Oatmeal is a classic breakfast meal made from a simple combination of oats and a warm liquid such as water or milk for a creamier consistency. It is a go-to breakfast around the world and has many different names including porridge, cereal, and even hot cereal. Oatmeal has truly stood the test of time as one of the immediate meals we associate with the morning time. It is easy to make, inexpensive, good for you, and extremely versatile. What more could you ask for in a breakfast? Rolled oats and steel-cut oats will be your best bet for the healthiest angle, and just be mindful when choosing boxes of instant oats, as they usually contain high amounts of sugar. Other than that, as long as it’s made with water or milk and topped with your favorite flavorful toppings, then this bowl of oats is sure to be a great start to your day!
Next Level Oatmeal
Don’t be fooled by the small size and simple design of the alrighty oat. They are actually incredibly nutritious, in addition to being filling and satisfying. If you are someone that likes to have a morning routine and prefers to repeat meals often as a method for reserving time and energy, then including oatmeal in your diet may be for you! Oatmeal can easily be meal-prepped and made in advance to minimize cooking time.
The base of any hearty oatmeal bowl is the two main ingredients: oats and a liquid. You can eat your oatmeal just like this, or you can amplify this base by making Next Level Oatmeal. To begin, I prefer to use a plant-based milk alternative such as almond, coconut, or hemp for a creamy texture. Now that’s just the base, or a blank canvas if you will. What comes next is the fun part – customizing your bowl. You can use your favorite toppings to turn this modest bowl of oats into a luxurious, superfood-filled breakfast. Whether your additions are as minimal as cinnamon and a dash of sea salt, or if you like to get inspired by Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls. If you chose the latter, you may be drawn to add a blend of your favorite superfoods including chia, flax, hemp, and/or pumpkin seeds. If that isn’t enough, you’ll likely want to add some of your favorite fruits including fresh or frozen berries, chopped apples or pears, and banana slices. Kiwi chunks and pomegranate seeds also add a burst of color to your oatmeal bowls, as well as an added dose of vitamins and minerals. For another layer of texture and added nutrition, I recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter such as peanut, almond, or cashew. Raisins or coconut flakes are a couple more suggestions to help you create your very own Next Level Oatmeal. You can add whatever toppings you like to make this meal tasty and satisfying.
Alongside being easy to make and versatile, oats have tons of nutritional benefits for the body. To start, half a cup of dry oats contains:
- manganese: 191% of the RDI
- phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
- magnesium: 34% of the RDI
- copper: 24% of the RDI
- iron: 20% of the RDI
- zinc: 20% of the RDI
- folate: 11% of the RDI
- vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI
- vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI
Not to mention, they are a quality, plant-based source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. There are also several antioxidants in oats, some of which may have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as helping reduce blood pressure levels. The soluble fiber found in oats helps lower LDL and total cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and increases how full you feel.
Different Ways To Eat Oatmeal
One half a cup of oats to one cup of hot liquid – this is the golden ratio for the perfect bowl of oatmeal. And while you may think there is only one traditional way of making oatmeal, think again! People have been becoming more and more creative with this morning favorite and are now jazzing up their techniques for making oats. Of course, the stovetop with hot water method comes to mind, but have you tried overnight oats? Using the same oat to liquid ratio, this method allows you to keep the bowl in the refrigerator overnight so that the oats have all the time they need to soak in the liquid. In these types of recipes, I definitely recommend adding your favorite spices and a dash of sea salt to the mix before refrigerating. Muffins or baked oats are for those who enjoy a fluffier, bread-like texture for breakfast. Both of these recipes can be made in advance and heated up in the morning or eaten as is.
And there you have it folks! Make sure to keep quality oats in your kitchen as a pantry staple. Check out our Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe for another variation on this classic breakfast meal. Tag us at @FarmboxDirect and using the hashtag #FarmboxDirect so we can see your oatmeal creations.