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The kids have now been back in school for two full weeks.
Before school started, I spent some time prepping breakfast and lunch foods for the weeks to come. I also spent time prepping the kids for a new schedule change. Together, we practiced morning and evening routines over and over again. I think these small, intentional actions have helped make the transition back to school a bit smoother.
Why spend time prepping?
I’ve found that many of the frustrations I experience in life are a direct result of thinking that life will magically organize itself. Sure, there are many things one can’t control, but there are also many things that can be with systems in place and a bit of advanced prep work (i.e. laundry, meals, and even finding socks for the kids on busy school mornings).
In the past, school mornings have been a time of frustration for me, due to everything that must get done in such a short period of time. Taking a few intentional actions, like prepping breakfast and lunch foods, creating a morning routine, and waking up a couple of hours before the kids, has made a huge difference for me and my family. These small actions have brought a feeling of calm to our home even on the busiest of school mornings.
One of the foods I prepped before school started, and have continued to restock as our supply runs out in the freezer, is a baked oatmeal cup recipe (perfected by Helen on the Live Simply Team).
Baked oatmeal cups are made with oats, applesauce, a bit of sweetener, some milk, and any add-ins (chocolate chips, fruit, etc.). The final result is muffin-style, portable oatmeal. Once cool, the oatmeal cups can be stored in the freezer for up to several months, or stored in the fridge for up to a week.
The oatmeal cups are one of the foods on my make-ahead breakfast rotation, along with waffles, pancakes, and smoothie packs.
Baked Oatmeal Cups
Muffin-style, portable oatmeal cups. The oatmeal cups can be stored in the freezer for up to several months, or stored in the fridge for up to a week.
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (260g)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk of choice (200g) whole milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce * (212g)
- 1/3 cup honey (100g)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 TB coconut oil melted (44g before melting)**
- 1 cup add-ins ***
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease (I like avocado oil spray) or line a 12-cavity muffin pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, applesauce, honey, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Fold in up to one cup of add-ins.
Divide the oatmeal mixture evenly among the muffin cups. I use an ice cream scooper, and then gently press the mixture down in the muffin cup with my fingers.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the centers are firm to the touch.
Let the pan cool, preferably on a wire rack, for at least 15 minutes. The oatmeal cups will firm up as they cool and shouldn’t be removed from the pan too quickly.
*Substitute options: pumpkin puree or mashed banana (the weight measurement will probably be different, but the volume measurement will remain the same).
** The coconut oil will clump when added to the batter if the other ingredients are cold.
***Add-In Ideas: Chocolate chips (such as, Enjoy Life brand), shredded coconut, dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries), shredded carrots, chopped nuts, chopped apples, blueberries. Choose one option (1 cup), or two options (1/2 cup each).
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #LIVESIMPLYBLOG. I'd love to see what you make!