4 (4-block meals)
You can simmer this cereal first thing in the morning or let it cook all night while you sleep, so that you can wake up to piping-hot breakfast cereal.
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats or 1 cup and two tablespoons steel-cut oats (such as McCann’s)
2 small apples, cored and diced
3/4 to 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
4 cups cold filtered water (4 1/2 cups for steel-cut oats)
Four 1-ounce scoops vanilla egg white protein or vanilla whey protein (about 1 cup)
3 to 5 drops stevia extract liquid or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon stevia extract (optional)
48 pecan or walnut halves, lightly toasted and crumbled
Instructions for overnight cooking – for steel cut oats only:
Before going to bed, combine steel-cut oats, spice and water in 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. In the morning, turn off the heat and add the apples. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes: The steam will condense and lift the stuck cereal off the bottom of the cooker for ease of clean up. Stir in the protein powder with a large wooden spoon to dissolve all the lumps. If too stiff, stir in warm water a tablespoon at a time. Stir in stevia if a sweeter taste is desired Stir again and divide among 4 serving bowls. Top with nuts and serve.
Instructions for stovetop cooking – for rolled oats only:
Combine rolled oats, apple, spice and water in a 2-quart saucepan. Soak, uncovered, overnight. In the morning, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring. If using an electric stove, preheat a second burner on low. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low or transfer it to the preheated burner. Simmer, undisturbed, for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow the cereal to stand, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. With a large wooden spoon, stir in the protein powder to dissolve all lumps. If too stiff, stir in warm water a tablespoon at a time. Taste. Stir in stevia if a sweeter taste is desired. Divide among 4 serving bowls. Top with nuts and serve.
Note: Some brands of vanilla egg white protein are unsweetened. Taste before you add the stevia and use a light hand; stevia is 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Variation: Replace apple pie spice with pumpkin pie spice.