Originally posted 5/11/16; updated 10/16/18
While not as buttery and gooey as traditional cinnamon rolls, these overnight oats have all the flavors of a cinnamon but without all the added fat, sugars, and calories.
Despite having possibly hundreds of breakfast recipes bookmarked or pinned, do you still find yourself eating the same things every day? At least 5 days a week for the past year, Bry and I have peanut butter overnight oats for breakfast (and we still haven’t gotten tired of them). But every once and awhile, I get food-envy of other bloggers’ overnight oat recipes, so I try switching things up. And every time I regret it. Not because those recipes aren’t good – trust me there are SO many good overnight oats combinations out there – but because I just love my peanut butter oats so much. So when I told Bry I wanted to make a cinnamon roll-flavored oats recipe he got very concerned that he also would have to go a day without our usual breakfast. So, to be nice, that next morning Bry went off to work with his usual peanut butter oats while I went out of my breakfast comfort zone and tried these cinnamon roll oats. And boy did he miss out.
As I’ve talked about in other posts, breakfast is a very important meal for me. Unlike people who wake up and can go hours before eating anything, I can’t function in the morning until I have something to eat. And it better be filling. So when I went to make cinnamon roll oats, I knew they had to be high in protein to keep my hunger at bay. Enter in vanilla protein powder and, of course, Greek yogurt.
There are a lot of protein powders out on the market and eventually I plan on doing a post all about what to look for in a protein powder, but for now, my main recommendation is to look at the ingredient label. Plant-based, vegan protein powders are my go-to options as I feel more comfortable with their ingredient lists (think quinoa, brown rice, pea, and hemp-seed) as well as find them easier to digest. Some favorites include Sunwarrior, Vega, and Plant Fusion.
So on to these oats. I started with my favorite overnight oats base: ½ cup rolled oats, a tablespoon of chia seeds, ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt (the higher the fat content of the yogurt, the creamier your oats will be), 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk will work). At first I was thinking about mixing cream cheese into the yogurt to replicate the addicting cream cheese frosting that is usually drizzled over cinnamon rolls, but decided to just stick with the base recipe and would add the cream cheese the next day if I felt the recipe needed it. The verdict: the plain Greek yogurt provides enough of a tang that I actually didn’t miss the cream cheese (and this comes from a girl who has could eat cream cheese straight from the tub).
Previously I made these oats with a thick cinnamon swirl mixture, but after hearing back from many of you, I played around with the recipe and decided that mixing everything together made for the best texture (although, it isn’t quite as pretty). If you find these oats to be too thick, simply add more milk or leave out the Greek yogurt. Also note that protein powders all absorb liquid differently. So, if you aren’t using Sun Warrior, then you may need to adjust the amount of liquid used. The goal is to have a thick, but still liquid mixture when the protein powder, cinnamon, and water/milk are stirred together.
If you make this recipe let me know what you think! Drop a comment below or tag TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram!
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Can I leave out the protein powder? Don’t have any and tight on money right now to buy some but this sounds so good! What would I adjust if I left it out?
Hi Amber! Unfortunately the protein powder is what really gives these oats their flavor and texture. You could try playing around with adding a little powdered vanilla creamer but that’d amend up adding extra sugar and I’m not sure if the flavor would be quite right. I’ll keep my eyes out for similar recipes and let you know if I think of another idea!
I love overnight oats and now that there are healthy vegan greek yogurt options it’s easy to make this plant-based!
Looks amazing, I love anything inspired by cinnamon rolls!
This has become my favorite overnight oats recipe of all time. I used honey instead of sugar, came out perfect!
I’m so glad you like it Cesar! Honey would be delicious – I’ll have to give that a try!
This looked really good and we like overnight oatmeal, but althogh the concept sounded good the finished product turned out more like paste and was strange tasting. Will not make again.
I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out for you Cathy. Protein powders hall ave different tastes and absorb moisture differently. If you want, maybe try it again with either a different protein powder and/or more liquid? I hope you have better success with my other recipes!