Sweet and savoury: Healthy toppings to make your oatmeal bowl delicious

healthiest toppings for oatmeal

Do you find yourself in a fix over how to make your oatmeal bowl delicious yet healthy? Eating a plain Jane version every day for breakfast may make that mighty meal feel boring after a while. It would be the same taste and texture, after all. Isn’t ti? So why miss the chance to give it an interesting twist with an array of healthy oatmeal toppings? From honey, jaggery and coconut to mushrooms and eggs, there’s a huge variety to choose from to add a punch and crunch to your oatmeal bow!

What is oatmeal?

Oatmeal, as the name suggests, is made from oats that have been cooked in a liquid to form a creamy porridge. “Oatmeal is a dish obtained from hulled oat grains, either rolled, ground, or steel-cut. It is usually cooked with water or milk, forming a warm, creamy porridge. Often eaten for breakfast, oatmeal is nutritious, rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and can be topped with fruits, nuts, or sweeteners,” says nutritionist Avni Kaul.

Oatmeal is a great source of fibre and helps alleviate constipation, among other benefits. Amp up its taste with some healthy toppngs! Image courtesy: Pexels

Oats come in a wide variety, but some of the most commonly used types of oats include Steel cut oats, Rolled oats, Instant oats and Scottish oats. Generally, all these types are made from whole oats, but they differ in the way they are processed.

All forms of oats are rich in fibre, give energy to the body through carbohydrates, and contain an array of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds, notes the Foods Journal.

As per the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, the soluble fibre in oats, also known as beta-glucan, may help curb bad cholesterol levels in the body. Since having high cholesterol poses a higher risk of getting heart disease, consuming oatmeal persistently may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Beta-glucan may also aid in controlling blood sugar for people suffering from diabetes, according to the Nutrients Journal. The rationale behind this is that it slows down the digestion process, resulting in a slow rise in blood sugar instead of a quick spike.

Oats are one of the healthiest and most reliable breakfast options for people for good reasons: It is inexpensive, quick to make and packed with all the nutrients your body needs to start your day off right! But as we said, your oatmeal bowl doesn’t have to be monotonous. You can try experimenting with different toppings to see which one tickles your taste buds. Let us spoil you for choice then!

Healthy oatmeal toppings

Want to eat oatmeal without refined sugar? Try these healthy sweet toppings for oatmeal!

• Honey
• Strawberries
• Mango
• Peaches
• Raisins
• Blueberries
• Pumpkin seeds
• Chia seeds
• Almonds
• Almond butter
• Pistachios
• Cashews
• Coconut flakes
• Walnuts
• Pumpkin seeds
• Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg
• Vanilla extract
• Shaved dark chocolate
• Maple syrup or honey
• Jaggery
• Saffron
• Cardamom
• Coconut (use it grated or in the form of coconut milk)

If you don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, and like your oatmeal without a tocuh of sweet, try these savoury toppings for oatmeal!

• Sautéed mushrooms, garlic or spinach
• Crumbled cheese like cheddar or feta or chopped green onions
• A fried or poached egg with a sprinkle of black pepper
• Avocado slices and cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil

Healthiest toppings for oatmeal
Add these healthiest toppings for oatmeal to make your breakfast a wholesome food! Image courtesy: Freepik

How to make oatmeal healthy?

There is no denying the fact that oatmeal has several health benefits, but it is mostly filled with carbohydrates and lacks fat or protein content. You can pair it with sources of fat and protein to make it a complete meal which will leave you feeling full for a long while meeting your nutrient needs and keeping you energised to make it through the day. Some of the foods that will bolster its fat or protein content include:

• 1-2 spoonfuls of nut butter, nuts or seeds
• A scoop of your favourite protein powder
• Beat egg whites in the oatmeal while cooking or fry the egg on top
• Shredded cheese
• Greek yoghurt

Also read: Aloe vera gel to oatmeal: Treat a sunburn with these time-tested home remedies

Is oatmeal good for weight loss?

If you have chosen to add oatmeal to your diet for weight loss, it is important to be mindful of the following tips by nutritionist Avni Kaul.

1. Portion control

When we add these savoury toppings to the oatmeal, we might tend to overeat it because of its delectable taste. However, this is not healthy for people on a weight loss journey. “Stick to a reasonable serving size, particularly around 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, to manage calorie intake,” says Kaul.

2. High-fiber toppings

Oatmeal is already rich in fibre, so avoid topping oatmeal with high-fibre foods such as berries, chia seeds, or flaxseeds to promote satiety and regulate blood sugar levels.

3. Protein boost

To curb your hunger pangs and stay fuller for a long, add protein-rich toppings like Greek yoghurt, nuts, or nut butter to increase feelings of fullness and support muscle maintenance during weight loss, says the expert.

4. Replace high-calorie ingredients

High-calorie toppings or ingredients will make you gain weight. So, substitute high-calorie ingredients such as sugar or cream with healthier alternatives such as stevia for sweetness or unsweetened almond milk for creaminess.

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