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Alternatives to Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a breakfast staple for a reason: It's delicious and bursting with nutrients that not only nourish your body but keep you feeling full all morning.

However, it's nice to switch things up and try something a little different every once in a while. Here are some healthy, yet delicious, options.

Five Alternatives to Oatmeal

Brown Rice

Despite the rising popularity of ancient grains like quinoa, you can't beat a classic like brown rice. You may think it’s a strange substitute for oatmeal, but the mild flavor makes brown rice a great breakfast substitute. And on top of that, it is full of healthful phytonutrients along with plenty of fiber to fill you up.

Quinoa

Unlike a majority of grains, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has a ton of protein thanks to its supply of amino acids. It's also full of fiber, magnesium and iron. This superfood comes in a variety of colors, from black to red to a lighter beige; the darker varieties taste just a tiny bit earthier. Regardless of the color you choose, you are sure to enjoy its rice-like consistency and fluffy-yet-crunchy texture.

Buckwheat

Despite what its name suggests, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed that is chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients along with magnesium. There are two options for enjoying this gluten-free oatmeal alternative:

  • Roasted buckwheat, which provides an earthy and rich flavor
  • Unroasted buckwheat, which boasts a much more subtle taste

Chia Seeds

They may be small, but chia seeds are mighty. This powerhouse food is bursting with vitamins, fiber and minerals, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium and calcium. On top of all of the health benefits, chia seeds have a consistency and texture that closely resembles traditional oats.

Millet

Millet is a gluten-free grain that is packed with a number of minerals, like magnesium and phosphorus. Millet is an extremely versatile grain that you can prepare to have a fluffier consistency, like rice, or take on a creamier texture, like mashed potatoes.

Recipe Ideas Using Oatmeal Alternatives

Buckwheat and Chia Breakfast Bowl

This combo of sweet and tart is the perfect oatmeal alternative. Keep in mind that this recipe requires that you refrigerate the dish overnight, so you need to plan ahead.

1 banana (preferably ripe)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup buckwheat groats (your choice of buckwheat kernels, raw, whole, or unroasted buckwheat)

1 cup water (or a plant milk substitute)

Scant (not quite) tsp almond or vanilla extract

1 handful of frozen cherries

Cinnamon to taste

1 tbsp almond butter (or another nut butter)

1 scoop of NaturesPlus Organic Paleo Protein Powder (optional)

    1. Combine the first six ingredients in a mason jar, and then refrigerate overnight.
    2. In the morning, add the cinnamon, almond butter and protein powder (if you want). You can either eat it cold or enjoy it warmed up.

    Download Recipe

    Quinoa and Coconut Breakfast Bowl

    If you're looking for something on the sweeter side, try this.

    15 oz coconut milk

    1/4 tsp kosher salt

    1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

    1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained)

    2 tbsp agave syrup

    Toppings of your choice ( fresh fruit, coconut chips, almonds, and/or more agave)

      1. Combine the coconut milk, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil.
      2. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low, simmering a for around 15–20 minutes, or until the consistency resembles a creamy porridge. Serve hot with the agave syrup and toppings.

      Download Recipe

      Millet and Spiced Pumpkin Seed Cereal

      This recipe is a perfect way to start your day.

      1/2 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds

      3/4 cup millet

      2 1/2 cups unsweetened, plant-based milk

      1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

      Pinch of salt

      Agave syrup or honey (optional)

        1. Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and millet, and stir constantly 5–7 minutes, or until the mix is golden brown and toasted evenly.
        2. Stir in the milk, pumpkin pie spice and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and, without stirring, simmer about 20 minutes, or until the millet becomes tender and the milk has been mostly absorbed.
        3. Cover the pan and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving. (Before dishing the mixture into a bowl, you can stir in a little more milk if you prefer a thinner cereal.) Drizzle the cereal with agave syrup or honey if you'd like a little extra sweetness.

        Download Recipe

        Brown Rice and Banana Breakfast Pudding

        This is a great option if you'd like to prep breakfast for a few days in a row because it can keep in the fridge for up to three days at a time. Just reheat it in the microwave for one minute before enjoying.

        2 cup cooked brown rice

        1 cup unsweetened, plant-based milk

        1 cinnamon stick

        1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

        1/2 tsp vanilla extract

        Pinch salt

        3 peeled and sliced medium bananas (cut 1/2” thick on a diagonal)

          1.Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish, preferably 11” by 7”. Combine and stir the rice, milk, cinnamon stick, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium-sized bowl before pouring the mixture into the baking dish. Spread the rest of the sugar on a flat plate, and then dip the banana slices into the sugar, then nestle them on top of the pudding mixture.
          2. Bake about 25–30 minutes, or until the bananas are tender and the milk is mostly absorbed. After removing from the oven, let the pudding stand for 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve.

          Download Recipe

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          **These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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