This is a sponsored post by Bob’s Red Mill, which means I was compensated for my time to develop this recipe. I vet products carefully to ensure they align with my nutritional values, and only feature brands I genuinely use and enjoy. I was thrilled when Bob’s Red Mill approached me, as my gluten-free pantry was already filled with their flours and grains. As always, any opinions expressed here are my own.
By now, you guys know I’m an enormous fan of savory breakfasts. It’s something I’ve written about numerous times on this blog, and mentioned in a few of my monthly columns for Food Bloggers of Canada. If I was forced to pick a favourite savory breakfast, gluten-free savory oats would definitely be in the top three. But you know what makes savory oatmeal even better? When you can take it to go in convenient palm-sized muffin cups.
This is next-level savory oats, friends. I promise you these savory baked breakfast oatmeal cups are a morning game-changer. In the world of food blogging and recipe development, it can be challenging to create something that is brand-new and unique. As I scoured the internet, I found a glut of sweet breakfast oatmeal cups – banana, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip, raisin nut, carrot cake, berry – but nothing savory. If I’ve missed a cyber pocket of savory breakfast oatmeal cup lovers, then let me know. And please let me join you.
I love this recipe because it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and most special of all: perfectly portable. I’ve taken the best elements of savory oats (oats, veggies, spices, saltiness) and transformed them into a compact, nutrient-dense package you can eat with your hands. If you’re in morning rush, grab one or two on your way out the door, or if you have a little more time then slather away with tahini, hummus, almond butter, or cashew cream cheese. These would be wonderful as a side ‘biscuit’ to dairy-free soups, chilis and stews, or could be served alongside scrambled tofu or eggs.
What’s the Deal With Gluten-Free and Wheat-Free Oats?
Oats don’t contain gluten proteins, but they are typically grown alongside wheat crops and processed in glutenous facilities, leading to cross-contamination. That’s why it’s important for people with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance to forgo regular oats and opt for certified gluten-free oats.
While I wouldn’t describe my gluten intolerance as severe, I am sensitive to it. Since I love oats and use them quite a bit, I always purchase certified wheat-free or gluten-free oats. For awhile here in Canada, oats couldn’t legally be labelled ‘gluten-free’ because a small portion of patients with celiac disease still suffered a reaction from eating them, possibly due to another oat protein called avenin. Instead, I bought ‘wheat-free oats’ – which were essentially gluten-free, but couldn’t be described that way.
In 2015, Health Canada revised its guidelines to declare that oats with less than 20 parts per million of gluten can now be labelled gluten-free. I still see products with oats labelled both ways, though I imagine most companies will get on board with the new terminology if they are truly gluten-free. Just double check the labels to ensure there isn’t some other source of gluten in the oat-based product you’re considering, or call the company to check if you don’t see a certified gluten-free icon.
If you live in the United States, this wasn’t an issue so you can keep on keeping’ on with your gluten-free oats!
As with most of my recipes, these savory baked breakfast oatmeal cups are flexible. Instead of Mediterranean spices, try:
- Chili powder, cayenne or smoked paprika
- Garlic and onion powder
- Dried fennel and fenugreek
- Dried parsley, oregano and basil
- Dried rosemary and thyme
- Garlic powder and dill
- Lemon pepper or dried lemon zest
Feel free to swap out the spinach for another dark leafy green like kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, arugula or mizuna. You can even play around with other veggies like grated carrot, sweet potato, asparagus, or whatever else is hanging out in your fridge. Just remember if you use a wetter vegetable – zucchini, for example – you may need to bake them for longer, or use less of it.
Depending on how you like your oatmeal, you can bake these anywhere from 22-30 minutes; in case it isn’t obvious, the lower range will yield a softer savory breakfast oatmeal cup but not to worry as it will still hold together. I personally found 25 minutes to be my oatmeal cup sweet spot. These freeze amazingly well – just reheat in your toaster oven or let them defrost overnight. And call me crazy, but I enjoyed eating these cold too.
I really hope you give these a try!
- 3 cups gluten-free oats
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 flax eggs or 2 chia eggs (2 tbsp ground flax or chia mixed with 6 tbsp water)
- 1 cup almond milk
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tbsp gluten-free tamari
- 1 medium-sized bell pepper, finely diced (about 1¼ cup)
- 1 large handful spinach, fine diced (about 1 cup)
- ½ tsp za'atar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Mix the oats and spices in a large bowl.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, mix the flax with the water and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.
- Add the almond milk, tahini and tamari and mix well.
- Pour the wet ingredients in the large bowl with the oats and mix.
- Fold in the vegetables, ensuring everything is incorporated.
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners, or grease them well.
- Pack the mixture into the cups, pressing down to pack everything in.
- Sprinkle with za'atar, if using.
- Baked for 22-25 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are dry and slightly golden. For a drier oatmeal cup, let them go for 30 minutes.