Oatmeal Alternatives: 6 Breakfast Bowls Filled With Whole Grains

There’s no denying that oats are bursting with benefits. The high-fiber, low-fat food protects you against heart disease and cancer and keeps you feeling full longer, according to Care 2. Eating a warming bowl of oatmeal is a wonderful way to begin your day, but it isn’t the only way to get a serving of whole grains for breakfast. There is a wide assortment of healthy grains — such as teff, farro, quinoa, and barley — that are just as good for you and will prevent your morning meal from becoming mundane. Ready to see what other whole grains have to offer? We recommend preparing these seven hearty and filling breakfast bowls.

Source: iStock

1. Apple Farro Breakfast Bowl With Cranberries and Hazelnuts

Just one cup of farro has about 8 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber and a variety of complex carbs that break down slowly, ensuring your energy levels stay nice and stable, explains Every Day with Rachael Ray. We recommend working this healthy grain into your breakfast rotation using The Kitchn’s recipe, which contains farro, cranberries, hazelnuts, apples, and Greek yogurt. One thing to keep in mind: Farro can take a while to make, so prepare it the night before if you’re short on time in the morning,


  • ½ cup farro
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 firm apple, cored and chopped into
 small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Directions: Combine the farro, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump, about 40 minutes. Drain any excess water and set aside. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the apples in the coconut oil for about 5 minutes, or until they soften and become just a bit golden.

Add dash of cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries to the skillet and toss together with the apples until they’re slightly coated with the oil and warm. To serve, scoop a heaping portion of farro in each bowl and top with the apple mixture, a spoonful of yogurt, and a generous drizzle of honey. Serve warm.

Source: iStock

2. Breakfast Barley With Banana and Sunflower Seeds

Health delivers a nutritious breakfast bowl that contains 14 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Oprah states that regularly eating barley can lower your cholesterol, protects against cancer, and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable.


  • ⅔ cup water
  • ⅓ cup uncooked quick-cooking pearl barley
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions: Combine ⅔ cup water and barley in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 6 minutes. Stir and let stand 2 minutes. Top with banana slices, sunflower seeds, and honey.

Source: iStock

3. Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa is actually a seed, but it’s still prepared and eaten the same way as grains. Livestrong notes that just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 9 grams of protein and a solid serving of iron, magnesium, and fiber. Heather Christo’s recipe is a marvelous morning treat that sweetens the quinoa perfectly using agave, vanilla, almonds, and toasted coconut chips. We can’t think of a healthier (or tastier) way to start your day!


  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (paste or extract)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • Toppings: extra agave, almonds, coconut chips, and fresh fruit

Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk, vanilla, and salt to a simmer. Add the quinoa to the milk and bring to a light boil. Put the lid on the quinoa and turn the heat to low. Simmer the quinoa on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has reached a creamy porridge consistency. Spoon into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve hot.

Source: iStock

 4. Chia Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

If you aren’t regularly eating buckwheat for breakfast, it’s time to start. The World’s Healthiest Foods reports that buckwheat contains insoluble fiber and magnesium, and can help lower your risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Rebel Grrrl Living’s Chia Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl lets you capitalize on buckwheat’s many benefits while enjoying a satisfying dish that is subtly sweet and slightly tart. Note: Plan accordingly if you’re going to make this dish; it needs to be refrigerated overnight.


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup buckwheat groats (unroasted, whole, raw, or white buckwheat kernels)
  • 1 cup water (or almond milk)
  • Scant teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
  • Handful frozen cherries
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter

Directions: Put the first six ingredients together in a mason jar and store in your refrigerator overnight. The next morning, add your protein powder, cinnamon, and almond butter. You can heat it, or eat it as is.

Source: iStock

5. Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Bulgur Breakfast Bowl

Filled with chewy bulgur, sweet brown sugar, zesty cinnamon, and fresh berries, Food & Wine’s recipe will keep you full and energized throughout the morning. SFGate says that bulgur is a good source of fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin B-6, and it may lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This warm breakfast bowl yields 2 to 3 servings.


  • 2½ cups milk
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Fresh berries to garnish (optional)

Directions: In a saucepan, bring the milk to a bare simmer. Stir in the bulgur and salt, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stirring occasionally; allow to soak for 10 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender. Stir in the cinnamon and brown sugar. Serve warm with the berries and additional brown sugar, if desired.

Source: iStock

6. Rise ‘n’ Shine Teff Grain Breakfast Bowl

Tosca Reno’s recipe is a bowlful of healthy goodness — it’s packed with teff, flax seeds, honey, bananas, strawberries, and pecans. The Dr. Oz Show notes that teff is a great source of calcium and can even help you lose weight if you eat it in place of unhealthier carb sources. This dish yields 3 cups.


  • ¼ cup whole grain teff
  • Scant pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal, or ground flax seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup nonfat milk or plain unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 small banana, or ½ large, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons pecan pieces

Directions: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Add teff and a pinch of sea salt, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir, and let sit, covered for 3 minutes. Stir in flax, cinnamon, and honey. Scrape into a bowl, pour milk over teff, and top with banana, strawberries, and pecans.

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