Chocolate protein oatmeal bake (gluten-free and vegan)

Hey hey! How are you?  I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend! We’re still on West coast time (which is why my blog schedule has been all over the place), so it’s been a bit of a blur. If you have any tips for recovering jet-lagged kiddos, please send them my way. I’ve been zombie-ing my way through the week, sans makeup, teaching classes, running around with the girls, and making copious trips to the fridge for more of this little creation. 

Meet the latest breakfast obsession:

Protein baked chocolate oatmeal

A soft, chocolaty, baked treat that you can make in advance to last throughout the week. This tasty recipe can be put together in less than 10 minutes (just make sure to soak the oats in advance!) and is packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber. All of these things make it an awesome component to weekly meal prep!

Something else that I love: one bowl, baby. You just dump in all of the ingredients,

Protein baked chocolate oatmeal

stir it up, pour, and bake.

Anything that keeps me from doing 1000x dishes is a friend of mine.

Protein baked chocolate oatmeal! This is the perfect healthy breakfast recipe for busy mornings. Just make in advance, grab, and eat! fitnessista.com #bakedoatmeal #proteinoatmeal

So, let’s talk about oat soaking, shall we?

I learned on my favorite podcast that soaking grains makes them easier to digest, and if you soak grains before you cook them, it helps reduce the amount of lectins. Lectins are a chemical released by certain grains, legumes, nightshades, and chilies, which are a protective mechanism. (To keep humans or predators from consuming them.) They can cause an inflammatory response in the body and make them more challenging to digest. Apparently, you soak the grains, cook it up, and boom! The food is much gentler on the ol’ digestive tract. Sprouting, soaking and fermenting can all be effective ways to reduce lectins.

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I’m a big fan of science and all that good stuff, but the #1 thing that sold me on soaking grains: THE TEXTURE. Rice is soft and fluffy (not slimy and gummy) and oats lose that odd grainy chew. I figured I’d try soaking the oats for this recipe and was blown away by the awesome texture. It really is liked baked oatmeal, instead of like a granola bar.

It reminds me of a baked version of the OG breakfast cookie, which has been a b-fast fave since the dawn of blog time. 

Protein baked chocolate oatmeal

You can enjoy it hot or cold, with toppings, or by itself. I love it smeared with almond butter + topped with berries and cacao nibs.

Protein baked chocolate oatmeal! This is the perfect healthy breakfast recipe for busy mornings. Just make in advance, grab, and eat! fitnessista.com #bakedoatmeal #proteinoatmeal #soakedoats #chocolate oatmeal

(Nutrition stats are here)

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try! Pin in for next week’s meal prep, and please let me know what you think.

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Bake
Yields 6
A healthy and delicious baked breakfast treat. It takes about 10 minutes to put together (just don't forget to soak the oats in advance) and is a great source of protein, healthy fats and fiber.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Makes 6 large servings
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups oats (soaked in water overnight. Make sure to use gf oats if you need it to be gluten-free)
  2. 3 scoops vanilla protein powder (I use Garden of Life grain-free from Thrive Market)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 mashed banana (if you don’t like banana, try a container of applesauce instead)
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. Pinch of sea salt
  7. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  8. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  9. 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. 1 cup almond milk
  12. 1 tablespoon MCT oil or liquid coconut oil
  13. Splash of cold coffee (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set.
  4. Serve with toppings of choice, or cover and store in the fridge.
Notes
  1. This oatmeal is not super sweet, which makes it perfect for lots of toppings! If you’d prefer a sweeter version, add more maple syrup or try adding mini chocolate chips to the batter
The Fitnessista https://fitnessista.com/

 

Note: this oatmeal is not super sweet, which makes it perfect for lots of toppings! If you’d prefer a sweeter version, add more maple syrup or try adding mini chocolate chips to the batter

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set.

4. Serve with toppings of choice, or cover and store in the fridge. 

Nutrition stats. 

What’s your breakfast obsession right now?

Have a wonderful morning and I’ll see ya soon with Friday Faves!
xo

Gina

More of my favorite breakfast recipes:

Pecan Pie Protein Oatmeal

20 healthy on-the-go breakfasts

Nana’s famous egg dish

Healthy egg casserole with sweet potatoes and turkey bacon

Cookie dough cereal

Paleo eggs in a basket

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38 Comments

  1. julie @ peanut butter fingers on February 22, 2018 at 7:31 am

    this is RIGHT up my alley!!! i loved baked oatmeal and make myself a bowl of protein oats at least four days a week lately. this prep-ahead recipe is perfect!

  2. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on February 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    If only I hadn’t given up chocolate for LENT! This will be the first thing I try when lent is over!

  3. Sue Armstrong on February 22, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Since I only have chocolate protein powder, I want to try this withat and skip the cocoa powder. Any thoughts?

  4. Liz on February 22, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    A chocolate dream! I love chocolate things that aren’t too sweet <3

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      same!! hope you enjoy it if you try it!

  5. Tracy on February 22, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Sounds awesome! How much water do you use to soak the oats? Do you drain off excess water before proceeding with recipe? Or do the oats soak up all the water?

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      just use enough to cover the oats completely. they’ll soak a lot of it, but just drain them so there’s no excess. hope you like it if you decide to try it!

      • Tracy on March 2, 2018 at 10:32 am

        Thanks! You’re right. Soaking the oats is a game changer!

        I made a different version this morning. Skipped the cocoa powder (added extra 2T of oats), added lemon juice and rind and some frozen blueberries. Turned out great!!

        • Fitnessista on March 3, 2018 at 3:05 pm

          ohhhh that sounds amazing!!

  6. Taylor on February 22, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    This looks super yummy and filling!! I love oats/protein in the morning because the combo really keeps me full for a few hours. I usually just do oatmeal then mix in protein powder afterwards because sometimes when I cook protein it talks chalky/gross. Does this have that weird taste/texture? Maybe it is just when they are cooked in the microwave because I do bake with protein powder and sometimes it doesn’t end up tasting bad at all. Thanks for the recipe!! Looking forward to trying this!

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      i think soaking the oats helps so much with the texture; it’s light and fluffy instead of being dense and chewy. please let me know if you try it!

  7. Katie on February 22, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I’m definitely going to have to try this! I’ve been making an oatmeal bake (in muffin cups) that makes it SO convenient. I always throw them in the freezer and just grab and defrost as needed!

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      ohhh i love that idea! this would totally work in muffin cups, too

  8. milania dela cruz on February 22, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I like the idea of soaking the oats overnight!!! Will do the soaking tonight and make it tomorrow!

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      yesssss! please let me know how it turns out!

  9. Sarah on February 22, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I was wondering the same thing how much water do you soak the oatsin, and do you need to drain them after???

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      yes, drain them after! you just need enough to cover the oats completely

  10. Kerry on February 22, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I stopped baking with protein powder as my daughter (she’s 2!), wants to try everything. Do you give your girls bites of things with protein or do you eat it out of sight?

  11. Sabrina on February 22, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! What kind of oats do you use? Rolled? Steel cut?

    • Fitnessista on February 23, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Please let me know what you think!! I used rolled

  12. Chelsea on February 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Any ideas for leaving out protein powder?

    • Fitnessista on February 25, 2018 at 11:40 am

      hmmm. maybe try 3/4 cup flour of choice? not sure if it would make it dry and chewy

  13. Janet on February 23, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Is my thinking correct, that the container of applesauce is a single serve cup?

    • Fitnessista on February 25, 2018 at 11:39 am

      yes! sorry i didn’t specify. xo

  14. Jessica on February 24, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I love the addition of chia seeds. I’ve been trying to sneak more into my diet but there’s only so many chia frescas I can choke down. This looks great for a post-run breakfast!

    http://www.slackergirlfitness.com

  15. Mary Anne on February 25, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    What can you use instead of the Mct or coconut oil?

    • Fitnessista on February 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      any liquid neutral oil should work 🙂

  16. Ali G on February 26, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I made this today and ate too much of it already. I scooped a bunch in a bowl hot out of the oven and mixed in 2 T of peanut butter. It was amazing.
    I’m going to try the suggestion of muffin cups next time and maybe even freeze it.

    • Fitnessista on February 26, 2018 at 10:38 pm

      i’m so stoked that you liked it, too!!

  17. Moya on February 28, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Oh I definitely have to give this a try! Looks so good! Does is stick to the pan at all? I always have trouble with anything I bake sticking to the pan

    • Fitnessista on February 28, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      nope, just spray with oil!

  18. Terri on March 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    I made these earlier this week and am making a second batch today. My children and husband (all of whom claim to hate anything baked with protein powder) loved them. I did use chocolate protein powder and added a few mini chocolate chips. I also cut some into smaller squares – the perfect little bite as I head out of the house for my early morning workout. I am already thinking up some new flavour combinations to try (pumpkin spice, lemon-blueberry poppyseed, snickerdoodle are all in the running!)
    Thanks so much! I feel this is going to be in constant rotation.

    • Fitnessista on March 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      perfect! i’m happy you’re enjoying it, too! please let me know how the flavor combos turn out 🙂

  19. ErikaMC on March 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    This is so good! Have you made it without soaking oats? So far I’ve remembered to soak them the 2 times I’ve made it but I have a feeling I’ll forget one night! I needed to switch up my breakfast routine (overnight oats for way too long) and this is awesome. I think my family would like it too but I haven’t offered to share yet 🙂

  20. Ashley on March 6, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Thank you for this recipe, it’s so good and love the big portion size!

  21. Stephanie Miller on March 12, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Going down to soak my oats during the commerical break for the Voice! Have you tried any nuts or dried fruit in the batter? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Fitnessista on March 13, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      yes! you can pretty much add in any mix-ins you like 🙂

  22. Caroline on March 14, 2018 at 10:50 am

    I used steel cut oats added organic cacao power as it is more nutritious, left out protein powder (most are from dairy which I can’t have), used coconut milk because it was what I had on hand.
    It came out great! Next time I want to add nuts and some berries and try to figure out a topping my husband would like.

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