This article will cover how to make healthier oatmeals and porridge with some healthy options found at the local grocery store. With this information, you will be able to empower your plain oatmeal to be as healthy as it could ever be.
Instead of giving you a plethora of recipes, you will be able to customize your own oatmeal to make it suit your personal diet, and make hundreds of recipes on your own.
There are so much more things than just making a plain oatmeal with water here. After this, you will have plenty to choose from, and be able to equip your porridge and oatmeal with superb health benefits. After these options are presented, we will further explain what you should look for in grocery stores when looking for healthy choices to add to your porridge or oatmeal.
Of course, besides the regular water, many milk options are available to make oatmeal healthier.
- Whole Milk – Filled with the most nutrients and is very good for the bones. It is said to help in preventing osteoporosis.
- Almond Milk – Has very low sugars, carbs, fats, and calories when compared to the regular whole milk. Unfortunately it is low in protein too when compared to whole milk.
- Oat Milk – Tasty with good carbs and a little more protein than the almond milk (2 grams more per cup). Has slightly less calories than whole milk.
- Soy Milk – Nutritional, just like whole milk, except it is vegan and good for the lactose intolerant. The flavor can be good sometimes if you get the right brand/type. Vanilla soy milk is recommended.
- Coconut Milk – A flavorful milk with some of the least carbs, sugars, calories (34 grams per cup), and fats. Downside is that it is lacking much of the nutrients found in soy or whole milk.
- Low Fat – Has around 30% less calories with less fats than whole milk. However, having the nutrients that whole milk does, it is less flavorful.
- Skim Milk – Lacking in flavor and tough to drink, because of this on its own. This milk is fat free with the same characteristics of whole milk otherwise.
Water is the most healthy thing for the body, but of course it can be better if it is filtered water. Using filtered water instead of tap water to boil your oatmeal or porridge with, can make it even healthier.
Instead of sweetening your oatmeal and porridge with brown sugar or canes sugar, healthier sweeteners are available to make the oatmeal/porridge better. There are even some natural healthy options that do not have calories.
- Monk fruit sweetener.
- This sweetener comes from monk fruit, which originated in China. It has zero calories and carbs, making it a great healthier sweetener than granulated sugar. It replaces sugar one to one.
- Stevia sweeteners come from the stevia plant. It is a popular sugar replacement that also has zero calories and carbs, just like monk fruit sweeteners. It replaces sugar one to one.
- Raw honey.
- Raw honey is a natural sweetener that is said to have many health benefits. It has been used for healing wounds, and fighting off sicknesses.
- Yacon syrup.
- This is a low calorie natural sweetener with only a third of the calories of honey and traditional sugar. It comes from the root of the yacón plant.
When picking out oatmeal to use in the grocery store, there is a certain oatmeal that you want to look for. Also, there are certain oatmeals that you want to avoid.
The oatmeals that you want are the ones that do not have added sugars, if you are concerned about sugars. Also, these types of oatmeal without the sugars will be easier to combine with your own healthier choices of milk, water, sugars, and additional add ons for a more natural taste.
Another key thing to look for is oats that have polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. These are extremely healthy for your body, including your brain and your heart.
Oats to avoid most of the time, are the instant oats. This is because they usually are made with additional sugars, which gives you less room to make healthy oatmeal or porridge options.
Sugars are believed to be linked to obesity and weight gain. Plus, they are just empty calories that can be better filled in with something more healthier and with more nutrients than sugar.
Sometimes they also contain more sodium too than what you would need in one meal.
Healthiest Oatmeal/Porridge Toppings And Additions
If you are looking for some healthy toppings and additional add ons into your oatmeal or porridge, then there are a wide variety to choose from. Some of them can replicate the instant oatmeal packages in grocery stores, but without all the sugars and preservatives.
Some of the healthiest and most common fruits to use as healthy options are:
- Apple slices
- Apples are a good source of fiber, and are said to help reduce cholesterol. They are also an antioxidant.
- Banana slices
- Bananas are said to be good for weight-loss, digestion, the heart, and help improve blood sugar levels.
- Blueberries are said to be good for cleaning the body by getting rid of free radicals, and reduce inflammation, reducing the risk of cancer.
- Blackberries are said to be a good antioxidant, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of cancer.
- Cranberries are said to help reduce the risk of cancer, improve blood pressure, and help boost the immune system.
- Grapes are said to help aid the health of the heart, reduce blood pressure, and improve the health of the cells in the body.
- Raisins are said to help improve the health of the digestive system as a good source of fiber.
- Raspberries are said to reduce the risk of heart disease, and help lower blood pressure. It also can reduce the risk of having a stroke.
- Strawberries are said to help with blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
Since the berries are already pretty small, they make the best healthy additions into your oatmeal or porridge that can add natural fruit sugars to sweeten it up.
Any of these berries can also be mixed with other berries, since berries compliment each other in flavor.
Taking apples or bananas and slicing them up is also a quick healthy addition that is done quite often.
Your grocery store may also have some excellent organic fruit mixes already made in a bag. Just be careful to read the food labeling on some of them, as they may have more sugars than just the natural sugars that come in the dried fruits if they aren’t organic.
These can be found somewhere in the outskirts of the vegetables and fruits section. You can’t go wrong if you can find an organic type. You might also get a variety of fruits all in one that you can just add straight into your oatmeal.
Certain spreads of cranberry and other fruits can sometimes be found in the bakery section. These can be used too if they don’t have sugars added to them. Other spreads that can be found there are fig, orange, and tangerine spreads.
How you will know that any of these fruits have extra sugars added to them besides the natural sugars in the fruits, is by looking at the food label. It will say “Inc. Sugars”. It should say 0g if none were added, meaning all the sugars naturally come from the fruits themselves.
Seeds are extremely healthy additions that can be good healthy options for your oatmeal or porridge. They are also a great source of protein if you need to add a little extra to your oatmeal or porridge. Here are some that you can use.
- Chai seeds
- Chai seeds are said to help improve the condition of the heart, reduce cholesterol, and help the digestive system.
- Flaxseeds are said to help the digestive system. They also have around 2 grams per tablespoon of polyunsaturated fats. This means that they also help improve brain and heart health.
- Hemp seeds
- Hemp seeds are said to help improve heart function, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Poppy seeds
- Poppy seeds are said to help improve blood flow and increase the health of the skeletal system.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin seeds are said to help with heart function, help with healing wounds, and reduce blood sugar levels.
- Sesame seeds
- Sesame seeds are said to help reduce inflammation, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels.
- Sunflower seeds
- Sunflower seeds are said to help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. They can also improve the condition of the heart.
When you buy your nuts for your oatmeal/porridge, remember to read the food label to see which ones pack the most healthy fats (polyunsaturated fats).
Polyunsaturated fats don’t just help improve brain function, but also cell development too. They also contain the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The body can make many essential things that it needs, but not these. They can only be obtained from foods that have it.
They also have an exceptional amount of protein for their proportion.
Look for chopped macadamia nuts, mixed nuts, or walnuts to put in your oatmeal or porridge if you choose to add nuts. They have tons of these polyunsaturated fats and some monounsaturated fats as well.
The food label for other nuts have to be checked besides the ones listed here in the list. Not all of them contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fats.
If you want to make the healthiest oatmeal or porridge possible with nuts, then go for the ones that are high in the healthy polyunsaturated fats. They can also help with weight loss too, as healthy fats are said to help with burning fat. You can make some of the healthiest fat burning oatmeal that you have ever had when combined with other things with healthy fats in them.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are commonly put into oatmeal and porridge. There are also included into some instant oatmeal packs found at the grocery store. Some of these spices are considered to be superfoods, meaning that they do an array of good things for the body than what most single foods can offer.
You can place some of these herbs and spices into your own oatmeal to spice them up. Here is a list of some good ones to include. With these, you can substitute there flavor for sugar and make your own personal healthy oatmeal or porridge.
- Anise is said to be really good for digestive issues. It is also used as a natural supplement for common sicknesses like common cold.
- Cardamom is said to help improve the respiratory system, reduce blood pressure, prorvide relief to the digestive system, and help with weight loss.
- Cayenne pepper
- Cayenne pepper is said to help the digestive system and to help with stomach digestion issues related to bacteria in the gut.
- Cinnamon is considered to be a superfood. It is said to be a powerful antioxidant, help with blood sugar levels, help reduce the risk of heart diseases, help with inflammation, and reduce the risk of cancer.
- Cumin is said to help with blood sugar levels, help provide more oxygen in the blood cells, and help the digestive system.
- Ginger is a superfood that is said to reduce inflammation, help the digestive system, and is used to fight many sicknesses.
- Oregano is said to help blood sugar levels, help fight sicknesses, and relieve inflammation.
- Peppermint is said to help with common colds, relieve sinus, and help with digestive issues.
- Rosemary is said to help fight sicknesses and boost the immune system.
- Turmeric is a superfood that is said to help the digestive system, help fight inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer, relieve arthritis, and much more.