Colorado Wildflowers & Baked Oatmeal Cups

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I've written before about my inability to sit down at home to eat breakfast and it isn't something I am working to change.  It is what it is.  I strongly prefer to sleep an extra fifteen minutes instead of eating sitting down or making breakfast in the morning, but it is next to impossible to find healthy breakfast options on-the-go.  I always love eating oatmeal, but then you have to microwave it, get out the milk, find something yummy to mix into it.... you get the point.  I am lazy in the morning!  Enter this recipe for baked oatmeal cups!  Oatmeal on the go, pre-flavored and with fruit baked in?  Yes, please!

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These couldn't be simpler to make.  Everything can be mixed in one bowl and you can adapt the recipe to include whatever fruit you have on hand and sweeten the oatmeal to your preference.  The oatmeal cups definitely taste healthy (like oatmeal does), but a quick 30 seconds in the microwave and you have a healthy breakfast that you can eat on the move.

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We went on a beautiful hike today up Rosalie Peak in the Mt. Evans Wilderness west of Denver.  The wildflowers were spectacular, as were the views from the top of the peak.  We both started our day with an oatmeal cup... and both wished we had a few more on-hand as the hike dragged into its fifth hour and we were out of food and water!  We saw wild strawberries and roses, a marmot, white-tailed ptarmigan and a jack rabbit... and I managed to fall twice!  This is what we get for running where most people walk (and, let's be honest, I am klutzy).

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A few thoughts about the recipe... first, definitely use paper liners for ease of eating and easy clean up.  Second, you can use any fruit you have available.  I bet these would also be great with slivered or sliced almonds or walnuts as well.  Third, substitute the milk for whatever type you like best - I used soy milk because we were out of skim milk and the oatmeal cups were great.   Fourth, I used only ⅓ cup of brown sugar... but if you've read any of my other recipes, we are a "less sweet is better" family.  Definitely increase the amount of sugar you use if you like a lot of sugar in your oatmeal.  Finally, these don't rise or increase in size during baking so feel free to fill the cups to the brim.

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Baked Oatmeal Cups

Adapted from Door-to-Door Organics

Yield = 14 cups 

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 fresh peach, diced into ½ pieces
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (without any fruit).  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined.  Fold in the fruit.  Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or insert a paper liner (recommended) into each cup.  Fill each cup 2/3 full (or a bit more if you'd like).  Bake the cups at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and no longer wet from the egg mixture.  Cool for at least 10 minutes, particularly if you do not use paper liners.

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