I like a hot breakfast before the crack of dawn, but am usually not in any mental condition to do scratch cooking until a couple hours (of coffee) later. But, I know my body NEEDS nourishing food, so I do a little meal prep work the night before so that I can have my “super” quinoa oats ready ASAP in the AM. Apple Cider Super Oats with Cranberry Sauce is one of my favorite flavor combos this time of year.
Read on to get the make-ahead recipe and find out how this combo of oats, quinoa and protein powder fills me up for a run, workout and ridiculously long list of holiday errands all before lunch.
I love the chewier texture of steel cut oats over regular rolled or instant oats. While all types of oats have about the same nutritional value, the steel cut variety is the least processed and takes the longest to cook – but that’s fine by me because they soften up on the stovetop in the same amount of time it takes to make quinoa (only about 15 to 20 minutes). This means the two can hang out together in the same pot! When I make oats, I usually go off my quinoa oats master recipe (above) and then add the ingredients I’m craving.
Along with steel cut oats and quinoa, I add a blend of seeds brimming with heart healthy seeds to add extra SUPER. For convenience, I use the Organic Triple Omega Seed Blend from Now Foods – but you can add the hemp, flax and chia seeds individually along with any other seed you like. For a light, fresh sweetness without using table sugar or artificial sweeteners, I pour in 100% apple cider as part of my cooking liquid – I like the Gala Apple Cider from Lighthouse Foods. Often, I add protein powder, to my quinoa oats, but that’s not in the recipe today (but if you want to, just add a ½ scoop per serving and stir into the warm hot oats using a little milk to thin, if needed).
These quinoa oats could be served with just a bit a ground cinnamon . . . or take it a step further and make my easy cranberry topping that whips up while the oats are cooking. All this sounds pretty decadent, but a single serving has 275 calories and 8 grams of protein (more if you add the protein powder).
I make my 4-serving batch and keep in the fridge to eat all week. But, you can also portion off into single-serve containers and keep in the freezer, setting out in the fridge to defrost the night before. If you don’t want cranberries, add the toppings of your choice — I’ve also done medjool dates and dehydrated bananas this week! Enjoy being creative!
Check out Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Oats, it’s another one of my favorites!
Are you an oatmeal fan? What are your stir-ins or toppings? Have you ever made ahead and frozen? Please share your tips and ideas in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer