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