Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vegan Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Cakes

Did I mention they've got a delicious surprise center?
This blog is quickly turning into The Oatmeal Diaries. Every time I make oatmeal a new way it's 'my favorite way to have my oats in the morning'. In this case, it's true. These breakfast cakes are simple to make,  full of good things, moist, flavorful, and filling. This method, despite my love for steel cut oats, aside from my desire to have oats fast, is the one I keep coming back to but have yet to blog about.  here it is, the most delicious way I've found to have my cake and eat it too....for breakfast!

Vegan Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Cakes

makes 8 mini loaf 'cakes'*

4 cups old fashioned oats
(quick oats work as well, but I always buy the Publix Organic Old Fashioned Oats)
4-8 very ripe bananas, mashed (you want enough to have 2 cups once mashed)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg (I use a micro planer for freshest, most aromatic nutmeg)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups plain almond milk
1 scant tsp salt
1 T canola oil (or unrefined coconut oil, because it's just. so. gooood.)
8 T favorite nut butter (I use Justin's chocolate hazelnut or Justin's chocolate almond butter)**

Preheat oven to 380 degrees (375 may be fine but my current oven is a bit off). Spray mini loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside. In large bowl, mash bananas and add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, almond milk, salt, and oil. Blend with immersion blender or whisk until well incorporated and foamy. Stir in oats. Mixture will be very wet. If you let it set for 5-10 minutes you'll notice the oats starting to soak up some of the liquid tho waiting is not necessary. Fill mini loaves half full, making a bit of an indention in the middle with your spoon. Add one tablespoon of nut butter to each mini loaf, then top each with remaining mixture until each mini loaf well is full. You can really fill the wells and pat down, they will still cool through perfectly.
Place pan in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer  (I use a chopstick ;) comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place cooling rack upside down on top of mini loaf pan. Flip the pan/rack so that the  rack is now right side up and sitting on counter. Tap each of the wells and carefully remove mini loaf pan, allowing oatmeal to cool. Enjoy warm with your favorite seasonal fresh fruit!
Mmmmm, honey mango season is my favorite!

These keep wonderfully in the refrigerator once fully cooled for the week. If you don't think you'll be eating them every day (I know I will!) they also freeze wonderfully and can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator and popped back in a 350 oven for ten minutes in the morning.

You can leave out the oil, but I find that it keeps them from drying out. Maybe additional banana could also alleviate that. I have made these with less than ideally ripe bananas and they were a bit drier than normal. Before heating, I just poured a tiny bit of almond milk on the plate that soaked up into the cake. Perfect solution.

*I have yet to try this with regular muffin tins, but imagine this amount could fill 12 regular sized muffin wells. I would check baking time at 20 minutes though to ensure you don't over bake and dry them out.

**I've made these with non-chocolate nut butter and they just weren't as good for me. I think the combo of cocoa and nut butter and banana and oats is just perfect. If you don't have a chocolate variety of nut butter on hand, you could add plain nut butter and top with a few chocolate chips for a very similar effect.