Birthday Cake Protein Oats

I went through a phase in life when I lived back in DC (circa 2006-ish?) where I ate oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I thought it was the ultimate healthy, clean breakfast and that nothing could top it, so I ate it until I got sick of it. It never did anything for me: I didn't particularly like the taste and it didn't keep me full for very long.

BUT, it was so healthy and clean and it was widely considered to be the ultimate fit girl's breakfast according to like - 5,000 healthy living bloggers who have made a living out of posting their morning bowls of oats online. I'm not kidding. There was a food blogger who shall remain nameless who became known for her morning oats and I'm pretty sure she got a book deal and got to be on freaking Oprah from it. From her oatmeal. 

I can't. 

Anyway. Wow. Apparently that was a raw nerve. SEE?! I told you I had a long and troubled past with oatmeal. 

OATMEAL MAKEOVER

Last week, Coach Jenn posted her bowl of morning oats on Instagram with two words that got me very excited: "Birthday Cake." 

Yes...you have my attention now. 

Adding a serving of protein powder to oatmeal makes it more fat loss-friendly by improving the ratio of protein to carbohydrates. Oatmeal on its own is a starchy carb (30 grams of carbs per serving, 5 grams from fiber) and not a great source of protein - only 6 grams in half a cup. You may need to add a little extra liquid like water or almond milk to help the protein powder dissolve, and you'll want to use a quality protein that actually tastes good. My favorites for this recipe are Tera's Whey in Bourbon Vanilla and Les Mills Good Protein in Vanilla.

Disclaimer: This does not taste like an *actual* slice of birthday cake, but it's inspired by the flavors and I think it comes pretty darn close for a bowl of oatmeal! If you're really craving a slice of birthday cake, then make that part of your weekly reward meal. Even if it's not your birthday;) The value in a birthday cake-inspired bowl of high-protein oatmeal is this: it's fun, it gives you variety, and it keeps you out of the pastry case at your local coffee shop or bakery. 

Now...I wonder if all those healthy living bloggers are still eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning?

Oh, who cares. Let them eat CAKE.

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c. rolled oats

1 c. water

pinch of sea salt

1 serving vanilla whey protein powder 

2-3 Tbs. unsweetened almond milk

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

optional add-ins: rainbow sprinkles, 1 Tbs. unsweetened almond butter or YouFresh Natural's Birthday Cake Muscle Butter*

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add oats and a pinch of sea salt. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Set timer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. After oats are cooked, remove from heat.  Add in the vanilla protein powder, almond milk, and extracts and stir well with a wire whisk until powder is dissolved. Add nut butter or Muscle Butter if using and stir. 

3. Transfer to a bowl and top with rainbow sprinkles if desired. 

I was a little heavy-handed with the half & half in my coffee this morning. Zero apologies for this;) Another key point: it was Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee and it is amazing. 

I was a little heavy-handed with the half & half in my coffee this morning. Zero apologies for this;) Another key point: it was Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee and it is amazing.