This post is going to start the same way all these posts do - the rush of getting out the door in the morning, the temptation to grab a non-healthy breakfast item for the car, the sugar crash a couple hours in, the feeling of self-loathing for being such a horrible wife/mom/human being for not providing a nutritious, quick, easy breakfast that rivals Fruit Loops in your children's eyes.
Enter the solution - baked oatmeal muffins. Perhaps you've seen them on your own daily self-loathing trips to pinterest in search of solutions. And while these haven't solved the problem of missing shoes and toothpaste in the hair, it has worked for my routine. I can't say the kids are ready to give up their Fruit Loops for chai seeds and unsweetened applesauce, but I played around with various recipes until I found one that the husband finally agreed was edible. (That is, until he started making his own smoothies with kale, DHA oil and freshly grated ginger. Talk about a show-off.)
|So good. Even at 10 at night.|
Here's the thing I like about these muffins. I make a 12-batch and freeze everything in big ziplock bags. The night before, I can pull one out and let it thaw in the fridge. Come morning, I either zap it for 20-30 seconds for a delicious, warm breakfast. Or (more likely in this place), I can toss it in my bag until I finally get around to remembering/eating it, usually in front of my first graders during reading groups. (Don't worry, they are used to this behavior. We often play "find Mrs. Loughman's coffee cup" as I continuously set it down and forget where I left it.) Honestly, I could and have pulled these babies straight out of the freezer (because I forgot to thaw the night before) and by the time I remember to eat it, it has thawed itself to room temperature just fine.
|Had to make sure you caught a glance at my smug organic fare. This is the batter before the milk.|
A few things you should know about this recipe: For one, it is not very sweet. These aren't going to be your grandma's muffins or a muffin-shaped oatmeal cookie. The applesauce is unsweetened, there is no added sugar (although some recipes I've seen call for brown sugar). You will use a good-sized dollop of honey, and because I'm fancy like that, I used my sister-in-law's organic raw honey infused with organic elderberries (can you feel the smugness rolling off that last sentence?)
|Makes 12 dense, little bites of health and happiness, plus some extra.|
But because I like sweet things (I'm only human), I prefer to opt into the chocolate chips that get sprinkled on top. They make things just a bit yummier, especially if you warm things up. Blueberries work too, but it's okay to just go for it with the chocolate. No one is judging.
Baked Oatmeal Muffins
makes 12 plus some leftover
adapted from here
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats
1/8 cup chai seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon flax seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Optional toppings: blueberries, raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, pomegranate seeds, etc.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix egg, vanilla, applesauce, banana and honey together in a bowl.
Add in oats, seeds (if using), cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.
Finally pour in milk and combine. Mixture will appear loose, but don't freak out. It will set up fine in the oven.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. (I spray the paper with cooking spray - it seems to help the muffins slide out of their wrapping just a bit easier.)
Divide mixture evenly into muffin tin cups. I use a 1/4 measuring cup and fill to almost the top. Any extra batter I'll pour into a ramekin to bake alongside the muffins.
Add the toppings. Obviously chocolate chip is the least healthy, but also my favorite because it adds a touch of sweetness you won't get from the muffins themselves.
Bake 30 minutes. Cool, eat, freeze, you choose!