Try This INSANELY Good Quinoa Oat Breakfast Bake to Fuel Your Winter Runs

Try This INSANELY Good Quinoa Oat Breakfast Bake to Fuel Your Winter Runs

Jennifer Fisher is an award-winning recipe creator, food and fitness blogger, healthy cooking coach, spokesperson, competitive runner, and CrossFit enthusiast. She shares her favorite recipes and nutritional tips to help you get the most out of your workouts and prepare for race day. Follow her blog, The Fit Fork, and follow her on Instagram @thefitfork.

Getting out for a run or workout on blustery, winter mornings got a little easier (in so many ways) thanks to a routine I started several years ago. To make the most of those runs, I began to fuel up on warm quinoa oat breakfast bakes.

Every week or two, I prepare a big batch of quinoa oats and take them to the next level by adding whatever fruit, protein powder, spices, and nuts/seeds that are speaking to my taste buds at the moment. The final product is cut into single-serve portions and stored in the fridge or freezer to be reheated as needed.

Not only do I appreciate the convenience of having a hot morning meal on hand when I’m still half asleep, but quinoa and steel-cut oats are also two healthy whole grains that provide sustainable energy to fuel all the kickass things I want to accomplish before lunch. People are so afraid of carbs these days, but there is no reason to be unless you are just sitting on the couch all day. The right amount of the right complex carbohydrates can take you a long way: down the road, up a mountain, and to the finish line of a brutal workout!

This quinoa oat bake recipe has a couple of eggs as the binder, along with protein options of your choice and nutrient-dense mix-ins, so it’s a very balanced. The “master recipe” for these quinoa oat breakfast bakes are also dairy-free and gluten-free, if those are dietary concerns.

Related: 10 Creative Protein-Powder Recipes (Beyond Smoothies, of Course!)

A Simple, Yet Versatile Breakfast Bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake

Over the years of making quinoa and steel-cut oats for my runner’s breakfast, I fine-tuned the process to make it very efficient, mess-free, and versatile. I remember the day I discovered that quinoa and steel-cut oats take basically the same amount of time, and liquid, to cook and make tender. The lightbulb went off to have them mingle in the pot at the same time, instead of cooking them separately. Ugh, but the messy boil-overs were enough to make me cry and curse, and eventually abort that plan!

So, I experimented with making the oat quinoa combination in a casserole dish in the oven, and it turned out beautifully and was easy to cut into squares for meal prep, unlike a big bowl of mush.

For example, if the ingredients I chose that day seemed a little too watery (as can happen with fresh fruit), I would just cut back a tad on the cooking liquid OR let it just bake a little longer! Week after week, a new flavor idea would pop into my head. How about pumpkin peanut butter and pepitas? Or pears, almonds, and chai spice? Make sure to check out my latest version, which I absolutely love: Apple-Pecan Quinoa Oat Breakfast Bake. 

So, after all of this tinkering in the kitchen, I figured out the optimal amount of “this or that” to mix in — from fruit, spices, nuts/seeds, protein powder, and other extras — that would work every time, and created a Master Mix-and-Match Quinoa Oat Breakfast Bake Recipe.

It's a wholesome, hearty recipe that will easily fuel your Spartan training and race days!

Related: Easy 2-Minute Breakfast Recipes to Make While Your Coffee Brews

The Recipe: Mix-and-Match Quinoa Oat Breakfast Bake 

quinoa oat breakfast bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake

You’ll notice in these photos that I also sometimes serve with whipped cream, Greek yogurt drizzle, or maple syrup when I’m feeling fancy. But the quinoa oat breakfast bake is so delicious that it doesn’t really need that extra step. (You won’t see those as choices on the list, but go for it if you want too!)

5 Incredible Ways to Enhance Your Quinoa Oat Bake

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Pepita Quinoa Oat Bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake
Follow the master recipe, plus:

  • Fruit Puree: ½-cup of canned pumpkin
  • Powder: ½-cup of peanut butter powder
  • Spice: 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Mid-Bake Stir-ins: ½ cup of pepita seeds

Chai Pear Almond Quinoa Oat Bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake
Follow the master recipe, plus:

  • Fruit Puree: ½-cup of apple or pear sauce
  • Powder: ½-cup vanilla collagen powder
  • Spice: 1 teaspoon of chai spice OR brew 4 teabags in the 2 cups of water for cooking liquid
  • Mid-Bake Stir-ins: 1 cup of chopped pears, ½-cup of slivered almonds

Strawberry Ginger Cheesecake Quinoa Oatmeal Bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake
Follow the master recipe, plus:

  • Fruit Puree: ½-cup of applesauce or strawberry applesauce OR pureed strawberries, if ambitious
  • Powder: ½-cup of strawberry protein powder
  • Spice: 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Mid-Bake Stir-ins: 4 ounces of cold cream cheese cut in ¼” bits, and 1 cup of chopped strawberries with extra slices for the top

Banana Hemp Chocolate Chip Quinoa Oat Bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake
Follow the master recipe, plus:

  • Fruit Puree: ½-cup of mashed ripe banana
  • Powder: ½-cup of vanilla protein powder
  • Spice: 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Mid-Bake Stir-ins: ½-cup of mini chocolate chips, ½-cup of hemp seeds, and sliced banana on top

Cinnamon Apple Pecan Quinoa Oat Bake

quinoa oat breakfast bake
Follow the master recipe, plus:

  • Fruit Puree: ½-cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • Powder: ½-cup of collagen powder
  • Spice: 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Mid-Bake Stir-ins: ½-cup of chopped pecans, ½-cup of raisins, and 1 cup of fresh-chopped apple

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