A delicious bowl of oatmeal warms you from the inside out. Oats are a great way to get a hearty breakfast without breaking the bank. These versatile whole grains work well either warmed in porridge, thrown into smoothies, baked into granola, or soaked in a batch of overnight oats. Let's take a minute to focus on oatmeal and the steps to create nutritionally balanced, flavorful combinations.
When made well, oatmeal can be tasty, filling, and nutritious. But when it's simply thrown together with brown sugar, we end up with a blood sugar disaster that leads to insulin spikes and hanger. Adding a portion of healthy fat and protein to each serving will support optimal digestion and blood sugar balance.
Oats are affordable and easy to make in large batches for many to share, while allowing for individualized portions to customize for various tastes. The next time that you're hosting brunch, try providing an oatmeal bar for guests to pick and choose their own oatmeal combination. (Be mindful to purchase certified gluten-free oats, so all can indulge safely.)
The following guidelines will ensure that you prepare a satiating, slow burning bowl of oats.
Find Your Perfect Ratio.
The ratio of liquid to old fashion rolled oats is typically 2 to 1. An average serving size is 1/3 cup of dry oats (~1/2 cup cooked oats). Following this guideline means you would use ~2/3 cup liquid, lessening the amount for thick oats and increasing for a more porridge-like consistency (my personal favorite). Liquids you can use include: filtered water; dairy free milk; bone broth; herbal tea; or 100% juice.
Don't Be Afraid of Fat.
Adding a dose of healthy fat to your bowl helps slow down the absorption rate, supporting blood sugar balance. Fats also satiate, making you feel fuller faster and longer. Try adding healthy fat options to your oats like: nut/seed butters; nuts/seeds; coconut oil/butter/shreds; organic grass-fed ghee; chocolate almond butter; honey cinnamon spread; or cashew cream.
Protein provides many benefits, including: building and repairing the body; supporting cell replication and regeneration; and even muscle tissue repair. Protein can be found in plant or animal forms. Select the type of protein which best fits your body's needs. A few options for plant-based protein include; hemp hearts; chia seeds; nuts/seeds; or vegan protein powders. If animal protein is more your thing, try organic grass-fed collagen, egg whites (I typically eat eggs in their whole form, however, if you want to add them to oats, the egg whites blend nicely), or salmon for savory oats.
Don't Forget the Flavor!
Let's face it, oats on their own aren't the tastiest little buggers. This is why they are often loaded with brown sugar. Better options for adding flavor without adding extra sugar are: vanilla; cacao powder; spices (cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, etc.); nut butter; or fruit (fresh or frozen). On the rare occasion when you want more sweetness, stick with natural options like maple syrup, dates or honey.
Top 'Em Off and Call It Good.
Don't stop now! You've almost made a bowl of oats fit for a Queen (or King, if that's more your thing). Add toppings which catch the eye (to stimulate digestion and happy thoughts), fulfill crunch cravings, and boost flavor. Try toppings like cacao nibs, nuts, seeds, a drizzle of maple syrup, yogurt or kefir, coconut shreds, dried fruit, hemp seeds, energy orbs or gluten-free granola.
Bonus: Adaptogenic Appreciation
Play around with adaptogens (herbs that support balance and restore and protect the body). To include adaptogens in your oats, add goji berries, mushroom powders (I like Moon Juice Dusts and Four Sigmatic blends), ashwagandha, or maca after heating.
For more inspiration, try one of our Outrageously Good Oatmeal Combinations.
What oatmeal tip is most helpful for you?