Oatmeal for breakfast is a tradition as old as the hills. Gruel, porridge, mush — they all refer to the same hot cereal many of us grew up eating. I can speak for myself when I say that unless a generous amount of brown sugar or maple syrup was involved, I wouldn’t eat it. These days, however, oats are dressed up in all sorts of delicious ways, including the recent rash of baked oats recipes. Baked oats on their own might sound unappealing. But trust us — these are not just any old oats. They are easy as pie to make, and just as sweet. Besides that, they are good for you!
Why are oats good for you?
It’s not just because they “stick to your ribs”. Oats, considered to be one of the healthiest grains in existence, are wonderful sources of magnesium, zinc, and fiber, which is a crucial aspect of any healthy diet. Nutrition guides suggest 20-30 grams of fiber daily, but on average, Americans reportedly only get 15 grams. Good sources of fiber besides whole grains like oats include fruits, vegetables, and beans. According to the School of Public Health at Harvard, adequate fiber intake can reduce the risk of diseases like breast cancer, diverticulitis, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Although oats contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, soluble fiber is more important when it comes to health benefits like weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and slower digestion. Fiber doesn’t break down as we digest it; instead soluble fiber mixes with body fluids to form a gel that emits gut-enhancing bacteria, lowers fat absorption, and curbs appetite. (This last benefit is likely where the “stick to ribs” term comes from.) All of these benefits make fiber an essential part of any weight-loss diet. Now, they’ve become a TikTok sensation. Just watch the video below and see for yourself:
Baked Oats Breakfast Ideas
First of all, let’s define ‘baked oats’. (They’re not just oats that are baked in an oven.) Also affectionately nicknamed “cake for breakfast”, popular site Food52 defines baked oats as the following: “oat flour (or rolled oats ground in a blender), adhered together with a fat and some type of binding agent, flavored with a mixture of your choice, tossed into a ramekin or other small oven-safe container, baked for a short amount of time, and garnished with a topping.” Sounds simple enough! Whatever toppings or mix-ins you include, the basic instructions for baked oats are as follows:
- Oat flour (or ground oats)
- An egg, milk of your choice, or a mashed banana
- One-half to 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Maple syrup or other sweetener
Any mix-in you’d like: vanilla extract, chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.
Mix these together in an oven-safe dish, then bake at 350°F for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the amount you’re making. (Ramekins are great for single servings, and the ones from Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman line at Walmart couldn’t be cuter — Buy from Walmart, $21.88 for a set of eight.)
If you’ve always wanted to eat cake for breakfast and not feel guilty about it, now’s your chance! Thanks to the hundreds of baked oats recipes out there, this dream can become a sweet reality.
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