Eat Empowered, Healthy Eating Tips, Weight Loss

10 Creative Ways to Add Protein to Your Oatmeal

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By April Dupee

Mmmm, oatmeal. It’s basically cozy comfort in the form of a healthy breakfast.

And yes, it is healthy. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and foster good-for-you gut bacteria. Oats are also loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and several B vitamins, which are necessary for energy and cell growth.

Plus, oatmeal is easy to make and superrrr customizable (you can make it both sweet and savory!), so there’s a bowl of oats everyone can enjoy —5-year-old Zac and Grandma alike.

But here’s the catch: A half-cup serving of oats only packs about 5 grams of protein. So, if you feel hungry an hour after you’ve eaten your oatmeal, perhaps the fiber alone didn’t do the trick. You may need to add some protein for a breakfast that will keep you full and satisfied all morning long. 

RELATED: 20 High-Protein Lunch Ideas to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

Ready to give your oatmeal a protein boost? Try these creative and simple high-protein additions for an irresistible—dare we say, perfect—bowl of oats.

(Photos: Shutterstock)

  • Greek Yogurt

    You may not have thought to combine these two breakfast-food staples before, but that’s what we’re here for! Stir some in for extra creaminess or add a dollop on top. Either way, you can’t go wrong adding Greek yogurt to your morning oats. Half a cup provides about 7 grams of protein, as well as a healthy dose of bone-building calcium and gut-friendly probiotics. Pair the plain variety with your favorite nut butter and fruit to limit your added sugar.

  • Eggs or Egg Whites

    Do you already enjoy eggs for breakfast? Try combining them with oatmeal for a nutrient-packed meal filled with 6 grams of protein per egg. It may not be your typical add-in, but it’s worth experimenting if you haven’t tried.

    There are two ways to enjoy this quality protein with your oats: 1) Once your oatmeal reaches a creamy consistency, crack an egg or egg white and stir until fully cooked. 2) Prepare your oatmeal as you normally would, then top with a poached or fried egg. Add other savory elements like hot sauce and avocado or cheese and chives.

  • Protein Powder

    Probably the easiest way to add protein to your oatmeal: Stir in some protein powder. Keri’s Chocolate Plant Protein Powder provides 15 grams of this filling macronutrient in just one scoop. Add an extra scoop of antioxidant-rich cacao powder and top with peanut butter and fiber-rich raspberries for a super chocolatey and nourishing bowl of oats worth waking up for.

  • Milk

    If you’ve been making oatmeal with water, then here’s your cue to switch to milk. This simple swap is an effortless way to boost protein, with one cup of milk providing an additional 8 grams. Vegans can take advantage of this smart strategy, too. Soy milk packs 6 grams of protein per cup!

  • Chickpeas

    Chickpeas aren’t just for hummus. You may have noticed these nutritious legumes popping up in baked goods and grocery store snack aisles thanks to their subtle flavor and filling balance of fiber and protein. 

    Now introducing…chickpea oatmeal. Mash half a cup (7 grams of protein), stir, and see how they blend seamlessly with your oats. Go savory with flavors like turmeric and tahini or try a sweet version with bananas and dark chocolate chips. Mind = blown.

  • Nut Butter

    Do you love topping your bowl of oats with nut butter? Then, here’s some good news: Just 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter provides about 8 grams of protein. So easy. So tasty.

  • Turkey Bacon

    Turn your favorite diner breakfast into a nourishing bowl of oats. Top your oatmeal with crispy turkey bacon, which provides about 5 grams of protein per slice, and combine with other delicious savory ingredients like cheese, sweet potatoes, onion, and mushrooms. Yum!

  • Seeds

    Small but mighty, just several scoops of seeds will give your oatmeal a major nutrient and protein boost. Three tablespoons of high-protein options like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds provide 10 grams, 8 grams, and 6 grams of protein, respectively. Mix it up to avoid a breakfast rut.

  • Cottage Cheese

    Cottage cheese is a health-food classic and for good reason. With a decadent creamy texture and an impressive 13 grams of protein per half a cup, you definitely want to try adding some to your oatmeal. Pair with blueberries and strawberries for a tasty berry-dairy combo.

  • Nuts

    Get creative with your combos: almonds + blueberries or pistachios + dried cranberries make for a delish breakfast, and you’ll score about 6 grams of protein per ¼ cup of nuts! Who’s hungry?

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