Under a delusion of grandeur, I was making a recipe for healthy oatmeal for several years. I didn’t realize it until I made it again this year that it’s actually one of the worst oatmeals I’ve ever had. I was perplexed because I remembered loving this recipe about 12 or so years ago and repeatedly making it for both me and my roommate. See my comments below.
This recipe is really called Belly-stuffing Peanut Butter Oatmeal, but I decided to bake it in a casserole dish instead of an 8 x 8″ glass pan and rename it. (I had bread pudding on my mind, I think.) I believe I found this recipe in a summer 2009 issue of Women’s Health Magazine. But maybe it was SELF or Glamour? I used to make this recipe all the time, until I ate too much of it and got sick of it. Then I thought I lost the recipe. Thankfully that wasn’t the case!
If you even remotely like oatmeal (and peanut butter) you’re going to love this dish. To make the dish “rise” add 2 tsp. baking powder. You can omit the chocolate chips if you want to be healthy (I added those to the recipe anyway). This dish will last you all week. I used to make it on a Sunday night and take breakfast to work with me the rest of the week.
Since that time, I’ve expanded my baked oatmeal repertoire and apparently narrowed my palate. Since eating baked oatmeal with every ingredient from peanut butter, banana and honey to Nutella, I’m used to a sweet and indulgent oatmeal bake. So when I spooned a bite of this oatmeal into my mouth this morning I almost recoiled in horror and thought, How did I eat this all the time so many years ago?
Well, for one it was before I knew better, I guess. And for two, I distinctly remember drowning the oatmeal in agave syrup. Which makes sense because the recipe ingredients included ZERO trace of any type of sugar or sweetener. (Whoever heard of such a thing?!) When I lightly drizzled honey onto my oatmeal this morning as a garnish, as I normally would, it wasn’t enough sweetness to make the gummy dish even remotely palatable.
So I went back to the drawing board, or more accurately, went back to my trusty old baked oatmeal recipes and decided to healthify one of them by making it high in Omega-3 ingredients. But just adding nuts and seeds wasn’t sufficient for a healthy oatmeal. I needed to swap the butter and sugar out so I used coconut oil and honey instead. Every other ingredient was OK to stay in about the same amount.
Let’s talk about some health benefits of some of the ingredients in this healthy oatmeal.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat. some evidence shows that consuming MCTs may increase the number of calories your body burns. In doing so, it may help promote weight loss. The MCTs in coconut oil provide a quick supply of energy. MCTs is that they may help reduce food intake. Good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants in coconut oil confer it with potential anti-inflammatory and brain-protective effects
Raw honey. Raw honey contains plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect your body from cell damage. Raw honey has shown immune-boosting and anticancer benefits. It’s also a potent prebiotic that nourishes the good bacteria that live in the intestines.
Peanut Butter. Peanut butter is a fairly balanced energy source that supplies all of the three major macronutrients. causes a very low rise in blood sugar, making it a good option for people with type 2 diabetes. peanut butter is rich in heart-healthy fats and is a good source of protein, it can be a good option for vegetarians or those following a plant-based diet to incorporate into their diet in moderation. peanut butter provides many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E, B3 and Manganese. Rich in antioxidants.
Cinnamon. Loaded with powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and reduces cholesterol. Lowers blood sugar. May protect against cancer.
Rolled Oats. Good source of carbohydrates and fiber. High in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and may lower blood pressure. Contain large amounts of soluble fiber which can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar and increase the feeling of fullness. May help relieve constipation.
Flaxseed. Flaxseeds have emerged as a “superfood” because one tablespoon provides a good amount of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals and may lower the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help control blood sugar. Note: ground flaxseed is easier to digest.
Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are highly nutritious and, like flaxseed, packed protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids; however, they are also an excellent source of antioxidants.
Walnuts. Walnuts provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They have higher antioxidant activity and are significantly higher in Omega-3 fats than any other nut around. The polyphenols in walnuts help fight oxidative stress and inflammation. Eating walnuts may support the health of your microbiota in your gut, decrease your risk of certain cancers and may even help control your appetite.
Note: All health information source is Healthline.com.
After all the changes I made this oatmeal, it didn’t at all resemble the trusty recipe I used so many years ago so I completely chucked it. Good riddance! I have to say I was a bit nervous when I dished up this oatmeal. With all of the healthy ingredients I thought I would find the oatmeal palatable at best. Instead, I found myself scooping up seconds. What I like about this version of healthy oatmeal is it at once does and does not taste healthy. You recognize the health most likely with the crunch from the chia seeds and know you are eating good-for-you ingredients. But it’s so packed full of flavor between the peanut butter, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and with a drizzle of honey on top that you don’t miss the butter or refined sugar.
A testament of how amazing this dish tastes is that my mom, who is as plain-jane as it gets when it comes to food and doesn’t really gravitate toward anything healthy, loved this dish.
- ½ c. refined coconut oil, softened but not melted
- ½ c. raw honey or maple syrup
- ½ c. peanut butter or nut butter
- 2 large eggs [or egg substitute for vegan]
- 1 ½ c. whole or vanilla flavored non-dairy milk are my preference
- ½ T. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 T. baking powder (can use gluten-free)
- 3 c. rolled oats (can use gluten-free)
- ¼ c. ground flaxseed
- ¼ c. chia seeds
- ½ to 1 c. walnut pieces
- ¼ to ½ c. mini chocolate chips [dairy-free for vegan]
- Beat together the coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, and eggs. Mix in the cinnamon, salt, baking powder and oats. Beat well. Add the milk and mix. Cover and store overnight in the fridge.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add walnuts, seeds and chocolate chips to the oat mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Pour into a greased 8-inch square pan or round or circular oven-safe dish. Bake in preheated oven until firm, about 45 minutes. Serve hot with additional honey or warm milk, if desired.