They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why do so many of our most beloved breakfast options look like desserts?
They might be tasty, but you won’t get much nutrition or long-lasting energy from a tall stack of syrupy pancakes or a jelly-filled Danish.
Fortunately, oatmeal’s always on the menu when it comes to cooking up a delicious and nutritious meal to kickstart your day.
Not only is a piping-hot bowl of oatmeal mouth-wateringly delicious, but it also provides complex carbohydrates and chewy fiber in each bite. One way to make this daily breakfast option even tastier is to add in a key nutrient that our bodies need — protein.
Read on to learn the dozens of ways you can pair oatmeal with a healthy serving (or two) of energy-packed protein.
Why do we need Protein?
Protein isn’t just for packing on muscle after a heavy gym session. These amino acids help our body in three main ways:
- Builds and maintains lean muscle.
- Speeds up recovery after exercise or injury
- Helps regulate your hunger and maintain a healthy weight.
Taking in too much sugar and saturated fats can lead to increased hunger, causing you to eat more than your body really needs. Instead, fill up on protein and you’ll find yourself full and energized for longer.
Often, our first instinct for squeezing more protein into our diets is to look towards meat and animal products. While this is certainly one option, it’s easy (and healthy) to meet your protein needs purely from plant-based eating!
Go grab your grocery lists because we’ve thought up five delicious ways to pack more protein in each bite of your morning oatmeal.
Ancient Greece gave us a lot. Sure, we can appreciate the democratic government and the Olympics, even the ever-stylish toga. But we think their greatest contribution might be their delightfully tart and protein-packed Greek yogurt.
Dating back over two thousand years, this dairy treat is strained to create a yogurt with more protein than its European siblings. Whether you pick full-fat or fat-free, you can’t go wrong when you go Greek.
The most nutritious brands can deliver a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving along with calcium and zinc for strong bones and clear skin. Not to mention the healthy microbes in Greek yogurt can do wonders for your gut health!
For a balanced bowl of protein-infused oatmeal, add a dollop of Greek yogurt to your morning oatmeal along with banana slices and a honey drizzle.
Salty, rich, and delightfully natural, the wide world of nuts offers dozens of ways to pack more protein into every bite of your morning oatmeal, like our nutty Roasted Almond and Himalayan Pink Salt Oatmeal Cup!
A single quarter-cup serving of almonds delivers 7 grams of heart-healthy protein. Look for almonds with the skin still on, as these contain the most antioxidants. Crushed, sliced, or diced, there’s no wrong way to enjoy almonds with your morning oatmeal.
Of course, almonds aren’t the only nut to look out for. Decadently creamy and delicious, walnuts contain slightly less protein than almonds but deliver a healthy serving of omega-3 fatty acids, which might reduce your risk of heart disease. Chop them up and sprinkle atop your morning oatmeal for an extra, nutty crunch.
Don’t leave pistachios out of the mix! A single serving of these green delights provides the same amount of protein as a whole egg! Blend them up to make a creamy, textured pistachio butter, or sprinkle them whole in a piping-hot bowl of our oatmeal cups for some added texture in each bite.
It may have a long-standing association with the gym, but protein powder isn’t just for bodybuilders.
Adding a scoop to a morning bowl of oatmeal is an incredibly simple, efficient way to give your body the protein that it craves and comes in three main forms:
Of course, we’re privy to the plant-based route. These convenient supplements are lactose-free, vegan-friendly, and sourced from hearty legumes like peas, lentils, and navy beans.
Simply heat up your oatmeal, add a scoop, stir well, and you’ve effortlessly added up to twenty grams of protein to your morning breakfast.
In wondering how to make protein oatmeal, chickpeas might not be the first option that comes to mind. Luckily, our instincts aren’t always right.
While your experience with garbanzo beans might be limited to hummus and Greek salads, these protein-rich legumes infuse hearty texture and natural nutty flavors to your morning oatmeal.
All you need to do is finely mash a quarter-cup of rinsed chickpeas and stir them into your bowl to add 3 grams of dietary fiber and a handful of healthy protein. It’s pretty neutral in flavor and it makes it extra creamy! You’ll be blown away.
Mashed chickpeas can improve any bowl of oatmeal, though we think the nutty flavors pair especially well with our Toasted Coconut and Cassia Cinnamon Oatmeal Cup.
Affectionately named hemp hearts, hemp seeds are actually a type of nut and have been used in Chinese diets for over 3000 years.
With a nutty and toasty taste, hemp hearts are incredibly versatile and rich in healthy fats. They’re so energy-dense, in fact, that they pack in the same protein as a similarly sized slice of beef.
Hemp seeds are a complete protein source, meaning they provide all nine amino acids your body needs to be at its best. Sprinkle in some hemp seeds into our Apple and Cinnamon oatmeal cup for a delicious, spice-filled start to a busy day.
Pair Your Protein with Delicious Oats
Eating healthy isn’t easy.
Often, we can get so wrapped up in the tasks and duties of the day that we forget to pay attention to what we’re putting in our bodies.
Our oatmeal cups were designed to make healthy eating not just convenient but delicious, building off of one of nature’s greatest gifts — simple, nutritious oats.
So go ahead, pair our scrumptious, toasted oats with your favorite protein source.
After all, this nutrient isn’t just for bodybuilders. It’s for all of us looking to keep our bodies and minds in top condition, primed and ready for whatever life throws at us.