Spiced Protein Oatmeal with Stewed Fruit

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When you wake up in the morning and it's barely double-digit degrees outside, I'm sorry, but I don't want to hear about your green smoothies and other cold breakfast shenanigans. 

It was 12 degrees this morning here in North Carolina. TWELVE. 

My answer to the winter of 2018 (so far) is starting my day with hot oatmeal and coffee. I love oats, but they don't love me back without a hefty dose of added protein. If I don't get a good 20-30 grams of protein in my breakfast, I'm hungry in under an hour - and I can't deal with that.

To bump up the protein in these oats, I've borrowed a trick from my friend Jen at Peanut Butter Runner: whipping egg whites into the oats during the last few minutes of cooking. It gives them great texture (think: light and fluffy) and a little boost of protein. To make up the difference, I stir in some Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. They have no flavor and also add a lil' thickness to the oats, too. 

SIDE BAR: Jury still out here as to whether these make a difference. Haven't taken them consistently for long enough to see a difference in hair, nails, skin, joints, etc.

The end result is a bowl of oats that tastes amazing, warms me up, and is high enough in fiber and protein to fuel me for hours.

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Inspired by this recipe from Vidya Living and this recipe from Peanut Butter Runner

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 c. old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

pinch of sea salt

2 egg whites

2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

For the stewed fruit (makes 4 servings):

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. water

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. honey

optional: a strip of lemon peel

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium saucepan, bring almond milk to a boil. Stir in oats, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom and pinch of sea salt. Let mixture return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, about 5-6 minutes.

2. While the oats are cooking, add sliced apple, raisins, water, ground cinnamon and lemon peel (if using) to another small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and cook until the water boils, then reduce to low heat. Let the fruit continue to cook while you finish the oats. 

3. To the oats, slowly add in egg whites and stir vigorously. The oats will become fluffy and increase in volume. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the stewed fruit from the heat and add 1 tsp. of honey. Stir to combine.

5. Remove oats from heat and pour into serving bowls. If using, stir in your Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides now, then top each bowl with 1/4 of the stewed fruit mixture. A tablespoon of almond butter isn't a bad idea either;) 

COOK'S TIP: When you add the egg whites, make sure the heat is on low and you add them slowly, stirring as you go. If the eggs hit hot oats too fast, they will start to scramble. #Fail