My breakfast of choice for the majority of my elementary school years was apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal. I'd pick through the variety pack my dad bought every week for my preferred flavor. These squares are based off that oatmeal, but with a more wholesome spin, thanks to real ingredients and natural sweeteners. They also happen to be even faster than those little packets, since once they are baked, it's a true grab-and-go situation.
Cinnamon-Spiced Mornings on the Go
Carve out a little time on Sunday to bake these squares and I assure you your weekday mornings are going to be a whole lot brighter. These squares are great for when you're on the go, and since they're packed with fiber-rich oats and apples, they'll keep you satisfied.
Applesauce takes the place of butter or oil here to make these extra wholesome yet still nice and moist, while maple syrup lends earthy sweetness. Oh, and as long as you use gluten-free oats, these bars are also gluten-free, since rolled oats that have been ground in a blender or food processor are used to bind together the ingredients in lieu of traditional flour.
Apple-Oat Breakfast Squares
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 medium apple, peeled or unpeeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch metal, glass, or ceramic baking pan with cooking spray.
Blend 1 cup of oats in a blender or food processor until a fine powder forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer the flour to a medium bowl. Add the remaining oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine.
Place the applesauce, eggs, and maple syrup in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the apple chunks over the top, lightly pressing them into the batter.
Bake until golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes in a metal pan, or up to 30 minutes in a glass or ceramic pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
- Storage: The squares can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.