Sunday, May 1, 2016

Strawberry Oatmeal Pistachio Cakes

Featured Ingredient: Pistachios

As the old saw goes: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” While that is certainly up for debate, taking the time to stuff in some healthy food before bolting out the door in the morning can make a huge difference in meeting your overall nutritional requirements. But if your mornings are as harried as most peoples are, it can be a challenge to carve out enough time to sit down for a balanced meal.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have an arsenal of make-ahead breakfast options that can be ready-to-go in a flash when time is not on your side. These baked fruity and nutty oatmeal cups are certainly a contender. Simply rustle up a batch at once and then zap them in a microwave for near instant steel-cut oatmeal goodness.

Beyond fiber-rich oats and antioxidant packed strawberries, I’ve worked some pistachios into these portable oatmeal cakes for a little crunch and added nutritional boost. The delicious nut supplies protein, fiber, B vitamins (namely, vitamin B6 and thiamin), bone strengthening phosphorus and copper, a mineral necessary for energy production in the body. I also believe they are the only commonly available nut to deliver lutein, a potent antioxidant shown to improve eye health.

These baked oatmeal cups don’t last long in our household, but I believe they would freeze well for future use.

Strawberry Pistachio Oatmeal Cakes

1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
1/3 cup oat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted pistachios)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk 
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place oats in a large bowl, cover with water and let soak for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain oats, return to bowl and stir in oat flour, ground flaxseed, strawberries, pistachios, cinnamon, ginger and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and stir in milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Divide mixture among 12 standard sized silicon or paper lined metal muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Let cool in pan for several minutes before unmolding and cool further on metal racks.

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