A few months ago I shared a recipe for “Oatmeal in a Jar” which is still a family favorite! It is easy to make and each family member can personalize it to their taste preferences. Even better it’s the fact that you prepare it ahead of time so in the morning it is a “grab and go” type to breakfast.
These “Oatmeal Cups” follow those same concepts with a new twist. There are a few versions of baked oatmeal cups and most recipes have ingredients that I don’t usually keep in my pantry. Also they seem to be larger recipes making 24-30 cups at a time, which is a bit much for my family of 4! Even though you can freeze these, I still think they taste best when fresh and consumed within 2-3 days.
The recipes I’ve seen before also didn’t include my favorite ingredient to mix with oats: Once Again Nut Butters! Once Again Nut Butter adds the protein boost that oats lack. Also, by adding Once Again Nut Butter you can eliminate the sugar in most recipes since they are naturally sweet.
You can use any Once Again Nut Butter you prefer, even crunchy! The applesauce adds and holds moisture; you can use pumpkin puree instead as well. Whisk them together with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl add about 2 cups of rolled oats (for gluten free recipe make sure your oats are gluten free certified) and the trick to turn these into baking cups instead of stovetop oatmeal is to add 1 tsp of baking powder and ½ tsp salt.Inspired and determined I went to the kitchen and started to mix up a batch of regular oatmeal for cooking in the stovetop. First ingredient is a 1 cup of milk, which you can use any milk your family prefers. (I made up a batch with almond milk, and one with regular whole milk as well). I added ½ cup of Once Again Almond butter and ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce.
When I picked up the baking powder from the pantry I realized the “good by” date was November 2014. Ops! I had all the ingredients ready to go and wasn’t sure if I should use the expired baking powder.
My husband is more of a sweet tooth so he drizzled his with some honey and enjoyed it with a hot cup of coffee the next morning. These Oatmeal cups also made it to the kids’ lunch boxes!Quick call to my mom solved the problem! In case you didn’t know: you can boil ¼ cup of water then add ½ tsp baking powder, if it foams right away then the baking powder is still good! If you don’t get a quick foam but only a small sizzle, then your baking powder is no longer good for baking. Better test than have a whole batch of gooey oatmeal cups!
Next, add the milk mixture with the oats and mix well. You can use baking cups, silicone cups or just lightly spray your muffin pan before pouring the mixture until about ¾ full. The toppings is where you can each personalize it with your favorite ingredients. The first batch I added cinnamon and chopped apples to all of them. The second batch had vanilla and then the kids helped with the toppings: strawberries, raspberries, chopped nuts and dark chocolate chips.
Did I mention they are nutritiously powerful little bites since they pack fiber, protein and brain boosting fats all in one delicious cup? Top it with some berries and add some chia seeds for extra antioxidants, protein and omega-3s.
1 cup milk
½ cup Once Again Nut Butter: Almond Butter
½ cup applesauce unsweetened
2 cups rolled oats
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Toppings: chocolate chips, chopped strawberries, raspberries, chopped nuts.
Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla
Mix oats with baking powder and salt and set aside, in separate bowl whisk together well the milk, Once Again Nut Butter and applesauce. Add in the oats mixture and mix well. Fill up ¾ full each muffin, will make about 9. Add toppings and use a spoon to push them into the mixture. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes. Eat them warm or store in airtight container for 2-3 days.