Hone Your Baked Oats To Scrumptious Perfection With These Must-Know Basics
Versatile, easy to adapt to different tastes, and wonderfully simple to make, baked oats is a timeless recipe it’s impossible not to love. Despite its simplicity, there are still some must-know basics that you need to follow to get them just so though. Here are my tips and tricks then to ensure a chewy, delicious pot of baked oats each and every time.
Choosing The Right Oats
Steel Cut Oats: Also known as ‘Irish’ or ‘Scottish’ oats, this form of oats is made when the whole oat groat is chopped into tiny pieces. As soon as they are mixed with a liquid, they have a chewy texture and don’t break up.
Rolled Oats: Often called ‘old-fashioned’ oats, these are the oats you often reach for when making a regular bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or when making oatmeal cookies. They are made by steaming and rolling out the oat groat, so they’re flat and thin. They also cook much more quickly than steel-cut oats.
Instant Oats: We all know those little packets of flavoured oatmeal you can buy in any supermarket, right? Essentially, these are rolled oats that have been even further processed and are typically pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled.
They’re not a great candidate for awesome baked oats as they don’t hold their shape or texture well and typically end up pretty mushy, which we don’t want when we make baked oats.
Creating The Base
Once you’ve discovered which oats you prefer to use for your recipe, there are few basics to nailing the perfect baked oats recipe.
My advice is to always have this base:
- Add one mashed banana for 100g of oats
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder for 100g of oats
- A half scoop (20g) of Form vanilla protein powder for 100g of oats
- 200g almond milk for 100g of oats
- One tablespoon of melted coconut oil
Making Baked Oats Ahead Of Time
Baked oats are great for baking ahead of time and then reheating, making them a really quick and easy breakfast for a busy morning.
Once it is cooked and fully cooled, portion it out and wrap individually before keeping in the fridge. When you want to reheat it, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.
You can also freeze baked oats for up to three months. Just make sure that it has fully defrosted before reheating.
Do remember to bake the oats if you are going to make them ahead of time though. You can’t mix everything and then leave it, as the oats will soak up all the milk then.
Adding The Protein Powder
If you’re looking to supplement your protein levels the tasty way, protein powder is a great addition. There are a few things to keep in mind when making the addition though.
If you prefer your baked oats chunkier I would decrease the amount of protein powder you use. On the other hand, if you prefer to have a deep vanilla flavour (or any other flavour of your choice) with a creamier, soft texture increase the amount of protein powder and add more plant milk as a result.
I also like adding more protein powder because it means you can skip the sweetener as the Form vanilla protein powder will sweeten the mix for you. Don’t add too much liquid to the mix though. The texture has to be thick as it won’t change a lot in the oven. Of course, you can tailor the amount according to the texture you want at the end of the bake.
For baked oats that lean towards the healthier side of the equation, there are three ways to add flavour and texture to your bake: spices, seeds and nuts.
A few of my favourite spices to add include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and turmeric. Seeds wise look to chia seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed. Then in terms of nuts you have walnuts, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts. Other ingredients that work well are honey, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate chips and coconut milk.
You can also play with the fruits you add, from dried cranberries and raisins to frozen berries, chopped apples and pears, and pre-cooked pumpkin for a halloween treat.
Faustine’s Baked Oats Recipe
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup raw honey, or pure maple syrup
- 2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest & orange zest
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts & seeds of choice (almonds, chia, flaxseeds…)
- 2 large banana, mashed
- 1 cup mixed fresh or frozen berries or any other chopped fruits of your choice
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for greasing pan
1) Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and grease a small baking dish with coconut oil.
2) In a large mixing bowl, protein powder, honey, banana, vanilla, zests and plant based milk, until frothy.
3) Add in your oats and stir well until evenly combined. If time allows let mixture sit for 30 minutes to soak up the oats.
4) Next, fold in chopped nuts, fruits/berries. Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared baking pan.
5) Bake at 200 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the top and edges are golden brown and the centre is set.
6) Once the oats are nice golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool a bit.
7) Cut into six even squares or bars.
8) You can easily store these squares between the layers of wax paper in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to one week. They reheat well.
Faustine Hug is a traveling private chef, food geographer, and journalist passionate about healthy eating. You can find out more about her work at faustinehug.com or follow her on Instagram @faustinehug.