I get a lot of recipe (and fitness) inspiration from Instagram these days, and Kylie from Imma Eat That has a particularly inspiring Instagram profile. In addition to her awesome blog, she often posts recipes directly to her Instagram and always eats a variety of healthy, yet tasty foods. Lately, she’s been posting mouth-watering photos of her baked oatmeal creations, usually topped with something delicious like peanut butter greek yogurt “frosting” (yum!). I’ve been wanting to try baked oatmeal for a while now, but since I was without an oven for the past couple months, baking was just not an option. Now, that I’m back in an apartment with an oven, things are getting serious.
I made a version of Kylie’s Breakfast Bake last week and it was so good that I had to make another for Sunday’s meal prep. This time, I experimented a bit with the carob powder that a friend got for me while she was studying abroad in Greece (hey, Lena, if you’re reading!). I had used the carob powder in overnight oats a few times and I really liked the combo, so I thought I would give it a try in my baked oatmeal.
Carob can be found in a powder or as chips (like chocolate chips). It is often compared to chocolate, but it honestly doesn’t taste like chocolate at all. I think people compare the two because they are both brown? Unlike chocolate, carob has no caffeine, is lower in fat, and is higher in fiber, carbs, and sugar. The raw powder that I have actually tastes sweet, unlike raw cocoa or cacao powder which is very bitter. Carob has about three times the amount of calcium as cocoa, but it does not have some of the other health benefits of cocoa like iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
What I learned from my research is that although carob is often compared to chocolate, they really don’t have many similarities. That being said, it is a good caffeine-free and low-fat alternative to chocolate. And it’s always fun to try a new ingredient and switch things up every once in a while. Since carob is naturally sweet, you don’t need to use as much sweetener as you would with cocoa powder, which is another plus. I’m hoping to experiment a bit more with my carob powder in drinks and other baked goods. I’ll report back and maybe share some other recipes with you if you’re interested.
One last thing- if you’re going to try carob powder, then you should be warned that it smells a bit like dirty feet. I bet you’re dying to try it now, right? I promise, though, that it doesn’t taste anything like feet, thankfully.
In this baked oatmeal, the carob and ripe banana are the only sweeteners you’ll need. I also used a sweetened greek yogurt (since that’s all I can find in Mexico in terms of greek yogurt) so that added a bit of extra sugar to mine, but it is not necessary. There are so many great toppings you can use to add a touch more sugar or flavor like nut butters, coconut butter, maple syrup, honey, jam, fresh fruit, etc. Bonus: your kitchen will smell amazing after you make this and you’ll have breakfast ready for four days of the week. #sundayfoodprep, anyone?
With the help of the banana, milk, and yogurt this baked oatmeal is not dried out at all. The oats get chewy and almost fudgy in texture once cooked.
The best part about this oatmeal bake? It kept me full for 3-4 hours.
- 1 cup mashed banana (about two large bananas)
- 1 cup milk (I used skim milk but you could use any kind)
- 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. pan and set aside.
- Add all ingredients except oats to a medium bowl and whisk to combine completely. Add oats and mix to incorporate.
- Pour mixture into greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for about five days.