When you’re looking to get lean, exercise is only half the equation. You can do all the crunches in the world, but the foods you eat are every bit as important. As part of our Cook to Get Cut series, we’ll show you how to use some of the healthiest eats to sculpt your physique without sacrificing flavor. Getting fit never tasted so good.
Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is a smart strategy for eating well since the grains are only about 80 calories per cooked, ½-cup serving. They also offer tons of vital nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, fiber, and magnesium. Recently, the grain was even linked to an overall reduced risk of mortality. The only problem with sticking to oatmeal every day is you’ll get bored pretty fast.
While oats are great breakfast fare, they also work surprisingly well with savory flavors for lunch or dinner. They’re pretty spectacular in desserts, too. Try these five healthy recipes to see what oats can do.
1. Easy and Healthy Banana-Oat Pancakes
Without much work, you can transform oatmeal into a totally different category of breakfast food. We like these banana and oat pancakes from Simply Delicious. All you have to do is purée some oats, baking powder, banana, salt, and eggs in a blender, then cook portions of the mixture in a hot skillet. Top with fruit, syrup, or even yogurt for a sweet and guilt-free breakfast treat.
With plenty of protein and fiber, this breakfast is a winner that will keep you satisfied during even the busiest days. Need proof? One 2013 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compared satiety levels between groups who ate either cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. The researchers found a meal of oats much more effectively increased appetite control and improved a feeling of fullness.
- 2 bananas
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Maple syrup
- Fresh fruit
Directions: Add the bananas, eggs, oats, baking powder, and salt to a blender. Purée until smooth, then set aside for 10 to 20 minutes.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and grease with cooking spray. Cook small portions of the batter until golden, flip, and continue cooking until second side is golden. Serve with toppings.