Baked oatmeal that’s reminiscent of a lemon and poppy seed muffin. Gluten free and vegan too.
If you ask me, the best days of the year are when it’s sunny outside, but not overly hot – call it ‘light jacket weather’ – and you can go for a nice stroll while surrounded by the blissful aroma of spring flowers.
Unfortunately, as the weather seems to get crazier every year those days are becoming rarer. Also I have a complete inability to take care of flowers. And I should really be studying rather than aimlessly walking around outside. Oh, reality…
But it’s too early to despair! I’ve found two things that immediately transport me back to those beautiful spring days.
The first is basil. Call me weird, but few things make me feel better than buying a big bunch of fresh basil and giving it a good sniff. There’s something about the smell of fresh basil that’s so… I don’t know, spring-like?
The second thing that reminds me of sunny, wonderful days is lemon. Maybe it’s the smell of a lemon after you’ve zested it, maybe it’s that strong yet delicate taste – whatever it is, whenever I smell and taste lemon, my mind sings:
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Everything that’s wonderful is what I feel when we’re together
That’s how I feel about you, lemons. (Yes, I do talk/sing to my ingredients sometimes).
As well as sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, this baked oatmeal also reminds me of Lemon and Poppy Seed muffins, which I love. They’re the type of muffins that are so sneaky – unlike double-chocolate muffins, they don’t taste unhealthy so you totally forget they’re (generally) loaded with sugar and oil.
Well, this baked oatmeal not only doesn’t taste unhealthy – it isn’t (well, at least I don’t think it is)! Unlike most muffins, there’s no oil and there’s no refined sugar either. Instead, there’s mashed/pureed fruit to give this baked oatmeal a muffin-like texture and some moisture. You can either use applesauce or mashed banana – I love it either way.
That being said, more often than not I’ll use applesauce (mostly because that’s what I have on hand).
Last but not least, let’s talk sweetness. There’s (almost) nothing worse than a lemon baked good that’s too sour and not sweet enough. While the fruit puree adds some natural sweetness, I usually add one teaspoon of maple syrup to the batter. As everyone’s palate is different, I highly recommend you taste the oatmeal batter before baking, and add more maple syrup (or other sweetener) as needed.
Alternatively, you could always pour some maple syrup (or honey) over the cooked oatmeal.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to continue singing ‘Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows’ while eating more lemon baked oatmeal.
This post was updated (with new pictures) in May 2015.
- ¼ cup applesauce or mashed banana
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 - 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a small ramekin.
- In a bowl, mix together the applesauce (or mashed banana), lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond milk. Stir in the maple syrup, if using.
- Add the rolled oats, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds, and mix until well combined. Stir in the maple syrup, and add more if needed. Transfer the mixture into the prepared ramekin.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is dry and a little firm when touched. Enjoy!
Any other milk (dairy or non-dairy) can be substituted for the almond milk
I use unsweetened applesauce. You can make your own applesauce by pureeing cooked or canned apples.
Recipe adapted from The Oatmeal Artist