1. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat.
2. While water is heating, heat the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat until toasted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Watch carefully. As soon as they begin to turn golden and smell fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
3. As soon as water boils, stir in oats and wheat germ, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the water has been absorbed by the oats, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cottage cheese, and stir until well mixed. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla, then stir in apple. Cook over low heat until heated through and apple begins to soften slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in maple syrup if using, and remove from heat.
4. To serve, divide oatmeal among 6 bowls. Top each with 1 Tbsp. toasted almonds, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and a strawberry half, if using. Serve with nonfat milk on the side, if desired.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, September - October 2012