Making a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be hard! This very creamy, satisfying, and healthy bowl of oatmeal makes a great first meal of the day and will energize you for hours. I have also listed a few of my favorite tips on how to make yummy and nutritious oatmeal that will have you jumping out of bed.Jump to Recipe
What are the Benefits of Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is really healthy! Oats or oatmeal contain slow carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants which makes it really good for you. This breakfast food has:
1. Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber may reduce cholesterol level, blood sugar and constipation.
2. Complex Carbs Increase fullness
It takes a long time for your stomach to digest complex carbs, which makes you less likely to be starving mid-morning and grab every snack in the vending machine at work.
3. Great source of prebiotic
This means oatmeal feeds good bacteria and promotes a healthy gut.
If you want tot read more about why oatmeal is so good for you, you can find more here.
What kind of Oats should I use for Overnight Oatmeal?
There are a few different kinds of oatmeal options out there. The main difference is due to how much the oat groats have been processed, which result in different texture and cooking time.
1. Steel Cut oats
Processed the least, takes the longest to cook
2. Rolled Oats (Old-Fashioned)
Steamed to softened, pressed to flatten
3. Instant or quick Oats
The most processed kind which takes the shortest time to cook. This is the kind you find in the microwave oatmeal packs.
My personal favorite to make healthy oatmeal with is rolled oats, aka old-fashioned oats for soaking overnight. I get the gluten-free version on amazon. They soak up the milk and spices overnight so perfectly.
Unlike rolled oats, steel-cut oatmeal will still need to be cooked on the stove or in the microwave even after soaking all night. On the other hand, instant oats will just get soggy and turn into baby food.
How is overnight oats different from regular oatmeal?
1. It “cooks” overnight and is ready for you to eat in the morning
This means saving time! When I was working my 9-5 corporate job, the last thing I wanted to think about was to cook breakfast in the morning. You know that drill. Gym, shower, makeup, outfits, pack the bag bla bla the list goes on.
Having your breakfast ready in the fridge ready to grab-n-go is the most perfect, healthy and delicious solution!
2. Soaking the Oats help us digest better
Having the oats soaked overnight can make it easier for our bodies to digest them. Oats contain a high amount of phytic acid which can act as an inhibitor for important digestive enzymes. Therefore, high phytic acid can reduce the nutrition value of a meal.
Overnight, the oats swell up and phytic acid is reduced, which makes overnight oats a very healthy oatmeal.
What to soak the healthy oatmeal in?
Traditionally, oatmeal is cooked in hot water or milk on the stove or in the microwave. But nowadays with so many alternative products available for all your dietary restrictions, you have no reason not to change it up every now and then.
The sky is the limit!
These are my favorite soaking agents:
“Old-Fashioned”: Full fat or reduced fat Milk
Make it dairy-free: Use nut milk such as almond, cashew and coconut
Make it nut-free: Use flax or oat milk
How to sweeten and spice up your healthy oatmeal
It all depending on personal preference when it comes to sweeteners and spices. But I do have a few tips and tricks to share with you when it comes to how I choose and shop my sweeteners and spices.
Maple Syrup: Find the one that only has one SINGLE ingredient… Maple Syrup!
Honey: Buy Local if you can. And again, choose the one that only has “Honey” on its ingredient list. (I mean what else can bees put in honey other than honey, right?)
Ripe or caramelized bananas: This may be my favorite way to sweeten up a lot of my recipes, especially as oatmeal toppings.
Frozen or fresh berries: First, choose the ones in season, when you can. BUT, you don’t have to feel you must buy fresh ones if they don’t fit in your budget. The frozen berries are just as nutritious (read more here).
Nut Butter: Nut butters like cashew, peanut, and almond, naturally have a little bit of sweetness to them. They are also my staples for a healthy and satisfying breakfast. Again, look for the ones with only one (or two) ingredients. Nuts (and maybe salt).
Okay, what about spice? Here are a few of my favorite go-to spices that I add to almost every bowl of oatmeal.
Cinnamon provides a hint of sweetness and lots of health benefits.
Cacao Powder. Does it count as a spice? Yes, chocolate is everything (check out this chocolate overnight oats recipe)
Turmeric is one of my favorite warming spices on a winter day and t provides great anti-inflammatory benefits.
Oatmeal is like a blank canvas. Take advantage of it and be creative. You can add any of your favorite spices, superfood powders, protein powder and all kinds of different toppings.
Take the chance and change up your breakfast and make it your favorite meal of the day. And remember, the sky is the limit!
Why Nut Butter is the perfect addition to your healthy oatmeal
I love peanut butter. Anyone else?
Nonetheless, I don’t eat as much as I used to do. But that’s only because I have discovered my love for almond and cashew butter as well, which are obviously great substitutions for peanut butter.
Nut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats. It is an excellent addition to elevate your breakfast oatmeal game to the next level.
However, one quick note is that nut butter is fairly high in calories, so if you are watching your intake, be conscious about the serving size.
When choosing a nut butter in the grocery store, again, check the ingredient list. You want to look for the ones that ONLY has one ingredient. Although those are more expensive and harder to find, luckily they are starting to be more widely available.
The next great option is the ones with only salt added. I would really recommend trying to avoid nut butters with added sugar and/or palm oil. And in general, one of my rule of thumb when it comes to judging ingredient lists is ” Nothing I can’t pronounce”.
Here are a couple allergy friendly substitutions to choose as toppings for your healthy oatmeal breakfast:
Nuts allergy alternative: Try sunflower seeds butter. Trader Joe’s has a really yummy one, as well as Sunbutter.
Nuts and Seeds Free: However, if you can’t consume any of these, try some full-fat yogurt (I love Fage and Siggis) or coconut yogurt for a vegan option.
I hope these tips and ideas are helpful for you when it comes to building a healthy breakfast bowl of overnight oats. Now scroll down to check out the full recipe for this yummy healthy oatmeal.
Don’t forget to pin it and share it with your friends and family.
Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Want to share this with your friends and family? Pin this “How to make Healthy Oatmeal” to your favorite Pinterest Board!
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
- 1/2 cup GF rolled oats
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp chia jam
- In a mason jar, combine rolled oats and milk of your choice. Cover and refrigerate over night
- In the morning, pour the soaked oats into a bowl. Leave it cold or heat it up
- Cut a banana lengthwise and caramelize, or if preferred raw, simply cut it into rings
- Top the overnight oats with banana, a scoop of peanut butter and any additional toppings you prefer
- ENJOY this healthy and creamy breakfast
- If you want to add spices such as cinnamon to your oats, do so in step 1
- You can find the instructions on how to caramelize banana on my Instagram story highlights "meal prep"
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.