When it comes to breakfast, it’s easy to get into a rut, eating the same thing day in and day out. Although this is easier than getting creative, it can impact health in the long run. Variety is not only the spice for life, but it’s also the spice for health. Good gut bacteria thrive on different types of plant compounds called polyphenols. Cacao powder and hazelnuts are two polyphenol superstars, ranking as some of the most concentrated plant sources.  

This oatmeal recipe combines cacao powder, cacao nibs, and hazelnuts with delicious fall fruit. Aside from a drizzle of maple syrup or honey as a finishing touch, there’s no added sugar. Plus, the protein from the chia seeds and hydrolyzed collagen powder will keep you full and fueled.  

Enjoy this porridge hot or cold, bring to work for an easy on-the-go breakfast meal, or enjoy as a healthy dessert. Either way, your taste buds and your microbiome will thank you.  

Makes three 1-cup servings 


  • 1 cup rolled oats 
  • 2 cups water 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan or Celtic)  
  • 1 medium ripe pear (or apple), grated with peel 
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder 
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • 2 servings hydrolyzed collagen powder 
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened milk (any type) 
  • 3 figs, quartered  
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted hazelnuts 
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs 
  • Maple syrup or honey 


  1. Place the oats, water, salt, grated pear or apple, cacao powder, and chia seeds into a saucepan. Stir until combined and heat over medium heat. Cover and stir occasionally to prevent from sticking to the bottom. Add extra water if needed. Cook until oats are tender, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in hydrolyzed collagen powder until dissolved.  
  2. Divide the mixture into three bowls. (I like to make one bowl for immediate use and then store the remaining porridge in two glass containers for an easy breakfast the following days.)  
  3. Top each serving with ½ cup milk, a quartered fig, chopped roasted hazelnuts, cacao nibs, and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Enjoy hot or cold.  

Nutrition: 350kcal, 50g carbs, 10g fiber, 12g fat, 15g protein.  

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