One Whole Grain
So Many Options!
Oatmeal is a natural whole grain that’s packed with fiber and nutrients. Research shows that eating oatmeal can improve heart health and may even reduce gut inflammation. Unfortunately, many packaged oatmeals are low in protein with a ton of added sugar. So instead of reaching for that instant oatmeal, give one of these home-made options a try:
Oatmeal Variations -
Classic Hot Oatmeal:
Exactly how my dad used to make it! Old Fashioned oats cook up in about 5 minutes and are just as nutritious as other oatmeal varieties.
½ cup Old Fashioned oats, 1 water
Bring water to a boil. Add oats and cook for about 5 minutes, until oats have absorbed liquid.
Or combine water and oats and microwave for 2 minutes, stir, and microwave another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Steel cut oats have gained popularity in recent years for their hearty texture and slightly nutty flavor. These oats are delicious and very filling.
¼ cup Steel Cut or Irish oats, ¾ - 1 cup water
Bring water to a boil. Add oats and cook for about 15 minutes, until oats have absorbed liquid.
Or cook oats overnight: Bring water to a boil, add oats, stir, and cover. Remove from heat and let sit overnight. Your oats will be cooked in the morning.
Basic Overnight Oats:
This oatmeal can be made in a large batch then portioned out every day. It’s quick and easy, and the yogurt is a good source of protein.
1/3 cup Old Fashioned oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
Combine ingredients and refrigerate overnight
Add Some Flavor
Of course plain oatmeal can be a little boring. Try adding any of the following to give it a little flavor and sweetness without added sugars:
Fresh, frozen, or dried fruit –
Tasty options include apples, berries, a few slices of banana, peaches, raisins, dried cranberries, or unsweetened coconut flakes
Seasonings and spices –
I like vanilla extract, black strap molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and/or ginger
Umph up Your Oatmeal
Oatmeal is naturally high in good carbohydrates but you may want to add some protein to make your breakfast more complete.
Cook your oats in milk –
Use 1 cup of 2% milk instead of water when cooking your oats
Mix in some nuts or seeds –
Add in some natural peanut butter, sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts
Or try ground flax or chia seed
Add an egg white –
This may seem like an odd suggestion but trust me it works! Stir an egg white into your oatmeal mix and make sure to stir once more as it cooks.
Oatmeal is really easy to prepare in advance and it will keep in the fridge for several days. Plan ahead by making a big batch to portion out during the week. Note that some oatmeal toppings are best when cooked in while other toppings will get soggy after a few hours. If you’re making your oatmeal ahead of time follow this guide:
Add when cooking
spices, vanilla extract, banana, ground flax or chia seed, peanut butter, egg white
Add right before you eat
fresh or dried fruit (with the exception of a banana which can be added when cooking), nuts