One food that will never go out of style for breakfast is oatmeal. This versatile grain is nutritious, filling, inexpensive and loaded with fiber! This might sound a bit Forest Gump but you have overnight oats, oats on the stovetop, microwave oats, slow cooker oats, oatmeal in the instant pot, oatmeal bars, oatmeal muffins… you name it, you can make some kind of breakfast or snack deliciousness with oats.
When the weather turns chilly, I love to experiment with comfort foods! So while I was whipping up a large mug of protein hot chocolate I decided to just drink half and then experiment with creating a Loaded Cacao Oat Bowl. I mean, chocolate anything is game in my book and this breakfast bowl is no exception. I love adding cacao powder because it’s high in epicatechins, the antioxidants in dark cacao which are super heart healthy and all the more reason I give it a thumbs up for breakfast.
You have several options to work with so I encourage you to get creative and just have FUN! I used Califia almond and coconut milk but you could also use equal parts of unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk or any milk/milk alternative you prefer. My body isn’t a big fan of dairy so I default to a variety of plant-based milks and switch things up frequently.
Since I’ve been on a protein hot chocolate kick lately I made a big pot of warm almond/coconut milk and added 2 generous scoops of Sprout Living chocolate maca protein. This plant-based powder is my personal fave and works great for my sensitive digestive system. I’ve tried a ton of other “clean” proteins and since I use it in everything from protein pancakes to Super SHE-ro muffins to smoothies and hot chocolate, I invest in the 5 pound bag! PS: if you’re new to protein powders or still trying to find the right one for you, it’s a process (time & money) to find the winner if you need to supplement with a protein powder.
I love to get creative and mix to foods when I need that extra protein boost in my diet. I even use Sprout Living Green Kingdom protein in my smoothie bowls and sometimes in Kingston’s food too (for real, he loves it). So sorry I always go off on a tangent!
Loaded Choco Oat Bowl (2 servings)
10-16 oz almond/coconut milk or milk of choice
2-3 scoops of protein powder (chocolate is my default)
1 scoop cacao powder, to taste
1/2 cup raw oats, can use gluten-free
1/4 cup berries or fruit of choice
Optional ingredients: 1 teaspoon almond, peanut, or sunflower butter, 5 crumbled walnut halves, 1 teaspoon almond slivers, 1 teaspoon cacao nibs, 1 teaspoon coconut flakes, sprinkle of cinnamon, drizzle of maple syrup, agave, or honey
Heat milk over stove on medium heat until just starting to bubble. [I like to heat 16 oz of Califia almond/coconut milk and use 6-8 oz for hot chocolate and the rest for the oat bowl. Add protein powder and whisk to mix well. If adding cacao powder then mix in as well.
Add oatmeal, turn off the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes to soften or until desired texture.
Top with fruit of choice and optional ingredients. I love a mixture of raspberries, cacao nibs, Trader Joe’s unsweetened sunflower butter and TJ’s large coconut flakes with a teeny drizzle of maple syrup and a dusting of cinnamon! Other fruit to experiment with would be banana slices or blueberries + walnuts or blackberries + pumpkin seeds, or perhaps if you are a chocolate/orange fan you could try mandarin oranges or clementines. Anything goes.
*VEGAN: use plant-based nut milk of choice; agave or maple syrup instead of honey
*LOW FODMAP: use 1/4 cup raspberries instead of blackberries and a drizzle of maple syrup instead of agave or honey.
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