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Savory Breakfast Oats

Mornings during the pandemic are a scramble to get everyone up, in front of laptops, and ready for a day of remote learning and work. I usually realize at some point mid-morning that I never ate anything, and I’m now starving.

Sugary breakfasts aren’t helpful, so lately I’ve been craving something more savory. This filling bowl of oatmeal is ready in minutes, keeps me going for hours, and is delicious, once you get used to the idea that oatmeal doesn’t have to be sweet.

I’ll use name-brand ingredients here, since the directions for preparing oatmeal are specific to the brand and style of oats, and because the saltiness of the dish depends on the type of broth and salt used. If you’re using different brands, follow the oatmeal’s package directions (adding the egg two minutes before the end), and season according to your own taste.

Yield: 1 serving Total time: 5 minutes

Chocolate Sunflower Butter Energy Bites

Packing school lunches is a whole new challenge at our house. After six weeks, these protein-packed treats have become a lunchbox favorite. Any nut butter will do, though sunflower butter makes them allergy-friendly. They’re so easy to make that they’re a great hands-on activity to do with a new kindergartener, and they never come home at the end of the day (unlike those poor rejected baby carrots).

Yield: 16 to 18 energy bites Total time: 45 minutes

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries & Pecans

Chocolate, dried cherries, pecans, and oats make for a perfect cookie.

Yield: 24 cookies Total time: 1 hour

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

I made these granola bars a lot when I was home on maternity leave. It could be hard on those long, sleepless days to get a meal in, but these were easy to grab and eat with one hand while holding a dozing baby in the other.

Chose whatever fruits and nuts you like best, and these will quickly become a favorite snack.

Yield: 16 squares Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

Layer a creamy mixture of sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest on top of a base of sweetened oats and butter. Add a crumb layer on top, and bake. Serve these delicious creamy squares cold for a refreshing tart treat.

Yield: 12 servings Total time: 45 minutes


Every ingredient in this granola is perfect, especially the ridiculously crispy coconut chips.

Total time: 1 hour

Nikki’s Healthy Cookies

These butter-less, flour-less, egg-less (but delicious!) cookies contain ripe mashed banana, coconut oil, oats, almond meal, coconut, and chocolate.

Yield: 3 dozen bite-sized cookies Total time: 45 minutes

Blueberry Oat Crisp

Bake blueberries, peaches, and brown sugar under an oat streusel topping. Served with Greek yogurt, it’s a delicious and satisfying breakfast.

To serve as a dessert, increase the brown sugar to 2/3 cups total – use 1/3 cup in each step. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Yield: 6 servings Total time: 40 minutes

Chewy Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

Oatmeal cookies are much better with chocolate chips than raisins, in my opinion.

Yield: 4 dozen Total time: 2 hours

Urban Legend Cookies

This famous Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe has ground oats, shaved chocolate, and nuts, and shares a similar urban legend origin story to the recipes for waldorf salad and red velvet cake.

Yield: 100 cookies Total time: 2 hours