Oatmeal is one of the most versatile, nutrient rich, and energizing foods around, making it one of my absolute favorite go-to meals. We all lead busy lives, so fueling properly at breakfast is nonnegotiable if you’re looking to sustain steady energy levels throughout the day. Fatigue, headaches, mental “fogginess”, and inability to stay focused may seem like common, unavoidable side effects of everyday life – some of you may even experience one or more of these issues daily. I am here to tell you that feeling your best, even in the midst of a chaotic, busy day, is possible, and it begins with what you’re putting into your body.
What makes this oatmeal recipe an ideal breakfast option is the combination of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and high-quality protein. This triad of elements is referred to as a ‘macronutrient balanced meal’. Meals consisting solely of carbohydrates, even good-for-you complex carbs (such as a fruit & vegetable smoothie), provide fast-acting energy, but will ultimately leave you feeling hungry and low-energy shortly after. Meals high in fat and protein without complex carbs to balance them out are often too heavy on the digestive system, and will leave you feeling tired and sluggish. By creating a balance between these three nutritional elements, your body is provided with both immediate and long-lasting energy while keeping hunger and cravings at bay. Though every body is different, this tends to be a universal rule among everyone.
Not only does this recipe make you feel really good, but it’s delicious, easy to prepare, and extremely customizable! Mix and match your toppings depending on what you’re in the mood for that day. As long as you follow the ‘Base’ recipe and include a few additional toppings, you’ll be on your way to a healthy, happy, and productive day.
Makes 1 serving
- 1 cup spring water
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- Coconut oil
- High quality salt (such as Pink Himalayan)
- Unsweetened almond milk (or any other dairy-free nut or seed milk)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
Superfood Toppings and Add-Ons
- Fresh or frozen berries
- Sliced apples or bananas
- Cacao nibs
- Bee pollen
- Slivered almonds
- Nuts and seeds (unroasted and unsalted) – pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
- Raw honey
- Dried goji berries
- Maca powder
- Almond or cashew butter
- Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- Lemon or orange zest
- Boil 1 cup of spring water in a small sauce pan
- Once water is boiling, add ½ cup of rolled oats and turn stove to ‘Low Heat’
- Add a generous spoonful (about 1 tablespoon) of coconut oil to the oatmeal
- Add a dash of sea salt to the oatmeal
- Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Once most of the water seems to have cooked away, take the pot off the heat
- Add a splash of unsweetened almond milk
- Add chia and hemp seeds, stirring to mix
- Continue to add as many toppings as you please, either mixing them in or leaving them on top – if at any point the mixture becomes too thick, simply add another splash of almond milk
Some or all of these ingredients may already be in your cabinet, while others may sound totally foreign (…cacao what?). Either way, I’ve highlighted a few of my personal favorites to help you gain a better understanding of why this recipe is so life changing!
Almond milk: Unlike traditional dairy milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol, no saturated fat, and no sugar. The high concentration of healthy fats helps to prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, and age-related cognitive decline. It also contains calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D, and an array of B vitamins.
Bee pollen: Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most complete energy sources, as it contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. These small, sweet-tasting granules are rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. By weight, bee pollen contains more protein and amino acids than eggs, beef, cheese, or any other animal source. The combination of carbohydrates, protein, and B vitamins serve to naturally fight fatigue and increase energy levels. The anti-inflammatory properties of bee pollen have been shown to boost respiratory health, prevent asthma, treat skin irritations, protect the immune system, and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Bee pollen is also wonderfully effective at treating seasonal allergy symptoms.
Cacao nibs: Consider cacao nibs the less processed, more nutritious sibling of dark chocolate. Cacao is extremely high in antioxidants, as well as fiber and iron. It is one of the few foods high in magnesium, an essential mineral that regulates brain, muscle, heart, and nerve health. Cacao is also known for its mood-enhancing benefits, as eating it has been found to stimulate the brain’s release of feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Chia seeds: Chia seeds are small, taste-less seeds that pack a HUGE nutritional punch! I personally sneak them into my diet whenever possible – in oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, salads, etc. They’re extremely high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats, in addition to an array of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. The fats found in chia seeds are in the form of heart and brain healthy omega-3s. In fact, chia seeds contain 8 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as wild Alaskan salmon.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon doesn’t just add flavor to your food, it also packs a significant nutritional punch! While technically not sweet, “sweet spices” like cinnamon have been shown to mimic sweetness, thereby facilitating weight-loss by allowing you to cut back on your sugar intake. Cinnamon is a rich source of antioxidants – one teaspoon contains as many antioxidants as half a cup of blueberries! Research indicates that ingesting cinnamon reduces risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes (such as high blood pressure) and significantly boosts brain function.
Goji berries: Goji berries are a healthier (and in my opinion, more delicious) alternative to raisins. They are extremely high in vitamin C, iron, fiber, and vitamin A, making them an ideal addition to any meal or snack. Though very sweet, they are naturally low in sugar and high in fiber, allowing you to avoid a spike in blood sugar. Goji berries are best known for their high antioxidant content, and have been found to decrease inflammation throughout the body. In fact, many people suffering from arthritis have found goji berries particularly helpful in reducing painful inflammation and joint discomfort.
Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are another wonderful plant-based protein source. They contain all 10 essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), making them a complete protein. Each small seed contains easily digestible protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and a long list of vitamins and minerals. The healthy fats found in hemp seeds promote brain, heart, digestive, and nerve health.
Himalayan Pink Salt: Unfortunately, today’s common table salt is a far cry from the natural, nutritious salt that has been used by man for thousands of years. Doctors and researchers agree that Himalayan Pink Salt is the purest salt available, as it is entirely uncontaminated by any synthetic chemicals or pollutants. This variety of natural salt contains all of the 84 elements present in the human body, as well as many trace minerals including magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iodine.
Maca powder: Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable, most commonly available in powder form. It’s bursting with B vitamins, which help to elevate mood and energy levels. Maca also contains substantial amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Research has found maca to be beneficial in alleviating chronic fatigue, mood swings, acne, anemia, and hormonal imbalances in women.
Raw honey: In its pure, natural state, honey is a wonderful addition to your diet (in moderation, of course!). Though honey does contain simple sugars, it is not the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Honey contains a variety of health-boosting vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, and iron. It also possesses antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, helping to prevent colds and other illnesses.