Another breakfast favorite for your must-make list: 3-Ingredient Coconut Oatmeal Squares! They could not be easier to make, plus, they are healthy, vegan, gluten-free & portable (in addition to being toasty-tropical-delectable).
Hello, everyone! Apologies for my laziness these past few days. I had a great run on Sunday at the Houston Marathon—beautiful weather, great course, fantastic crowd support; will post pics shortly–but the remainder of the day, and Monday were spent hobbling around (so sore!) and savoring the fact that the farthest distances of the day were from sofa to kitchen, and later, to bed.
Plans to get back on the ball were further waylaid because of our East Texas Snowpocalpyse on Tuesday (i.e., about an inch of snow). Schools was cancelled, hence, oh darn, I had to spend another day being cozy and playing board games with my favorite 11-year-old.
But, I did get around to crafting a new recipe to share: Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares.
Oh my goodness, these are so good.
They have but 3 ingredients, too.
Not fanciful, expensive ingredients, either. Just rolled oats, a can of lite coconut, and some coconut palm sugar (or any sweetener you like).
Confession: the recipe calls for water and salt, too. But IMHO, those shouldn’t count towards total # of ingredients :).
Here’s how I came up with recipe:
I wanted to make another super-simple, make-ahead, healthy, handheld, breakfast-on-the-go option.
What about a new version of baked oatmeal? I knew I could make a batch without eggs; flax eggs and chia eggs work beautifully for baked oatmeal. But did I need either? Oats have plenty of sticking power without any additional support. If you have ever witnessed a half-eaten bowl of oatmeal in the sink, you know this is true. So, out with the flax and chia.
What about fat? I’ve made baked oatmeal without any fat; it was passable, both as baked oatmeal and rubber eraser. I could add milk and some coconut oil, but why not make it one step and add milk that has the coconut oil (as well as tropical flavor) built in? Specifically, a can of lite coconut milk (or full-fat coconut milk, if you prefer). Done.
Last up sweetener. Coconut palm sugar, to complement the coconut milk, sounded right to me (although, you can use any sweetener you like). Also, the aforementioned water and salt.
Sometimes you get lucky on the first go. This is one of those times!
Crispy-crunchy edges, tender middles, gentle sweetness, and lots of toasty coconut flavor makes these a complete win for me, and, I hope, for you, too!
The key to getting the right texture, and cohesion (without the flax or chia), is simple: blend 1 cup of the oats with the liquid ingredients. Once cooled, these have a light, yet toothsome texture. The fat from the coconut milk adds to the tenderness.
Although I took the minimalist route for the basic recipe, add-ons and add-ins are always a great idea. For the latter, consider dried fruit, raspberries or blueberries, diced banana (or some pureed banana in place of the water, for added sweetness), a light shower of chopped chocolate or chips, vanilla extract, chopped nuts or seeds for crunch, or rev up the protein by adding a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder.
For add-ons, I cannot say enough good things about some peanut butter & jam on top. We all need to keep up our strength, so slather away!
Stay warm, eat well, and let me know if you give this recipe a try (especially if you like it!). Tag the recipe as #coconutbakedoatmeal. Cheers!
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided use
- 1 13.5-ounce can lite coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray or lightly oil/grease.
- In a blender or food processor, process 1 cup of the oats with the coconut milk, water, sugar and salt until smooth.
- Arrange the remaining oats in an even layer in the prepared pan; slowly pour in the coconut milk-oat mixture. Use a spatula to gently combine and evenly distribute the batter in the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 43 to 45 minutes until set at the center, crispy at the edges and golden brown. For extra crispy edges/golden color, turn the oven to broil (high) and broil for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan and cutting into 9 squares.
- Serve warm (plain or with any toppings you like, such as nut butter, jam, fruit, or in a bowl with milk) or cool completely!
Milk subs: Other varieties of milk can be used in place of the lite coconut milk. However, if the milk is low in fat, you will want to add about 2 tablespoons or more of the fat of your choice (e.g., coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, ghee, butter, vegan margarine) to the blender in step 2 to make up for the missing fat (the bars will be rubbery without it!).