8 Ways to Augment The Oatmeal Breakfast

woman eating oatmeal

Amanda Carney

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, as it should be – what you choose to eat will determine how you feel throughout the day, and likely, what other food choices you will be making. If you typically enjoy a sugary breakfast, which includes most cold cereals, packaged foods, and baked goods, you might notice that you are likely reaching for sweet foods all afternoon and evening to prevent yourself from the inevitable sugar crash.

Perhaps breakfast really isn’t your thing and you tend to skip it altogether. You may notice that even with a decent lunch and dinner you are still experiencing cravings later on, or that you might have difficulty losing weight.

If you tend to choose a balanced breakfast made with real foods and beneficial nutrients, you may find that you are hungry for similar healthy foods at lunch, and again at dinner, feeling a balanced sense of energy and little cravings throughout the day.

When we feed our body the macronutrients that it needs, which include healthy fats, vitamins, good quality proteins and loads of nutrient-dense veggies, we generally experience more balanced hunger levels, sustained energy and a natural feeling of lightness.

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Make Your Oatmeal Breakfast More Nutritious and Delicious!

Offering whole grains, fiber, and antioxidants, oatmeal has been considered a healthy breakfast staple for many years, providing many of the macronutrients mentioned above. However, if you are looking to enhance this healthy staple, even more, you can do so in simple and flavorful ways!

With a balanced, nutty flavor, oatmeal can be the perfect vehicle for all kinds of additional foods that contain beneficial nutrients, added antioxidants, extra fiber and have immune-boosting effects. By stocking your pantry with just a few of these foods, you can easily increase the nutritional value of this breakfast classic by simply mixing them into your oatmeal and enjoying the new flavors and textures.

Making a Standard Oatmeal Base

Making your own oatmeal is best as you can choose quality oats and avoid any artificial flavors, added sugars or preservatives that come in most pre-made versions. If helpful, you can make a big batch at the beginning of the week and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge, adding only a little water to heat it up over the stove when you are ready to enjoy.

Because dairy can be problematic for many people, I choose to cook my oatmeal in a mix of full-fat coconut milk and water. This makes the oats creamy and offers good quality fats while reducing the chance of digestive discomfort.

How to Make a Standard Oatmeal Base (serves 1-2):

Ingredients:

½ cup water
~½ cup full-fat coconut milk (I prefer Native Forest Full Fat Coconut Milk – http://amzn.to/1QyLp8A)
½ cup rolled oats
Directions:
Combine oats, water, and coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Continue cooking until oats begin to soften and liquid begins to thicken until your desired consistency is reached.

Now for the toppings! I recommend choosing just 2 or 3 toppings as to not complicate the flavors.

Related Article: 6 Ways To Avoid Hunger That Leads To Overeating

Oatmeal Breakfast

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats nourish the body in many ways. Unfortunately, we have been taught for many years that fat makes us fat, causing many people to believe that they need to avoid healthy fats in order to be healthy. I am here to tell you the opposite – that you NEED healthy fats as part of a balanced meal! Not only do healthy fats help you feel more satiated and energized, but they nourish everything from your skin to your cells, and are particularly important for brain function and hormone balance. Fat is also necessary to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K, which are essential players in building a strong immune system and regular bodily function.

Some healthy fats you might enjoy in your oatmeal include:

  • Almond butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Shredded coconut

Fruit

Offering added vitamins, nutrients and flavors, along with a natural sweetness, fruit can make a wonderful addition to any bowl of oatmeal.

Some commonly used fruits include:

  • Sliced banana
  • Diced apple
  • Berries

Superfoods

Superfoods are considered the most nutrient-packed foods on the planet, offering a potent dose of antioxidants, phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, essential trace minerals, and amino acids – making them the perfect addition to amp up the nutritional value of any meal! Some superfoods that go wonderfully with oatmeal include:

Hemp seeds – small seeds with a nutty flavor, hemp seeds are a complete protein and contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which support brain function, immune strength, heart health and digestion.

Chia seeds – loaded with fiber and antioxidants, these small black seeds will thicken the consistency of your oatmeal without changing the flavor. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Goji berries – these small, pink berries are loaded with age-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C. They aren’t too sweet, and offer a nice flavor to oatmeal. Throw them in the pot while the oatmeal is cooking to soften them up!

Cacao powder / cacao nibs – chocolate in its real form! It has a tremendous amount of antioxidants, and also contains essential trace minerals such as magnesium and manganese. Cacao is also great for kids because it turns plain old oatmeal into chocolate cereal!

*I recommend choosing the above “superfood” products from Navitas Naturals – available to order online or in most health food stores.

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Alternative Sweeteners

In my opinion, we should all be eating less sugar. To be brief, sugar has been linked with many imbalances and diseases in the body, is directly correlated with weight gain, and generally doesn’t have a positive impact on overall health. Sure, a little here and there may not be the worst thing in the world, but with sugar in almost everything these days, it’s important to learn where it hides by reading ingredients lists and getting in the habit of using alternatives!

Some great alternatives to sugar include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Raw honey
  • Real maple syrup
  • Stevia

Recipes

If you are interested in using some of these new ingredients but are unsure where to begin, here are a few of my favorite combinations:

Apple and Chia Cinnamon Oatmeal

½ cup cooked oatmeal
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Mix together and top with:
½ apple, diced
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Banana Chocolate Oatmeal

½ cooked oatmeal
1 teaspoon grass-fed butter / ghee
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Mix together and top with:
sliced banana
Drizzle of maple syrup

Almond Butter and Jelly Oatmeal (a great one for kids!)

½ cup cooked oatmeal
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ cup blueberries
Mix together and top with:
Drizzle of raw honey

8 Ways to Augment Your Oatmeal Breakfast

  1. Make your own oatmeal from scratch for best results

  2. Healthy fats like almond butter, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter

  3. Fruit, such as sliced banana, diced apple, and berries

  4. Superfoods like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and goji berries

  5. Shredded coconut

  6. Cacao

  7. Cinnamon

  8. Alternative sweeteners, such as raw honey, real maple syrup, or stevia

Here’s to continuing to make breakfast the most important meal of the day!You Might Like:

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