There is no doubt that oats are considered to be one of the healthiest whole grain foods on the planet earth. Although oats naturally contain plant based protein, the organic compound is essential to every cell in the human body and necessary for growth, development and cell repair.
So, what can you add to oatmeal for extra protein? Nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt and protein powder are the best things to add to oatmeal for protein.
Oatmeal offers a number of health benefits in addition to being a gluten free food. Further, it is also a rich source of fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They help with weight loss, bring down levels of blood sugar and also reduce the risk of heart disease.
In this article, we will have a look at some interesting facts and information about oatmeal protein, explore the benefits of eating oatmeal for protein, and discuss ways to add more protein to that bowl of oats.
While there is no doubt that oats have their own protein content, there are many who would like to know whether it is possible to increase the protein concentration. Below we will detail easy ways to make that bowl of oatmeal a good source of protein.
How Much Protein is in Oatmeal?
A standard serving of oatmeal is a half-cup of dry oats. When the portion is measured dry, it has around 5.9 grams of protein.
When cooked, half cup of dry oats turns into a full cup of tasty and nutritious cooked oatmeal. If you eat the oatmeal as it is, you will be able to get only around 5.9 grams of high quality plant based protein.
Hence, it is quite common for many of us to find ways and means by which it is possible to increase the amount of protein in a serving of oatmeal.
Is this possible? Let us try and have a look at ways to increase protein in oatmeal.
How Do You Increase Protein in Oatmeal?
There are many simple and easily doable tips that could help you in increasing the protein content as far as your oatmeal is concerned.
For example after cooking the oatmeal, you can add milk and top it up with a handful of almonds. This is good enough to increase the protein content in your oatmeal from 5.9 grams to over 20 grams.
Apart from the above, there are other ways and means by which it is possible to scale up the protein content in your bowl of oatmeal. Let us learn a few ways by which this can be done easily and without too much struggle and effort.
Cook it in Milk
Cooking your oatmeal in milk is probably the easiest and simplest way to increase protein concentration. When you coat the oats with a glass of whole milk, skim milk, almond milk or even soy milk, you will give it the necessary protein boost.
An average man should aim to get around 56 grams of protein daily and protein must account for around 10 to 35% of your daily calories. The rest of the caloric intake should come from other nutrients like carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Nut Butters and Seeds
Adding peanut, cashew, or almond butter is one of the simple ways that could help add to the protein content in your oatmeal. Peanut butter can add an impressive 8 grams of protein to your oatmeal.
Apart from almond butter and peanut butter you could also look at other types of nuts and butters depending on your taste buds and personal preferences. Sunflower butter and tahini are a few palatable choices that we really enjoy, stick to unsweetened products so that you can have better control over your sugar intake.
Chia, flax and hemp seeds are some additional options that can be eaten raw and a garnish, or you can cook quinoa with the oats for more diversity.
It is a known fact that Greek yogurt is capable of adding a tangy and luxurious flavor apart from adding a silky and creamy texture to the oatmeal. While regular yogurt also is a reasonably rich source of protein, according to experts in food and nutrition, Greek yoghurt is considered to be superior when it comes to adding protein to your oatmeal.
Bear in mind that a 6 ounce serving of quality Greek yogurt could have around 16 to 20 grams of protein. This is fantastic because it can easily provide you with a protein equivalent to 2 to 3 ounce serving of lean meat.
What can I mix with Oatmeal?
The good thing about oats is that it is a versatile food that goes well with a number of other pairings. While being one of the healthiest breakfast items on planet earth, it also is quick to prepare, cheap and is packed with a number of important and vital nutrients.
However, eating the same bland preparation of oats day in and day out could be boring and underwhelming. Hence, we are happy to have a look at some of the oatmeal toppings that could make it more enjoyable, tasty and of course filling and nutritious.
Drizzle your Chai. You could make use of a pre-mixed concentrate such as Dona Chai and this will help create aromatic and nuanced oats.
You also could replace your conventional cooking liquid with herbal tea and this will certainly increase the flavor and give that tasty and appetizing perfumed flavor.
If you want to add some grainy element to it, you could think of amaranth, buckwheat and millet. You also could pair it with sweet potatoes or homemade applesauce, this will add taste to it apart from giving that special and unique creamy punch.
Many people add clarified butter, also known as Ghee. This does improve the taste quite considerably.
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to adding other ingredients to make oatmeal tastier and perhaps even more nutritious.
There are many who enjoy oatmeal with curry paste and pumpkin puree. Another great idea would be to add unsweetened coconut flakes and coconut milk to amplify the taste of your oatmeal quite considerably.
Fried egg and crispy bacon drizzled with maple syrup is a beautiful combination that will surely enhance the amount of protein in you oatmeal dish.
Can I add Protein to Oatmeal?
Yes, there is nothing wrong in adding protein powder to oatmeal. However, you should only add the supplements after the oatmeal has been cooked and while it is still hot.
Adding protein powder supplement to the oatmeal when it is hot helps it to dissolve quickly and it is also easier to stir. Once the oats have cooled, they clump up and it becomes difficult to mix in a dry powder.
Realize that adding a dry powder will thicken the oatmeal, so you could add a splash of regular milk or dairy free milk for taste and to adjust the consistency of the oatmeal based on your preference.
How to Add Protein to Vegan Oatmeal?
If you are a vegan, but still would like to ensure that your oatmeal has the required protein content in it, you need not worry. They are many vegan based proteins that are as nutritious as animal protein or dairy protein.
Nuts, seeds, dairy free yogurts and plant based protein powders will help you as a vegan to get the required protein in your oatmeal.
Tips for Oatmeal Protein
The best thing about oatmeal is that it is a highly nutritious food on its own, though it could be a little low in the amount of natural protein. Oat provide a balanced source of nutrition, and they are a great vehicle for toppings, mix-ins and garnishes that are protein rich.
If you regularly consume a protein rich diet, then you can eat oatmeal without added protein.
If not, we are sure that the above would have given our readers a reasonably good idea about adding oatmeal protein externally.
The best sources for protein to add to oatmeal are nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt and to supplement with protein powder. The next time around you are planning an oatmeal and would like to make it protein rich, keep that in mind.
There is no doubt that you have plenty of options available. This article provided countless variations of oatmeal protein options that are tasty, nutritious, affordable and also simple to prepare.