I've been trying to be more efficient on the weekends to make life easier for myself during the week. For example, I've been prepping food for lunches and dinners, laying out the boys' clothes for the week so I'm not pawing through their wardrobe every morning, and preparing their breakfasts ahead of time. They're big fans of pancakes in the mornings, so I usually make a big batch of silver-dollar pancakes on Sunday morning and freeze them for breakfasts throughout the week.
Recently, though, when our neighbor gifted us with five pounds of strawberries from his garden, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out something new. My fellas would eat strawberries and cream instant oatmeal every day if I let them, so I thought they'd enjoy these baked oatmeal cups. Not surprisingly, they did! I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal, baked or instant or otherwise (it's a texture thing for me), but I did try one of these and I liked it. These baked oatmeal cups are moist and flavorful and so easy to make. And they're so adaptable; I plan to try a version with bananas and chocolate chips next.
With two little boys to get washed and dressed and fed every weekday morning, all before 7 AM, anything that makes the breakfast portion of the morning go more quickly gets a huge thumbs-up in my book.
Bite-Sized Baked Strawberry Oatmeal Cups
adapted from Macaroni and Cheesecake
2 cups oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup honey or agave
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tray liberally with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, salt, and baking powder. Add honey and stir to combine (it will be sticky, obviously). Add the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla. The mixture will be runny. Stir in the strawberries.
3. Portion the batter among the mini muffin cups, filling each cup nearly to the top.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes in the pan. Once they've cooled slightly, run a knife around the edges and gently remove from the pan. Serve warm or room temperature. Store in an air-tight container.