Thursday, March 22, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

I'll be the first to admit that I have a picky palate. I typically like almost anything, but sometimes my taste buds sort of freak out on me. Take breakfast, for example. A lot of people like having sweets in the morning, but even a banana is too sweet sometimes; I need savory eats to satisfy me...usually. I do like French toast and pancakes on the weekends for brunch and occasionally oatmeal when it's cold outside. See, I told you I have a picky palate!

So when Natalie posted a recipe for a Baked Oatmeal that didn't look too sweet, I was intrigued. I made it right away and actually liked it! But here's the weird thing: I actually wanted it a little sweeter. Since she posted the recipe I've made it just about every week, tweaking it every time and trying to get it just right. Finally, after several attempts, I have a version I really enjoy eating.

The original recipe calls for making this casserole-style, but for the past few weeks I've been making them in muffin tins and I'm loving the convenience of having muffins ready throughout the week. My husband usually grabs two (or three or four) and eats them for breakfast on his way to work. If I have it for breakfast I'll heat a couple up and pour milk over them or I'll have one muffin along with an egg for some protein. They're also great as a snack before or after a workout.

If you make these keep in mind that they're not traditional muffins, so they won't really rise. Also, play around with the extra ingredients; use what you have on hand already! The amount of muffins you'll get in a batch will also vary depending on your add-ins.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins
adapted from Oven Love

2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted (can use butter substitute)
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flax seeds
4 ounces applesauce (one small container)
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 1/4 milk
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4—1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/4—1/2 cup dried fruit (optional; I've been adding dried apples and dried cranberries)
1/4—1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit (optional; I've been using frozen blueberries—I don't thaw them before adding)

Line two muffin tins with muffin/cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 375f (180c).  

In a large bowl stir together all ingredients except oats and add-ins. Once everything is combined, mix in oats nuts and dried fruit. Carefully fold in fresh or frozen fruit.
Let oat mixture sit and soak for 30 minutes at room temperature. After 30 minutes, scoop mixture into muffin cups (using 1/4 or 1/3 cup servings). Bake for 15-20* minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. (*Mine are done after about 15 minutes, but I have a tiny oven, so yours may need longer.) Pop the muffins out of the tin and let cool completely on a cooling rack. Will keep in the fridge in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to a week.