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Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal

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Oatmeal Fan? Coconut Fan? You’ll love this clean eating, sugar free Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal.


If you’ve been around this blog for a while you’ve heard me go on and on about this Baked Cookie Oatmeal. We consistently have it for breakfast once or twice a week and no one is sick of it yet! I got to thinking that it would be fun to have some other flavors of baked oatmeal, that we loved equally, so I could switch things up a bit. Enter my first flavor variation of what I’m sure will be many: Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal.


I worked on this recipe for quite a while before it was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted it to clearly taste of coconut, but only be lightly sweetened. It wanted it to taste “summer-y”. The texture needed to be light and airy, and it needed to look pretty.


The taste test: I was pretty sure the oatmeal tasted like coconut, and not a bowl of sugar, but I needed a second opinion. I let my husband try a bite one morning. He hates the taste of coconut. When he nearly spit out his mouthful of coconut oatmeal I knew the flavor was a success!


The texture test: I messed around with a few options here, and finally found a combination that works. Coconut flour is naturally dense, and is usually used in conjunction with eggs. Something about putting an egg into my oatmeal just didn’t seem quite right. I found a bit of baking powder helped keep the oatmeal light. It ends up having a texture similar to cake. I’m cool with breakfast cake.


After lots of testing and messing with the recipe I love this oatmeal. It is everything I wanted in a bowl of coconut oatmeal. I don’t find myself tired of the taste by the time I reach for the last few bites, but rather wishing I had more to eat!

So, what other flavor of baked oatmeal should I try next?


Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal

 Ingredients (makes 1 serving)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 c coconut milk (I use the canned variety, and stored the extra milk from the can in the refrigerator)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 2 Tbs coconut flour
  • 2 Tbs coconut flakes, divided (sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a small ramekin (I use a 2 cup pyrex bowl) combine the applesauce, coconut milk, and honey.
  3. Add the oats, coconut flour, baking powder, and half of the coconut flakes and stir.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining half of the coconut flakes.
  5. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until the top of the oatmeal/coconut is golden brown and just a bit crispy.

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays! Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.

How To: Make Banana Sweetened Oatmeal (+ tons of flavor variations)

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Oatmeal is a wonderful breakfast. It’s hearty, filling, healthy, and can take on so many flavors!


If you’ve read any of my “What I Ate Last Week” posts, you’ve probably noticed I eat a lot of oatmeal. I shared our favorite baked oatmeal recipe recently, but I often make oatmeal on the stove top, too. I’m always coming up with a new flavor variation or topping to try, but the basic ingredients and cooking method are always the same.

The three basic ingredients are oats, liquid, and banana. When you choose your oats make sure you find gluten free oats! Oats, in and of themselves, are naturally gluten free. However, most oats go through so much of the manufacturing process with wheat that they may contain up to 200ppm of wheat! The difference with gluten free oats is that they are manufactured using dedicated gluten free equipment throughout the whole process, from field to packaging. There are several varieties of gluten free oats out there to choose from. So far, every brand I have tried has been great. For this recipe, you’ll want to use regular, old fashioned oats. You can use the quick cooking variety, but you’ll end up with a mushier bowl of oatmeal.

The liquid you choose to cook the oatmeal in is entirely up to you. My standard is half water/half almond milk. Water is great for a more savory oatmeal, but milk adds a creaminess that fits a sweet oatmeal well. There are lots of types of milk available at grocery stores, and every variety I have tried in oatmeal has worked. Personally, I always use almond milk because dairy doesn’t sit well with my husband. Now, if you want to get crazy with the liquid there are a few more options: A bit of coffee, tea, chocolate milk, etc. Just keep the total ratio of liquid to oats 2:1.

The last major ingredient is the banana. The more ripe the banana, the better. Riper bananas taste sweeter and are easier to mash. Those ripe bananas that are on clearance at the grocery store are perfect for mashing and putting in oatmeal! Just make sure whatever bananas you use are getting brown.


These directions give you the option to make a plain oatmeal or a chocolate oatmeal. Either is good, and fit with different toppings and other flavors. If you make chocolate oatmeal you’ll need a tablespoon of cocoa powder. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re not used to sugar free baking this may taste strange to you. Add a sweetener (there are a few listed below) if you want one stronger than just banana.

Left: Chocolate Oatmeal Right: Regular Oatmeal with peanut butter

Left: Chocolate Oatmeal
Right: Regular Oatmeal with peanut butter

Now, onto the cooking method. First, mash the banana. I slice it into a bowl first.


Then, using a fork, I mash it. If the banana is fairly ripe it will mash easily. A trick for using less-ripe bananas is to slice them and microwave for about 30 seconds. The microwaved banana will be softer and easier to mash, but not quite as sweet as a riper banana.


In a small sauce pan combine the oats and liquid.


Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil. If you want to make chocolate oatmeal, watch the pot closely. I’ve found the best time to add cocoa powder is when the liquid in the pot just begins to simmer. It looks like this – see those bubbles along the edge on the pan? That’s what you’re looking for.

If you're making chocolate oatmeal, stir in the cocoa powder when you see these tiny bubbles forming along the edges of the pan.

If you’re making chocolate oatmeal, stir in the cocoa powder when you see these tiny bubbles forming along the edges of the pan.

Stir in about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder per 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Stir it in quickly, trying to get any lumps of cocoa powder out. It should dissolve fairly quickly.

Once the cocoa powder is stirred in the pot probably will be boiling!

Once the cocoa powder is stirred in the pot probably will be boiling!

When the oatmeal is at a boil turn the heat down to medium. If the milk gets frothy and foamy and starts to boil over just stir, and it should go down. Keep stirring every couple of minutes just to keep the cooking oats from sticking. How often you need to stir will depend on the type of pan you are using. Nonstick pans will likely require less stirring. You’ll notice the liquid slowly absorb into the oats. I like to stir in the mashed banana when the liquid is about half absorbed.


Keep cooking and stirring until the oatmeal is the consistency you’re looking for. Some people like less liquid, some people like more! Once it’s done, just transfer the oatmeal to a bowl to eat.

Finished oatmeal - the consistency I like.

Finished oatmeal – the consistency I like.

Now, the best part, flavoring oatmeal. Here’s a long list of suggestions for flavorings, toppings, and oatmeal add-ins.

  • Extracts: Add 1/2 tsp of any extract flavor you’d like, mint, vanilla, coconut, etc. This is a really easy way to add some flavor to a bowl of oats. Just stir it in towards the end of the cooking.
  • Nuts & Nut Butters: Nuts are great for flavor and add some crunch to a normally soft bowl of oatmeal. Nut butters add some creaminess and flavor to oatmeal, and some sweetness, depending on the type you choose. Nuts are a great way to add some protein to your breakfast, too! Stir into the oatmeal right when it’s done cooking or just use as a topping!
  • Gound Flax: If you are trying to eat more fiber add about a tablespoon of flax to your oatmeal while it is cooking.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc are another easy way to transform a boring bowl of oatmeal into something bursting with flavor. Start with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp per serving of oats and add more as needed.
  • Chips: Chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, mint chips, etc. Add them on top of your bowl of oats or stir them into your finished bowl of oatmeal to melt.
  • Shredded Coconut: Sweetened or unsweetened, either way it adds taste and texture.
  • Fruits: Berries, apple, pineapple, sliced banana, the list goes on and on!
  • Flavored Liquids: Use steeped tea or coffee for some of the liquid you cook the oats in for flavor infused oatmeal (just be sure to keep a 2:1 liquid to oats ratio).
  • Sweets: I tend to avoid sugar, but some crushed candies, graham crackers, marshmallows, candy bar bits would all make a yummy, sweet oatmeal for a treat.
  • Other sweeteners: Sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup all add sweetness to the oatmeal, each with a bit of a different flavor.
  • Other mashed fruit/vegetable: I’ve subbed mashed banana for applesauce, mashed sweet potato, or pumpkin successfully.
Chocolate Oatmeal with Coconut and Almond Butter

Chocolate Oatmeal with Coconut and Almond Butter

Some of the fun of oatmeal is making unique flavors each morning! Here are some recipes to different flavored oatmeals I’ve made. Try one of these or use the ideas above to make up your own!

Almond Joy Oatmeal

Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal

Cinnamon Vanilla Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal


How To: Make Banana Sweetened Oatmeal

This makes 1 serving of oatmeal, but is an easy recipe to make a double, triple, quadruple, batch.
  • 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 1 c liquid (I use 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c water)
  • 1 banana, mashed.
  • 1 Tbs cocoa powder (optional, for chocolate oatmeal)
  • any add-ins listed above
  1. Combine the oats and liquid in a small sauce pan.
  2. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. If you are making chocolate oatmeal, stir in the cocoa powder just before the oatmeal comes to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir to avoid any boiling over.
  4. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the oats reach your desired consistency.
  5. Serve with any of the adds in listed above.

Baked Cookie Oatmeal

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This is the best breakfast you will ever eat!


So, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but only a little, teeny tiny bit! See, this is not ordinary oatmeal. I eat lots of oatmeal and try lots of oatmeal recipes. There are lots of flavor variations on oatmeal, but it all tastes like oats + toppings (not that this is a bad thing – I love oatmeal). This oatmeal tastes like a cookie. And, get this, no added sugar (except for what is in the chocolate chips – but there are substitutions, just keep reading)! Did you get that? Sugar free oatmeal that legitimately tastes like a cookie!


Okay, okay, so let me mention a few practical things about this recipe. I found this recipe a few months ago on The Nutritious Kitchen. I made it, with a few convenient substitutions. I also misread the amount of honey – opps! Turns out increasing the honey is totally delicious, and I have to eat a tablespoon of local honey every day for my allergies anyway – why not get it in cookie oatmeal form?!

The base of this recipe is oatmeal and unsweetened applesauce. The cookie flavor comes from honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Almond flour adds to the texture and provides a bit more sweetness. Admittedly, with the honey, peanut butter, and almond flour this recipe is a bit high calorie, even though it’s all clean ingredients. If you’re like my spouse and can eat whatever the heck you want and never gain a pound then go for the larger batch. If you’re like me, and need to be diligent about what you eat to maintain a healthy weight then make the smaller batch. Since this oatmeal is full of whole grains and protein you’ll be full until lunch even with the small batch.

Of course, there are lots of ingredient substitutions you can make. I’ve used all purpose flour instead of almond flour a few times – I prefer the almond flour, but a GF all purpose flour will lower the calories and price point for this breakfast. The peanut butter can be generic brand, all natural, or even any other nut butter. I use regular chocolate chips, but the Enjoy life chocolate chips will cut out all refined sugar from the recipe. Cacao nibs are totally sugar free options. Honestly, this would still be good without chocolate chips! Choose the modifications that suit your diet and health and then go make this oatmeal!


Baked Cookie Oatmeal

Thanks a million times to Selena at The Nutritious Kitchen for the recipe inspiration!

Ingredients for larger batch (about 550 calories)
  • 1/2 c Gluten Free oatmeal (be sure to make sure you choose a brand that is certified GF)
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs local honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 19 chocolate chips (yes, 19. That seems to be the perfect ration)
Ingredients for smaller batch (about 325 calories)
  • 1/3 c Gluten Free Oatmeal (be sure to make sure you choose a brand that is certified GF)
  • 5 Tbs unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs local honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs almond flour or almond meal
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 chocolate chips
  1. In a small ramekin, mix the unsweetened applesauce, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract (I often mix this the night before, refrigerate, and have less to do in the morning).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  3. Stir in the oats, baking powder, and almond meal/flour. Once all mixed, stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Eat and Enjoy 🙂

Gluten Free Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes with Nutella Swirl

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Don’t get thrown off by the long title! These pancakes are mixed the night before and could hardly be simpler to make. In the morning just swirl in some nutella and cook!


It’s been about a month since I posted a recipe, and I’ve been busy in that time, but I’ve still been spending lots of time in the kitchen! Lately, I’ve really been enjoying making pancakes. I find it to be a nice, slow, calming start to the morning. I like watching for the bubbles to appear on the cooking pancakes, then pop. It gives me so much satisfaction to smoothly and perfectly flip each pancake, and then cook them to be perfectly golden brown.

My go to pancake recipe are Grain Free Banana Pancakes. They are quick and easy and loved by all who have eaten them. I hate getting into food ruts, so I throw in a new pancake recipe here and there. When I saw these Overnight Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe I was about ready to go whip up a batch right then! Cinnamon and Oatmeal in pancakes? Plus Nutella?! Yum!

After a few batches I modified the recipe a bit to better suit GF ingredients. I loved spreading nutella on the pancakes before eating them, and then had the idea that warm, melty nutella inside the pancakes would probably be delicious, too! It was.


The best part about this breakfast, though, is that you mix the batter the night before. The oatmeal softens in the refrigerator overnight. There’s no measuring, cracking eggs, or making a mess of the countertop first thing in the morning. Just get out the batter, heat a skillet, and cook!

Thanks to Mel from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the great recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!


Gluten Free Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes with Nutella Swirl

Original Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

If using regular oats instead of quick oats, quickly run an immersion blender through the batter in the morning (before adding the nutella).

  • 1 c gluten free quick oats (see note above for using regular oats)
  • 1/4 c + 2 T all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 egg (I’ve successfully used a flax egg, also)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbs  – 1/4 c nutella (choose how much based on your sweet tooth!)
  1. The night before you plan to make the pancakes combine all ingredients except the nutella in a bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. In the morning, take the batter out of the refrigerator. Measure out the nutella and add it to the batter in small spoonfuls. Stir gently with a fork or knife. The idea is the spread the nutella out in the batter without totally mixing it in. You want to be able to see ribbons of nutella in the batter.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, spray with cooking spray. Drop the batter into the skillet with a 1/4 c measuring cup (or make smaller pancakes, if you like). Let the pancakes cook for a few minutes on the first side. Watch for the air bubbles to appear. When most of the bubbles have popped and the edges of the pancakes are set flip the pancake.
  4. Cook for another minute or two on the second side. Check to make sure the second side is cooked through before removing from the skillet. Serve hot.


Almond Joy Oatmeal

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This is one of my current favorite breakfasts. It tastes just like the candy bar, but is totally sugar free! It’s actually a 100% healthy, filling breakfast. What a great way to start the day – with a warm bowl of oats that tastes like candy but is secretly healthy.


Let’s break down the flavors in this oatmeal. First, there’s chocolate. Chocolate for breakfast – I’m in.  Then there is coconut. I’ve always been a fan of coconut. Coconut with chocolate – even better! Remember when they came out with coconut m&ms a few years ago? I ate a lot of those.


Finally, the almond flavor. To be honest, until recently I could take or leave almonds. When I was working on my eBook last year I bought a bottle of almond extract for some of the recipes. There’s something about that strong almond flavor that just melts in my mouth. The GF Candy Cane Cookies from my eBook were one of my favorites. I enjoyed every single bite of those. Well, now I’m all about almond flavored things. Almond butter is a new found favorite ingredient for me. I made these mints (but un-vegan), and the almond chocolate ones were seriously amazing. I brought them on a weekend family trip. At the end of the weekend I traded the leftover mints with my mother in law for basically all of her remaining food + some incredibly soft toilet paper.

Anyway, I digress. Chocolate + Almond + Coconut + HEALTHY = winning breakfast combination.

Since I mentioned my eBook, can I insert a shameless plug here? If you read this blog and enjoy the recipes, please help me keep it going by buying a copy of the eBook! I have plans to expand this blog to a more sophisticated site with easier to read recipes, better site navigation, and a much nicer recipe index. All funds from eBook sales will go straight into improving the blog! Plus, you’ll have a few new cookies recipes! You can check out my eBook page, or go right to my Selz page to purchase it. Thanks for reading my blog, trying my recipes, liking my posts, and leaving encouraging comments! I appreciate all of your support!


Almond Joy Oatmeal

As written, this oatmeal is sweetened only with banana. If you find that isn’t sufficient sweetness for your tastes, try adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • 1/2 c GF oats
  • 1/2 c almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 Tbs shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  1. Combine the oats, almond milk, and water in a small sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Stir in the cocoa powder, making sure it dissolves completely, and then the banana. Let cook, stirring frequently, until much of the liquid is absorbed (under 10 minutes).
  3. Add the almond extract. Cook a few minutes longer, until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency. Personally, I like to have nearly all of the liquid absorbed.
  4. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut before eating.

Basic Cinnamon Vanilla Oatmeal

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I really, really though I’d posted this recipe months ago. I eat it at least once a week! It wasn’t until I was on the Daniel Fast and blogging about what I ate that I realized I hadn’t. Oppps! Better late then never, right?

Cinnamon Oatmeal 1

I call this recipe “Basic Cinnamon Vanilla Oatmeal” because it ends up being the base for many of my oatmeal creations. Some mornings I stir in peanut butter or almond butter, other mornings I add some dates and some coconut, other times I top it with chocolate chips. Steve likes his with an apple. There are lots of options for yummy additions. Yet, really, even served with no toppings or additions I find this oatmeal delicious every time. It has a sort of gentle sweetness, perfect for breakfast, but enough of a flavor to keep me interested enough to eat the whole bowl.

Cinnamon Oatmeal 2

This oatmeal recipe class for imitation vanilla extract. Over the past few months I’ve come to prefer the imitation vanilla over the real stuff, especially in my oatmeal. Add too much of a pure extract to oatmeal and sometimes it taste more like alcohol than the flavor I’m shooting for (at least for me – but I hate that alcohol-y flavor). With the imitation vanilla I can dump in a whole teaspoon and get tons of vanilla flavor with no alcohol-y taste. I don’t feel badly about using a whole teaspoon of imitation vanilla in just one oatmeal serving because I know it’s SO much cheaper than the pure vanilla extract. Of course, if you prefer the real stuff then swap it out in the recipe. Just be sure to use less. I’d suggest starting with 1/4 tsp and adding more in 1/4 tsp increments if needed.

Cinnamon Oatmeal 4

Next time you are feeling creative give this oatmeal a try – and let me know what you add in!

Cinnamon Oatmeal 3

Basic Cinnamon Vanilla Oatmeal

  • 1/2 c GF oats
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c milk of choice
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp imitation vanilla extract
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the oats, water, and milk to a boil.
  2. While the oats and liquid are coming to a boil mash the banana. Slicing the banana, then microwave it for 30 – 45 seconds will make mashing much easier.
  3. When the oats begin to boil turn the heat down to medium and stir in the mashed banana. Stir frequently for 5 – 10, until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid and thickened.
  4. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla, and cook for another minute or two (or until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency).
  5. Enjoy as is or top with any nut butter or nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, etc.

Pumpkin Oatmeal & Big News!

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I’ve been working on a big project. It’s an eBook! Specifically, a GF Christmas cookie eBook!

I’ve been baking dozens and dozen of cookies, taking lots of photos, and learning to use iBooks Author. The eBook will have a couple of naturally GF, flourless cookie recipes along with a collection of traditional Christmas cookie recipes reworked to make a portion of the batch with GF flour and portion with wheat flour.

I still have some work to do on the eBook, but it will be completed in December, in time for your holiday baking, or to give to a GF friend as a holiday gift! If you’d like to receive a few email updates about the eBook (when I launch it, when it is available on the Kindle and iBooks Store, etc) click here to sign up for the updates. Everyone who signs up for the email updates will also be entered in a contest to receive a free copy of the eBook! So, sign up for those emails here! I promise I won’t spam you in any way!

Now, onto today’s recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal!

I LOVE pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice drinks, I’ll take them all! I was pretty excited to add some pumpkin to my oatmeal and see what kind of delicious, pumpkin flavored breakfast I could get. It took a few tries, but I did eventually come up with something I was happy with.IMG_6303

This oatmeal is sweetened with honey. I use a teaspoon, but you may have to adjust according to your tastes. This is yummy plain, topped with chopped nuts, or chocolate chips. Really, try the chocolate chips, even if you like it plain. Pumpkin + chocolate is a winning combination!



Pumpkin Oatmeal

  • 1/3 c Gluten free oats
  • 1/3 c almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3 Tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Optional: Chopped nuts for topping
  • Optional: Chocolate chips for topping
  1. In a small saucepan bring oats, almond milk, and water to a boil.
  2. As soon as the liquid begins boiling stir and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  3. As the oats are cooking stir every once in a while to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. When most of the liquid has absorbed stir in the pumpkin puree, followed by the honey.
  4. Continue cooking until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency.
  5. Eat plain, or top with chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

3 Ingredient Vanilla Overnight Oatmeal

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I hate cold. Just ask any person who knows me. Not only do I hate cold, but I reeeeaaallllyyyy like hot. If it weren’t so expensive, I’d jack the heat up to 80°F all winter long. A more practical solution for keeping warm has been to wear leggings under my jeans. People usually look at me a little strangely when they see the second pair of pants poking out from under my jeans.

I digress.

Another thing I really like steaming hot is my food. I tell you all of this because, somehow, this oatmeal is the exception. It’s now my go-to rushed morning breakfast and it is perfect when eaten cold, just out of the refrigerator. I even tried heating it up once, thinking something along the lines of “If this oatmeal is so good cold imagine how amazing it would be warm”, but it just wasn’t the same warm. How weird is that?! I guess some things are just made to be eaten cold, like ice cream and overnight oatmeal.

If you do want to heat this up, just be careful not to curdle the yogurt. Then it goes from being less good to just nasty.

I’ve talked about oats before, and I really suggest getting some Trader Joe’s oats if you can. Their normal, regular oats are gluten free! How great is that?! I love this because oats are naturally gluten free so I like to support companies that treat oats just as oats and don’t combine in any extra stuff. My nearest Trader Joes is an hour and a half away though, so if my stockpile runs out and I don’t have time for the trip I get Bob’s Red Mill Oats, which are available locally for me. I noticed no difference in quality between the two brands of oats, just the price point.

The recipe below calls for 1/4c of oats, which is smaller than what I consider a normal serving size of oats. I cut the amount of oats down because I found that the bulkiness of the yogurt fills me up faster. Adjusting for larger/small servings is really easy though. The basic recipe is just to mix equal amounts of oatmeal, vanilla yogurt, and milk. Easy! There are two optional ingredients; ground flax and vanilla extract. I like to add the flax for some extra fiber and the vanilla extract adds another layer of flavor. Like I said, both the extra vanilla and the flax are totally optional. The simple three ingredient version makes a very pleasant breakfast. Oh, and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of these oats is delicious, too!

3 Ingredient Vanilla Overnight Oatmeal

  • 1/4 c GF oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/4 c vanilla flavored yogurt (I’ve been using Activia Greek)
  • 1/4 c milk of choice
  • optional: 2 tsp ground flax
  • optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking Directions

  1. In a jar, or other container with a lid, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Your oatmeal will be ready to eat in the morning!

Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal (GF)

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Oatmeal is my breakfast obsession right now. It was only a few months ago that I discovered the idea of preparing oatmeal with mashed banana, but I was immediately hooked. This breakfast is healthy, filling, affordable, and there are tons of different ways to flavor it. How great is it to start off the day with a guilt free meal that will keep you full until lunch?! There’s something about just making a healthy choice that puts me in a good mood!

All of my oatmeal breakfasts start with three things: oatmeal, banana, and liquid (even just those ingredients, with a little cinnamon, is delicious on its own). These are real, healthy, whole foods. They are going to fill you up and give you strength and fuel for your day! The banana acts as a natural sweetener. The result is not going to taste quite as sweet as oatmeal sweetened with sugar but it is going to be significantly healthier. Once you eat banana sweetened oatmeal a few times you won’t want to go back! This banana sweetening technique is also a great way to sneak some fruit into a picky person’s diet.


My favorite oats are Trader Joe’s brand. Their regular rolled oats are $3.99 for a one pound bag and they are certified gluten free oats! I love, love, LOVE when I can eat the regular version of a given food and don’t have to pay extra for the gluten free version. I also use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats on occasion, which are equal in quality, but double in price. Bob’s Red Mill makes several varieties of oats, not all of which are gluten free, so if you use those just make sure the package says gluten free.

This recipe I’m giving you today is for banana oatmeal with chocolate and coconut. It’s like eating dessert for breakfast! This is one of just many flavor options for banana oatmeal. I’ll continue to post some of my favorite healthy oatmeal recipes here, but if you find you love this breakfast you’ll probably be eager to try other flavors more frequently. Check out The Oatmeal Artist blog for SO MANY different oatmeal variations. Or, get creative! Look around your pantry, pull out your favorite ingredients and add them to your oatmeal. Let me know what you come up with 🙂

By the way, I’m all about pairing my coffee flavor with my oatmeal flavor. You gotta try the Green Mountain Island Coconut flavor! Yum! Coconut coffee + coconut oatmeal = a really good morning.


Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal

  • 1/2c gluten free oats
  • 1/2c water
  • 1/2c skim milk (or other milk of your choice)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs coconut flakes
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small saucepan combine the oats, milk, and water. Heat to a boil.
  2. While the oatmeal and water are heating up, stir in the cocoa powder.
  3. When the liquid is boiling, turn the heat down to medium and stir in the mashed banana.
  4. Let the oats cook until they have reached your desired consistency. (I take mine of the heat once the mixture starts to stick together when stirred, but you can eat it more or less liquid-y).
  5. Stir in the coconut flakes, and maybe top with coconut flakes, too.
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