Make your oatmeal healthier

Though smoothies are a year-round breakfast staple for my family, the colder weather gets us all craving a bowl of oaty warm goodness. And no this does not mean those sugar-laden packets of instant oats. Old-fashioned oats or steel-cut oats are my go-to ingredient to make a healthy bowl of oatmeal. Here are a few more ways to make oatmeal even more nutrient-dense.
Though smoothies are a year-round breakfast staple for my family, the colder weather gets us all craving a bowl of oaty warm goodness. And no this does not mean those sugar-laden packets of instant oats. Old-fashioned oats or steel-cut oats are my go-to ingredient to make a healthy bowl of oatmeal. Here are a few more ways to make oatmeal even more nutrient-dense.

How to make oatmeal healthier

Dried fruit

Dried fruit is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other health-boosting phytonutrients. It also lends a natural sweetness to your bowl of oats. Try dried cranberries, chopped dried apples and apricots, raisins, currants, chopped prunes, dried dates or a tasty combination.

Fresh fruit

Dried fruit will hold up better in a bowl of hot oatmeal but fresh fruit can add to its creaminess. Sliced bananas, fresh berries, and peaches almost melt in the warm oats. Diced apples and pears will keep their shape but become more tender. Fresh fruit is lower in calories compared to dried fruit and can make your bowl of oats lower in total calories by adding bulk.

Nuts and seeds

Add nuts and seeds to your oatmeal to give it a delicious dose of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Nuts and seeds also add a nice crunch. Stir in chopped walnuts, pecans, or cashews, sliced almonds, crushed flax seeds, sesame seeds, or even chia seeds. You can also stir in your favorite nut or seed butter.

Cocoa

High in antioxidants and proven to promote heart health, cocoa powder will make your oatmeal akin to a healthy dessert. You can also stir in chopped dark chocolate or cocoa nibs.

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