Better Bites

My experiments in healthy eating, cooking, and living

The Sticky Failure That Led to Successfully Sweet Rocky Road Oatmeal

Rocky road oatmeal

Recently, I’d been looking up baking substitutions for eggs, butter, and other less than healthy ingredients. I found a pin on Pinterest that said to use ground flaxseed instead of eggs. It seemed simple, but I guess I should have become suspicious at the moment I had that thought. The post explained to add one tablespoon of ground flax to three tablespoons of water and let the mixture thicken. As planned, the golden flaxseed absorbed the water. I decided to try using these “flax eggs” instead of eggs in my banana oat pancake recipe.

Let me just warn you, “flax eggs” and real eggs are not comparable. While the batter held together well, the pancakes didn’t rise at all. They also never really cooked through all the way, as they do when I use eggs.When I finally admitted defeat, I scraped the gooey flat cakes off of the hot frying pan coated in coconut oil and set them on a plate. As expected, the center was still uncooked, but the outsides were golden-hued. In any event, I knew these were never going to fully cook, so I frustratingly carried them to the trash can. Down they went, as did my plans for a delicious breakfast.

I was going to use the last of my baked sweet potato to make sweet potato oatmeal, which by the way, was as tasty as it was healthy. Instead, I thought back to a pin I saw on Pinterest for rocky road banana ice cream. It was then that I was committed to making rocky road oatmeal. There was no way I was starting the day without enjoying a sweet, but healthy breakfast. Rocky road oatmeal turned out to be as simple, as it was sweet. A mashed over-ripe banana, maple syrup, heart healthy walnuts, and dark chocolate chips added flavor to normally bland quick oats. I left out the marshmallows because I didn’t want it to be too sugary. I’m also trying to avoid overly processed products, such as white table sugar (which I was sure marshmallows were full of). Warm chocolate chips compensated for the lack of marshmallows and added both flavor and sweetness. They melted leaving small swirls of chocolate behind as I stirred my warm rocky road  cereal.

UPDATE: The flax eggs may not have been the downfall of those pancakes. Recently, I learned that using oat flour on its own can lead to a gummy end product. Supposedly mixing oat flour with rice four can create a more even texture in baked goods.

Recipe for Nearly Rocky Road Oatmeal: 

*Serves 2

2 cups of water

A dash of salt

1 cup of quick cooking oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Quick Oats)

1 mashed banana

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1/3 of a cup + 1 tbsp of chopped pecans and walnuts

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

1/3 of a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips (I chose Whole Foods’ 365 chocolate chips, which didn’t contain any milk products)

Method: 

1- Heat 2 cups of water and a dash of salt (less than 1/4 teaspoon) in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.

2- While you’re waiting for the water to boil, mash the banana (I used a potato masher, but you could use a blender or food processor) and chop the nuts.

3- Add the oats to the boiling water and turn the heat down to medium-low. Continually stir the oats and water. After about 3-5 minutes the oatmeal should be a thicker consistency. Remove it from the heat when it is the thickness you desire.

4- Add in the mashed banana, vanilla, maple syrup, and 1/3 of a cup of the chopped nuts. Serve in two bowls. Top with chocolate chips and the remaining tablespoon of chopped pecans and walnuts. This is a recipe that I’m holding on to. It will definitely be made again (and again!).

Let me know what you think! Also, if you have any tips for cooking without eggs or using “flax eggs” feel free to share, as I obviously went wrong somewhere in my disastrous pancake experiment. I hope your breakfast turned out as satisfying as mine did.

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