Have you ever bought one of those fitness magazines? You know, the ones with a female body builder on the front, promising rock solid abs in only weeks. Well, I have a confession to make, I bought one for the first time last night. In no way do I want to be a body builder, nor do I even want rock solid abs, but I have come to a plateau at the gym and thought that this could give me some inspiration and new ideas.
While flipping through the endless pages of protein advertisements, I came across and article on foods that can help reduce belly fat. Among the list, ingredients such as oatmeal, almonds and pineapple ranked highly. I knew there was a way to combine all the ingredients into one super food, but I couldn’t decide how to approach it.
This morning at the gym, while I “engaged my abs,” I mulled over ideas for oatmeal, pineapples and almonds but nothing seemed to stand out. When I got home, I was starving for breakfast and began pulling out the staples for my typical baked oatmeal when it hit me; Pineapple upside down baked oatmeal!
I based this recipe on my previous baked oatmeal recipe, but added ground almonds to the mix. I also used fresh pineapple, because truthfully the canned variety just doesn’t cut it for me. It’s packed full of sugar and I always find there is a metallic aftertaste. Instead of using milk, I used my homemade cashew cream. This worked almost better than when I used dairy milk as it made the oatmeal slightly creamier and added some extra protein.
I experimented with the pineapple topping, adding brown sugar to the bottom of the muffin tins on half of the batch. If you don’t want to use the added sugar, it does work without it. I did, however, prefer the end result with the brown sugar as it seeped into the oatmeal and lightly caramelized the pineapple.
This recipe is fully vegan, however it can be modified to your specific needs. It is also full of plant based protein which is ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle. You can add many additional ingredients to the mix such as chia seeds or ground flax to add even more nutritional benefits.
What protein rich foods do you eat before or after exercise? If you are a vegetarian or vegan, do you find it difficult to consume enough protein to replenish your body after working out? I’d love to hear any tricks you have!
Pineapple Upside Down Baked Oatmeal
- 3 tsp. brown sugar
- ¼ fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
- 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave
- 1 cup applesauce
- ½ cup cashew cream (or any milk of your choice)
- ½ cup water
- 12 raspberries or cherries (optional)
- 1 Tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)
- ¼ cup almond meal
- cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Using a small circular cookie cutter, cut pineapple into little circles. Alternately you could simply add chopped fresh pineapple. Sprinkle each mould of the muffin tin with ¼ teaspoon of brown sugar.
Place the pineapple circles in the muffin tin moulds. You can optionally add a cherry or raspberry to each as well.
Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Fill the muffin tin to the top with oats, covering the pineapple. Press down to ensure the oats are surrounding the fruit. It should make about twelve oatmeal cakes.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. For a light crust, broil for an additional 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on a rack for ten minutes. Circle the edges of each oatmeal cake with a knife to separate from the tin. Flip the tin onto a large plate to remove the baked oatmeal.
Serve on it’s own or with fresh fruit. Great for brunch or for weekday breakfasts on the run.
Makes 12 mini oatmeal cakes
Note: To make ahead, place the muffin tin in the freezer instead of the oven. Once frozen, remove from the muffin tin and place the moulded oatmeal cakes in a freezer bag. This gives you the option of baking only a few, or even one. Just pop the frozen oatmeal back into the muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. Do this while you shower and you’ll have a warm healthy breakfast on the go!