Thursday, March 29, 2012

Road trips, baked oatmeal and everything else...

Hi Friends!

I cannot believe that it's already Thursday and I'm just now having time to sit down and collect my thoughts. What a crazy week!

I'm not just sitting at my dining room table as I usually do though. I'm actually in the car, enjoying a beautiful drive through mountains {ok, they're probably technically called "hills", but to me, they're glorious mountains!}, lush green fields and animals grazing the hillside. Hubby and I are on our way to Costa Mesa for a worship conference for the weekend. We'll also take advantage of being in Southern Cali and visit hubby's brother and a few of my friends along the way. I'm more excited now that we're out en route, but goodness, getting out the door is so much work {and i don't even have kiddos!} Being in a new area and not having family around to keep our sweet Blakely was an issue, but it's all finally been worked out {thank you Sarah!!} and we're off!

So now that you know why I've been mia this week, I have to say that "Birthday Weekend" did not disappoint! Hubby {& family} surprised me with a gorgeous "Ice" colored Kitchenaid Mixer!! I was shocked! I've longed for one for years. Infact, my mom owns one and every time I had a sizable baking project ahead of me, I would head to her house and haul that heavy thing back to my spare kitchen table. The hum of its whisking, beating and kneading was music to my ears! I lost that luxury somewhere between Florida and California, but no longer do I have to reminisce - music will again fill my little kitchen!! It's simply beautiful - I'm falling in love all over again!

To break her in, I tried my hand at a new recipe - Baked Oatmeal. I know, it doesn't sound so exciting, but it was actually pretty yummy! This Baked Oatmeal recipe is so versatile - great on-the-go breakfast for those who don't have time to make much in the morning, or wonderful for kiddos who may be picky eaters. Personal sized oatmeal portions are baked in muffin tins and "topped" or "filled" with anything you so desire - they freeze well and can easily be reheated and mixed with milk, cream, yogurt or enjoyed all by their lonesome. You're a little more interested now, aren't you?? Don't worry. I'm not planning to bait you and leave you without the recipe.

Shared by a friend, this recipe came from Sugar-Free Mom.

Gluten Free Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal

2 eggs
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened {I used cultured coconut yogurt}
5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats
1 banana, mashed
2 3/4 cups milk {I used coconut milk}
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder {I used 3/4c honey}
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, fresh or dried berries
Nutrition Info (without toppings)

Servings: 18* Calories: 143* Fat: 4g* Fiber: 4g* Carbs: 23g* Protein: 6g*

Using the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder Points+: 3*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
Add in oats, salt, baking powder, flax and cinnamon and mix well with wet ingredients.
Finally pour in milk and combine.
Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

*I topped mine with chocolate chips and walnuts, walnuts and dried cranberries and a pinch of brown sugar, and then I did a batch of blueberry. Blueberry and Chocolate Walnut were voted favorite. Next time I'd love to try mixing in fresh cranberries!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the oatmeal and what you topped them with!!

Have a fabulous Thursday!


- all images by danya collyer

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