If you’re looking to spice up your breakfast with a healthy alternative, this recipe is for you! I’m sharing 4 different baked oatmeal flavors – chocolate chip banana bread, apple cinnamon pecan, peanut butter and jelly, and dark chocolate almond. They’re all easy to make, consist of healthy ingredients, and are naturally gluten free and vegan. Each one is so delicious that you’ll think you’re eating dessert for breakfast!
What makes this baked oatmeal recipe healthy?
I exclusively share dessert recipes here at Butternut Bakery, but outside of baking I have a true passion for health foods and making meals that nourish my body. That’s why I’m SO excited to share this recipe because it merges my two loves!
I’m also an avid oatmeal eater. I’m not kidding when I say I have it every. single. morning. So to spice things up, I created these baked oatmeals as a way to trick myself into thinking I’m eating dessert for breakfast, minus the guilt.
Each of these flavors are packed with healthy ingredients to fuel your day. But what’s even more important is what they DON’T have: processed sugar, gluten, eggs, or dairy. In place, here are a few of my favorite ingredients:
- Ground Flaxseed – This tiny seed is my favorite little power house. It’s packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids which help power our brains and keep us focused. I always notice a difference when I consume it regularly. It’s also high in fiber, so it will help keep you regular. I love it as a baking ingredient because it acts as an emulsifier, binding together the oil and water in a recipe.
- Pure Maple Syrup – When most people hear maple syrup, they think of the thick sticky syrup you pour over your pancakes. But what most people don’t know is that it’s made up of mostly corn syrup. Instead, reach for pure maple syrup which is TRUE maple syrup. Is this technically considered a health food? Sadly, no. But it is a really great natural alternative to sugar because it has a lower glycemic index.
- Oats – Of course, we can’t talk about baked oatmeal without oats. Oats are easily one of my favorite health foods. Not only are they incredibly versatile, but they’re rich in so many vitamins and minerals (I attribute my good iron levels to my morning bowl of oatmeal). They also contain antioxidants, can help keep you regular, and help regular blood sugar.
Banana Baked Oatmeal
I honestly can’t decide which flavor is my favorite, but this one definitely has a special place in my heart because I LOVE banana bread. This banana baked oatmeal has the soft and moist texture that’s similar to banana bread, and is baked with chocolate chips and walnuts for some added dimension.
Once baked, it must chill for about an hour to fully set. If you try to slice into warm baked oatmeal, it will fall apart. Although once set, you can serve yourself a slice and heat it up in the microwave. I like to top mine with a bit of creamy peanut butter for some added healthy fats.
Apple Cinnamon Pecan Baked Oatmeal
This would be the perfect morning treat for fall. It’s baked with warm spices, fresh apples, and savory pecans. Unique to the other recipes, this is the only baked oatmeal made with unsweetened apple sauce. It bumps up the apple flavor while also keeping this baked oatmeal soft and moist.
If you can’t have nuts, you could swap out the pecans for pumpkin seeds instead. Or if you don’t have apple sauce on hand you can replace it with some canned pumpkin. Any of these variations will leave you with a warm and cozy baked oatmeal. Serve with a dollop of your favorite nut or seed butter, or make my homemade maple pecan butter.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal
Ok, I know I said I couldn’t choose a favorite, but this might just be my number one out of all four. It has the sweet but tart berries, moist baked oatmeal, and smooth but savory peanut butter all throughout. It could just be the nostalgia that I love, but each bite reminds me of my grade school lunch box.
You can choose to make this with fresh or frozen berries. I personally prefer frozen because they tend to be a bit sweeter (and cheaper) than fresh. Just make sure you don’t thaw them before using. Otherwise, the thawed berries will bleed into the batter and you’ll end up with blue baked oatmeal.
Serve with a dollop of natural peanut butter, sugar free jelly, or even some extra dry roasted peanuts on top.
Dark Chocolate Almond Baked Oatmeal
I am not kidding when I saw that this flavor tastes like chocolate cake. Its rich, soft, moist, and that hint of almond extract gives this chocolate baked oatmeal a unique flavor and sweetness.
Most of the flavor comes from the cocoa powder, so I recommend using a good quality unsweetened dark cocoa powder. I just Hershey’s Special Dark, but you could also use organic cacao powder. Just know that it may not be AS sweet if using cacao powder.
And since the batter itself is full of chocolate, I just sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top for some added flavor. Serve with a tablespoon of natural almond butter on top and some extra slivered almonds.
Do I need to refrigerate baked oatmeal?
Yes, especially to extend the lifetime of these baked oatmeals. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can last longer, but I find they start to taste a bit stale after that fourth day.
Can I double this baked oatmeal recipe?
Yes, if doubling you can bake in a 9×13 baking pan for about 35-40 minutes. You should be able to get about 6 servings out of it.
Is there a substitution for ground flaxseed?
I do not recommend swapping the flaxseed. This is what helps bind the baked oatmeal together and using any other wet binder could make the oatmeal too mushy.
If you’ve never purchased ground flaxseed and are wondering how to use it outside of these recipes, you can add it to just about anything. Add 1 tablespoon to a smoothie or a salad to get those added Omega-3’s. But if you don’t think you’ll get through it fast enough, store it in the refrigerator to extend its lifetime.
Can I use quick oats instead?
You CAN, but I recommend sticking with the old fashioned oats. The reason being is that quick oats have a different bake time and leave the bars a bit too soft. Old fashioned oats are what gives these bars texture and dimension, and the larger oats are able to hold up well against all of the mix-ins.
For more healthy recipes, check out my:
- Healthy Blueberry Crumble Bars (GF, V)
- Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins (GF, V)
- Sweet Potato Brownies (GF, DF)
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (GF, DF)
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram if you make this recipe for healthy baked oatmeal. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print