Are you Team Pop-Tart or Team Toaster Strudel? In all honesty, I’ve never had a Toaster Strudel. When I think Toaster Strudel, I think of Gretchen Weiners.
Anyway… I’m a Pop-Tart person. I ate my fair share of them as a kid and I still enjoy them occasionally. One of the flavors I loved most growing up was the frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon. And, sure, I still like them. I mean, when they’re warm, they melt in your mouth, and they’re super-sweet with a light cinnamon flavor. Who’s gonna argue with that?
But, for all their sugary merits, Pop-Tarts aren’t the kind of breakfast that’s going to satisfy me through the morning. That hyper-sweetness tells you that they’re packed with sugar, and they lack the fiber and protein that serve to really satiate you. And the ingredient list reads like a bit of a science experiment. They’re better than nothing and totally enjoyable sometimes, but they’re also more like dessert than a well-rounded breakfast.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want my breakfast to taste delicious, though. Frankly, I want everything I eat to be delicious. Enter: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal.
Look at that! Nutty rolled oats and toasted chopped pecans get covered in cinnamon and combined with brown sugar, milk, applesauce, and eggs. The result is a fluffy, chewy, lightly-sweet breakfast dish that’s packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fat. I add some fruit (some fabulous ideas: caramelized bananas, sautéed cinnamon apples, fresh berries) and some milk or yogurt to bulk it up a little. If you add some nut butter, we can be best friends forever.
That is the kind of breakfast that can get you through the morning, sans sugar-crash. I’m not saying it tastes like a Pop-Tart. I am saying it’s delicious and nutritious.
It’s kind of like eating a cross between (healthy) cake and a giant oatmeal cookie. I wouldn’t judge you if you topped it with some ice cream and ate it for a super-healthy dessert. Or a more-decadent breakfast. You can even prep this ahead of time, heat it up, and eat it throughout the week.
In a half an hour, you can have that. Get excited.
- 2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. pecan halves, chopped and toasted
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 c. milk*
- 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/3 c. brown sugar**
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease a large, oven-safe skillet (mine is 3 quarts) or similarly-sized baking dish.
- In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, chopped and toasted pecans, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs.
- Add milk, applesauce, vanilla, and brown sugar to beaten eggs. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
- Pour wet ingredients over oats and pecans and stir to combine.
- Pour oatmeal mixture into the prepared skillet and bake for 20 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from the pan.
- If you plan to slice oatmeal and neatly serve it, allow to cool for about an hour before cutting into wedges. Right out of the oven it is much easier to scoop into bowls, but still completely delicious! Serve with fruit, nut butter, yogurt, or maple syrup for a bigger breakfast.
- * I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Use what you like!
- ** The oatmeal itself is lightly sweet, which lets all the other flavors stand out. If you want it sweeter, feel free to up the sugar to 1/2 c.
Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts?
What’s your favorite Pop-Tart flavor?