As someone who cooks for a living and usually ends up with something in the fridge at the end of the day, I’m not big into meal-planning. Except when it comes to breakfast. I am a true believer in the importance of eating a good breakfast every morning, and while my ideal start to the day involves a bowl of homemade steel-cut oats, I don’t always have time to stand over a pot of oatmeal on weekday mornings.
So, in the spirit of getting back into routines and busy, crazy life after the holidays, I developed this recipe for baked oatmeal cups as a ready-made, portable version of my favorite breakfast. I make a batch of these on Sunday afternoon when I have an hour to spare (which is more than enough time!) and then keep them in a container in the fridge all week long.
Each little cup is a nutritional powerhouse – with fiber from the oats, protein from the eggs and milk, good fat and nutty flavor from the almond butter, and of course, a little natural sweetness from the bananas and dates. I like to think of these as a mashup of muffins and baked oatmeal- a healthy breakfast disguised as a breakfast treat!
What I love about these cups is that they’re incredibly versatile. I’ve given you a basic formula here – the oats, milk, eggs, and baking powder being the most important – but you can substitute other dried fruits or add nuts and more seeds for a little more crunch. You can substitute peanut butter for the almond butter, too, though I find almond butter’s more subtle flavor works really well here.
This recipe can very easily be made gluten-free and dairy-free if you use a nut milk and gluten-free oats. (For the record, oats are naturally gluten-free, but many are processed on the same equipment as products containing flour. Oats labeled gluten-free are processed separately.)
I have to admit I’ve been a hesitant adopter of plant-based milk alternatives – they just didn’t do it for me. But when I tried oat milk, I started to come around. It’s creamy, thick, and you truly won’t notice the difference in the recipe. This is NOT a sponsored post, but the Oatly brand I used is my favorite. You can find it at Whole Foods.
Finally, for the non-breakfast lovers, I will note that these make a great healthy snack, too. In fact, I’m eating one right now. Happy New Year and happy cooking!
Oatmeal and Date Breakfast Cups
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups milk (dairy, almond, or oat)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup pitted dates, finely chopped
- ¼ cup hulled pumpkin seeds, plus more for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a standard muffin tin or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Place the bananas in a separate, smaller bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add the eggs to the bananas and beat until incorporated, then stir in the milk and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Whisk in the almond butter, then add the dates and pumpkin seeds and mix well.
- Let the batter rest for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them to the top, and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each cups. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the cups have risen slightly and are firm to the touch.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully remove and cool completely.The cups will keep for up to a week stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.Note: This recipe was updated in November 2021.Copyright 2020, Lidey Heuck, All Rights Reserved