Since starting my blog, I’ve already been on such a food journey. It’s only been a few months, but I feel like I’m already learning so much. The more I cook, the more I realise that I want to make tasty recipes that are as healthy as I can get them. I’m currently on a quest to go back over some of my first recipes, tweak them, improve them and make them even healthier. When I first started, I always saw people saying that when you get a blog, you need to find what your ‘USP’ is. Well for me, it’s always been to get people to eat more plants. In my opinion, we underestimate them so much. We need to eat lots of vegetables and some fruit to feel great, and provide our bodies with vital nutrients and vitamins. I think we’ve all forgotten about the beauty of most fruit and vegetables, and what to do with them. The more you cook with them, the more you realise how easy it is to sneak them into all your recipes, even in ways that you wouldn’t realise they were there.
To me, this recipe is the perfect example of that. I know there’s only half of a courgette (zucchini) in this, but it’s still a way of adding some more vegetables into your meals. I call this a cookie dough oatmeal because it has some of my favourite cookie ingredients in it – chocolate, nut butter and cinnamon! Mmm. I wanted to create something that you could try to inspire you to think about interesting ways to sneak more plant based foods into your diets, and learn to love your vegetables! By cooking this oatmeal in the oven, it makes a great way to bring out the rich, creamy flavours of the dish. I really hope you enjoy this recipe!
If you want to have strong chocolatey flavours in this recipe, feel free to leave out the cinnamon, as it holds quite a bold taste. I’ve made this without the dates before as I personally don’t like too much sweetness. I know that most other people (including my parents), prefer things that are sweeter, so I decided to add in the dates too for those of you with a sweeter tooth!
oven baked cookie dough oatmeal
for the oatmeal:
3/4 cup (70g) oats
1 1/3 cup (330ml) almond milk
3 tbsp nut butter of choice – I use peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon – optional
vanilla, to taste
for the chocolate sauce:
3 tbsp cocoa/cacao
1/3 cup (80ml) almond milk
2 small bananas (about 200g)
3 tbsp nut butter – I used peanut
1/2 courgette/zucchini (about 100g)
vanilla, to taste
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 225 C / 437 F
1. First, make the chocolate sauce. Add the cocoa, almond milk, banana, courgette, nut butter, courgette, dates and vanilla into a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a pan, pour in the oats and almond milk, nut butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Place on a low-medium heat heat. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the nut butter has melted, the oats have slightly plumped and the mixture is still quite runny. Then, remove from the heat.
3. Now, get a medium sized heat proof dish. Get you chocolate mixture and pour some into the dish, followed by some of the oatmeal. Swirl the two together, and then repeat until both of the mixtures are used up.
4. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. The time to cook really depends on the texture you like your oatmeal to be. If you like it runny, cook it for about 15, if you’re like me and like thick oatmeal, cook it for about 20 (sometimes I cook it for longer!). When the oatmeal has cooked to your desired consistency, remove from the heat, spoon into bowls and serve. Feel free to top it with what you like, such as some nuts or what else you like. I like mine with some cacao nibs for a great energy boost in the morning!