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  • Cathy Lundblad, From Scratch Baking

Baked Oatmeal - A Healthy Alternative

Who here makes a New Year’s resolution and sticks to it? I try, but I’ll admit that they rarely last longer than a week. So this year, I’ve decided to just abandon the whole thing and try my best to make some changes that I know I can stick with.

And I’m going to start with eating a healthy breakfast, like baked oatmeal, since drinking coffee and counting that as breakfast isn’t cutting it. I’m also going to add more healthier ingredients to my baking when I can.

Healthy Baking Swaps

There are two ingredients I use consistently when I want to make something a bit healthier and where I won’t miss the original ingredient: unsweetened applesauce and Greek yogurt. Not only I’m I adding fruit or protein, but I’m eliminating some fat too. And you won’t be able to tell.

Unsweetened Applesauce Unsweetened applesauce is one of my go-to ingredients that I use for a healthy swap. Why? Because applesauce will keep the moisture in your baked goods without the fats from oils, plus, you’d never know it. So how much applesauce should you use when making this swap? It’s an even replacement ratio, so 1:1. If your recipe calls for a ½ cup of oil, use a ½ cup of applesauce.

You can also use unsweetened applesauce to replace eggs in baking recipes. I use it in place of the eggs in the baked oatmeal recipe I’m sharing. Typically, the replacement ratio for one egg is about ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce.

Greek Yogurt Greek yogurt is another ingredient I like to use. Since it’s a dairy product, it can be used to swap out other dairy products, adding more creaminess and tanginess to your baked goods while cutting out some of the fat. And, you’re adding some protein along with those good cultures that you find in yogurt -- it’s a win-win for me.

I typically use Greek yogurt to replace the sour cream found in many of my recipes. And like applesauce, the replacement ratio for sour cream to Greek yogurt is a simple 1:1 ratio. I also use it on our Taco Tuesday meal nights (shhh, don’t tell my crew), but trust me when I say they don’t notice the difference! What are your go-to swaps?

Breakfast Made Simple

One area I do slack in is breakfast. I drink coffee and consider the meal done. So, in an effort to make breakfast something I eat on a regular basis, I thought it might be best to have something ready to go that will fill me up until lunchtime. I like oatmeal and have seen many recipes for overnight oatmeal and the like.

But I wanted something that felt simpler to me. So I looked to the internet for help and found a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction website that had most of what I was looking for. While the original recipe has eggs, I eliminated them for unsweetened applesauce. I also added a mix of sweeteners for the sugar (maple syrup and honey) and added some extra spice - ground ginger. If you don’t have a nut allergy, you can swap out the milk for a dairy-free, nut-based version.

Baked Oatmeal Recipe

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ¾ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips

  • ⅓ raisins

  • ⅓ craisins

  • 1-¾ cup milk (any type is ok)

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce (used in place of eggs)

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • ¼ cup honey

  • ¼ cup mashed banana

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease or line a large muffin tin with paper liners (a regular muffin tin or 9x9 pan can be used; bake times for a regular muffin tin may need to be adjusted).

Place all dry ingredients, including dried fruit and chocolate chips, into a large bowl. Stir to mix.

Add all remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix together.

Distribute evenly among muffin tins, filling about ⅔ full. Make sure there is enough liquid in each well. If using a 9x9 pan, spread the mixture into the pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the oatmeal looks set (not watery). If you’re using a regular muffin tin, bake for about 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.

Eat while warm or wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for up to one week. Warm up before eating. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Original recipe taken from

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