June 14, 2013

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

I was recently contacted by the nice folks at Visalus to see if I wanted to participate in their '90 for 90' series, where 90 bloggers will create 90 recipes using their Vi-Shape Shake Mix.  For those who haven’t heard of Vi-Shape or their Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge, the shake mix is a low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, lactose-free, high protein nutritional shake (like a protein powder but with more vitamins, from my understanding) that tastes and smells like cake mix!

I haven’t loved a lot of protein powders I’ve tried before, but this one actually smells just like cake mix, and I liked that it had more than just protein in it, so I was intrigued to try it in a recipe!

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

I came up with a few ideas before settling on my favourite one, this baked strawberries & cream oatmeal.  I love having oatmeal in the morning because it’s healthy and filling, but I’m usually too lazy to stand over a pot and wait for it to cook in the morning (and the instant stuff doesn’t usually cut it for me).  Baked oatmeal is so much better because you can mix together a batch, throw it in the oven to cook (hands-off), then have a bunch leftover for breakfasts through the week!

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

I looked at a lot of baked oatmeal recipes in developing this recipe, and most seemed to use a technique where they dump the oats and dry ingredients into the baking pan, then pour the wet on top and throw it in the oven, so the wet ingredients would slowly seep down through the oatmeal as it cooks.  The problem I had with this was that all the finer dry ingredients just fell right to the bottom, so you’d get super strong bites of cinnamon and salt when you got to the bottom, and the wet ingredients didn’t sink all the way down so I ended up with little bits of cooked egg on top, which wasn’t very appealing.

So the next time I just mixed all the wet and dry ingredients together before going in the pan, and it worked so much better, giving me firm, evenly mixed, and evenly baked delicious oatmeal.  The pictures I took were of the first version, but since they turned out well I didn’t bother redoing them because the next version looks almost the exact same.  Just picture this but a little more evenly cooked :)

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

Because the mix tastes like cake mix, it almost seems like you’re eating dessert for breakfast, and yet this is a healthy way to start the day, with only minimal sugar, no butter or oil, and lots of protein and vitamins from the Vi-Shape.  Some baked oatmeal recipes require lots of sugar and butter, and I tried this with more sugar and some olive oil instead of butter at first, but found I could reduce the sugar a lot and that the olive oil wasn’t even necessary.

I’m in love with this breakfast now, but I might have to use the rest of my Vi-Shape in some of the other amazing recipes I’ve been seeing, like individual vanilla cakes from Running to the Kitchen, yogurt covered blueberries from The Hungry Housewife, power waffles with cinnamon cream syrup from The Family Feed, or breakfast strawberry shortcake from A Nutritionist Eats - yum!

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

Strawberries & Cream Baked Protein Oatmeal

Makes 4-6 servings


2 cups large-flake rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup Vi-Shape nutritional shake mix
1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups low-fat milk (any type, as long as it's unsweetened - I’ve used almond milk and coconut-almond milk)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F and spray an 8x8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and Vi-Shape.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a flexible spatula until combined.  Stir in about 1 cup of the strawberries.  Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread out evenly as best as possible with your spatula.  Arrange remaining strawberries evenly on top (don’t press down on them so they stay on top).

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and set.  Let cool for a few minutes before slicing.  Serve warm, with maple syrup if desired.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Visalus.  I'm happy to talk about their product, but they didn't tell me to - all thoughts and opinions I share on this blog are completely my own. :)  If you have any questions about Vi-Shape, please check out this page.

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