I have been called a picky eater in so many different languages, that I’ve lost count. There are a few foods, however, that I am inexplicably drawn to. Popcorn, bananas, and oatmeal. I could eat these three things every single day and never tire of them. I am, however, always looking for new ways to prepare them and have come up with some interesting combinations. Popcorn with salt and agave nectar; bananas, yogurt, and peanut butter on toast; and now, baked oatmeal muffins. The oatmeal muffins came about as a solution to not having time to prepare my morning oatmeal before heading to work at 4:30am. I was not impressed by the thought of eating cold oatmeal prepared the night before and bringing the ingredients with me to work just sounded too labor intensive. So I started looking around for a recipe that would satisfy my oatmeal cravings while not resembling a cold, gelatinous blob. A few well worded google searches eventually led me to an excellent recipe on stacymakescents.com. The only changes I made were to add raisins, to substitute almond milk for cow’s milk and to use a muffin tin instead of a full pan to yield individual servings. So with my sister as dish washer and photographer, I recreated Stacy’s recipe for you in my tiny studio kitchen.
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond (or any) milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins, frozen blueberries, nuts, cacao nibs, banana chunks, etc *optional
The first thing you want to do before you start any baking project is to gather all of your ingredients and equipment. It is not fun to get half way through a recipe and find out that what you thought was baking powder, was actually baking soda. For equipment, you will need: one large bowl, one small bowl, a whisk or fork, one spoon, and a muffin tin. After you have gathered all of your ingredients and equipment you should preheat your oven to 350*F.
The next step will be to combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in the large bowl. Mix it thoroughly to make sure that the baking powder and salt get evenly distributed. Once you’ve got all of the dry ingredients together, it’s time to combine the wet ingredients in the small bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and then pour it over the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Now would be when you would want to add any extras to your muffins if you wanted to. If you are using frozen blueberries, sprinkle them with a little flour to stop them from all sinking to the bottom. Nuts or bananas can also be cut up into small chunks for better distribution.
Now comes the important part. Your batter is going to look a little bit runny and that’s okay, but it’s essential that you allow it to sit for five minutes. This gives the oats time to soak up some of the liquid and will result in a firmer muffin. Not enough soak time will give you oatmeal muffin soup.
While you’re waiting, you can lightly oil your muffin tins and make sure that your oven is up to temp. After the five minutes, divide the batter among the cups. I used a tin with six larger cups, but you could also use one with eight smaller cups. Just remember that your baking time may be a bit different then. Smaller muffins won’t take as long to cook through. Just start checking them five minutes earlier if you use an eight cup pan. After you have your batter divided up, you just pop the pan into your oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Due to differences in oven temperature, pans, etc, I recommend checking the muffins at about 25 minutes.
You know your muffins are finished when a knife inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean and the muffin springs back when you poke it. Allow them to cool for a five minutes before you remove them from the pan. If you are going to package or freeze them, allow them to cool to room temp first. I wrap mine in little sandwich bags and freeze them individually. Then I just move one down to the fridge the night before I need it. They can be heated back up or eaten at room temp.
I hope you guys will try this recipe out and let me know any yummy recipes that you have for oatmeal!