In fact, Dan Buettner, a longevity expert, bestselling author, and founder of the Blue Zones, adamantly agrees that part of the recipe for healthy aging is noshing on a balanced breakfast. That said, according to Buettner, an ideal morning meal doesn’t have to be overly fussy or complicated by any means. Instead, on the day-to-day, he prefers to keep things as simple as it gets: Aka, a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Discover ahead how the longevity pro whips together his all-time favorite breakfast and how he maximizes its nutrient value. Plus, how to make it taste so darn good too.
What does a longevity expert like to eat for breakfast?
In a recent Instagram post, Buettner revealed his go-to breakfast. And much to our relief, it’s way simpler than we anticipated. Indeed, the longevity expert keeps things nice and easy with a big bowl of good ol’ oatmeal. But why does this easy dish hit the spot for him every time? Aside from tasting great, Buettner explains that oatmeal covers the main pillars essential for a healthy breakfast, such as it’s high in soluble fiber (which helps with digestion), high in protein, and packed with loads of vitamins.
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But let’s be honest: A bowl of plain porridge isn’t very enticing for most folks, including Buettner himself. As such, the longevity expert likes to dress up his morning meal with a few high-quality ingredients that pack a one-two punch: nutrients and flavor. Nothing fussy needed: Buettner's recipe for success involves just five pantry staples. “I take slow-cooked oats, with some almonds and dates, put some soy milk on it, and maybe a little bit of maple syrup. It’s perfect Blue Zone breakfast,” Buettner says. Sweet, nutritious, and ultra-satisfying—what more could you ask for?
“I take slow-cooked oats, with some almonds and dates, put some soy milk on it, and maybe a little bit of maple syrup. It’s perfect Blue Zone breakfast,” Buettner says.
Choosing the right type of oats
Likely the most critical step in perfecting Buettner’s breakfast oatmeal is choosing the appropriate oats. To that end, the longevity expert recommends opting for steel-cut oats (over quick or rolled oats), like Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats, whenever possible for additional benefits. But why? According to the USDA, steel-cut oats are packed with 12.5 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and 350 milligrams of potassium per 100-gram serving. And although steel-cut, quick, and rolled oats don’t vary too drastically in terms of nutrition (generally speaking), steel-cut oats have a few extra benefits in store.
For example, steel-cut oats are the least processed of the three options, which makes them higher in beta-glucan (a type of soluble fiber that's great for heart and gut health), and gives them a delicious coarse, chewy texture. That said, it’s important to point out that steel-cut oats take longer to cook than quick oats. Steel-cut can take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes to soften and absorb the cooking liquid, while quick oats can take just a few minutes to get the job done. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
If sweet breakfasts aren’t your jam, opt for savory oatmeal
Of course, there tends to be the longstanding debate of sweet versus savory breakfasts and which one is the fan favorite. Since the topic can be quite polarizing, we’re covering our bases with a savory oatmeal recipe that’s registered dietitian-approved to counter Buettner’s sweeter approach. Packed with 21 grams of protein and tons of gut-healthy fiber, this recipe offers similar benefits to Buettner’s recipe but, this time, with a savory twist.
Rather than sweetening oats with maple syrup and dates, Kylie, aka @nutritionbykylie, a registered dietitian, suggests cooking it in chicken bone broth (a nutrient gold mine) and garnishing the savory oats with folate-rich fresh spinach, soy sauce, oyster sauce, a fried egg, and a splash of chili oil. Major chef's kiss.
On that note, we also have seven additional savory oatmeal recipes to try that may float your boat even better, including savory oats with mushrooms and thyme or savory oatmeal with poached eggs and roasted almonds. Sign. Me. Up.
Fancy a bowl of warming baked chai oatmeal?
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