple syrup
2 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 380 degrees Farenheit. Line approximately 20 cupcake tins (or coat with non-stick spray). Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until mixed. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until combined. Pay extra attention to the banana and coconut oil. If the coconut oil is cold, you might want to heat it up slightly to get rid of the waxy consistency. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir well until combined. Spoon/pour batter into muffin tins. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. Katie likes to broil hers for 1-2 minutes to brown the tops. I burn everything I broil, so I omitted this step. Eat immediately or save and pack for breakfast!