Updated: Nov 17, 2021
We all know the health benefits of oatmeal, but sometimes it can get boring. Upgrade the nutrition of your oatmeal and delight your taste buds without adding sugar!
For several weeks, I tried all types of different nutrient dense oatmeal topping combinations. (My favorite type of research!) Here are my top 5 creations that can be made in less than 5 minutes. Busy moms don't have more time than that to make their own breakfast! Remember: Quick does not have to mean unhealthy. Oatmeal does not have to mean bland. Flavor does not have to mean adding sugar or pancake syrup!
*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or nutritionist. There are recipe ideas, as always consult with your healthcare provider on the diet that is best for you.
Here is my #1 favorite combination. Organic Instant Oatmeal made with Organic Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk, Topped with Dried Goji Berries, Walnuts and Cinnamon.
How to Make It:
This is more of a 3 minute meal. First, make your oatmeal in the microwave with your choice of liquid. The oatmeal I make takes 1 minute and 30 seconds. When it's done, sprinkle with one to two tablespoons of organic Goji berries and a tablespoon or so of walnuts. Shake on a little cinnamon. If you let your oatmeal sit a minute before eating, the goji berries will rehydrate and plump up to a delicious, juicy, slightly sour berry.
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Let's talk about the nutrition in the toppings.
1) Goji Berries: In addition to being a source of fiber, iron, and vitamins A and C, goji berries have been used as a natural medication in other countries for thousands of years due to their antioxidant properties and immune system support. DISCLAIMER**Goji berries may be unsafe during pregnancy. There hasn't been enough research to be sure. The berry could also interact with some medications so consult your doctor if you have are taking any medications or have a condition you are concerned about, Read more about Goji berries here, and more about growing your own goji berry plant here.
2) Walnuts: Walnuts have more Omega 3s than any other nut. In fact, one serving of walnuts meets the recommended daily value of Omega 3s. Did you also they can also help decrease cholesterol and are antioxidant rich! Read more about all the benefits here.
3) Cinnamon: Even cinnamon is healthy. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and can lower blood sugar, just to name a few benefits. Cinnamon is a great spice to add flavor without sugar.
The next oatmeal combination is so simple with ingredients you probably always have, but may not have thought to add to oatmeal.
#2 Organic Instant Oatmeal made with Organic Milk, Topped with Organic Natural Peanut butter and Sliced Organic Banana.
How to Make It:
I didn't use almond milk in this one because diary milk and peanut butter just seem like they go together in a comforting way. You can add the peanut butter before or after cooking your oatmeal. Chop up your banana while the oatmeal is in the microwave and your breakfast is ready in minutes.
As far as nutrition...
Peanut butter: Of course, peanut butter is a good source of protein. But, did you know, peanut butter contains oleic acid. When substituted for other fats in your diet, oleic acid is shown to help maintain good cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. (Source) I buy peanut butter made only with organic peanut butter and salt. It is tasty and healthy with no unnecessary extras like sugars and oils.
Banana : We've all heard about the potassium in bananas. However, I didn't know how good potassium is for your heart, and can help lower your blood pressure. That's on type of all the vitamins and minerals you get to boot. Read more here.
#3 Instant Organic Oatmeal made with Organic Almond Milk, Organic Blueberries and Organic Pineapple topped with Shredded Coconut.
How to Make It:
My middle dragon LOVES blueberries. We found the best way to always keep blueberries in the house is to buy a big of organic frozen blueberries at Costco every week. Put frozen pineapple, blueberries in with your oatmeal before microwaving. I didn't measure, I just kind of poured some in. You can decrease the amount of milk if you like as the defrosting fruit will add additional liquid. Pineapple for breakfast reminded me of the great breakfasts my husband and I had in Maui on our first babymoon. So, I had to sprinkle on some shredded coconut.
Blueberries: We have been talking about antioxidants in fruit, and blueberries are the ultimate antioxidant fruit. Do you want to reduce aging? According to one study, "168 people drank 34 ounces (1 liter) of a mixed blueberry and apple juice daily. After four weeks, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20%." (Source)
Pineapple: This fruit is a great source of vitamin C and bromelain. Bromelain aids in digestion, can reduce inflammation and possibly fight some cancers. Read more here.
Coconut: Fiber and Iron are two important health benefits that remain in dehydrated coconut in additional to fats, which many claim are "healthy fats." Read more here and here. It can be calorie dense, so just don't over do it :)
#4 Instant Organic Oatmeal made with Organic Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk, topped with Apple, Walnut, and Cinnamon with a light drizzle of Agave.
How to Make It:
While microwaving oatmeal, dice up half an apple. Once the oatmeal is done cooking, toss in the apple, and a handful of walnuts, Sprinkle on some cinnamon and lightly drizzle with agave syrup. I probably used half a tablespoon. I did try this recipe without the agave and it was really calling for something sweet. Honey or raisins or pure maple syrup could also work, I think.
As far as nutrition:
The only food addition we haven't touched on are apples and agave. In addition to all the vitamin and fiber in the fruit, apples contain pectin, and pectin actually can act like prebiotic, so it helps grow the good bacteria in your belly. Check this out, the juice from an apple may also help preserve a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This is great because low levels of acetylcholine are linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Read about that here. Of course, I am careful not to over do it with apples...like giving your kids applesauce and apple juice everyday due to the potential arsenic content. Now agave...its kind of controversial. Here's the thing. I don't do well with a lot of sugar. I had gestational diabetes and am thus at risk for type 2 diabetes. Further, I FEEL when my blood sugar spikes. Agave does not spike the blood sugar. Whether or not its just as bad as adding sugar in other ways is a subject of debate. In any case, I barely used any and I'm not slathering this all over my food everyday, so I'm good with it :)
#5 Organic Instant Oatmeal made with Almond Milk and Organic Mango, Topped with Kiwi, Coconut Flakes and Slivered Almonds.
How to Make It:
Mangos are another fruit we buy frozen frequently. Before adding your oatmeal/milk mixture to the microwave drop in 4-5 frozen pieces of organic mango. As stated above, when adding frozen fruit, you could decrease the amount of milk if you like less liquid in your oatmeal. While the oatmeal is cooking, slice one kiwi. I'm not always able to get organic kiwis but its actually one of the fruits that are in the "clean 15." (Source) Top cooked oatmeal with kiwi, shredded coconut flakes and slivered almonds. Yes, I really like the Hawaiian oatmeal nostalgia!
Mango: Mangos are yummy source of vitamin C. And again, antioxidants are big reason mangos are so good for us. Mangos in fact have more than 12 different types of antioxidants. They also contain amylases, digestive enzymes which break down complex carbs. (Source)
Kiwi: Kiwis are relatively small and you can still get most of your daily Vitamin C requirements in one kiwi. Kiwis’ high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein help your eye health, it contains a digestive enzyme that helps digest protein and is rich in calcium. Read more here and here.
Almonds: Almonds are an excellent source of protein, Vitamin E and magnesium. Magnesium is particularly important as many people can be deficient. Read more here.
LET ME KNOW IF YOU TRY ANY OF THESE COMBOS!
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