Friendsgiving Challenge #2: A Dessert You Can Also Eat for Breakfast

We asked you for your dietary restrictions this holiday season, and then turned them over to some very talented queer chefs for help. Julia Turshen, acclaimed food writer and author of Feed the Resistance and Small Victories (named one of the Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016 by The New York Times), is bringing you a perfect fall breakfast bar that also happens to moonlight as a dessert.

Click here for more Friendsgiving Cooking Challenge.

Dietary Restriction:
Vegetarian with allergies to nuts, sesame, coconut, and beans.

I chose this recipe because it’s incredibly easy to prepare and is wonderful whether or not you’re a vegetarian with food allergies. It’s also near and dear to me because it’s from Feed the Resistance, which includes tons of recipes and ideas for getting involved and all the proceeds go to the ACLU.

These baked oatmeal bars are the easiest way to make oatmeal not only portable, but also really packed with flavor and long-lasting energy from things such as grated apple and ground flaxseed. If you don’t have or like apple, you can use two handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries (no need to thaw if frozen), or even grated sweet potato or carrot. These can also be served for dessert if you warm them up and top them with ice cream.

Baked Oatmeal + Apple Squares

Photography by Sasha Israel

Makes 9 2.5-inch (6-cm) Squares


Baking spray
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 cups (170 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 large apple (any kind), peeled, seeded, and coarsely grated

Preheat the oven to 350°F [175°C]. Spray an 8-in [20-cm] square baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray that too just to be safe.

Place the eggs and honey in a large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the milk and vanilla and give it another whisk. Sprinkle the baking powder, salt, and cinnamon on top and whisk well to combine. Add the ground flaxseed, oats, and apple and stir well to combine everything.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Spread it out so that it’s in an even layer and press it down with a rubber spatula. Bake until the oatmeal is firm to the touch and golden brown on top, about 35 minutes.

Let the oatmeal cool for at least 15 minutes and then transfer it to a cutting board. Cut it into nine 2.5-in (6-cm) squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or wrapped well and frozen for up to 3 months (defrost and warm in a toaster oven or 300°F [150°C] oven before eating).

More on Feed the Resistance:
“When people search for ways to resist injustice and express support for civil rights, environmental protections, and more, they begin by gathering around the table to talk and plan. These dishes foster community and provide sustenance for the mind and soul. With stimulating lists, extensive resources, and essays from activists in the worlds of food, politics, and social causes, Feed the Resistance is a must have handbook for anyone hoping to make a difference.”

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Julia Turshen

Julia Turshen is the author of FEED THE RESISTANCE and SMALL VICTORIES. She has coauthored numerous cookbooks, hosted the first two seasons of Radio Cherry Bombe, and has written for The New York Times, Vogue, T Magazine, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, SELF, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife, dogs, and cat. Follow along on Instagram and Twitter!

Julia has written 1 article for us.


  1. this sounds amazing, and really bolsters my theory that any sort of pie or dessert can be breakfast if you just believe in yourself!

    my personal fave: pecan pie with coffee on the morning AFTER thanksgiving

  2. Ahhh oatmeal/apple things seem to always have nuts in them and it makes me so sad I can’t eat them THANK YOU FOR THIS

  3. This dessert is a wonderful conclusion to the tragic tale of “i’m a vegetarian who is allergic to beans”!

  4. Thank god for a food without nuts! I have a kid allergic to nuts at home and practically all recipes want you to add nuts (this is an abomination-walnuts are for fixing scratches in furniture, not for eating)

    This looks delicious though and not likely to kill my kid!

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