Dear Protein Chef, do you have a recipe for protein oatmeal? Mine always ends up a clumpy mess!
Who can resist the smell of homemade oatmeal? No, not those microwaveable packets of instant powder that call for ripping open a package, adding water, a quick stir, and hitting the one-minute microwave button. I'm talking about real oats, cooked on a stove, and prepared fresh—with seasoning.
If there's one thing my grandma taught me, it's that cinnamon sticks are essential for making a good batch of oatmeal. OK, she taught me a lot more than that, but when it comes to cooking, cinnamon sticks are a game-changer. They're delicious with desserts like rice pudding, and they hit all the right notes when it comes to sweet, sweet oatmeal.
Most people overlook cinnamon sticks and go straight for the powdered stuff. The idea is that sticks are inconvenient, and most people are unsure of how to use them. Questions like "Should I cook cinnamon sticks?" "Can I eat them raw?" and "Are they just for decoration?" are common.
It's not surprising. They're pieces of tree bark, after all—not generally something people are drawn to when they do their weekly shopping. But, here's the thing: Cinnamon sticks are sensational. They may look dull and kind of uninspiring, but hidden behind that brown exterior is a world of spicy magic.
Don't believe me? Try this recipe. Swap out the go-to powder and I swear your taste buds will be able to tell the difference—and demand you use the sticks every time.
If you want to increase the protein, feel free to add 1/2 cup as opposed to 1/4 cup of whey protein powder.
Feel free to substitute the apple for a sliced banana.
Consider adding nuts, flaxseed, or coconut flakes to your oatmeal for added texture, flavor, and nutrition!
Slip spice into other areas of your cooking. I urge you to try cinnamon sticks when you make rice pudding—even grate an orange in for the extra sweetness. It's phenomenal what you can do with just a bit of old-school creativity and spice.