Nutrition Articles

No More Boring Oatmeal!

20 Ways to Turn Ordinary Oats into Something Special

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It’s 10 a.m., and your stomach starts that familiar growl, so you’re tempted to grab a snack. Trouble is, those hunger pangs tend to come at a time when you’re busy, so you’re likely to absentmindedly reach for something quick, which often translates to something high in sugar and calories.

The key to keeping those mid-morning growls at bay is to start the day with a smart breakfast, one that will sustain you until lunchtime. Many breakfast cereals, especially those that are sweetened or made with puffed grains like rice or corn, simply aren’t filling enough to get you through the first half of your day.

And if you skip breakfast? Forget it. You’ll be running on fumes way before lunchtime. Not only that, but you’ll miss out on a key source of fiber and vitamins that are commonly found in breakfast foods. According to the International Food Information Council, eating breakfast may boost alertness and concentration, and help reduce cholesterol. The IFIC also notes that eating whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk to start the day can help regulate insulin and digestion.

Want to maximize the benefits of that morning meal? Then think oatmeal. Here’s the deal: Oats have plenty of fiber (about 4 grams in each 1/2 cup uncooked serving) plus about 6 grams of protein. Not only will oatmeal help you feel fuller longer, but it has heart-health benefits as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, 3 grams of soluble fiber per day, the amount found in one bowl of oatmeal, can reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream. (Click here to learn about the differences between soluble and insoluble fiber and how much total fiber you need.)
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About The Author

Bryn Mooth Bryn Mooth
Bryn Mooth is an independent copywriter and journalist focused on food, wellness and design; she's also a Master Gardener and enthusiastic green thumb. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.

Member Comments

  • LADYBUGSLUCK9
    I add a healthy dose of cinnamon to my oats before cooking, don't stir. & they cook up in the microwave wonderful! - 7/10/2014 8:31:24 AM
  • KVEBLEN
    Living in Canada means oatmeal with maple syrup. If you haven't tried it (with blueberries, raw sunflower seeds, cinnamon, etc. etc.), well, you must! - 5/13/2014 10:42:25 PM
  • I add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter to mine each morning. I put a spoonful in the bottom of my bowl and pour my hot oatmeal over it. It's additive ! - 11/18/2013 6:13:44 AM
  • I like apple cinnamon. I cook for one and do not like opening a large jar of applesauce or bottle of apple juice. I use the one snack pack size applesauce. I also buy the toddler size juice boxes, 6 oz., and will replace part of water with juice for apple flavor.

    also, try sugar free pancake syrup instead of maple syrup - 11/17/2013 1:33:43 PM
  • THINKBASS
    Love oatmeal! I have a bowl most mornings. Quick to fix and delicious. And funny enough my dear mother would, as a child, practically have to force me. - 8/28/2013 8:19:50 PM
  • Quaker now has "perfect portion" with no sugar, LOVE IT. I add 1 1/2 TBLS Peanut butter, ups my protein, and OH so good!!! YUMMMMM, eating breakfast now! - 8/28/2013 8:15:17 AM
  • JANETEMILY
    I remember, as a kid, Thursday mornings were always oatmeal days. My Mom had to cook them on the stove. (It was the 60's!) I use the microwave; old-fashioned oats only take 3 minutes! It's true, they can boil over easily in the microwave and make a mess, the trick to avoiding this is to use a wide, shallow bowl (like a soup bowl) instead of a regular cereal bowl. - 8/27/2013 8:19:43 AM
  • JNJ300
    I sometimes mix in a flavored protein powder with my oatmeal. - 8/27/2013 8:09:35 AM
  • I love steel cut oats. They have a firmer texture and nutty flavor that keeps me full till lunch. Yum! - 8/27/2013 12:21:17 AM
  • I love oatmeal and this article gives some good ideas/recipes for fixing it. I might try making some steel cut oats ahead of time and freezing them for future breakfasts. - 6/17/2013 9:01:36 AM
  • Try Country Choice oatmeal. Good stuff! - 6/2/2013 7:58:17 AM
  • I tried oatmeal but I just can't handle it. - 5/12/2013 7:35:20 PM
  • PLUMBACH
    I eat oatmeal every day. We call it porridge here in the UK. The easiest way to make it is in the microwave. It means you can still use the unprocessed variety but it doesn't take as long and you don't have the saucepan to deal with! I use half a cup of oats per person to 3 cups of milk and water (in any ratio you like). Make sure you put everything in a big enough container. Microwave on full power until it comes to the boil. That's about 2 minutes for one portion. Then leave it to stand while you go and have a shower, walk the dog, etc. Microwave again to heat and its ready. It takes some experimenting until you get the timings right because it can easily spill over the dish. People also prefer different consistencies. But once you have worked it out its so easy and quick. - 2/3/2013 2:53:18 AM
  • Good article. I always forget about oatmeal. Thanks for the slow cooker recipe - I'm going to try it tonight. Much better than the sugary, expensive packets. - 1/16/2013 10:10:33 PM
  • I love savoury oatmeals! I used to add an egg, a pinch of salt, pepper and some herbs(if I have them) to my rolled oats for breakfast or lunch. But if you're a vegetarian or you prefer soy protein, add slightly mashed tofu (the silky soft type) instead of an egg. You can sneak in some leafy greens (eg. spinach) as well. I know this sounds a little weird, but if sweet oatmeal isn't your thing, this is worth trying. - 12/18/2012 10:17:02 PM

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