Budget Meal: Cinnamon Roll Slow Cooker Oats

I recently came across a really great oatmeal recipe that was too good not to share. I’ve been eating it all this week and I can tell you, I will be making it again when I can.

Oatmeal is probably my favorite fall and winter breakfast simply because it fills me up and tastes good. Nothing beats a cold run followed by a warm breakfast.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and immediately it drew my attention because it combines oatmeal and cinnamon rolls. It’s not simply oatmeal with some cinnamon in it, it has other ingredients that up the calorie and nutrient profile.

I was also attracted to it because I could make it in my slow cooker and it only took 2 hours. The problem I have with slow cooker meals sometimes is that I am not home to turn them off. Then they over-cook the food or in the case of oatmeal, I would need to get up at like 3AM to shut it off.

No thanks, not even for oatmeal.

I thought I would do the cost and calorie breakdown per serving for this recipe. I must confess that, as with most of my breakfasts, I added peanut butter on top when I ate it, so add 300 calories if you do that.

[picture from Moms With Crockpots]

2 Cups Oats (Aldi’s Rolled Oats: $1.13)
2 eggs, beaten (free from my family farm)
3 Cups Milk (Aldi’s Vanilla Silk Soy Milk: $1.19)
1/2 cup sugar (Aldi’s Brown Sugar: $0.14)
2 tbsp Baking Mix (Gluten free or regular) or All purpose flour (Aldi’s All-Purpose: $0.01)
1 tsp cinnamon (spice rack)**
1 tsp vanilla (spice rack)**

Total Cost: $2.47

Total Calorie (3-4 Servings): 1,489

**I consider these “freebies” because I do not buy spices often and buy them in bulk to have them on hand.

Have you ever made oatmeal in a crock-pot?

Athlete On A Budget

I really like saving money. I like finding deals or simply learning to live with less. One of my favorite ways to do this is with food and cooking. Once I learned how to cook and make a few cheap staples, I’ve been able to both save money, but also afford higher quality items, such as organic or specialty things.

I have always enjoyed reading posts about how to eat well and not spend an arm and a leg. These resources were great, but I found myself constantly adjusting the amounts and therefore cost, because I eat a lot more than the average person. I eat like an athlete, so I taught myself how to do that while still living a frugal life.

For example, a normal breakfast for the average person might total 500 calories are cost $1.00, say oatmeal with milk and maple syrup or honey and fruit. For me, I add a few tablespoons of peanut butter and nuts to get myself to around 1,000 calories. It sounds like a lot, but three table spoons of peanut butter is 500 calories and depending on brand of peanut butter only costs you $0.20-$0.40.

I thought when I actually looked at my spending and eating, it would be a lot harder to stick to my budget, however on the contrary, the most nutrient dense and calorically dense foods did not have to be expensive. It was when I added extras like pre-made granola, superfoods or things not in season where the money added up.

I want to look at my day, break down the costs, calories and actually show how I eat like a plant based athlete on a budget.

I work at a job that takes care of my lunches and a snack or two, which is a huge benefit. However, when I am not at work, I eat mostly like what I would have for dinner, so the price is comparable. The following is what I eat in an average day, followed by the cost breakdown for my breakfast and dinner, which I eat quite a lot of when it gets cold.

Breakfast: oatmeal, peanut butter, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, banana

1/2 cup oatmeal (Wegmans bulk, organic): $0.62

3 T peanut butter (Skippy brand): $0.26

2 T walnuts (Aldi’s): $0.20

1 T pumpkin seeds (Wegman’s bulk, organic): $0.21

1 banana (brown from CTB, but let’s say Wegman’s organic for argument sake): $0.23

Total cost: $1.52

Total calorie: 1,052 (using my fitness pal app)

Lunch: Hummus, sprouts, tomato, lettuce, parsley garlic dressing on sourdough bread, small soup, pickles

Snack: smoothie with spinach, peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, banana, milk, ice

Dinner: oatmeal with peanut butter, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and blueberries, veggies with yogurt dip

Snack: chocolate ginger brownie

Through the day I drink water and coffee. Sometimes I have juice or kombucha if I have a longer run or workout that day or if I want it or it’s free (were throwing it away because it’s expired).

I would like to do more breakdowns of my daily eats as an athlete on a budget. It is as enlightening for me as it might be fun to read. I have realized that if I am smart with my purchases, I can afford to buy my groceries from my organic co-op, which I would like to do more often.

A few tips just in the beginning which as you’ll see, I use frequently:

– Cook beans with some sort of fat, or add it afterwards

– Use peanut butter willingly as it’s the cheapest nut butter

– Season rice as you cook it

– Bananas are the highest calorie and cheapest fruit, they also act as a natural sweetener

– Eggs should always be free-range, cage-free and organic, ideally local, they are cheap protein and fat but should be used sparingly as they are not as ethical or environmental as beans or nuts

Is this something you would like to see more of?

Would you prefer the meal breakdown or a grocery list?

Would you like both organic and regular prices?

Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes with Almond Butter Glaze

Easy, raw vegan donuts are perfect for fall. Easy to make, only 7 ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Enjoy one or three of these with a mug of coffee or hot cider today! 


One food I used to eat a lot of growing up, but don’t so much anymore was a donut. Any time my family got in the car, an obligatory stop at Dunkin’ Donuts was the first thing on the list. I always thought my dad was just spoiling us, but really, he needed to feed his coffee addiction.

Like father, like daughter right?


I was a big fan of the strawberry frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles, but really, any donut with a glaze would satisfy me. Bonus if sprinkles were available.

Today, I only am able to find vegan donuts at a few select places, so that makes having one even more special. After looking at so many recipes online, I finally decided to craft my own…with a special twist.


You all know I’m a but nut butter fan and was recently made an athlete ambassador for Barney Butter. What a better way to eat almond butter than on a donut? Seriously why aren’t there almond butter donuts?


This recipe uses almond butter to glaze the outside of these donut holes and gives them that almost dessert quality, almost too decadent for breakfast.


Raw #Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes with @barneybutter almond butter glaze!! Perfect for on the go, or Sunday #breakfast #veganrecipehour Click To Tweet

Just, save it for the weekend 😉


Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes with Almond Butter Glaze

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 10-12Total:

You'll Need...

  • Donut Holes:
  • 3/4 cup cashews soaked for 30 minutes in warm water, then drained
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (I used Barney Butter Bare Smooth)
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil


  1. Add all the ingredients for the donut holes into a food processor or blender.
  2. Process the ingredients until a moist dough is formed.
  3. Roll into bite sized balls and put in the fridge for 3 hours or the freezer for 25 minutes.
  4. While the donuts are hardening, melt the coconut oil in a small sauce pan over low heat.
  5. Add in the almond butter and maple syrup stirring continuously until a glaze syrup is achieved.
  6. After the donuts have solidified, roll them in the glaze or pour the glaze over them, it works both ways.
  7. Put the back in the freezer or fridge to harden.

What is your favorite donut?

The Easiest Vegan Waffle For One

This easy, gluten-free and vegan waffle recipe is so easy and customizable to whatever you are craving. Whole food ingredients, no artificial sugars or preservatives, and plant based. Take breakfast to the next level with these waffles and look for more coming in the future!

I don’t remember when I started making these waffles, nor do I remember how I came up with this. You could probably find dozens of other recipes on Pinterest, and they are all delicious.

Easy Green Waffle

This recipe is my own tried, true and tested version of waffles and it has never failed me.

Easy Waffle Sandwich

I think this recipe came out of an abundance of bananas and needing to switch it up from my banana bowls. I do love them, but sometimes, you’ve got more time in the morning and want to get fancy.

After I made these the first time, I realized that it was really easy to make these and I didn’t need so much extra time. Now, according to my WIAWs as of late, I eat waffles for multiple meals a day (sometimes).

Essentially, you add some milk to the microwave banana bowl and pop it in the waffle iron.

Woah, that is fancy!

The Easiest #Vegan Waffle recipes has just 3 ingredients and is #GlutenFree! Click To Tweet

Rather than babble on, I’ll just give you the three ingredient recipe and let the results speak for themselves.

Easy Vegan Waffle

Easy Vegan Waffles For One

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: serves 1Total:

You'll Need...

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup GF flour or oats**
  • 1/4-1/3 cup milk depending on banana size


  1. Mash banana and mix in milk. Add in the flour and stir till a batter consistency is achieved. Pour into a sprayed hot waffle iron and cook for 7 minutes.
  2. ** If you use oats, you will need a small blender. Just blend all the ingredients together and follow directions after that.


Are you a syrup fan?

What is your favorite butter? I enjoy Earth Balance, but coconut butter is stealing my heart 🙂

Bliss Nut Butter Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

The power of peanut butter, the satisfying fullness from oats, the Omega-3s from chia seeds. Overnight oatmeal is what we all look forward to when the summer mornings are hot and the sweat starts early.

I cannot lie, as much as I hate finishing a jar of Bliss Nut Butter, I love eating my oats from the jar. Bonus if I remember to make the oats the night before, because that means they are cold! Yes, just like how I take my coffee in the summer, I will gladly take my oats equally as chilled.

Let’s talk about chia seeds, the secret addition to both this recipe and some Bliss Nut Butter products that has me swooning.

Chia Seeds contain all those heart healthy omega-3s that reduce inflammation. They also provide an antioxidant punch similar to blueberries and the correct calcium to magnesium ratio ideal for the skeletal and nervous system. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide 98 calories of energy and 13% of your daily calcium. They are also high in fiber to help the digestive system out a bit.
I simply love the way they gel up and thicken whatever I am making. As a lover of thick smoothies, banana bowls and oats, adding chia seeds is a welcome addition to my meals.

Before I give you the recipe, it’s Wednesday so I know everyone wants to know what I’ve been eating. Thank you to JenArman and Laura for hosting!

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with @blissnutbutter #WIAW #whatveganseat Click To Tweet



Apple, dried peaches and cold brew



Cheesy oats with sprouts and a hemp seeds, bread and butter pickles



Black beans, avocado and salsa bowl


Red Velvet Oreos [unpictured because I forgot]



Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

From at

Prep: Yield: 1Total:

You'll Need...

  • 3-4 tablespoons Bliss Nut Butter original peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder (I use Orgain, Plant Fusion or Vega)
  • 3 tablespoons blackberry jam
  • 1/4 cup granola


  1. Mix together milk and protein powder in a cereal bowl.
  2. Add in the oats and stir until combined.
  3. Stir in chia seeds.
  4. If the peanut butter is already in the jar, just pour oat mixture into the jar. If not, add your peanut butter to the bowl.
  5. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another thirty. Stir. The peanut butter should be mixing into the oats, but still in a few globs in the jar.
  6. Store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top with jam and granola.


Are you a fan of thick, dense eats?

What is your favorite peanut butter?