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Tips for Making Oatmeal a Filling and Tasty Breakfast by Adding Protein



Oatmeal is a popular breakfast choice that is quick and easy to prepare, packed with nutrients, and can be made more interesting in various ways. However, one area where it often falls short is in its protein content. Protein is essential for repairing muscles, keeping you full, and setting you up for a productive day, according to Rhyan Geiger, RDN. While oats do contain some protein, around five grams per half cup serving, this may not be enough to meet your daily protein needs and keep hunger at bay. To increase the protein content of your oatmeal, you can try a few simple tricks.

One option is to cook oats with other grains and seeds. Combining oats with heartier grains like farro, barley, or quinoa can add more protein and texture to your meal. Adding just a fourth cup of farro can provide an extra three to four grams of protein, while seeds like hemp hearts can offer an additional three grams per tablespoon. Mixing in these grains and seeds can make your breakfast nuttier, earthier, and chewier, without changing the flavor profile created by your usual toppings like maple syrup, dried fruit, or nut butter.

If you’re short on time, you can opt to mix in protein-rich seeds instead. Hemp hearts, for example, can be added directly to your oatmeal without the need for cooking and offer a neutral, nutty flavor that complements a variety of toppings. Savory oatmeal bowls are also gaining popularity as they provide a great opportunity to create a high-protein meal. Protein-dense savory ingredients can be a natural fit for oats, with options like topping your oats with bacon or breakfast sausage for a sweet-savory combo, a crispy tofu scramble for a plant-based option, or a cheesy, risotto-inspired oatmeal.

Another way to boost the protein content of your oatmeal is to add classic and creamy snacks like cottage cheese or yogurt. Just half a cup of cottage cheese can add an extra 12 grams of protein to your meal, while also providing a mild, slightly tart flavor that can balance out overly sweet toppings. Including these ingredients in your oatmeal can not only increase the protein content but also add a creamy texture and delicious flavor that will leave you satisfied and ready to tackle the day.

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