Easy ways to prepare heart-healthy oatmeal for breakfast.
Oatmeal is a satisfying, healthy morning meal. It’s high in soluble fiber, which may help to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, and has a healthy amount of protein, both of which will help you feel satisfied. Plus oatmeal is a low-glycemic-index (GI) food—and research suggests that eating a low-GI meal before you exercise may help you burn more fat. For a boost of calcium, make oatmeal with low-fat milk instead of water. Then top it with your favorite fruit to add more fiber and nuts for (filling) healthy fats. Here are cooking instructions for the most common types of oatmeal, plus some of our favorite toppings. Use these instructions to prepare 1 serving of oatmeal or follow package directions. One serving of each type of oatmeal below is about 150 calories and 4 grams of fiber.
Quick-cooking oats have been precooked then dried and rolled. They are sometimes labeled “instant oats.”
Stovetop: Bring 1 cup water (or nonfat or low-fat milk) and a pinch of salt (if desired) to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup oats and reduce heat to medium; cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
Microwave: Combine 1 cup water (or nonfat or low-fat milk), 1/2 cup oats and a pinch of salt (if desired) in a 2-cup microwavable bowl. Microwave on High for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir before serving.
Old-fashioned oats have been steamed and then rolled. They are sometimes labeled “rolled oats.”
Stovetop: Bring 1 cup water (or nonfat or low-fat milk) and a pinch of salt (if desired) to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup oats and reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
Microwave: Combine 1 cup water (or nonfat or low-fat milk), 1/2 cup oats and a pinch of salt (if desired) in a 2-cup microwavable bowl. Microwave on High for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Stir before serving.
Steel-cut oats are toasted and cut oat groats—the oat kernel that has been removed from the husk. They are sometimes labeled “Irish oatmeal.”
Stovetop: Bring 1 cup water (or nonfat or low-fat milk) and a pinch of salt (if desired) to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup oats and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are the desired texture, 20 to 30 minutes.
Pep up your morning bowl of oats with these not-so-old-fashioned topping recipes:Chocolate Banana - Have your fruit and a little luxury too with this kid-friendly healthy chocolate and banana oatmeal recipe.
Coconut Chai-Spice - With the flavors of chai tea and coconut, this healthy oatmeal recipe is a spice upgrade from plain cinnamon
Creamy Blueberry Pecan - This satisfying, on-the-go oatmeal recipe, protein-rich Greek yogurt, crunchy pecans and sweet berries makes a perfect healthy breakfast.
Creamy Cherry Walnut - Cream cheese, dried cherries and lemon zest give this healthy oatmeal recipe cheesecake-like flavor.
Date & Pine Nut - Sweet dried dates, pine nuts, cinnamon and honey give your breakfast Middle Eastern flavor.
Fig & Ricotta - Sweet figs, creamy ricotta and crunchy almonds make this healthy oatmeal recipe a breakfast treat.
Savory Curry Cashew - This not-so-old-fashioned savory oatmeal recipe has cashews, curry powder and raisins.
Jazz up your morning bowl of oatmeal with one or more of these tasty toppings:
- • Dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries or chopped apricots or dates
- • Ground cinnamon or ginger
- • Chopped toasted nuts, such as almonds, pecans or walnuts
- • Chopped or sliced fresh fruit, such as bananas or apples
- • Fresh or frozen berries
- • Low-fat (or nonfat) milk or plain yogurt
- • Jams, preserves, maple syrup, brown sugar or honey
- • Applesauce
- • Ground flaxseed
Try this easy make-ahead breakfast when you need to save time in the morning. Combine 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats with 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt in a jar or bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Eat cold or heat up; add toppings, as desired. Makes about 2/3 cup.