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Shake up Your Breakfast Routine With Savory Oats

Oatmeal is often a breakfast mainstay, but it is usually served sweet. Have you tried it savory?

When you think of oats, you likely conjure up an image of a sweet steamy bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, sugar, or fruit, right? In America, most people think of sweet items when they think of breakfast. Donuts, sugary cereal, sweetened yogurt, bagels, pancakes, waffles, biscuits — the list goes on. While I do love cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and a little almond milk in my oatmeal, I recently tried a few savory oatmeal recipes that forced me to think outside the box (or is it beyond the bowl?) and here are the results: they were beyond delicious.

Savory oatmeal also broke me out of a breakfast rut. Oftentimes we get excited about a new lunch or dinner meal, but for a lot of people (myself included), breakfast can become routine, repetitive, and underwhelming, to say the least. The fix? Wake up your taste buds and say hello to savory oatmeal.
Oats are easy to prepare, very budget-friendly, and are chock-full of beneficial nutrients, including fiber and resistant starch, both of which can help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, a study recently discovered that individuals who ate oatmeal (either old-fashioned or instant oatmeal) perceived a greater feeling of fullness and had suppressed their appetite for greater than four hours when compared to individuals who consumed a boxed (ready-to-eat) cereal.

Additionally, savory oatmeal makes for a delicious meal or snack anytime of the day, so dig in and enjoy the taste and possibly a slimmer waistline.

Asian Persuasion Oatmeal

In one cup of cooked oats, add a teaspoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 2 tablespoons toasted soy nuts and a tablespoon or two of diced scallions or red onions.

Cheddar ‘N Chives Oatmeal

Prepare plain oatmeal per package directions (stove-top or microwave). After oatmeal is cooked throughout, add in 1/4 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce.

Curried Oatmeal

In a saucepan, sauté 3 tablespoons of yellow onion and 3 tablespoons of bell peppers with a tiny bit of oil. After the onions are translucent (about 2-3 minutes) add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Next, add 1/2 cup of oats, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and a splash of Vietnamese fish sauce and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Top with 1 piece of cooked turkey bacon, crumbled. Enjoy!

Savory Spinach & Egg Oatmeal

Bring one cup of water to a boil and add in 1/4 cup steel-cut oats. Cook for roughly 5 minutes. Add in 1 cup frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh), 1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce, and 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese and cook about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with 1 egg, cooked hard-over.

Greece Lightning Oatmeal

Cook 1/2 cup oats in 1 cup of reduced-sodium vegetable broth with 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, and a pinch of white pepper. Set aside. In a skillet, sauté 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives, 2 cloves garlic (minced), and 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) with 1 teaspoon of the oil about 3 minutes, or until tender. Add the veggie mixture to the oatmeal, top with 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, and drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil on top. Gia mas!

What About Calcium?

Oatmeal — sweet or savory — can be made with skim milk or a plant-based milk such as almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, hemp milk, rice milk, etc. Using milk or a non-dairy milk alternative will up the calorie content slightly, but it’ll also give you a hefty dose of bone-building calcium. I use unsweetened cashew milk in mine every time and it adds a mere 25 calories but supplies me with 45% of the RDA for calcium, 25% of the RDA for vitamin D and 20 percent of my vitamin E needs for the day. The best part is that it makes the oatmeal creamy and scrumptious.

[Image via Getty]

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