Creamy Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple and Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds, just the breakfast you want for a cool fall morning. The pumpkin puree sneaks in a portion of veggies and adds sweetness, while the apples add some much needed acidity as contrast and more fibre. For the addictive crunchy topping, quickly caramelise pumpkin seeds with maple syrup and a pinch of salt.
Why You Want To Make This
I absolutely love Protein Oats, as you probably noticed if you had a look into my breakfast recipes. But even the best one (My favourite are the Apricot Almond Protein Oats https://forthepleasureofeating.com/apricot-almond-protein-oats/) will get boring at some point. So clearly we need variations.
Fitting the autumn theme of Pumpkin, I’ve added some pumpkin puree that I had left after making Sourdough S’mores Cookies https://forthepleasureofeating.com/sourdough-pumpkin-smores-cookies/. It adds a lovely gentle sweetness here and a stunning orange colour. It’s great for kids who might not like their veggies savoury, as you can just sneak them into their sweet breakfast. Though for kids I’d leave out the protein powder.
I’m using one whole apple including skin in my Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple, which might seem a lot. But the one thing I took away from my weight loss journey was, that the more fruit and veggies I add to each meal, the longer I feel full at the cost of fairly low calories.
You could stew the apple first in a little water if you like it soft, but personally I love the crunch it adds, so I just cook it together with the oats, to cook it slightly, but still have the texture.
Depending on the apple variety, you can control how much acidity you’d like to add to your oatmeal. I quite enjoy it, so my favourite one is Pink Lady, which is sweeter than Granny Smith for example, but with the same crunch to it and similar acidity. If you’d like it sweeter, you could use Gala for example.
Leaving on the skin will do 2 things: Help the apple pieces keep their shape and add more fibre, as most of it is in the skin.
In many of my recipes, sweet ones in particular, I try to add protein powder. Why, I hear you ask: I find it difficult to eat enough protein, as I eat very little meat and pulses. Plus I’m not the biggest fan of protein shakes, as they mean I would be drinking part of my calories.
My personal favourite is “MyProtein”, in this case “Cinnamon Danish”, which goes perfectly with the pumpkin spice theme.
This is neither affiliated nor sponsored. Just the powder I found to taste best after trying a fair few. If you never found one you actually enjoy, give this one a try. As a friend said about the Buttered Popcorn flavoured one: It tasted like really good custard or melted vanilla ice cream. I agree.
During my weight loss period, while tracking my macros and seeing the deficit, I started to look for recipes that added protein powder and still taste good.
Unfortunately back then I didn’t find many. Most would taste unpleasantly floury and just have clumps of protein powder. And honestly, I’d rather not ruin my breakfast! Let alone other sweets.
Which is how I came up with my method of pre-mixing the powder with 1/3 of the milk in case of oats, as the powders have a habit of taking on a strange texture if you cook them with all of it from the start. The mixture would also stick badly to the bottom of your cooking pot. So we are adding it only within the last few minutes on very gentle heat, since we still want warm and creamy oatmeal, but no clumps.
This way it will act more like a custard, adding sweetness, flavour and creaminess to your bowl of oats, without compromising the flavour and texture.
I’m using 2/3 unsweetened Almond Milk for lower calories and less sticking to the pot when cooking my oatmeal and 1/3 Soy Milk for added protein and creaminess in pre-mixing my protein powder.
I’ve (accidentally) tried using only soy milk, but found it sticks really fast to the bottom of the pot. So I would recommend using some sort of low fat, unsweetened plant milk or, if you are fine with lactose (I’m not) simply use low fat milk.
I’m using Jumbo Oats (or rolled oats, for those of you not in Ireland) for my oatmeal. I like that they keep a bit of texture and have more fibre than porridge oats. They do need slightly longer to cook (I cook mine for about 10 minutes), but I feel it’s worth the time.
Being German, for me oatmeal/porridge wasn’t really a typical breakfast, until I learned about the benefits they provide and was looking for healthier breakfast alternatives to my usual white rolls with cheese. .
Let’s just say I’m pretty hooked, since I started making them my way. They are not something I feel I have to eat, but rather a breakfast I really enjoy.
I tend to add 1 tbsp Chia seeds to my oatmeal or overnight oats. I really love the creaminess they give and if that wasn’t enough, they are really good for you too.
And now for the fun part. I mean, this Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple is delicious as it is, but if you want to take it over the top, I urge you to go the super short extra step of adding Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds. I promise, it’s not hard and will add the ultimate crunch and flavour to your morning bowl. Plus, who doesn’t like salted caramel?
Optional but delicious. Since we have still plenty of lovely sweet-sour plums in the supermarkets, I munch them with pretty much anything. Or just as I pass the fruit bowl on the counter, they are just so good. And as mentioned above, I’m trying to add more fruit and veggies to every meal.
For this oatmeal, I just added them on top and you could think they are just decoration, but they add so much fruity flavour and go great with both pumpkin and apples.
You could use just cinnamon here and it would be fabulous, but the added allspice, nutmeg and cloves of pumpkin spice gives this a really lovely autumn touch.
If you can’t find it, mix your own. It’s a base of 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8th tsp clove, ¼ tsp allspice and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Since I live in Ireland, where it’s not easily available in supermarkets, I usually mix a bigger batch and keep it in a little container in my spice cupboard.
Despite my ramblings above, making this Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple and Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds is super quick and easy.
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds
If you decided to give them a try, get a small pan, non-stick is best. While heating it up on medium-high temperature, add your pumpkin seeds, pour over the tbsp of maple syrup and a pinch of flakes sea salt. Let them gently caramelise. They are ready when they are getting pretty sticky and most of the liquid in the maple syrup has evaporated. Be careful not to burn them. The caramel should be a medium brown colour. Depending on how dark your maple syrup started, it might be a little lighter or darker.
While they are cooking, add some baking parchment to a small plate. Spread the caramelised pumpkin seeds onto the parchment and let them cool and crisp up while you prepare the oatmeal.
If you’d like your apple softer, add it first to a pot with 2 tbsp of water and let it cook for about 5 minutes before adding the ingredients as listed below.
Add the chia seeds, oats a pinch of salt, and your pumpkin spice or cinnamon, followed by 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, your pumpkin puree, and your chopped apple to a small cooking pot. Non-stick is ideal, though I’m using stainless steel quite happily. Stir everything well.
Switch to medium high heat until your milk comes to a boil, then turn down a bit, having them cook low and slow to get really creamy. You want a slow simmer, rather than a fast boil. Stir regularly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan, so nothing sticks.
Mixing the Protein Powder
While your oats a cooking, in a protein shaker or with a whisk in a small bowl, mix the soy milk with your scoop of protein powder. Make sure you choose one that you actually enjoy.
Once the oats have absorbed nearly all of the liquid, add your protein mix and stir again. You should have a really creamy texture already. We don’t want to burn the protein powder to the bottom of the pot, so turn the heat down further. Keep stirring now, try to not fully boil, but gently heat through the protein-custard, while basically massaging it into your oats.
Once the Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple is done to your liking, serve in a bowl topped with the sliced plum, maybe more apple and the Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds.
Chances are, this is sweet enough as is. If not, add a little maple syrup.
You could use the exact same ingredients to make overnight oats. Just mix them in a jar, stir thoroughly, wait about 15 minutes and stir again, to break up any chia seed clumps that may have formed, then add the lid and store in the fridge overnight.
Prepare the Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds as described above in the evening and store in a lidded container (not in the fridge, or they will become soft).
The warm version is best eaten fresh.
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple and Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds
- 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- flaked sea salt
- Pumpkin puree 1/4 c
- 1 apple Chopped into bite sized pieces, ideally skin on.
- 1 scoop Protein powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp Pumpkin spice or cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1 plum. Optional but very delicious. Sliced.
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds:
- Place a small non-stick pan on medium-high heat.
- Add 4 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds to the pan.
- Pour in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and add a pinch of flaked sea salt to the pumpkin seeds.
- Allow the pumpkin seeds to gently caramelize. They are ready when they become sticky and most of the liquid in the maple syrup has evaporated. Be cautious not to burn them. The caramel should be a medium brown color, which may vary depending on the initial color of your maple syrup.
- While the seeds are cooking, prepare a small plate with baking parchment.
- Spread the caramelized pumpkin seeds onto the parchment and let them cool and become crisp while you prepare the oatmeal.
Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple:
- If you prefer your apple softer, start by adding 1 chopped apple to a pot with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
- To the pot, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice (or cinnamon), and 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree.
- Pour in 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk and add the chopped apple.
- Stir everything together.
- Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until the almond milk comes to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a slow simmer, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
- In a protein shaker or a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of soy milk with 1 scoop of protein powder. Make sure to choose a protein powder you enjoy.
- Once the oats have absorbed most of the liquid, add the protein mixture to the pot and stir well. Be cautious not to let the protein powder stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Continue to gently heat the oatmeal, stirring consistently to create a creamy texture. Avoid boiling, but ensure the protein is thoroughly incorporated into the oats.
- Once the Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple reaches your desired consistency, serve it in a bowl.
- Top the oatmeal with sliced plum, additional apple pieces, and the Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds.
- If you find it's not sweet enough, you can add a drizzle of maple syrup to taste.
- Enjoy your delicious bowl of Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple and Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds. This recipe makes one full bowl.
Protein: Approximately 15-20 grams per serving
Fat: Approximately 12-15 grams per serving
Carbohydrates: Approximately 40-45 grams per serving
Fiber: Approximately 9-11 grams per serving
Sugars: Approximately 15-20 grams per serving