Oats. It’s a shelf-stable, affordable, staple grain found in many households. It can be added to muffins, breads, and cookies; or – as almost anyone knows, as a hot bowl of breakfast cereal. In just ½ cup, this excellent source of grains provides 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, along with calcium, iron, and potassium.
Because of the mild flavor oats carry, it pairs easily with a large variety of add-ins. This makes it easy to turn a simple bowl of oatmeal into a complete meal! Let’s look at some options that will help you create a filling dish with a variety of nutrients and benefits to keep you full and energized.
Basic Breakfast Bowl:
First: Cook the oats with milk (instead of water) for additional protein (up to 8 grams per cup) and calcium. Milk substitutes, such as almond or soy will add their own nutrition benefits.
Add fruit: There are so many options here, some of which can also be found at the Bear Pantry. Chop up a piece of fresh fruit, add frozen berries, dried fruits – like raisins or cranberries, even canned or jarred fruit works great! Regardless, you’ll be adding in important vitamins that boost your immune system and help create quick energy.
Healthy fats: A great way to top off the bowl and keep you full longer is to add nuts or nut butters. Trail mix and single serve cups of peanut butter are often available at the Pantry and would be a great option.
Savory Lunch or Dinner Bowl:
First: Start by cooking oats in water or broth for a savory flavored base.
Add protein: Eggs are another great product offered at the Pantry. They are a great source of protein (7 grams per egg) and pair great with the heartiness of these grains. Scrambled, poached, or hard/soft boiled would work in this bowl.
Seasonings: Give the bowl a unique taste by adding fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Add vegetables: This is a great dish to add cooked vegetables from a previous meal to. Get creative and try new flavors together!
Finally, top with a sprinkle your favorite shredded or crumbled cheese to melt over the bowl.