Sneaky Veggie Baked Oatmeal (Summer Squash Oatmeal Cake)
An easy, one-bowl Baked Oatmeal laced with sneaky veggies (summer squash) for picky eaters and extra breakfast goodness. Naturally-sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, oil-free, NO weird ingredients, with an egg-free/vegan variation!
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Dressing vegetables up in baked goods is one of the most brilliant ways to eat vegetables. Why would I choose a bowl of plain spinach over a brownie laced with a little squash?
But here’s the thing. When you make zucchini bread anything, unless it’s chocolate-colored, you have flecks of green in your sweet baked good.
Tiny chewy bits that scream, “HEY, I’M A VEGETABLE!”
That’s okay for most of us, but for some, it’s off-putting.
As a rule, I don’t like to trick my family into eating vegetables. They should learn how to eat vegetables that taste like vegetables.
But if we happen to eat, say, baked oatmeal filled with extra vegetables and didn’t even notice, I won’t complain about that either.
Some of us are in a season where we need to sneak the veggies. Maybe we’re trying to eat better and need to trick our taste buds for a while. Maybe we have a kid who is driving us to do this thing we rolled our eyes at before we had kids.
Enter Summer Squash Baked Oatmeal. A totally off-putting title for a sweet breakfast treat we eat all summer long.
All the goodness of sweet, cinnamony zucchini bread without none of the green flecks that say “LOOK AT ME, I’M A VEGETABLE!”
But instead of being a sugar-loaded cake loaf, it’s baked oatmeal, based on this gluten-free and dairy-free recipe with no weird ingredients. So that means we can eat it more often.
To make it even better, at our house we call it “Oatmeal Cake.”
Maybe I do trick the kids a little.
This recipe is:
No weird ingredients
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup milk (cow, goat, almond, rice, and coconut work great)
- 1/2 cup summer squash, shredded (zucchini works too)
- 2 eggs (flax or chia eggs for egg-free*)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp applesauce (pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut, or banana puree also work)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir thoroughly to combine.
Optional: Cover and refrigerate overnight. This helps the oats absorb all the liquid.
Grease one 8x8-inch baking dish and pour batter into pan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool, then cut into squares.
Top with butter, maple syrup, milk, or vanilla yogurt.
*To Make 1 Flax or Chia Egg:
- 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
- 3 tbsp hot water
Stir together quickly in a small bowl and set aside. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes then use it in a recipe.
To Make a Quick Almond Milk for Baking:
Blend 1 tablespoon almonds with a cup of water. Super frugal, and any nut fragments become part of the texture of the baked oatmeal.
Place diced seasonal fruit (berries, apples, pears, etc.) in the bottom of the pan, pour the batter on top, and you have a sweet, jammy, fruit layer after baking!
After cooling, cut baked oatmeal into squares (I make them just small enough to fit a gallon-size freezer bag, or you can slice individual servings), wrap in foil or plastic wrap, seal in freezer bags, and label. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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