Cinnamon gets to me. Every. Single. Time. It can be the height of summer, and I will still turn on my oven for a recipe featuring cinnamon (Salted Caramel Apple Bake has been on repeat for dessert here this week – it’s the lazy man’s – or woman’s – way to a crisp/crumble and really is so great with vanilla dairy ice cream OR coconut ice cream for the Paleo purists). But keep in mind that I AM Canadian, so baking in the summer heat of South Korea also means that I have my air conditioning unit on full blast (not energy efficient, I know). So, here’s my compromise: no oven required for this Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oatmeal! I still can’t resist microwaving it before I eat it, though, to send the scent of cinnamon throughout my office and make everyone jealous of my awesome breakfast (but don’t worry, I generously share this easy, healthy recipe, and I hope you do, too!). High protein, gluten-free and just as easy (easier, even) as pie.
Oftentimes, it seems as though the things that taste the very best aren’t always the best things for us. (Case in point: the Classic Cinnabon Original Roll packs 880 calories with a whopping 36g of fat – 17g of that saturated fat – 127g of carbohydrates, including 59g of sugar, and a mere 13g of protein. Source: Calorie King.) However, I don’t know if it’s just a happy coincidence, but I sure do love the taste of cinnamon AND it is apparently INCREDIBLE for you (with claims going so far as to suggest it can cure erectile dysfunction). It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce risk factors for heart disease, help with digestion, and more (maybe those Cinnabon cinnamon buns aren’t so bad for you after all?). Plus, it just plain tastes great. I’ve starting sneaking it into other dishes as well, from sweet to savoury – I didn’t realize just how much cinnamon can kick up the taste of chocolate without actually adding any telltale cinnamon taste (try it and let me know what you think!).
I already extolled the benefits of maple syrup (and made a play for patriotism) in my (Canadian) Maple Walnut Overnight Oatmeal. It adds just the right touch of sweetness to this dish without putting you into a sugar coma the way an actual cinnamon bun might. And that’s probably a good thing – a comatose state after breakfast is generally the opposite of the intended effect, right?
And of course, the cream cheese. You could still get great cinnamon bun flavour in this recipe if you omitted it, but this fat plays an important role in satiety. Pairing it with carbohydrates (provided by the oats and maple syrup) slows down their rate of digestion and provides you with a steady stream of energy that will keep you going all morning. This avoids the dreaded “sugar coma” described above from a quick rise and fall in blood sugar.
Nevermind how incredibly gorgeous Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese is – just try to NOT stuff this spoonful straight into your mouth:
Let’s make breakfast, shall we?
Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oatmeal (High-Protein)
High-protein and wholesome as always, this overnight oatmeal is elevated to Cinnabon status with the addition of a delicious maple cinnamon cream cheese swirl.
Author: The Golden Graham Girl
1 cup (80g) rolled oats – make sure these are gluten-free, if you require
1 scoop (28g) vanilla or cinnamon protein powder* of choice – I used Quest Nutrition Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder*
1 cup (250mL or 240g) unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup (113g) plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (64g) plain cream cheese (regular, reduced-fat or fat-free as desired), softened
2 tbsp (30mL or 30g) of pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5g) cinnamon
1. Stir the first two dry ingredients (oats and protein powder) in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Add the almond milk and Greek yogurt and mix thoroughly.
3. In a separate bowl, stir the softened cream cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon until thoroughly combined into a smooth, sweet, creamy spread (so good on its own or as a spread or dip it features as its own recipe in my Condiments section!).
4. Spoon the maple cinnamon mixture on top of the oatmeal and use a butter knife to swirl it around as much or as little as you like for a cinnamon roll effect. (I highly encourage licking the spoon after you are done!)
5. Divide the oatmeal mixture into two wide-mouth Mason jars or containers and refrigerate overnight. Note the recipe easily halves for single servings or multiplies for more.
NUTRITION INFORMATION (with regular cream cheese)
Calories: 410 Fat: 14.1g Carbohydrates: 47.8g Sugar: 17.6g Fiber: 5.1g Protein: 24.1g
Enjoy straight out of the fridge – all you need is a spoon! – or microwave until heated through. The tantalizing scent of cinnamon will draw a crowd just as surely as Cinnabon in the mall food court. All the goodness of a cinnamon bun, without the guilt!
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*Please note that I am currently NOT sponsored by or affiliated with any particular brand, company or product. Any ideas, comments or opinions are my own, as mentioned in my Product Review page. However, if you choose to purchase new-to-you products I recommend using the link(s) I provide, I can earn a small credit. More information on that is available here.
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