Indeed, you may be thinking something along the lines of, oats are oats, and, how can a single-ingredient oat product be all that noteworthy. Well, these are not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill (pun intended) oats. In fact, they contain nearly 60 percent more protein than most other oat products sitting on store shelves this minute. Ahead we delve into why these high-protein oats have received Charleston-based registered dietitian Lauren Manaker's, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, seal of approval. Plus, four delicious high-protein oats recipes to get cooking right away.
Reasons high-protein oats are primed to fuel your day
In most cases, dietitians recommend folks eat an average of 30 grams of protein per meal. To help meet your daily protein goals, Bob’s Red Mill’s Protein Oats can certainly help. That’s because this high-protein product contains nine to 10 grams of the nutrient per 48-gram serving (regular ol’ oats contain roughly six grams per same-size serving). “Protein is vital for the repair and growth of body cells, including muscle and skin cells. Therefore, having a protein-packed breakfast not only fuels your body to face the day but also aids in your overall physical development and recovery,” Manker says.
- Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, registered dietitian and prenatal and postnatal health expert
The best part? This high-protein product contains no additives and has none of that chalky aftertaste other high-protein products often have. Instead, this product solely relies on naturally-high-in-protein 100 percent whole grain rolled oats to achieve its high protein levels with just one ingredient. (No protein powder here, fam.) It also comes in two varieties: Protein Oats and Organic Protein Oats.
What’s more, Manaker delves a little deeper into the many health benefits oats have to offer. For starters, she’s primarily keen on the fact that oats contain high levels of soluble fiber called beta glucans. “This natural compound helps support heart health by creating a gel-like substance in the gut which binds with cholesterol, ultimately helping the body excrete it from the body,” Manaker says. She also notes that oats are rich in antioxidants, including avenanthramides, which are unique to oats and can help lower blood pressure. “Lastly, they're a source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, phosphorus, copper, B-vitamins, iron, selenium, and magnesium.”
A registered dietitian’s favorite way to eat oats
There’s no denying that oats are incredibly versatile; from savory to sweet, there are tons of ways to enjoy high-protein oats recipes. That said, Manaker’s all-time favorite way to eat ‘em is by making overnight oats. “Overnight oats are a fantastic food to keep in your arsenal, especially if you have hectic mornings. Overnight oats offer all the benefits of traditional cooked oats, with the added advantage of saving time for those with a busy lifestyle,” she says. Making them is the easiest part: Soak oats in milk or a milk substitute, which allows the oats to absorb the liquid and soften. They can also be prepared in advance, typically the night before, providing a quick, nutritious breakfast option that's ready to eat right out of the refrigerator, Manaker says.
Plus, if you’re feeling a bit experimental, you can always turn your sweet oatmeal into a savory entree. “Savory oats bring a whole new dimension of flavor and nutrition to the breakfast table. Shifting away from the traditional sweet flavor profile, savory oats allow you to experiment with a range of ingredients, from veggies to herbs and spices. They're rich in fiber like their sweet counterpart, aiding digestion and providing satiety for longer periods,” she says.
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4 high-protein oats recipes to make for any meal of the day
1. Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats
Sweet, spice, and everything nice, these pumpkin spice overnight oats are the perfect combination of cozy and hearty in one dish. Featuring delicious anti-inflammatory spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger (aka pumpkin spice), this recipe will taste more like a scrumptious dessert than a regular ol’ breakfast staple.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats
2. Apple Pie Overnight Oats
Have five minutes to spare? That’s all the time you need to prep this easy apple pie overnight oats recipe. The best part? Come morning time, these overnight oats will have “baked” to perfection in the fridge and be ready to serve.
Get the recipe: Apple Pie Overnight Oats
3. Savory Protein Oats with Kale and Mushrooms
Oats don’t always have to be served in some sort of sweet rendition. In fact, in many parts of the world savory oats are the norm. This recipe combines delicious hearty ingredients like Lacinato kale and Cremini mushrooms to make an upscale dish out of plain ol’ oats.
Get the recipe: Savory Protein Oats with Kale and Mushrooms
4. Sweet Potato Protein Overnight Oats
You can never have too many overnight oat recipes in your repertoire, am I right? This sweet potato protein overnight oats recipe is the epitome of fall in a cup. Similar to the pumpkin spice overnight oats, this version also contains pumpkin spice. However, this recipe also features sweet potato that’s one of the most gut-nourishing foods we know and love.
Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Protein Overnight Oats
Up next a easy, warming chai baked oats recipe:
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