By Ashton Jackson, RD, LDN
Picture this: you wake up on a weekday morning and your breakfast is ready and waiting for you, no drive-thru required. Does this sound like an impossible feat to you?
If you are a lifestyle-changer who chronically skips breakfast or believes the breakfast combo meal at your closest fast-food restaurant is the only option for a busy morning, I challenge you to turn over a new leaf in the coming week, spend a few minutes in the kitchen and give a make-ahead option a try. If you are still feeling skeptical, follow along below for a quick recap of my most recent make-ahead breakfast experience: Baked Apple and Nut Oatmeal, courtesy of the Lifestyle Medical Center recipe library.
This basic recipe is very easy to modify for specific dietary considerations and/or based on the ingredients you have available in your pantry! Note that in this recap, applesauce served as a substitute for one of the apples and nuts were omitted.
Tools you’ll need:
- A mixing bowl and a whisk
- A few measuring cups/spoons
- 8 x 8 glass baking dish
- About 5 minutes of your free time?
Ingredients you’ll need: (specific quantities available here)
- Uncooked oats
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Apples (and/or applesauce)
- Chopped nuts (or nut butter)
This recipe literally took 5 minutes to prep on a busy Sunday afternoon. The minimal hands-on prep and bake time made it a great option for multi-tasking.
First: Gather your ingredients:
Next: Measure and combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk, eggs and vanilla.
Chop your apples (or other chosen fruit) and fold in to the mix:
Tip: I opted to shred my apple using a cheese grater which allowed for smaller pieces suitable to feed a toddler. These types of modifications make this a family-friendly meal!
Pour the mixture into an 8×8 pan coated with cooking spray and pop it in the pre-heated oven to bake.
At this point … you have 40 minutes to continue with other meal preparations, knock out a few chores, or maybe even squeeze in a quick workout!
Before you know it, the final product will be ready:
Cool, cover and refrigerate if you plan to enjoy this oatmeal each morning throughout the week. The recipe is also excellent served warm as breakfast for a crowd!