Nutritional Win of the Week: Baked Oatmeal

It’s day four of working from my couch in what this household calls “jammy jams.” A nasty bug knocked me down on Monday afternoon and it seems to really like hanging out with me because it sure has stuck around. I am extremely grateful that I’m in a position to draft press releases, design print collateral, and write my blog surrounded by piles of tissues, cats, and blankets in the comfort of my own home. I’m also very grateful that I had the foresight to make breakfast for the week ahead of time so that my maximum morning kitchen effort involves heating up baked oatmeal and making tea.

And on that note, baked oatmeal is my jam. Let’s get into it, shall we?

I’ve been looking for creative ways to consume protein powder after my morning workouts. I just can’t stomach drinking protein powder and water. It tastes weird. It feels weird. I can’t finish a sip without making the sound a cat makes when it’s about to cough up a hairball. And that behavior is bad for a marriage. Husbands don’t like listening to their wives make that sound 37 times in a row at 9 a.m.

The internet told me oatmeal is a great place to hide your protein powder, so I went about experimenting with Crazy for Crust’s Blueberry Baked Oatmeal.* Her recipe is great as is, and is also a wonderful starting point for anyone who likes to tinker with a good recipe backbone. Throw in whatever fruit or spices make you happy and go out into the world satiated, full of nutrients, and ready to win.

Here is my modified version of Crazy for Crust’s Blueberry Baked Oatmeal. I reduce the sugar, double the fruit, add protein powder, add almond extract, switch up the spices and add lemon zest for a brighter flavor. I also reduce the baking time as it appears adding protein powder impacts the speed at which this bakes.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar**
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (no almond extract? Do 1 full tablespoon of vanilla extract instead)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or modify based on your spice desires)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 Scoops About Time Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit of your choice
  • Zest of one lemon

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Whisk eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons of your spice of choice, salt, and baking powder. Stir in oats, milk, and protein powder. Fold in the fruit of your choice. Spread in prepared pan.
  • Bake for 20 – 22 minutes until edges are brown and center is set. Cool slightly before serving.

If you divide this up into 6 servings, it’s right about 300 calories per serving and about 6 grams of fat per serving. I cut mine into 6 portions, wrap each in foil, and leave them in the fridge for a quick, easy breakfast.

So far my very favorite version was made with 1 tsp each cardamom and cinnamon and the last of the cranberries I had in my fridge from Thanksgiving.

 

*A note on Crazy for Crust: Her blog is great and her food photos will leave with the very real problem of needing to bake new recipes all the time. http://www.crazyforcrust.com/

**A note on added sugar: Yes, I know, sugar is the devil. It provides no nutritional value to anybody and is decaying our bodies. But I don’t hold hard and fast lines with food. And for me, a serving of oatmeal with only 1.5 teaspoons of brown sugar is a win. If I made oatmeal in a bowl, I would need to add a lot more sugar than that to make it palatable.