05 January 2015

Vegan Baked Oatmeal

My wife loves routine. She loves the structure it provides to life. Shana's love of structure was another reason why the implementation of our meal plan has lasted for so many years. Her food routine spreads to breakfast, too. Nearly every morning, Shana eats a bagel (usually an everything bagel, sometimes a cinnamon raisin). However, at some point this past semester, Shana said that she'd not been eating a bagel because it was "too much" in the morning. Given that she teaches small children all day, having something for breakfast is important, and I lamented the fact that she doesn't like oatmeal due to its texture. She agreed with my lament, but it got me thinking if there was another way to get her to eat oatmeal (full of fiber, protein, a minerals like manganese, but low in fat and calories!).

Enter baked oatmeal; I hoped for all of the goodness, none of the texture issues. I did a lot of googling and found a ton of recipes, but most of them contained eggs and/or milk. Adding "vegan" to my search terms led to a bunch of recipes. Somewhat at random, I picked one that had some flavors I liked and dove in and hoped for the best. I'm so glad that I did because this recipe is AMAZING! It is easy to put together, has awesome texture and flavor (it tastes like fall!), freezes like a dream, and got Shana to eat oatmeal! 

Vegan Baked Oatmeal
This recipe is ever-so-slightly modified from this one.


2 c. quick-cooking oats
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. crushed walnuts or pecans
3 T. flax meal (finely ground flax seeds)
1/4 c. warm water
1 c. soymilk (I used Light Vanilla)
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. melted vegan butter
2 small apples, peeled and diced

Preheat the oven to 350.
1. In a large bowl, mix all the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nuts.
2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix the flax meal and water together. It will thicken (see below).

3. In a small bowl, mix together the liquids.
4. Add the liquids to the oat mixture, stirring well, then add the flax mixture, stirring well, then fold in the apples. This does not look like a normal batter.

5. Fill a lined muffin tray with the mixture, pressing each muffing down. This does not rise, so you can fill it all the way to the top of each muffin liner.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Dump out of muffin try after removing from the oven.

Helpful Hints
  • If you don't like apples and nuts, you can put in any other fruit combo you'd like (pears, dried cranberries, etc.). 
  • If you use certified gluten-free oats, these are a great gluten-free breakfast. 
  • The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. brown sugar mixed in with the dry ingredients. I made it that way the first time, but left it out this time. The batter is certainly sweeter with the brown sugar included, but since I include far more fruit, you almost always get a bite of apple, which increases the sweetness. Whether or not you include the brown sugar, these are delicious. 
  • I'm guessing that you could use liquid oil (e.g., canola) instead of melted vegan butter. If you try it, let me know how it works. 
  • Let them cool before freezing, but then just throw the muffins (liner and all) into a freezer bag. A quick re-heating in the microwave is all you need to get them back to their "just-baked" taste. 
  • I realize flax seems a bit odd if you've never looked a vegan recipes before, but it's a great replacement for egg. It's sticky, so it binds ingredients just like eggs will do. Flax is also good for you, being high in fiber, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids. I buy whole flax seeds and keep them in the fridge (their high fat content means they can go rancid). Then, when I plan to use some, I grind them up in a coffee grinder I use for spices. 
The post "Vegan Baked Oatmeal" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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