Many people know that a bowl of oatmeal is one healthy way to start the day. But why? There’s a lot of nutrition packed into that bowl of goodness, including whole-grain oats, spicy cinnamon and usually fruit and nuts on top. I set out to create a quick bread that had all the nourishment of a bowl of oatmeal — but that would be easy to slice and take with you. Here’s what I mixed up:
Oats — All dry oatmeal varieties, from quick oats to steel-cut oats, are whole grains. They are also full of fiber — soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower cholesterol when consumed in the amount of about two bowls of oatmeal per day.
Walnuts — These nuts have more of the essential plant-based Omega-3 fat AHA than any other nut. An ounce of walnuts also has 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.
Apples — In season now, apples are packed with the flavonol quercetin. This plant-derived antioxidant acts as an antihistamine and may protect against heart disease.
Cinnamon — This spice may help keep blood sugar levels in check in people with diabetes, although not every study has shown this.
Eggs — Yes, eggs. I always add an egg or two to a pot of oatmeal to make it extra creamy. In this bread, eggs are added to increase the protein and vitamin D content. If you’re not really a “morning person,” vitamin D may help improve your mood. One egg has nearly 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin D — and may help you put on a happy face at any time of day.
In order to keep the amount of added sugars lower and keep the bread moist (since sugar helps keep baked goods moist), the apples are shredded to add sweetness throughout. Honey, a natural humectant (moistener) also keeps the bread moist.
A slice of this bread with a cup of milk has 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and less than 300 calories. Slice up a “bowl” of oatmeal for breakfast on the go.
Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bread
Makes 12 servings
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons dry uncooked oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup (3.2 ounces) dry oats/oatmeal
1 cup (4.2 ounces) whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups (9.7 ounces) shredded, unpeeled apples (about 2 large apples)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1. Combine crumble topping ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out an 8-by-4-inch rectangle of parchment paper and place in the bottom of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Spray pan with cooking spray.
3. Place dry oats into a blender and process into a flour-like consistency. Lightly spoon whole-wheat flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine oat flour, wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
4. Combine eggs, honey, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl; add sugar, stirring until combined. Add apples; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; stir just until combined. Gently stir in walnuts.
5. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with crumble topping. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Per serving (1/12th of recipe): Calories 218; Fat 11 g (Saturated 2 g); Sodium 128 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 14 g; Protein 4 g
Serena Ball, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing tips and tricks to help readers find cooking shortcuts for making healthy, homemade meals. Her recipes are created with families in mind.