5 Simple Add-ons to Make Breakfast Better

By Dr. Carmin Iadonisi

Often one of the challenges of maintaining a healthy weight management program is finding good choices for breakfast. Some of my favorite alternatives to sweetened sugar cereals include whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth or good old-fashioned oatmeal.

Recently, Quaker gave oatmeal a makeover, so it could be classified as a weight-control food. Unfortunately, the new Weight Control Oatmeal ends up having artificial flavorings, chemicals and artificial sweeteners.

As an alternative, here are 5 simple ways to make oatmeal a little healthier. You can add one or all of these suggestions into your oatmeal to get the weight management benefits of “Weight Control Oatmeal” without all of the added artificial chemicals.

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1. Add a Tablespoon of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds provides multiple health benefits, but I mainly add it to oatmeal to provide a good source of fiber.

 

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2. Add a Serving of Raw Walnuts
Walnuts are one of the most nutrient dense nuts and are loaded with Omega-3 Oils and antioxidants. The healthy fats also help to improve satiation.

 

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3. Try a ½ Cup Frozen Fruit
My favorite choices are raspberries, mixed berries, blueberries or lately I have been adding frozen mango. Frozen fruits help naturally sweeten the oatmeal along with adding a bounty of natural antioxidants. (I recommend adding the frozen fruit as you are cooking the oatmeal, so it will naturally sweeten the oatmeal as it thaws.)

 

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4. Add a Protein Powder
If you exercise in the morning before breakfast, then adding some protein powder to oatmeal will help give your body the raw ingredients it needs to rebuild muscle after a strenuous workout. My favorite choices are a good Egg Protein or Organic Rice Protein Powder.

 

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5. Add a Splash of Almond Milk
Sometimes the oatmeal can get a little dry when you add so many different ingredients, so adding a little almond milk just makes the oatmeal more palatable. Almond milk is higher in calcium than most milk alternatives and actually tastes pretty good.

 

Hopefully, this list will inspire you and get you to come up with even more suggestions to add to your whole grain breakfast.

41 Comments

  1. chris cruz

    try savory oatmeal or something like shredded steamed or boiled chicken on ginger on oatmeal. then another recipe could be using coconut milk instead of milk then add it with some canned corn kernels and sweetened red monggo beans.

    Reply
  2. beauley

    Try having sardines. It is considered the top seafood in the world. Why? It contains almost “zero” mercury.
    Does a Can of Sardines Qualify as The World’s Most Nutritious Food?
    When someone mentions sardines in a conversation to most people the reaction is usually a smirk and not much verbal response. Is it something we were taught from early childhood that sardines were just not part of a normal food to eat or that the little fish in a flattened can looked unappetizing.
    http://healthmad.com/nutrition/does-a-can-of-sardines-qualify-as-the-worlds-most-nutritious-food/

    Reply
  3. emedoutlet

    I liked the idea of flexaseeds, Raw Walnut, and Almond milk. I am not great fan of Protein Powder and frozen fruits, as I believe powder is artificial food and frozen fruits lose the nutritions. Before exercise, I take an apple and after I take eggs, oatmeal, milk, and some dry fruits.

    Reply
  4. andrea

    not all suggested food are good for the body.. make sure that it is always depend on the persons personal diet and weigth

    Reply
  5. Healthy Weight Loss Girl

    Thank you for the valuable tips. I always add two teaspoons of flaxseed into my yogurt. Almond milk sounds delicious.

    Reply
  6. Jerry

    thank you to all that gave their feedback!

    Reply
  7. kilo verme

    The more finely a grain is ground, the higher the glycemic count…so I believe steel cut/thick cut oats would have a bit of an advantage.

    Reply
  8. Brooke Witham

    Hi,
    I buy bulk SCO at the healthfood store for $2.00 a pound.
    I relly like the recipes here especially the savory ones.
    Does anyone have any other savories?
    THanks
    B

    Reply
  9. Karen

    I prefer the steel cut or Scottish oatmeal. I also soak it in water overnight. I usually use half the amount that I would need to cook it in, and it really cuts down on the cooking time, and for me, overnight soaking makes the oatmeal stick to my ribs better. I also like to serve it with a bit of butter or milk, raisins or other dry fruit, or maybe banana and a splash of real maple syrup. If I want it savory, cottage cheese and ground flax seeds and wheat germ. Yummo!!!

    Oh and for the person who wanted other meals besides breakfast to use oatmeal in–I make a whole wheat pizza crust and I add oatmeal to that–also very good.

    Reply
  10. Eduardo

    I have a different approach to oat meal. a half a cup with water in the microwave. I don’t want it to be sweet but savory. So I cut up one dry tomato ( usually it dissolves or spice, thyme, rosemary, and often red pepper in oil or indian relish, lemon pickle, etc.
    Or I sprinkle parmesaeno cheese.
    My wife doesn’t like it, but I do. Best of all, I take medicine for diabetes, and I don’t get hungry in the morning.

    Reply
  11. Jan

    leslie said:
    thanks jan. i like your ideas – especially the one about using toasted oats in place of nuts. i crave crunch and nuts are a red-light food for me, can’t eat just a few. leslie[…]

    Me too, if I put them in a salad, I end up putting tons… that is why I like the oats or whole-wheat pita chips or whole wheat “croutons” (just diced whole wheat bread, toasted, no oil added).

    Reply
  12. leslie

    thanks jan. i like your ideas – especially the one about using toasted oats in place of nuts. i crave crunch and nuts are a red-light food for me, can’t eat just a few. leslie

    Reply
  13. Jan

    leslie said:
    i have been trying to find ideas or recipes for main or side dishes using oatmeal with either meats or veggies – for lunch or dinner. any ideas other than to add to meatloaf?[…]

    Leslie, try it in soup. Make a soup without starch, not using potatoes to thicken, and then 10m before it is done, add oats to thicken instead. Delicious.

    You can use oatbran in your burgers (beef or chicken – I just put chicken breast in the blender, then mix with oatbran + seasoning to make burgers and meatballs).

    Another way I use oats is when I make a casserole, instead of topping it with breadcrumbs or cornflakes, I toast some oats quickly (hot frying pan with no oil, just like roasting nuts) and use those to top the casserole instead. The toasted oats are good in salad too, I use them when I don’t have any nuts and want some crunch.

    Reply
  14. LaRaine

    I love steel cut oats with ground flax and maybe a banana I always have some type of fruit with my oats.

    Reply
  15. top weight loss site

    Old fashion oatmeal has become one of my main breakfast meals as it is quick and yummy. Oh and it is very healthy.

    Reply
  16. Christine

    I just buy the Quaker quick cook oats, bung 1/3 cup in a bowl with 2/3 cup of water, omit the salt and hey presto, a quick filling breakfast. I add a drizzle of skim milk and a tsp. of brown sugar (I figure THAT much sugar isn’t going to hurt me, seeing as I don’t sweeten tea or coffee or drink pop)

    Reply
  17. leslie

    i have been trying to find ideas or recipes for main or side dishes using oatmeal with either meats or veggies – for lunch or dinner. any ideas other than to add to meatloaf?

    Reply
  18. Mar

    The more finely a grain is ground, the higher the glycemic count…so I believe steel cut/thick cut oats would have a bit of an advantage.

    Reply
  19. linda

    sorry Kitty, it’s Paul’s Oats…they’re out of Manitowoc, WI so maybe it’s purely a regional thing? (I can get them in WI, IL and MI) hre’s the website…

    http://www.naturalovens.com

    I’ve actually become disappointed in their bread, it used to have 5+ grams of fiber per slice but they’ve changed something so now it’s only 3, it’s not as dense.

    Kitty said:
    Linda, I googled “Natural Ovens” and didn’t find the oatmeal listed. In fact, I didn’t find any oatmeal. So I googled “Paul’s oatmeal” and didn’t find that either. Do you know where I can find it?[…]

    Reply
  20. Jan

    I like the regular rolled oats. I boil water in the microwave, add the oats and a dash of salt. The salt really helps soften them. I let it sit for 10m as I get ready, then add milk and sweetener and microwave for another 2m and it is ready.

    Another great way to eat oats is to make Swiss Musli. Slice an apple thinly, squeeze a couple drops lemon juice, add the oats, cover with milk, let sit overnight. I like to add raisins, nuts, maybe a sliced banana the next day, and a couple tbsp yogurt to make it creamier. It is a huge breakfast. I always make this when I’m going on a road trip, it fills me up forever.

    Reply
  21. Lynda

    Oatmeal is great for breakfast, but I’ve found if I add some protein (at least 7 grams per 15 grams carbohydrates) like an egg or a glass of milk. I stay full longer and lose more weight.

    Reply
  22. Quito

    Kailash said:

    Between oat groats, steel cut, quick oats and regular rolled oats, it’s all the same thing. Just prepared differently. Then it comes down to texture preference. Oh, but they probably do digest at slightly different rates too.

    I find the instant oatmeal really salty tasting, and I think that the procedure does alter the taste, but yes, it’s a taste preference.

    I buy steel cut oats, microwave it for three minutes at high in a big covered bowl (so it doesn’t boil over), let it sit for two minutes, and dig in. Total prep time five minutes, with 10 seconds of it in prep. Boiling water is more of a hassle to me… so, I don’t see the draw to instant oatmeal unless you’re making it at work with hot water from a hot water dispenser.

    Reply
  23. Cole

    One of my favorite ways to eat oatmeal (which means a lot because I eat it in some form daily . . . at minimum) is with pumpkin and vanilla yogurt.

    I mix canned pumpkin (about a 1/2 cup) with vanilla yogurt (also, about 1/2 cup) and add some cinnamon and/or sweetener. While I’m doing that, I soak some old fashioned oats in water and then mix everything together.

    Place it in the fridge and let it chill over night. Before you head out the door for work or school, grab your oatmeal. It will give you something to look forward to when you reach your final destination.

    Reply
  24. Alex

    Nice ideas. I like the ones with frozen fruits. It will surely bring some nice flavors to the oatmeal.

    Reply
  25. Kailash

    Anushka said:
    I use the whole oats, not instant.

    Actually, the instant oats (aka quick oats) are the whole oat grain. They were just steamed before being rolled (the kernel flattened). That’s what makes it cook quicker and mushier. But it’s still all there.

    Between oat groats, steel cut, quick oats and regular rolled oats, it’s all the same thing. Just prepared differently. Then it comes down to texture preference. Oh, but they probably do digest at slightly different rates too.

    Reply
  26. rpm2004

    I’ve been putting protein powder in oatmeal for years,I call it “proatmeal”.I highly recommend strawberry flavored powder.

    Reply
  27. jj

    My favorite thing to add is actually cottage cheese. I blend it up so it’s smooth and when you add it to oatmeal with some sweetener and vanilla extract it somehow tastes to me like the cheese filling in danishes.

    Although, my husband heartilly disagrees that it’s tasty. He prefers a tbsp of peanut butter, which does add that stick-to-the-ribs quality along with some healthy fats.

    Reply
  28. Anushka

    I like to put a dash of sliced almonds, raisins and little drizzle of honey in my oatmeal (I use the whole oats, not instant). It’s just THE thing my body wants after a hard workout!

    Reply
  29. Jen

    I didn’t know that about flaxseed, either.

    Ditto on the almond milk; I never drink cow’s milk anymore and can’t have the soy stuff (thyroids and soy don’t get along well). It’s quite tasty, actually, very nutritious, and not difficult to make if you have a good blender.

    As far as oatmeal, sometimes I’ll mix yogurt with the steel-cut oatmeal and top it with berries and/or other fruit (chopped apple works nicely). Spoon in a little honey for extra sweetness, mix it up, and enjoy!

    Reply
  30. Amanda

    Pam said:
    Wow, now I’m craving oatmeal. My muffin (don’t flame me, I made it myself with whole grains and fruits!) didn’t cut it :([…]

    Pam, would you mind sharing this recipe with us? It sounds great!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Quito

    Mmm… these all sound good. I don’t use flax or protein powder, but i’ve used the rest. I also like it with a teaspoon of good olive oil.

    Has anyone every made their own almond milk? I’ve seen recipes and they look easy, but I’ve just not tried. How does it come out?

    Reply
  32. Jan

    I cook my oatmeal with milk already (first in water, then milk). Aside from peanut butter, as Heather mentioned, I also like a couple tbsp grated coconut, or a banana and cinnamon, or raisins, apricots, or any kind of nut in any combo. Prunes are good in oatmeal too, I swear. I cook them with the oatmeal so they are stewed, contrary to the raisins.

    I’ve never been able to stomach protein powder in oatmeal though, it changes the texture and to me that is a big issue. When I want extra protein for breakfast, I make an oatmeal pancake instead – 1/2 cup oats, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder.

    Reply
  33. Kitty

    Linda, I googled “Natural Ovens” and didn’t find the oatmeal listed. In fact, I didn’t find any oatmeal. So I googled “Paul’s oatmeal” and didn’t find that either. Do you know where I can find it?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  34. linda

    Also keep in mind to start with the flaxseeds slowly, your digestive system will very much appreciate it. If anybody can get Natural Ovens products (from Manitowoc, WI), I highly suggest their Paul’s Oatmeal, it has sunflower seeds and soy milk in it and is so tasty. While it sits after cooking, I throw in some of their flaxseed mix, walnuts and frozen berries. Doesn’t get any better than that!

    Reply
  35. Kitty

    Don’t buy the ground flax seeds as they lose their nutrition very quickly once ground. Instead, buy whole seeds and use a coffee bean grinder as you need them.

    Keep in mind that flax seeds are calorie dense; a serving size of just 3 TBSP have 160 calories (10 g of fat).

    Reply
  36. Pam

    Wow, now I’m craving oatmeal. My muffin (don’t flame me, I made it myself with whole grains and fruits!) didn’t cut it 🙁

    Reply
  37. Heather

    I like the steel cut oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter in it. 🙂

    Reply
  38. staci

    Erica is right. the best way to get the goodness out of flaxseeds is to buy them already ground or throw them in a clean coffee grinder. you can put flax seeds in anything, they dont have a very strong flavor at all. in fact, i love to mix them in with my Kashi Go Lean cereal and yogurt 😀 if you can have fish, its a great source of omega 3 too

    Reply
  39. Lose Weight With Me

    Wow, Erica — I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info!

    Brian

    Reply
  40. Erica

    You’ll want to add flax MEAL, not flax seeds. Flax must be ground to be bioavailable; else it just passes right through you.

    Reply