by Alexandra Shytsman, Plant-Based Food Blogger at The New Baguette and @thenewbaguette
There’s a reason oatmeal has withstood the test of time as the healthy breakfast of choice for literally millions of generations (OK, that’s a slight exaggeration…). It’s easy to make, delicious, and cozy - like a big warm hug in the morning.
Yet we all know the disappointment of those hunger pangs that can arrive an hour after breakfast.
The good news is oatmeal happens to be the perfect vehicle for lots of other superfoods, like nuts, seeds, and fruit, which are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Topping your oatmeal with these goodies will help keep you feeling full for longer.
Here are my 5 favorite oatmeal toppings:
Fruits are rich in fiber, micronutrients, and antioxidants. They’re naturally sweet, which means you don’t need any extra refined sweeteners. I like using what’s in season, like apples in the winter and berries in the summer. If you like things extra sweet, go for tropical fruit like bananas or mangos.
It’s a good idea to keep a bag of blueberries in the freezer, too - thanks to their long shelf life, there’s no need to worry about using them up before they go bad.
Nuts are high in protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats - all of which will keep you satiated until lunch. A handful of almonds, for instance, has 6 grams of protein, the same amount as 1 egg. Whatever nuts you choose (almonds, cashews, peanuts, or walnuts), make sure they’re unsalted and unsweetened. Look for nuts that are dry-roasted for the best flavor, or buy them in bulk and roast them yourself!
- Mylk Labs only sources dry roasted, unsalted nuts in their oatmeal, which helps keep you fuller for longer. Also, it adds protein and a crunch with each bite!
3. Nut Butter
Almond, cashew, and peanut butter are all delicious oatmeal additions. I love their rich, nutty flavor and decadent creamy texture. If you have a nut allergy, try a seed butter instead, like sunflower and pumpkin seed butter. Tahini (sesame seed butter) is another yummy option.
Whichever you go with, be sure to buy an all-natural butter without any sweeteners, additional oils, or preservatives. The only ingredient in your nut/seed butter should be the nut/seed it’s made of (plus salt, sometimes).
4. Chia, Flax, or Hemp Seeds
Considering their modest stature, it’s magical how much power these seeds contain. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, for example, provide 18% of your daily recommended intake of calcium and about 30% of your daily fiber needs. Besides nutrients, seeds add a fun crunchy texture to your oatmeal. Chia seeds also make the most incredible sugar-free 20-minute “jam”. Head to The New Baguette for the recipe.
5. Coconut Flakes
Toasted coconut flakes are one of the most luxurious ingredients as far as oatmeal toppings go. They’ve got a rich, tropical flavor and satisfying crunchy texture. These days, coconut is readily available in large and small flake formats, as well as the classic shredded texture.
Be sure to buy unsweetened coconut to avoid unnecessary sugars. You can find raw coconut flakes in the bulk bin section of the supermarket, or in the alternative grains aisle - as opposed to the baking aisle, where it’s more likely to be sweetened. To toast coconut flakes, place them in a skillet over low heat and toast, tossing occasionally, until they’re golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Mylk Labs makes a delicious Toasted Coconut & Cassia Cinnamon oatmeal that uses unsweetened, dry toasted coconut shreds.
Here are my favorite topping combos to try!
- Almond butter + diced apples + hemp seeds
- Cashew butter + chopped mango + toasted coconut flakes
- Peanut butter + banana slices + strawberry chia jam
Make sure to tag @mylklabs #NutsForOats for a chance to be featured!