Confession: I am a hot breakfast person. I particularly like dosas, hot off a griddle with lots of sambar-- the slightly sweetened Udipi version is my favourite-- and lots of chutney, the more, the merrier. However, when my jeans get too tight--something that has been happening way too often the past couple of years, alas--I sometimes replace my dosa breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal, an easy way to shave off three-four hundred calories. (I can eat my bodyweight in sambar, I kid you not).
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Oatmeal, as you probably already know by now, is an excellent breakfast for multiple reasons. For starters, it is chockful of the polyphenol avenanthramides, an antioxidant that is often used in skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Then, of course, is the soluble fibre it contains, beta-glucan, which is perfect for insulin management, cholesterol regulation and gut health. Throw in the vitamins, minerals, a smidgeon of protein and the overall satiety quotient that helps in weight management, and you've got yourself a great little bowl of good health.
Admittedly, on its own--oatmeal isn't particularly delicious; it does need milk, dairy or plant, some sweetener and flavouring to make it taste alright. Also, most studies suggest that one should start the day with 25-30 gms of protein, something that oatmeal on its own does not provide. My suggestion? Throw in some whey, mix in plain Greek yoghurt or eat a couple of boiled eggs along with your porridge.
I'm not a fan of hot oatmeal, partly because I always burn it (I am an indifferent cook, I'm afraid), mostly because I don't like its gluey texture. Enter overnight oats-- a quick, easy way to get a perfect bowl of pudding-like oatmeal without having to slave over a hot stove. All you need to do is soak rolled oats in some liquid overnight, allowing them to soften.Add in some toppings and flavours--nuts, fruit, peanut or almond butter, vanilla essence--shake it all together, and you're good to go: an Instagrammable breakfast great for you.
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The best part about this breakfast is its versatility. You can make your oatmeal taste like apple pie, carrot cake, berry mix or chocolate pudding, depending on what you add to it. Though, yes, if weight loss is a goal, do keep an eye on total calories--even if you're adding the good stuff, things like nut and fruit can add up to a lot if you're not careful.
Ready to get on the overnight oatmeal wagon? Here's a great video that will help you make your first bowl of delicious goodness.