Oatmeal Breakfast Bars and Muffins

I am not really a breakfast person.  And it is not because I don’t like breakfast (I actually really like breakfast food) but when I am rushing to get out the door  in the morning, the last thing I want to do or think about doing is making breakfast.  Now, I know that skipping breakfast is not a good idea.  After all, isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?  Therefore, lately, I have been trying to think of different and creative ways I can have  a healthy breakfast, particularly on weekdays.  Since oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast foods, in comes these Oatmeal Breakfast Bars/Muffins.

My recipe is inspired by a recipe for applesauce cookies, given to me by a friend, and by a recipe for On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares  from Oh She Glows. The oatmeal bars/muffins are a tasty and healthy base that are not too sweet and to which additions of things like dried fruit, different nuts, and fresh fruit could easily be made.  I have found these bars/muffins to be incredibly filling, keeping me full for several hours (so that I am not starving by the time lunch rolls around).

Last week, I made a batch on Sunday (in bar form) and put them in individual baggies.  Then, each morning, I would grab a bag from the fridge and once I got to work, breakfast was ready.  In preparation for this week, I made them again but in muffin form. Looks like breakfast is ready to go for this week too.  :)

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars/Muffins
(partially inspired by On the Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares)
(makes about 12 muffins or 9-12 bars)

3 cups of rolled oats (also called old-fashioned oats)   *make sure it is not “quick-cooking oats”
3 TBSP chia seeds and/or 3 TBSP of ground flax seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 oz cashews (or other nut of your choice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp of ground cardamom
1 TBSP of almond butter
1 TBSP of coconut oil
1 cup of applesauce
3 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of rice milk (or other non-dairy or dairy beverage of your choice)
2 very ripe bananas
1 tsp of maple syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grind 1 cup of the oats into a fine powder.  Combine the ground oats with the rest of the oats in a bowl.  Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.

2.  Combine wet ingredients.  Blend in a food processor or blender until the mixture is smooth.

3.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.

4.  Smooth out the mixture in a greased baking dish or place into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

5.  Eat while warm or let them cool and then store individually in baggies.  They will keep in the refrigerator for one week.  They can also be frozen and then thawed out when ready to eat.

“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”  ~ Alfred A. Montapert