Cauliflower Oatmeal made with a combo of rolled oats and cauliflower rice makes an easy way to sneak in some veggies, fiber, and micronutrients into a comforting bowl of oatmeal. Packed with protein, complex carbs, fiber, and some healthy fats for a well-balanced and healthy breakfast. Vegan and gluten-free and customizable to your liking.
Cauliflower oatmeal!! I know, I know, it sounds strange, but you just have to TRUST ME on this one. I promise I won’t let you down 🙂
I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s one of my favorite breakfasts when I am craving something comforting. Like my mom says, oatmeal is a “stick to your ribs” kind of meal. It’s warm and comforting, hearty, and filling.
The thing is oatmeal is just kind of meh on its own. And is mostly straight carbs when prepared as is. I am a huge proponent of balanced meals and getting in veggies in all meals if possible. So when your typical 1/2 cup serving of oatmeal didn’t cut it for me, I figured let’s add something in there to help bulk up the recipe.
Enter adding riced cauliflower in oatmeal! Many people have tried it after making it for years on Instagram and I promise you won’t be able to taste the cauliflower if made the right way.
First, let’s get into why I add vegetables to my oatmeal before showing you how to make it.
Why make oatmeal with cauliflower?
So you might be asking, why add cauliflower rice in oatmeal? Don’t get me wrong, oatmeal can be totally great on its own, but I find that the servings size of 1/2 cup of rolled oats is just not that much when you cook it. Honestly, the amount is pretty sad if you ask me as I like big and balanced meals that are going to keep me full for hours.
The reason I love adding cauliflower rice to oatmeal is it adds so much volume and bulk to the meal without adding too many calories. So instead of adding more rolled oats, which are calorie-dense and carb-heavy, adding in 1 cup of riced cauliflower adds only 25 calories and gives you a huge bowl of oatmeal. It also sneaks in a vegetable without it even being noticeable.
Adding vegetables to oatmeal adds micronutrients and fiber too. Fiber helps with satiety and feeling full. Fiber also helps slow down the digestion of carbs. When carbs are eaten on their own, are digested quickly, spikes your blood sugar, and can leave you feeling hungry just an hour later. Fiber helps balance that out (along with protein and fat).
With the addition of some protein and healthy fats, this cauliflower oatmeal recipe makes a well-balanced meal that will keep you full for hours and give you a steady source of energy.
How to make cauliflower oatmeal
Cauliflower protein oatmeal made with 6 ingredients for a well-balanced bowl of oatmeal with complex carbs, protein, fiber, and hidden veggies! A perfect breakfast for a cold day and makes a great post-workout meal as well. You will never know there are hidden veggies in there!
Here is what you need:
- rolled oats
- riced cauliflower – I recommend using frozen (store-bought)
- almond milk
- chia seeds
- protein powder
First add your rolled oats, riced cauliflower, chia seeds, and almond milk to a small saucepan. Mix well to combine, making sure to break up the cauliflower rice if it is sticking together. Cook for 5-7 minutes until oats and cauliflower rice is softened and the milk is mostly absorbed.
Next, add in the protein powder and cinnamon and mix well to combine. If needed add in some more liquid depending on how thick your protein powder is. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until warmed through.
Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Toppings for oatmeal
One of my favorite things about oatmeal is all the toppings you can add to it change up the flavor and give it some texture. I try not to go too crazy and add some healthy fats to keep it well balanced. Here are the best toppings for oatmeal:
- fresh or frozen fruit – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, banana…any kind you like!
- dried fruit – raisins, apricots, figs…if you stir them in when it is hot, they soften up and get nice and juicy
- nuts or seeds – chopped cashews, almonds, pecans, or walnuts, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, or seed cycling seeds
- nut butter or coconut butter – any kind of nut butter, seed butter, or tahini and coconut butter (like nut butter but made from coconut)
- shredded coconut
- chocolate – cacao nibs, chocolate chips, or a little bit of chopped up dark chocolate
- honey or maple syrup – just a little for some sweetness
- yogurt – I love mixing cold yogurt and hot oatmeal. It makes it super creamy and adds more protein
- cinnamon – or any other spices (nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cloves…)
To make low-carb oatmeal
To make this recipe low-carb, you can change the ratio of oats to cauliflower (use fewer oats and more cauliflower rice) or use all cauliflower rice. While I haven’t tried using all cauliflower rice, I would suggest making sure you add in enough flavorings (cinnamon, protein powder, vanilla extract, and anything else) so it doesn’t feel like you are eating just cauliflower rice.
Substitutions for cauliflower oatmeal
Cauliflower oats are super customizable and can easily be made to your liking. The recipe is also pretty forgiving. Here are some suggestions for substitutions:
- oats – you can use quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats. If using steel-cut oats, they will take longer to cook (about 15-20 minutes).
- veggies – if you don’t have riced cauliflower, you can also use shredded zucchini (aka zoats). If using zucchini, you might need to squeeze some water out of them. Any hearty vegetable should work – carrots, butternut squash, or even sweet potato. The cooking time will adjust depending on what veggie you want to use.
- protein powder – use any kind of protein powder you like, but I suggest flavored protein powder to help mask the flavor of the cauliflower rice. I find that when using collagen (especially the unflavored kinds), it kind of changes the flavor of the oatmeal and consistency and leaves it a little gummy. I’ve used it before, but it isn’t my favorite to use. You also don’t need to use protein powder if you don’t want to.
- milk – dairy-free (nut, oat, flax) or dairy milk will work
More healthy oatmeal recipes
- Chocolate peanut butter overnight oats
- Oatmeal chocolate chip muffins
- Pumpkin baked oatmeal with cranberries
- Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip bars
- Oatmeal raisin bars
- Healthy no-bake protein cookies
- 1/2 heaping cup rolled oats (55 grams)
- 1 cup frozen riced cauliflower (100 grams)*
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk**
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (you can also use chocolate)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- toppings: fresh or frozen fruit, nut butter, honey, cinnamon...
- Add the rolled oats, cauliflower rice, chia seeds, and milk to a small saucepan over medium-low heat and mix well to combine. Keep it on a low simmer for 5-7 minutes until oats and cauliflower rice are softened and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Stir in your protein powder and cinnamon. Add more liquid if needed. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until everything is combined and warmed through. Top with toppings and enjoy!
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