Instant Pot oatmeal is a staple meal in the healthy, active man’s lifestyle. This delicious food will satisfy the palate, fuel the muscles, provide a great source of macronutrients and micronutrients, and is relatively inexpensive and cheap to make. Win. Win. Win.
But, did you know there are some small additions you can make to this super simple meal to make it more delectable and (shut the front door!) MORE HEALTHY.
Before we get into these five awesome additions to your Instant Pot Oatmeal, let’s review your choice of oats.
The Three Types of Oatmeal
While you can purchase and prepare whole oat groats, the fact that you have an Instant Pot tells me you like to save at least some time. So, we will discuss the three most popular types of oats you can use.
Steel Cut Oatmeal
Whole, raw oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces with a blade in order to facilitate faster cooking time while preserving most of the health benefits of the whole oat groat are called “steel cut oatmeal”. You can read all you need to know about properly preparing steel cut oats right here.
These are typically labeled “old fashioned” oats. These oats are manufactured by steaming the oat groat, then rolling it into a flake. They are delicious and nutritious and cook 75% faster than steel cut oats. You can find a great recipe for old-fashioned oatmeal right here.
These super quick (often super mushy) oats are typically bagged into little individual packages. They generally will have some powdered milk, powdered sweetener, and dehydrated fruit packaged with them. While instant oats do retain much of the oat groat’s nutritional value, they do digest quickly, hitting the blood stream fast and causing a spike in blood sugar. So, if you’re looking to slow digestion and keep your insulin in check, these may be a “no-go” for you.
Five Foods You Can Add To Instant Pot Oatmeal to Make it Even Healthier
Probably the most common addition to oatmeal is dried fruit, such as dates, bananas, strawberries, raisins, and cranberries. The dried fruit gives oatmeal extra flavor and a pleasant texture. Dried fruit also will sweeten your oatmeal with concentrated natural fructose, which has a sweeter taste calorie-for-calorie than other sugars and a diminished insulin response. Additionally, dried fruit can add significant vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your bowl of oatmeal. (Please note: as with any natural sweetener, long term abuse of fructose can lead to metabolic issues.)
While dried fruits are an easy and cost-effective addition to our oatmeal breakfast or snack, fresh fruit is an even healthier alternative. Bananas and blueberries are two favorites, but for different reasons. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, folate, and antioxidants; moreover, they are quite inexpensive. Blueberries, though much more expensive, are a powerful superfood brimming with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants as well as potassium and vitamin C. While blueberries cost more than bananas, they deliver a virtually unmatched wallop of health benefits, and are worth every dime.
Greek yogurt is full of protein, healthy gut promoting bacteria (probiotics), healthy fats (please purchase full fat versions), and flavor! This is a fantastic way to really round out this meal (blending complex carbs from oatmeal with dairy protein and fat.)
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts are amazing foods. They are full of non-meat protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber and FLAVOR. You can try something more exotic like adding chia seeds and coconut or more traditional with almonds, pecans, and/or sunflower seeds. Each of these products are going to require a bit of different preparation, so research preparation of your favorites. Here you will find a delicious seed oatmeal recipe to try.
Last, but not least, if you are really looking to both liven that bowl of oatmeal up and to tantalize your taste buds, look no further than chocolate! We don’t suggest pouring melted chocolate across the top of your healthy meal; however, a few small chunks of it can be satisfying. Moreover, chocolate is full of antioxidants and provides a boost of dopamine, a natural fee-good chemical.
Instant Pot Oatmeal Made Even Healthier
Active men and women love the Instant Pot as it enables us to create healthy whole food recipes hands-free and in a fraction of the time. You can make this staple of a healthy lifestyle even more delicious and healthy by adding these five foods to your Instant Pot Oatmeal. If you are looking for a real culinary adventure, try adding ALL FIVE!