Oatmeal may be my very favorite breakfast. You can customize it in countless different ways, and enjoy it on-the-go or savor it at home on a weekend morning. Although there are plenty of instant oatmeal varieties available, I typically choose plain “quick oats” or “old fashioned oats.” You can cook old fashioned on the stovetop in less than 10 minutes. Steel cut oats, which are less processed, take longer to cook. They also take longer to digest but that makes you feel fuller, longer. No matter which type you choose, all oatmeal provides heart-healthy fiber, which can lower cholesterol levels and decrease your risk for heart disease.
If you struggle to find time to make breakfast, make a big batch of oatmeal early in the week. Then reheat a single portion each day. Here are two of my favorite oatmeal combinations.
Peanut Butter Banana Oats
- ½ cup quick oats
- 1½ cups water
- ½ banana, sliced into very thin slices
- 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (preferably with no added sugar)
- ⅛ tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- Heat oats and water together in a medium saucepan, stirring once the mixture comes to a boil.
- When almost all of the water is absorbed, add in thinly sliced banana. Stir vigorously until no lumps remain.
- Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.
This recipe doesn’t need extra sugar. The sweetness from the banana, which gets absorbed as the oatmeal cooks, flavors the oats and gives them a voluminous, creamy texture.
Approximate nutrition information: 310 calories, 11 grams fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams protein
“Overnight” Blueberry Almond Oats
- ⅓ cup old fashioned oats (uncooked)
- ⅓ cup skim milk
- ⅓ cup fat-free blueberry Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. slivered almonds
- ½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least two hours).
- Microwave before eating (approximately 1 minute), or enjoy cold!
This “overnight” method is my favorite in the summer time, when I want something cool and refreshing for breakfast. The oatmeal absorbs the liquid as it sits, making it unnecessary to cook the oats (but they can be warmed in the microwave if desired). Try different combinations of fruit, yogurt, and other toppings!
Approximate nutrition information: 260 calories, 5 grams fat, 42 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams protein
What’s your favorite oatmeal flavor combination?