Instant Deep-Dish Oatmeal Cookie

SAM_4886

A lot of you say you read my recipes but never actually try them because it looks like they take too long to make. I often get told, “Yes, that sounds healthy and delicious, but why would I want to make just one? I’d make a whole batch instead… I don’t like getting all those ingredients for one little treat… Too much work… I’m tired…”SAM_4890

I’m not going to say those are excuses in my book, but I will give you a no-excuses recipe I think you’ll like. But first, a few reasons:

1. Do it for your bank account! Single servings save you money.

2. Do it because few leftovers are ever as good as their original selves.

3. Do it to save resources. How much of the materials and ingredients used to make multiple-serving recipes just end up stale and in the trash?SAM_4483

4. Do it for portion control. The one Americans understand the least.

5. Do it because it’s fun! I love to experiment with cooking/ baking, and single-serving recipes let me try lots of new types of cuisine. Some fail. Some are delicious.

On to the super simple deep-dish cookie…

Ready for this?

IngredientsSAM_4493

1 packet of oatmeal

1-2 T almond milk (or regular milk or yogurt)

optional: dash of baking powder, vanilla

and whatever mix-ins you like (I like cinnamon + peanut butter, and chocolate chips on top)

Directions

Empty out the oatmeal into a microwave-safe dish. Mix in milk or other substitute (you should add in about half of whatever the oatmeal directions specify so it’s not runny.SAM_4888

Mix well, but again, make sure it stays firm and wet, not soupy. If you’re not feeling too lazy, you can add in the dash of baking powder and vanilla. Top with whatever mix-ins you like. Microwave as directed. If not completely firmed up like a cookie, press sides together with the side of a spoon and microwave a tad longer or pop it into the broiler for a crispier finish.

It’s essentially like some of my baked oatmeal recipes and it’s delicious.

So, no excuses! Try it. I dare your lazy bones… 😉

Maple Syrup Oat Muffin

Not quite like oatmeal.

Not quite like a traditional muffin.

Not quite like a flapjack.

This delicious baked treat is deliciously odd. It takes from the three beloved breakfast staples, ones that can easily be prepared in a bland way, and pulls them together with a rich, flavorful syrup taste.

Yum.

Ingredients

2 T quick oats (save 1 t for topping)

2 T spelt or whole-wheat flour

dash of baking powder and cinnamon

1 t vegan butter

2 t pure maple syrup

1 flax egg

1 T nondairy milk

optional: chopped pecans or sliced almonds

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin slot or a ramekin. Set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients; then wet.

-Softly mold to prepared baking dish. Press in extra oats and nuts.

-Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean. Alternatively, you can microwave for about a minute and a half.

Top with extra maple syrup or honey if you like. Serve fresh out of the oven.

Apple-Cinnamon Haystacks

I love fall! Don’t you?

I also love this single-serving recipe, one I’ve adapted from the wonderfully creative culinaire, Healthful Pursuit.

Why?

I could go on and on about its delicious flavor and warm spice aroma. But I do that all the time. AND this time is a little different…

I love this recipe because I’ve found two ways to make it.

Option 1: Bake into cookie-like balls if you want a soft crunch. (Yes, I realize that’s an oxymoron, but for this recipe it applies.)

Option 2: Microwave or bake for a few minutes in the oven, then spread over a crisp apple slice–sort of like a warm spread.

You choose your apple-icious adventure. I promise to you that both are excellent.

Makes about 3 balls or one large serving of spread.

Ingredients

2 T steel-cut oats

pinch of cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ground cloves

1 t stevia

1 T peanut butter (or sunflower or other nut butter)

1 T applesauce

dash of vanilla

2 T chopped apple

Directions

-To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish. Set aside.

-Mix all dry; then mix in wet. Form into balls and transfer to prepared dish.

-For cookies, bake about 10-12 minutes. For a spicy spread, bake for only 6-7 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cup Baked Oatmeal Cake

Chocolate for breakfast?

Remember a little while back when all the health blogs were reporting on the “dessert for breakfast weight loss strategy?” The logic here seems a little silly to me.

Do I think you can eat desserts without gaining weight?

Absolutely! And I think everyone has the right to indulge a little, so long as that indulgence is a healthful one that will fuel your body because good ingredients are used.

Do I think that using the aforementioned weight loss strategy as an excuse to overindulge could be risky?

Yes.

Here’s why. Although I strongly believe that you should give yourself a small treat everyday, especially if you’re extremely active, I think people can easily abuse this license to indulge, taking it too far. But I can see how eating a sweet treat early in the morning would stave off cravings or feelings of deprivation, and thus, lead people to overindulge in a less than ideal way later.

What makes more sense, to me, is that perhaps those who do indulge–caveat: healthfully–earlier in the day are probably more satiated. And I would imagine that these people practice better portion control practices and truly enjoy and experience their food as they eat it. It helps to focus on what you’re eating and enjoy it. Good food nourishes your body and gives you the energy you need to live a productive, fulfilling life.

And that’s why I indulge a little bit everyday. Usually, it’s in the evenings, but sometimes for breakfast I get my chocolate fix with this baked oatmeal cake recipe, which features two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate & peanut butter (yum!).

Ingredients

(serves 1)

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • pinch of pure vanilla extract and salt
  • 1 T mashed banana
  • 2 T non-dairy milk
  • 1.5 t stevia
  • 1.5 t cocoa powder
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • Optional: handful of chocolate chips and an extra dab of peanut butter to swirl on top

    I baked my oatmeal cake in a small ramekin and then flipped it.

Directions

-Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Lightly grease a ramekin or muffin tin and set aside.

-Combine dry ingredients, and then mix in wet. Be sure to blend well.

-Pour batter into a greased 1-cup ramekin and bake for about 15 minutes or more, ’til firm.

-Last step, set your oven to “high broil” and continue to cook the baked oatmeal for 2 minutes, or until a desirable crispy-ness is reached.

Warm, swirled chocolate-y goodness!

I took some dark-chocolate chips and let them melt on their own. Then I added a few dabs of PB and swirled.

Yes, I have a weakness for warm gooey chocolate.

But in no way am I ashamed 😉

Nature Valley Granola Bars

Granola is a nice, hearty fall food.

Growing up, I loved Nature Valley’s Honey-and-Oat bars.

So I was disappointed to learn this past fall, around the time I more or less committed to a “clean-eating” lifestyle, that one of my favorite granola companies used high-fructose corn syrup, along with other preservatives.

Fortunately, while out backpacking the Superior Trail this past summer, I read the ingredients listed on one of the Nature Valley Bars provided to us. If I’m remembering correctly, I don’t recall seeing any modified ingredients.

But sometimes, I don’t trust my own memory (or big companies).

And I wanted to try this copycat recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie.

My review? Very “honey-licious” and nutritional. I’d certainly make these again, and they’re good enough to share with a group. In fact, I made up some bite-sized bars for the tutors at my writing center. They loved them.

The single-serving adaptation follows…

Copycat Nature Valley Granola Bar

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 T rice crispies (brown rice works well)
  • 1.5 T oat or whole-wheat flour
  • pinch of salt, baking soda
  • dash of non-dairy milk and vanilla
  • 1 t virgin coconut oil
  • 1.5 T honey (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 t stevia

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 5×7 pan–or whatever you have available–and set aside.

-Combine dry ingredients, then mix in wet. Transfer to the pan and press the mix down. You’ll have to press fairly hard to form. Make sure, too, that the bars are level in height throughout the pan.

-Bake for 15-18 minutes (longer for crispier bars).

-If you followed the multiple-serving recipe, wait at least 20 minutes before cutting. I might have actually waited longer.

If you love this recipe, try my Copycat Quaker Bars. They have chocolate chips and are super chewy, just like the real thing!

Quaker Oats’ Chewy Chocolate-Chip Granola Bar

With school starting back up soon, I imagine that this delicious spin on Quaker’s Chewy Granola Bar from Chocolate-Covered Katie could be a perfect addition to any lunchbox. And kids will love it because it is so soft, sweet, and satisfying. When it’s warmed up, it tastes almost like a chocolate-chip cookie.

To make a big batch for schoolgoers, check out Chocolate-Covered Katie’s recipe.

To make one big, chewy bar for yourself, read on.

Ingredients

  • 2T + 2 t rolled oats (for all substitution notes, see nutrition link below)
  • pinch of baking soda, salt, and vanilla
  • 2 t rice crispies (brown, white, or gluten-free)
  • 1 T oat or whole wheat flour
  • 1 t coconut oil
  • 2 t maple syrup, honey, or agave
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 t applesauce (or you could try banana or pumpkin!)
  • Mix-in Ideas: dark chocolate chips, raisins, dried blueberries, coconut, peanuts, etc.

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking dish of your choice. I used the corner of a rimmed cookie sheet to shape my lone bar into the traditional rectangle shape.

-Combine all dry ingredients–except for chocolate chips or other mix-ins you’ve selected–and then add in wet ingredients. Mix gently. Once well-blended, fold in mix ins.

-Bake for about 10 minutes into the oven, or just until the jutting out edges start to brown a bit. If you want a crispier bar or a drier granola, bake longer.

Baked Oatmeal (Pumpkin Spice Version)

Baked Oatmeal (Pumpkin Spice Version)

Collegiate Culinaire: Baked Oatmeal Cake (The Pumpkin Pie Version)  Right now I’m obsessed with trying out every recipe on Chocolate-Covered Katie’s healthy dessert blog. She features a lot of single-serving recipes, which are perfect for me because when I crave … Continue reading