With oatmeal overflowing with so many health benefits, it seems silly not to think outside the breakfast bowl and add it to more dishes, right? All of our creative uses for the superfood are sure to excite your taste buds and turbocharge your trim down efforts. Read on to find out what they are!
Did you know that rolled oats can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in recipes like meatballs, chicken nuggets, and meatloaf? It may not be conventional but it works like a charm and it’s an easy way to sneak some extra nutrition into family meals. Oatmeal-crusted chicken tenders, anyone?! No kiddo (or adult) would say no to that!
Depending on the type of dish you’re preparing, you may want to throw the oats into a blender to create a texture that’s more similar to that of breadcrumbs.
Sick of shelling out cash each week on granola and snack bars? Extend your grocery budget and keep hunger at bay by making a homemade oat-based batch instead. We love these 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars from The Kitchn. Each serving has just 130 calories and 7 grams of sugar, and, better yet, they’re beyond easy to make.
Traditionally, homemade pancakes are filled with nutrient-void calories and carbs—which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to lose belly fat. But that’s no reason kick your beloved breakfast cake to the curb. Make the dish weight loss friendly by swapping out the flour, white sugar, milk and butter for bananas, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt. The result is a fluffy hotcake packed with satiating fiber and muscle-building protein.
If you typically make homemade bread, waffles, and desserts with conventional four, you’re missing a major opportunity to add waist-whittling, healthy nutrients to your diet. Although store-bought oat flour is better for you than the white variety, it can be pretty costly. To reap the benefits without going broke, toss some old fashion oats in a food processor and let ‘er rip! The resulting mixture can be used exactly how you’d use white flour in all of your favorite recipes.
Not only are traditional muffins sweetened with sugar, but they’re also made with flour, a refined carbohydrate that the body converts to into sugar and then glucose, which is stored as body fat if it’s not used for fuel. Although a muffin isn’t exactly the healthiest breakfast choice if you’re not willing to give them up at least make them a healthier treat by swapping flour for rolled oats. We also love the idea of cutting out refined sugar and replacing it with ripe bananas. Follow our lead by making our go-to recipe below:
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Combine and mix dry ingredients. Then, add the coconut oil, mashed bananas, and eggs. Mix well.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the muffins feel firm.
They may be called overnight oats, but making them doesn’t actually require PJs or twilight. The dish serves as a great dinner alternative, too! Before you head to work for the day, throw oats, your liquid and toppings of choice into a mason jar and the flavors fuse together in the refrigerator while you’re at work. With just a few minutes of prep work, you’ll have a homemade, healthy meal ready to eat the minute you walk back in the door.
If your morning smoothie typically leaves your stomach growling you may want to consider adding some ground oats to your glass. After grinding up a handful of raw oatmeal in the blender, add the rest of your smoothie ingredients and blend until well combined. The result is a thicker, more fiber-filled smoothie, that’s sure to keep you feeling full well until lunch time.
Whether you want to boost the thickness or the health factor of soup, sauce or stew, oats are the answer. But before you toss the grain into your dish, pulverize it into a fine powder so you don’t wind up with a lumpy consistency.
Have you heard about zoats yet? The funny sounding name actually describes a very straightforward—but delicious—dish made with shredded zucchini, oatmeal, milk, spices, and mix-ins. Although the zucchini may give your cereal a bit of a green tint, don’t let that put you off—eating zucchini oats is an easy way to add veggies to your breakfast bowl—somewhere it’s rarely found. Want to give it a try? We like The Breakfast Drama Queen’s take on the dish, pictured above. Her Zucchini Oat-Quinoa Porridge recipe is filled with banana, spices, walnuts, and raisins, and is sure to become your new favorite!
Having trouble getting your homemade veggie burger to bind together and keep you full and satisfied? Add oats! You won’t even taste the difference, but you’ll love the improved texture.
If you typically sprinkle granola over your yogurt, you’re slowing your weight loss progress tremendously. The crunchy cereal may carry a health halo, but that doesn’t change the fact that a small 1/2 cup serving packs 300 calories, 14 grams of fat and 12 grams of sugar! Our advice? Swap the granola for oats—it’s far easier on your waistline. But don’t just toss the oatmeal into your bowl raw. Heat it up in the microwave with some water, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. After it’s cooked, layer the oatmeal mixture with plain greek yogurt, almond slivers, and fresh fruit.
If your breakfast tends to leave your tummy rumbling before lunchtime, try mixing in a source of protein into a bowl of oats—a dish that offers up 4.5 grams of satiating fiber per dry half-cup. When paired with Protein Powder or a quarter-cup of mashed chickpeas (their creamy texture blends right into the oatmeal, promise!), these filling additions will help to keep you away from the office candy jar—a habit that’s likely slowing your slim down progress.
The cool thing about oats is that it can be used interchangeably with other grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and rice. The dish pictured above, for instance, is a play on rice pilaf that combines, oats with chickpeas, mustard seeds, curry, turmeric, and a host of other spices and herbs. Get the full recipes from One Green Planet.
You don’t have to make your pizza crust out of grated cauliflower for it to be healthy and full of nutrients. You can also swap in whole grain, almond or coconut flour for the white stuff, or my personal favorite, use a blend of sweet potatoes, rolled oats, and eggs. Not only do these things bind together to create a sturdy canvas—something many other low-carb crust alternatives cannot claim—but the flavor is one that pairs perfectly with a variety of topping and spices. Get the lowdown on how to make it at Pinch of Yum.
We know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is a breakfast popsicle?!” In short, it’s the greatest portable meal you didn’t know you were missing. Breakfast pops are basically frozen yogurt parfaits on sticks, and they’re perfect for warm weather mornings. To make a batch, blend low-sugar vanilla yogurt with chopped fruit, Chia Seed, and a few tablespoons of oats. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze until solid. This typically takes at least 8 hours. Let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before unmolding and gobbling ’em up!
If you consider apple crisp a healthy dessert, you’re not alone. Studies show that people often think a sweet treat that contains fruit is healthier than those that don’t—even though that’s not always the case. Apple crisp is no exception to this rule. When traditionally prepared with sugar, butter, and refined flour it can be a real doozy for your waistline. However, a few simple swaps can make this oat-topped dessert one that’s weight loss friendly. Here’s our go-to recipe:
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon warmed honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3-5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
While the oven is preheating to 425 degrees F, wash, slice, and toss the apples with lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the oats, walnuts, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and honey until well combined. Next, spread a thin layer of the mixture on a piece of tin foil and bake for about 5 minutes. Be sure to watch the oats carefully to avoid burning.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the apples, adding a tablespoon of water each time the pan begins to dry up. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the fruit reaches desired doneness.
Put the cooked apples in a bowl and sprinkle with the oat and nut crumble. Top with a dollop of Greek Yogurt for added creaminess.
Whether you treat these as an afternoon snack, or a party appetizer or dessert, one thing remains unchanged: there’s no tastier or easier way to create a nutritious, craving-crushing bite. The snack-sized energy balls pictured above (get the recipe here), are made with wholesome ingredients, including oats, almond butter, and chia seeds, and taste just like an indulgent cookie.