The Healthiest Oatmeal

Healthier Breakfast Options

After digesting all sorts of sugar-crashing information (read this post first: 10-cereals-to-avoid-for-optimal-fat-loss-and-optimal-health), cereal lovers need not despair. Healthier options are available. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheat’s, for example, contain 10 percent fiber and as little as 2 percent sugar. If you’d prefer something a little sweeter, Kashi ranks as the best brand overall in terms of ingredients, according to the Rudd Center’s studies. And we’ve heard that Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal, which is about 20 percent sugar, tastes just like Honey Smacks, which is about 56 percent sugar.

Or make this >> The Healthiest Easy Oatmeal Ever! (read the rest of this blog post to get this amazing recipe) >>

I find myself irresistibly drawn to packets of instant oatmeal—with so little time in the morning it seems such an attractive alternative to 30 minutes of stirring the much healthier steel-cut oats. The devil on my shoulder entices me with whispers of “quick, easy, the kids will love it.” The hemp-wearing angel on the other side advises, “over-sweetened, over-processed, less-nutritious.” Turns out, I can kick the devil to the curb on this one—here’s how to make healthy, fruit-laden, steel-cut oats in minutes.

Not only do steel cut oats rate well on the glycemic index, but they are loaded with health-boosting fiber. And while a single serving of a popular instant oatmeal contains 12 grams of sugar and 1 gram of soluble fiber—a serving of steel cut oats has 0 grams of sugar and over 2 grams of soluble fiber. But it’s all of that super healthy fiber that requires the long stovetop time. So what’s the trick for quick steel cut oats?

If you are guessing slow-cooker, bingo! And a rice-cooker can do it too: just add the ingredients, turn it on, get ready for your day, and return to breakfast in half an hour. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for several days and can be easily reheated. The variations are endless; a list of great additions is compiled below. The favourite in my household is a few giant handfuls of blueberries (fresh or frozen) thrown in with the oats and water, and nothing else—the result is a big sweet, purple, oaty wonder that leaves that smug little angel on the shoulder feeling pretty darn plucky.

Overnight Oatmeal—Basic Slow Cooker Technique
2 cups steel cut oats
6 to 8 cups water
Additions—see below

The rule of thumb here is to use 6 cups of water if it will cook for less than 8 hours, and use 8 cups of water if it will cook for more than 8 hours. Add ingredients, cover, cook on the lowest setting overnight, and serve in the morning.

Serves 8

Easy Morning Oatmeal—Basic Rice Cooker Technique
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
Additions—see below

It’s better to make smaller batches when using a rice cooker to avoid the mix from bubbling over. Add ingredients, cover, cook on low for 25 to 30 minutes, and serve.

Serves 4

Additions To Mix And Match
Fresh or frozen fruit: as much as you want to add. We add so many blueberries that it is almost like a blueberry stew with oatmeal garnish. Bananas make it extra creamy, and try pumpkin puree for a change of pace.

Dried fruit: cherries, cranberries, raisins, dates, figs, you name it.

Nuts: if you add these before cooking, they get soft—stir them after cooking if you prefer more crunches. You can also add nut butter.

Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, or your favourite natural sweetener.

Seasoning: Vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom each work well with oatmeal.

By the way, in case you’re wondering just what the heck all these different oats are here is a quick lesson.

Steel cut oats are whole oat groats that have been sliced.  All Time Best Cereal - Steel Cut Irish Oats

Rolled oats are oat groats that have been steamed, rolled and flaked for easier cooking.

Quick cooking oats are rolled oats that have been chopped into even smaller pieces and “instant” oats are mashed and nearly powdered and really not all that good for you… in fact they could be worse than many sugary cereals that drive your insulin and fat storage levels thru the roof and prepare you for a fatty diabetic death.

Choose wisely my friends.

Add healthy oils, nuts, and proteins to your oats and cereals to increase the “balance”, satisfaction and lower the insulin spikes to keep your fat loss and optimal healthy goals in check.

My favourite trick is to make a vanilla protein shake with milk and olive oil and pour it over my cereals and oatmeals in the morning… could be because I am a bit lazy in the mornings.  Besides it just tastes better and means I don’t need to add any… well too much brown sugar (just being honest).

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  1. Collin Stembridge
    7 years ago

    Hi everyone, I was looking for a good articles about weight loss because I have a problem with my weight, and every good article about that topic is welcome. I really enjoyed reading this article… All credits to the author…

    • Patrick
      7 years ago

      Thanks Collin, I appreciate your commenting and letting me know what you like.

  2. Mary S
    7 years ago

    But, but… I LOVE brown sugar!

    I got some Scottish oatmeal (which I guess is steel cut?) and you can actually microwave it in about 2 minutes. You need to cover it and let it sit for a few minutes afterwards but it comes out creamy and smooth. You just need to add fruit (and brown sugar, of course) and it’s absolute perfection. When I’ve got more time, I cook it in a pot for 10 minutes. That comes out a lot thicker, so I’ve been adding coconut milk/non-fat milk combo to it to thin it out a little. Probably not as low cal and healthy as your version but it tastes wonderful.

    Great article, it hadn’t occurred to me to add blueberries while the oatmeal was still cooking. Do you think that would work for strawberries as well?

    • Patrick
      7 years ago

      Mary, you can use any oatmeal you want. I just like the Irish Steel cut ones myself [ahem… last name: McGuire 😉 ].

      I don’t like to nuke any foods if I can help it. Boiling is best, but go with what works for you.

      The coconut milk is a great idea for flavor. Imagine Coconut Milk and Strawberries, WOW!

      You can add any berry while cooking, it really ramps up the flavor and releases flavanoids.