Top 7 Reasons to eat oatmeal for breakfast (recipes included)
09/03/2020 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Top 7 Reasons to eat oatmeal for breakfast (recipes included)

Oats are a great breakfast option. Prepared as oatmeal, these filling and nutritious grains offer some major health benefits thanks to their fiber, protein, calcium, thiamine, iron and other essential nutrients.

This incredible nutritional profile shouldn’t come as a surprise since oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. Plus, these gluten-free grains are a great source of antioxidants that can help fight chronic diseases.

Reasons to eat oatmeal

Let’s face it: plain old oatmeal isn’t the best breakfast food because of its blandness and texture. But don’t let that keep you from avoiding it altogether. Numerous studies attest to oatmeal’s reported health benefits. Plus, there are tons of recipes out there to help you get around that boring milk-and-oats combo.

  1. Oats support heart health – The soluble fiber in oats signal the liver to get rid of all that bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. This kind of cholesterol can clog our arteries and heighten our risk of heart disease. In addition, antioxidants in oats, such as avenanthramides, can fight chronic inflammation linked to heart disease.
  2. Oats boost the immune system – Oats are immune-boosting foods. Their beneficial effects on the immune system are all thanks to their natural sugars, called beta-glucans. These sugars help boost our infection-fighting immune cells. Minerals like selenium and zinc in oats are also essential nutrients for fighting infection and disease.
  3. Oats help keep blood sugar stable – Besides reducing bad cholesterol, beta-glucans also aid in regulating blood sugar. Numerous studies also confirm that soluble fiber in high-fiber foods stalls the digestion of food in the intestine, thus keeping blood sugar from spiking after a meal. In fact, recent research suggests that oats intake has a beneficial effect on glucose control in diabetic patients.
  4. Oats regulate appetite – The fiber in oats helps keep us feeling full for longer periods. In fact, just half a cup of oats should keep us full until the next meal.
  5. Oats support gut health – Fiber-rich oats also make it easier to pass stool, thus minimizing the risk of constipation. In addition, increased fiber intake is linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer.
  6. Oats make for a balanced breakfast – One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 150 calories, four grams of fiber (soluble and insoluble) and six grams of protein. Oats are also often cooked in butter or milk to increase their protein and nutrient content.
  7. Oats can be incorporated into other dishes – Shocking as it might sound, oats aren’t just for making oatmeal. These gluten-free grains can be combined or paired with other foods, including fruits, salad greens, spices and even last night’s leftovers.

Oatmeal recipes for breakfast

The classic milk-and-oats combo can get tiring after some time. But instead of grabbing some other food for breakfast, use these recipes instead for a fun spin on the classic oatmeal.

Steel-cut oatmeal

Steel-cut oats, or Irish oatmeal as it is also called, are perhaps the closest you can get to the original, unprocessed oat groat. These oats are the perfect building block for an ultra-nutritious breakfast.


  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a large saucepot, melt the butter, then add the oats.
  2. Stir for 2 minutes or until the oats are toasted.
  3. Pour in the boiling water and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Keep it at a low simmer for 25 minutes without stirring.
  5. Pour in the milk and half of the buttermilk with the oatmeal.
  6. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the oatmeal onto a bowl and top with the remaining buttermilk, sugar and cinnamon.

Cinnamon oatmeal pancakes

One of the reasons some people aren’t huge oatmeal fans is the thick paste-like texture of classic oatmeal. But this oatmeal pancake recipe gets around that.


  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into half-inch chunks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-grain oats
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer the cider for 15–18 minutes.
  3. Add the honey and apple chunk. Simmer again for 30 minutes, then set it aside.
  4. Blend together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Stir in the milk, butter and egg. Blend again until smooth.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. With a paper towel, wipe the oil on the surface of the skillet.
  7. Ladle 1 tablespoon of the batter to make a pancake. You should be able to make 4–5 more pancakes.
  8. Cook the pancakes until bubbles break the surface, then flip with a spatula. Cook for 1 minute more.
  9. Serve with the apple sauce.

Steel-cut oatmeal porridge

Start the morning right with this filling, whole-grain porridge. This recipe is also best prepared the night before to cut prep time in the morning.


  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 3/4 cup dehulled whole barley
  • 1/2 cup ground oats or bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh fruits and nuts, for toppings


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. In the morning, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 2 hours or until the grains are tender.
  3. Ladle the porridge into bowls and top with milk, dried fruit, fresh fruit or nuts.

Tropical oatmeal smoothie

In the mood for a refreshing, summer-themed smoothie? Whip up this tropical oatmeal smoothie for a filling and nutritious breakfast.


  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 1/2 cups plain coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup mango cubes
  • 3/4 cup pineapple cubes
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh pineapple chunks, for toppings


  1. Using a blender, grind the oats until fine.
  2. Toss in all of the ingredients, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the smoothie into a large chilled glass and serve alongside pineapple chunks.

Oatmeal bake

Prepare this before the week starts and keep it refrigerated. In the morning, grab a slice and eat it with milk or coffee. Breakfast doesn’t get faster nor easier than that!


  • 12 oz. mixed berries
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 2/3 cups plain almond milk
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Greek yogurt, for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a deep baking dish with 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups of the oats, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond milk, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract.
  4. Pour the almond milk mixture into the oat mixture and stir well to combine.
  5. In another bowl, combine the almonds, flour, cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and the remaining oats, butter and sugar.
  6. Pour the oatmeal mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place the berries on top, then sprinkle the topping mixture.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Top each serving with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Spinach, tomato and feta oatmeal

Looking for a more rounded breakfast? Look no further than this spinach, tomato and feta oatmeal recipe. Chock-full of calories, protein and fiber, eat this dish for breakfast for an energizing start to the morning.


  • 5 oz. fresh spinach
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Kalamata olives, for topping


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the oats, spinach and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7 minutes or until the oats soften and the mixture thickens.
  3. Turn off the heat, then add the feta, olive oil and dill.
  4. Transfer the oatmeal to a bowl and garnish with scallions and Kalamata olives.

Oatmeal should be a staple part of a balanced diet because of its nutritional profile and reported health benefits. Just make sure not to grab those instant, fast-cooking ones that are processed and lacking in nutrients.


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