Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Personal Baked Oatmeal "Bars"

I'm  not much of a morning person.  At all.  For some reason, I am perfectly capable of waking up at 5:30 am for a gym class (most of the time) and when I do I manage to make myself something good for breakfast (and by "I usually make myself," I mean "Ian cooks" - at least for now).  But on days that I don't go to the gym, I CANNOT get my lazy butt up out of my bed.  Which also means I don't eat breakfast.  If I don't eat breakfast I AM STARVING by 9:30 am, which is obviously too early for lunch.  Or I eat something gross out of a vending machine.

And this is where I have to thank Pinterest and the amazing people who post amazing ideas on it!  PINTEREST SOLVED MY LAZY BUTT BREAKFAST PROBLEMS!

I found a link to Sugar Free Mom's personal sized baked oatmeal.  Essentially you make one batch and make as many different kinds as you want!  I made them so that there was some flavoring in the middle and then also on top.

One little issue I ran into...what exactly to bake the oatmeal in.  I mean, clearly I used a cupcake pan, but I didn't want to use paper liners...I just wasn't sure that would work well.  I baked the first 12 using my silicone baking cups.  But I still had like 24 more to bake and I was WAY TOO LAZY to bake only 12 at a time.  I contemplated just putting them directly in the pan, but I wasn't sure they would come out.  So I baked the remainder in paper liners.  Well, all but one.  I baked one directly in the pan (sprayed with Pam).

Here's the down and dirty:  
  • Silicone liners worked well.  The oatmeal was easy to pop out and didn't stick to the liners at all.  Two problems:  (1) I'm too lazy to bake 12 at a time and (2) they are smaller than the others.
  • Paper liners did not work well.  At all.  Sure, you can bake more of them at a time, but the oatmeal sticks to the liners like crazy.  I definitely won't be doing this again.
  • Baking directly in the pan was probably the best.  The individual size was better and the oatmeal comes right out of the pan when you tip it over.  I would be careful if you are baking chocolate or peanut butter right on the top because you will get it all over you and anything your oatmeal lands on.  
So, at the end of the day my plan is to make these again directly in the pan.  

Good news about these wonderful oatmeal bars:  you can freeze them!  Once they are cool, stick them in your freezer and then just pull out one at night before you go to bed.  If you want it warm, stick it in the microwave for 45 seconds before you eat it!  Simple enough, no?

Oh, and they are also gluten and sugar free...well, I mean...they CAN BE gluten and sugar free.  I like chocolate too much for sugar free...So, to make them gluten free just make sure you check your ingredients for hidden gluten (some oats have gluten).  Sugar free = top with nuts, fruit, honey, etc. instead of chocolate!  

My only regret with these beautiful baked oatmeal bars is that I COMPLETELY FAILED TO THINK OF MAKING APPLE CINNAMON UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE!  You better believe there are some apple and cinnamon ones in my future though!


This is essentially the same picture from the top...but I've been told that people need to see the true colors of the food...

Baked Oatmeal - (this recipe made me approximately 33...I assume there will be less when I bake them directly in the pan)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
1 banana, mashed
3/4 cup honey
5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (I used flaxseeds that I ground up in a coffee grinder)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 3/4 cups milk

One of my lovely fillings!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana, and honey together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add in oats, salt, baking powder, flax, and cinnamon and mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Pour in milk and combine.
  5. Spray cupcake pans with cooking spray.
  6. Cover bottom of wells with mixture and then add your filling/topping.
  7. Cover the topping with the oatmeal mixture, nearly filling the well (these don't expand much).
  8. Add topping.
  9. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely and then freeze in a freezer bag.  
Optional Toppings:  These would probably be fine on their own, but topping them makes them fun and gives you some variety.  Here are the toppings that I went with this time
  • Raspberry, almond, & chocolate chip; 
  • Banana & walnut;
  • Banana, walnut, & chocolate chip;
  • Banana & nutella;
  • Cranberry walnut; 
  • Peanut butter & chocolate chip; and 
  • Heath bar.
  • Don't forget about apple & cinnamon!

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