We all know that oats are a great source of slow-release energy, but many people are put off by the idea of a boring bowl of tasteless porridge. Our solution? Take a look at our healthy ideas to help you reinvent your favourite oaty breakfast!
For some of us, a bowl of plain porridge can seem pretty dull. It can be tempting to add in bucket loads of sugar, or syrup. Now I shouldn’t need to tell you about the effects that too much sugar has on our health and waistlines. So adding it into your otherwise ‘healthy’ breakfast isn’t ideal. There are many other ways you can add sweetness and flavour to your porridge, but to get you started, here are a few of our favourite ideas to help add some life to your breakfast oats.
Their high fibre content means they are great for digestive health, and as a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like potassium and manganese, fresh bananas could make a healthy, nutritional additional addition to your morning oats, and their sweet taste means you won’t need to reach for the sugar to add flavour.
How can you add them?
Mash into your porridge, or cut into slices for a quick energy boost. Many dried banana chips contain sugar, but if you can find some with no added sugar then these could make a great crunchy topping for your porridge.
Grated Apple and Honey
Indulge in your sweet tooth with this tasty combo. Grating an apple (skin on) into your porridge prior to cooking will provide you with a tasty, fibrous addition to your breakfast. Be sure to cook through until the oats are creamy and the grated apple has softened. Serve with a teaspoon of honey drizzled over for that extra sweet touch. Remember though that honey can be high in calories, so try not to add any more than a teaspoon.
Chia Seeds and Rice Milk
Looking for a tasty, creamy way to have your morning porridge, that is also low-calorie but high in nutrients? Health food du jour, chia seeds are fast becoming a staple cupboard item for many health-focused individuals, and it’s clear to see why. Loaded with antioxidants, protein and fibre, they provide a high level of nutrients, with very few calories.
How can you add them?
Sprinkle onto porridge that has been mixed with low-calorie, but vitamin-rich rice milk, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, creamy, nutrient-packed breakfast. If you’re not a fan of rice milk, then almond milk or soya milk could work just as well!
We all know that nuts are calorie-dense, but added in healthy portions, they can provide a healthy and delicious topping for your porridge. Nuts also provide a rich source of healthy fats, and omega-3 and have been linked to a lowered risk of stroke. A small handful of roasted nuts sprinkled over your porridge will help bring out the nutty flavour in your porridge oats, and could be paired with some fresh, grated apple or pear for a sweet alternative.
Seasonal, fresh berries are a great, waistline-friendly way to add in flavour to your oats. Not only this but most of your everyday berry varieties, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries, are all great sources of vitamins and minerals, and high in antioxidants.
How you can add them?
Stir fresh berries into your oats as they cook for a warm, flavoursome addition. If you can’t get hold of any fresh berries when they are in season, then try picking them up in season and freezing them, or alternatively, you can find frozen packs at most supermarkets. To cook, pop them, frozen, into your oats as they cook. As they soften, they’ll release that wonderful berry flavour, and should have almost the same high level of nutrients as any fresh berries!