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4 OAT RECIPES TO START YOUR DAY

1.  BAKED CARROT CAKE OATMEAL

INGREDIENTS:

Dry mixture
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch coarse sea salt
1 1/3 cups grated raw carrot 
a handful raisins

Wet mixture
2 organic eggs
2 1/4 cups milk of your choice

Crunchy top layer
4 tbsp maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp coconut oil, room temperature + extra for greasing the pan
1 cup walnuts or nuts or your choice
3/4 cup sunflower seeds or seeds of your choice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the base of a 8 x 10 inch baking dish with coconut oil and then set aside.
Combine the rolled oats, baking powder, spices and salt in a mixing bowl, then add grated carrots and raisins and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and whisk well to combine.
To create the crunchy top layer, put the sweetener, coconut oil, walnuts and sunflower seeds in a small bowl and mix with your fingers to make sure everything is well coated.
Spoon the oat mixture into the baking dish and then pour the egg mixture over the oats so everything is evenly soaked. Sprinkle the seed and nut mixture on top and bake for 25 – 35 minutes. When it’s done, the oatmeal should be set and the nuts and seeds lightly browned and crunchy. Leave to cool slightly before serving.

Recipe and Image from Green Kitchen Stories

2.  FLAX AND BLUEBERRY VANILLA OVERNIGHT OATS

INGREDIENTS

½ cup rolled oats or quick oats
⅔ cup water
½ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 baby pinch of salt
blueberries, pecans, brown sugar, and other goodies for topping

DIRECTIONS

In an individual food storage container, add the ingredients in the order listed (except for toppings). Do not stir. Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, stir up the mixture; it should be thick and the oats should be completely soft. Add the toppings of your choice. Repeat forever.

NOTES
The different varieties of oats affect the texture, so if you like a thicker, chewier texture go for rolled oats and if you prefer something softer and creamier, go for quick cooking oats.

Recipe and Image from Pinch of Yum

3.  OVERNIGHT SLOW COOKER APPLE CINNAMON OATS

INGREDIENTS:

2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

DIRECTIONS:

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

Recipe and Image from The Yummy Life

4.  NO BAKE ENERGY BITES

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup nut or seed butter (I like to use sunflower seed butter) 
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) or you could add nuts, seeds, raisins, dried fruit...
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1" in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.

Recipe Inspired by and Image from Gimme Some Oven