These Breakfast Muffins Are Waaaay Healthier Than They Look

Photo: Rachel Dewis

There’s nothing better than waking up knowing you have a delicious, healthy breakfast already prepared and waiting for you (and that extra motivation is even more necessary on these cold, dark winter days).  These baked oatmeal muffins, from Eddie McNamara’s Toss Your Own Salad, combine all of the comfort-food baked good deliciousness of muffins with the hearty, good-for-your-gut fiber of oats.  There are tons of flavor options to assuage boredom. Make a bunch on Sunday, and your breakfasts for the week are sorted!

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Warning: These may look like muffins, but don’t let appearances trick you into thinking these are some kind of indulgent dessert. They’re portable, single-serve oatmeal thingies that are shaped like muffins: easy, beyond healthy, and only around 100 calories each.

I make one or two batches per week, and my wife and I eat them for breakfast or for a post-gym or afternoon snack with a cup of coffee. I’ve made 36 different versions of this recipe—past versions have included yogurt, eggs, quinoa, pumpkin, quick-cooking oats, steel-cut oats, Dutch cocoa, coconut flakes, hemp milk, soy milk, Amish milk, blueberries, Craisins, blackberries, nutmeg, and cardamom (but not all together). Anyway, this one is the best, aka "The Classic."

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe bananas (spotty, not those pale-yellow ones that taste like a potato)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 packets stevia (or 3 tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, sugar, or nothing)
  • 2½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats (the old-fashioned 5-minute kind)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 12 hazelnuts (walnuts, cashews, or pecans work, too)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the bananas, applesauce, and sweetener. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash until smooth.
  3. Add the oats, cinnamon, vanilla, dates, raisins, coconut oil, and almond milk. Mix until fully combined but a little soupy.
  4. Using a spoon, fill each of the cups with the mixture. Top each with a hazelnut.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (or longer if your oven sucks).
  6. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

MIX IT UP: Replace the dates and nuts for new flavor combinations, such as blueberries and walnuts, date and coconut flakes, shredded apples and walnuts, Craisins or dried cherries and pecans, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and walnuts ("The Rugelach"), or just say screw it and add chocolate chips like you really want to.

Based on excerpts from Toss Your Own Salad by Eddie McNamara, with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. Copyright © 2017.

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