It's the most wonderful time of the year...
No, I haven't lost my mind. I know it's not Christmas. But it is the most wonderful time of the year.
You guys, it's FALL!!!!!!!!! I live and breathe for this time of year. An energy I didn't know I had surfaces this time of year. The cool air, pumpkin, the crisp smell, pumpkin, the colors, pumpkin, the crunch of leaves, and the pumpkin. Oh, did I already mention that? Sorry, I'm a bit excited about it.
This month's Recipe Redux theme is Fantastic Freezer Meals. Is there anyone out there who doesn't appreciate a good, healthy freezer meal? There is nothing better after being gone for a weekend when you come home and remember you have a meal in the freezer. I'm so excited to read everyone's posts this month because I am definitely looking for some new freezer meal ideas. You can check out all the other posts at the link below.
I decided to go the breakfast/snack route with this theme. I tend to pack quite a bit of food when I go to work. I like to be prepared for any scenario that could present itself; having to stay late, not having time to eat, power outage, natural disaster, getting locked in the building for hours on end, alien takeover of our building...you know, all the usual things.
These baked oatmeal cups are the perfect thing to keep on hand. When I'm packing my lunch, I love to be able to package up some leftovers, throw together a salad, grab a couple pieces of fruit, and reach into the freezer for my midmorning snack. On my days off I like to be able to grab one on my way out the door to run errands. At night, I like having them on hand when my sweet tooth strikes (let's be honest, this is just about every night).
These baked oatmeal cups pack a punch with nutrition. The oats are a great source of soluble fiber and protein. They will keep you full and powered for the morning. Pumpkin in a great source of vitamin A and fiber. The pecans add in some texture and healthy fat. I used a minimal amount of sugar in these and flavored them with the vanilla, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
Oh, did I mention that you can make them in one bowl? #winning
When I make these, I keep one or two out to eat over the next couple days and put the rest in a ziplock freezer bag and store them in the freezer. I take one out in the morning when I am packing my lunch and it is thawed out by midmorning. You could also defrost them in the microwave.
Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Cups
Makes 24 cups
5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups pumpkin
2 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners or spray with non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well combined.
3. Portion mixture evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins on a wire rack before moving. Allow to cool completely and remove from liners, if using, before freezing.