Have you heard of proats, or protein oatmeal? These baked oats with egg white and milk powder can give your protein intake a boost! Getting a high-protein breakfast, like this egg white oatmeal, can help you feel full until lunch. If your oats recipes aren’t leaving you feeling satisfied, try this chocolate peanut butter proats recipe with no protein powder! My vote's for protein oats!
It's not exactly a secret that I eat a lot of oatmeal. As long as you aren't following a low-carb diet, oatmeal makes a cheap and convenient addition to meals.
Additionally, oats are SO versatile. They'll play nicely with whatever fruits, nuts, and seeds you have hanging around.
There's a downside to all of the oaty goodness, however. Your breakfast oats aren't providing a lot of protein by themselves. They only offer up a measly 5.3 grams of protein per 150 calories (½ cup) of dry rolled oats (per Cronometer).
Most people should aim for at least 25 grams of protein at meals (if they are eating 3 meals per day and limiting snacking). This would ensure (for most) that they are covering the very modest RDA for protein. 30 grams of protein per meal may be better, and I'd consider 20 grams to be the bare minimum to aim for.
A reasonably portioned meal of oats and fruit is not going to get you to that protein goal. That is why I often suggest adding more protein on the side when I post an oatmeal recipe.
But with proats or egg white oatmeal, you get an all-in-one high-protein breakfast!
- 💡 How to Add More Protein to Oats without Protein Powder
- 💪 Baked Proats High Protein Foods List
- 🥛 Making Dairy-Free Proats
- 🥣 Best Protein for Proats
- 📋 Egg White Oatmeal Calories
- 🔪 How to Make Egg White Oatmeal
- ❓ Oatmeal Mix-Ins and Toppings
- 🌡️ Can you reheat egg white oatmeal?
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Protein Oatmeal Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
💡 How to Add More Protein to Oats without Protein Powder
Most of the proats recipes I see use whey protein powder or collagen peptides to help make the oatmeal higher in protein. That is definitely one way to do it.
However, I don't like the taste of most protein powders. (They can be a little chalky, eh?) Additionally, I prefer to meet my protein needs with foods first rather than protein supplements.
If you do like a particular protein powder, that is an extremely easy way to add more protein to your meals. If you don’t, there are lots of ways to do it with whole foods (or mostly whole foods).
The idea with proats is that we want to shift the macronutrient profile to boost the protein without sending the calories through the roof. Technically, you could increase the protein in your oats by adding more of most foods.
However, foods outside the dairy and protein groups are not great choices for protein. For some foods (think non-starchy veggies or almond milk), you'd have to eat an excessive volume to get a reasonable amount of protein. Some other foods are too energy-dense to be prioritized as a good source of protein.
💪 Baked Proats High Protein Foods List
The protein options in this list provide a lot of protein in relation to their calories. The protein content of a single egg white does not look very impressive. However, when you take the calories into account, you can see that egg whites are a very concentrated protein source.
You can add a lot of egg whites to a recipe to boost the protein without sending the calories through the roof. Many dairy products are also good contenders to help increase the protein in your oatmeal.
- Egg whites: 17 calories each, 3.6 g protein
- Whole eggs: 70 calories per large egg, 6.0 g protein
- Dairy milk: 120 calories per cup of 2% milk, 8.1 g protein (or a non-dairy milk with comparable protein; many are not good options)
- Fairlife dairy milk: 120 calories per cup of 2% milk, 13.0 g protein (this brand uses a special filtration process to concentrate the protein while reducing the sugar)
- Instant dry milk powder: 243 calories per cup of nonfat dry milk powder, 23.9 g protein (reconstitute with only half the water as we are doing in this recipe to concentrate the protein)
- Plain Greek yogurt or skyr: 72 calories of nonfat Greek yogurt, 12.5 g protein
- Cottage cheese: 151 calories per cup nonfat cottage cheese, 21.7 g protein
Making savory oatmeal opens up even more options, such as using meats.
🥛 Making Dairy-Free Proats
If you are looking for non-dairy alternatives, I offer a list of brands that I think are good options on my freebies page. You don't need to sign up for anything to see the list. The products on my list have no added sugar and offer comparable protein and calcium to dairy milk.
Lactose-free milk simply means that the natural milk sugar lactose has been broken down into simple sugars. This makes the milk easier for people with limited lactose tolerance to digest, but it does not impact the protein content. Lactose-free milk typically refers to dairy milk, though the dairy-free milk alternatives are also lactose-free.
If you would like to substitute soymilk powder for the instant dry milk powder in this recipe, know that many are not fortified. You may not be getting the calcium, vitamin B12, and so on that are (hopefully) present in your regular non-dairy alternative.
🥣 Best Protein for Proats
Some of the best protein sources for a baked proats recipe are listed above. Nuts and seeds (such as chia seeds) are technically in the protein group in the MyPlate. However, they are incredibly calorie-dense, and I prefer to think of them as healthy fats versus protein.
That said, nuts and seeds do contribute some protein to meals. Of the nuts, peanuts provide a little more protein than most other options. (And by the way, peanuts are not technically a nut at all; they are a legume!)
I'm using peanut flour, chopped peanuts, and peanut butter in this recipe for triple the peanut goodness. This high-protein proats recipe has a really great chocolate peanut butter banana flavor.
Rather than cover all of the nuts and seeds, I thought I'd just show the protein and calorie content of the ones used in this recipe. Here they are:
- Peanuts: 200 calories per ¼ cup, 9.4 g protein
- Peanut flour (defatted): 12 calories per 1 tablespoon, 2.0 g protein
- Hemp hearts: 40 calories per 1 tablespoon, 2.4 g protein
- Peanut butter: 190 calories per 2 tablespoons, 7.2 g protein
As you can see, the defatted peanut flour is a much more concentrated source of protein than the peanuts or peanut butter. It's kind of like the protein powder of the peanut world. Haha
That said, if you are looking for the less processed, whole food options, defatted peanut flour is not it. I did find peanut flour helpful when I was on my weight loss journey. It can be a great way to create low-calorie dishes that taste like peanut butter.
Hemps hearts (also called "hemp seeds") add to our protein line-up as well. But like other nuts and seeds, they pack a lot of calories into a very small serving size.
📋 Egg White Oatmeal Calories
Providing macronutrient information can make things easier for certain folks. That includes those who are trying to eat more protein, lower fat, or fewer carbs.
It can be useful to have the nutrition information when you are learning how to eat to meet your goals. This tends to be true especially at the beginning of a health journey, when you are learning the ropes.
The nutrition information below is for ¼ of this egg white oatmeal (a huge portion!) with the toppings. If you wanted to make your egg white oats without the toppings, here's what ¼ of the proats offers nutritionally:
- 458 calories
- 9.9 g fat
- 68.9 g carbohydrates
- 8.2 g fiber
- 26 g protein
No surprises here, but bananas and oatmeal are not a good low-carb or keto breakfast option! However, this recipe has no added sugar. Mashed ripe bananas not only provide sweetness here, they also completely hide the flavor of the milk powder and egg whites.
As you can see, the toppings are critical to boost your proats to almost 30 g of protein. Without them, the protein falls a bit lower (but still likely adequate).
🔪 How to Make Egg White Oatmeal
Quantities of ingredients are located in the recipe card at the end of the article. I recommend weighing the dry ingredients using a food scale for the most consistent results. Make sure to use quick oats or old-fashioned dry oats that are gluten free certified if you want a GF dish.
Preheat the oven to 325F (163C). Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch (20x20 cm) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the instant dry milk powder with 2 cups of water to reconstitute it. (This should make it more concentrated than the recipe on the milk package.)
Mix the oats, peanuts, baking powder, cocoa powder, and peanut flour together in a large bowl. Mix the mashed banana, egg whites, milk powder mixture, and vanilla together in a second bowl. Now add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and thoroughly combine them. Pour this mixture into the baking dish.
Put the dish on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Let the oatmeal cool a bit, and then you can add toppings.
❓ Oatmeal Mix-Ins and Toppings
I used the following fiber-rich toppings for this baked oatmeal with egg whites:
- Fresh banana slices
- Chopped strawberries (other fruits work too)
- Hemp hearts (other nuts or seeds can be used)
- Cacao nibs (can sub chocolate chips)
- Peanut butter
You could also use dried fruits (such as raisins or coconut), or spices like cinnamon. Oatmeal tends to not be the prettiest thing to look at. On its own, it kind of resembles a bowl of gloppy gray paste. Yummy, right? Haha
Taking a few extra minutes to make your dishes more visually appealing may be worth your trouble. Many of us eat with our eyes as much as we do with our digestive system. We want foods that taste AND look good.
One way to pretty up egg white oatmeal is the toppings. I've got a lot going on here, with the drizzle of peanut butter and a sprinkling of cacao nibs and hemp hearts.
But the simple decorating tip I'm really patting myself on the back for are the banana hearts. A small set of stainless steel cookie cutters can be used for far more than cookies. I probably use my set far more often to cut fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes it’s nice to just throw some hearts all over breakfast. It's a small way to make a humble dish of baked egg white oatmeal a little more special and show it was baked with love.
🌡️ Can you reheat egg white oatmeal?
Yes, you can reheat leftover egg white oatmeal. This egg white oatmeal slices nicely after being chilled. Then you can either reheat in the microwave or enjoy it cold (or at room temp).
Egg white oatmeal can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Don’t top the oatmeal until right before serving. Otherwise, the banana slices will turn brown.
I don’t recommend freezing this baked oatmeal; freezing and thawing can lead to texture changes.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). The nutrition information for this recipe is for one serving of the proats with the toppings. Though we're just a smidge over 500 calories (technically level 2), these protein oats have all the things I look for to stay full. We've got a significant amount of protein and fiber here, as well as a large volume of food for the calories.
In short, if you’re looking for proats for weight loss, IMHO this recipe is a good choice. It should help you stay satisfied until lunch, so there's no need to grab a second breakfast. (Plus, I don't know about you, but I really don't have time to eat a bunch of extra meals on a weekday!)
Starting the day with a hearty breakfast helps me to keep my mind on my work, rather than food. Hooray for the staying power of proats!
How do you make oats more voluminous?
Adding egg whites to oatmeal makes them fluffier and gives them more volume. It’s a great way to make a high volume, low calorie breakfast! Adding extra water while cooking oats can also make them more voluminous.
How do you thicken up oatmeal?
You can thicken oatmeal by cooking it longer, adding less liquid, and using milk instead of water. Certain ingredients (such as chia seeds) can also help thicken porridge.
What does egg white oatmeal taste like? IMVHO, egg white baked oats taste like regular oats. The combination of ingredients used in this recipe hides the eggy flavor. If you change the recipe, you might taste more egg.
To make stovetop egg white oats, combine rolled oats and reconstituted milk powder over medium heat until the oats are cooked. Add additional water if needed if the oats are too thick. Next add the rest of the ingredients, and stir constantly until heated and the egg whites are cooked.
I don’t recommend making microwave egg white oatmeal, as the texture isn’t great. If you want to try, microwave the oats and liquid to cook the oats. Next stir in the egg whites, and microwave/stir in 30 second increments until the egg whites are cooked.
I do not recommend making overnight egg white oats for food safety reasons. Uncooked egg whites may contain Salmonella, plus uncooked whites contain a protein called avidin that can block biotin absorption. Cooking denatures the avidin.
Instead of eggs and milk powder, you can use plant based proteins to make proats vegan. Some high protein vegan foods include blended silken tofu, soymilk, soy yogurt, plant based protein powder, and peanut flour.
The six-pack crew often follows a diet with macro targets that are high in protein and healthy carbs, and low in fat. If you’re a bodybuilder with similar goals, this egg white baked oatmeal should be a good fit.
👩🏻🍳 Other Protein Oatmeal Recipes
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Baked Oats with Egg White (Proats Recipe: Egg White Oatmeal)
- 2 cups rolled oatmeal, dry (170 grams)
- 3 medium bananas, mashed (very ripe)
- ½ cup chopped peanuts (56 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (5 grams)
- 1 tablespoon peanut flour (7 grams)
- 4 large egg whites (save the egg yolks for another recipe)
- 1⅓ cups instant dry milk powder (97 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- cooking oil spray of choice
- 2 teaspoons hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ medium banana, fresh
- 2 medium strawberries, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Mist an 8X8 inch (20x20 cm) glass baking dish with cooking oil spray.
- Mix the instant dry milk powder with 2 cups of water to reconstitute it. (This should make it more concentrated than the recipe on the milk package.)
- Mix the oats, peanuts, baking powder, cocoa powder, and peanut flour together in a large bowl. Mix the mashed banana, egg whites, milk powder mixture, and vanilla together in a second bowl. Now add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and thoroughly combine them. Pour this mixture into the baking dish.
- Put the dish on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Let the oatmeal cool a bit, and then you can add toppings.
- Drizzle on the peanut butter (thin it with water if needed). Next, sprinkle on the hemp hearts and cacao nibs. Finish things off by topping with the fresh banana slices and chopped strawberries. I cut the banana slices into hearts using the small cutters I've linked to in the equipment section above.