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By Laura Jones

Was anyone else living to eat the first few days of their quarantine? Or was that just me? It wasn’t helpful that the first few days of mine were cold and dreary, which makes for perfect snacking weather. I would literally finish breakfast and start planning out lunch, dinner, and dessert.

All this consumption coupled with the fact that all gyms are closed is resulting in some undesirable effects. I even started running (desperate times call for desperate measures); 15 seconds in and I remembered why I don’t run. I’m a very loud runner and I’m very self conscious that anyone within a 50 yard radius can hear me coming. And then I start coughing and everyone probably thinks I have the Corona. But I digress….

I really do enjoy cooking and baking, honestly some of my favorite past times. So a silver lining to this whole “stay home” movement is that I cook more instead of copping out and just grabbing Chipotle. And given that I don’t want to go out more than necessary, I even sit down and meal plan for the week. Can’t nobody say that they don’t have the time for that right now! 

When most people think of meal planning, they just assume that you’re planning out what to cook for dinner every night. I have been going so far as to plan out my breakfasts, lunches, and special snacks. What I’m going to share today is my go-to breakfast here recently: cookie oatmeal. With a name like that, there is little wonder why I had to start running.

Disclaimer: there are no cookies in this oatmeal; I apologize for any false hopes that arose. However, the taste (and smell!) is very reminiscent of oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal raisin cookies. Raisins: you either love them or you hate them. Or you’re like me and are a raisin snob: I only use the golden ones. Fun fact: golden raisins are also called “sultanas” (where are my Great British Baking Show fans at?!?!). 

This can be a pretty versatile recipe; just stick with the base ingredients and then use whatever add ins you want. My fave combo is golden raisins, walnuts, and sliced bananas. The bananas kind of give it a banana bread feel, too, if you’re into that sort of thing. Dried apples and cranberries work well, too. This stuff reheats great; I cut it into squares and pop it in the microwave for about a minute.

Without further ado (thanks for sticking with me this long) here’s the recipe:

Cookie Oatmeal

Base Ingredients:

1 ½  c. applesauce
⅓  c. sweetener (I use date paste)
1 ½  cups milk (of your choice)
4 c. old fashioned oats
1 t. Baking powder
2 T. melted butter 
2 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Nutmeg
Dash of salt
1 t. Almond extract (optional but really sends it over the top!)

Add Ins:

⅔ -1 c. dried fruit (again, I love golden raisins and sliced fresh bananas)

1 c. nuts (or add in more fruit it you hate nuts)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Throw everything in a bowl and mix.

Pour mix into a greased 9x13 dish.


Bake for 35-40 minutes. 

If you can resist, let cool before sliving into squares (I do 6, good size squares).

 

This is a great meal prep option- I put each square in a tupperware and then just take out and pop in the microwave for a quick breakfast.

 

 

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