Pumpkin cauliflower oatmeal is the perfect way to start your fall mornings! This lower carb oatmeal is made with cauliflower rice in place of oats. It’s cozy, satisfying and so delicious.
Why you will love this recipe
- Great way to get in lots of veggies – using cauliflower rice in place of oats to make oatmeal is a great way to get in lots of veggies first thing in the morning. If the idea of all cauliflower rice worries you, you can use mostly oats and just add in some cauliflower rice instead.
- Simple ingredients – you can find frozen cauliflower rice in most grocery stores now and you can substitute out the vegan protein powder for oat flour or oats if needed. This recipe is packed with nutrition and will keep you full thanks to the fiber and protein.
- Great lower carb breakfasts without eggs – sometimes it can be tough to come up with ideas for breakfast that don’t include eggs. To ensure you are getting in enough protein, I included vegan protein powder here. You could also add things like hemp hearts or top this with greek style yogurt to add in protein as well.
- Cauliflower rice – for recipes like this, I prefer to use frozen cauliflower rice. It’s easy to find and I have discovered that the frozen cauliflower rice has the least “cauliflower flavor” since it’s frozen at the peak of freshness. When I make fresh cauliflower rice or buy the refrigerated riced cauliflower, it tends to have more of a cauliflower flavor.
- Pumpkin puree – this helps add in more veggies but also helps give that true pumpkin flavor to the dish. you don’t need a ton of pumpkin puree for this, so this would be a great recipe to use up leftover pumpkin puree from other recipes.
- Dairy free milk – use whatever your favorite dairy free milk is to give this the creamy consistency you would expect with oatmeal. You can use almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, flax milk or coconut milk (in the carton or in the can).
- Vegan vanilla protein powder – the protein powder really helps to create that creamy consistency. Vegan protein powders act like flour and when combined with the dairy free milk give off the same consistency as oatmeal, which is what makes this dish so satisfying. Vanilla vegan proteins are usually sweetened as well, helping to add sweetness to this dish. You could use oat flour (about 3 tablespoons) plus some maple syrup or honey (1-2 tablespoons) to replace the vanilla protein powder if needed.
- Pumpkin pie spice – this is what most people actually associate pumpkin flavor to be. The spices are warm and cozy and really make all the fall inspired sweet recipes so satisfying. Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice and cloves. You can find it in most grocery stores during the fall season.
- Pepitas aka pumpkin seeds (or any chopped nuts) – the pumpkin seeds help to give the oatmeal crunch and add some healthy fats to the recipe. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and also pair well with the pumpkin theme of this recipe. You could also use sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, almonds or pistachios.
- Maple syrup (optional) – depending on how sweet you like your oatmeal and how sweet your protein powder is, you may want to drizzle the pumpkin cauliflower oatmeal with some maple syrup.
How to make pumpkin cauliflower oats
Start by microwaving the frozen cauliflower rice for 4 minutes on high. You can also cook this on the stove, covered over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Once hot, add the pumpkin puree, dairy free milk, vegan protein powder and pumpkin pie spice. Stir well.
Check the consistency and sweetness. Add more dairy free milk and maple syrup if needed.
Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and enjoy hot.
- Use pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin pie filling has added sweeteners and spices, and using it will create a dish that is overly sweet and over-spiced.
- Use frozen cauliflower rice – this will give you the best overall flavor and it’s also easy to always have on hand. I buy frozen cauliflower rice at Trader Joe’s, Aldi or Whole Foods.
- Use a vegan protein powder – this helps ensure that you will stay full much longer. Not adding protein to your breakfast can cause you to feel hungry again quickly and can also cause you to feel hungrier later in the day. If you cannot add protein powder, add some hemp hearts, greek style yogurt or add and egg or two on the side to help ensure you are full and will stay satisfied.
- You can change how thick and creamy this pumpkin cauliflower oatmeal is. Add more protein powder if you find the consistency to be too thin. Add more dairy free milk if you find that it’s too thick.
What is the best vegan protein powder to use
For this recipe, you are relying on the protein powder to thicken the oats and also to help sweeten the dish. I recommend a pea based protein (like Nuzest) or this almond protein powder (which is paleo friendly).
What if you don’t have protein powder
If you don’t have vegan protein powder, you can add in about 3 tablespoons of oat flour and 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey. The oat flour will help to create that thick, creamy consistency and the maple syrup will sweeten the caulioats.
Can you make this in advance
Protein powder tends to denature over time, so I would not recommend making this more than 24 hours in advance.
If you need to make a few days worth at a time, I would cook the cauliflower rice (in the microwave or the stove), then add the pumpkin puree, dairy free milk and pumpkin pie spice to the cauliflower rice. Right before serving, reheat that mixture, stir in the protein powder and add the pumpkin seeds.
Fridge: You can store leftovers in the fridge up to 24 hours. If you need to store this longer, wait to add the protein powder until right before serving.
Freezer: You can freeze leftover pumpkin spice cauliflower oats for up to 3 months. I would wait to add the protein powder until after defrosting, but you can add it in advance. Defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
If you love this recipe, you should try
Pumpkin Cauliflower Oatmeal
Guided Recipe Video
- Microwave frozen cauliflower rice for 4-5 minutes. You can also heat this on the stove in a covered pot over medium low heat 5-10 minutes.
- After cooking, add pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup dairy free milk, protein powder and pumpkin pie spice. Stir well.
- Check the consistency. Add more milk (to thin out the oats) or more protein powder (to make them creamier).
- Top with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup (optional)