A few weeks back, a friend of mine asked if I’d ever tried savory oatmeal before, and you know what? I’ve never made it. Although I’ve seen a few variations around the web, somehow I just couldn’t get my arms around eating oatmeal with savory and salty notes. I think it’s similar to the way many people think about breakfast. We’re accustomed to eating sweets for breakfast and baked goods. During the weekday, I would guess that most Americans have a bowl of cereal, a bagel, or toast, and if they eat oatmeal or hot cereal, it’s sweetened, not savory.
Well, I took my friend’s question as a challenge – and I wish I had tried savory oatmeal sooner. Not only was it good, but I actually really, really loved it. In fact, I’ve made it more than a couple of times now and keep trying slightly different variations each time. I think of savory oatmeal as Chinese congee – a breakfast porridge that serves as the base for fun toppings and stir-ins.
At its most basic, I simply cooked the oatmeal in some chicken broth with a slice of ginger, topped it with a poached egg, drizzled a little soy sauce and sesame oil on top, and added a sprinkling of chopped scallions. I’ve also eaten this with my Ghost Chile Hot Sauce when I’m in the mood for something spicy. In a fancier rendition, I cooked the oatmeal with some lemongrass in chicken broth, topped it with a poached egg, and drizzled some fish sauce and fried shallots on top.
This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Oats as a Power Food. This weekly food blogging group features a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.
Between Hurricane Sandy and the fast approaching holiday season, our Power Foods group has been taking a bit of a break. But, today, we are starting up again for a few more weeks before the holidays hit.
Let’s take a look at what makes Oats a Power Food:
- Oats contain more protein than any other cereal grain.
- Oats are rich in soluble fiber (beta gucans) which lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (1 bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. Lowering high cholesterol levels can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
- Oats are a blood sugar stabilizing food which can help keep blood sugar levels under control for people with diabetes.
- Oats are high in manganese and are a good source of selenium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium and zinc.
When you’re shopping for oats, the most common varieties are Old-Fashioned Oats, Quick-Cooking Oats and Instant Oatmeal. More recently Steel-Cut Oats have become more popular. Steel-Cut oats are the least processed of these varieties and Instant Oatmeal is the most processed (and sugar, salt, and artificial colors and flavors are often added to this product). Instant oatmeal also has a higher glycemic index due to the fact that it has been processed to cook more quickly, and is broken down and digested more quickly by the body.
Old-Fashioned Oats really don’t take long much longer to prepare than Instant Oatmeal, plus you can add your own favorite toppings, so I would suggest trying the less processed oats.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week’s Power Foods post: (If you’re interested in joining our group, contact Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits.)
Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Chaya – My Sweet and Savory
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Minnie – The Lady 8 Home
Asian Inspired Savory Oatmeal
- One 1/4" slice fresh ginger the size of a quarter, peeled
- 1/2 cup rolled gluten-free oats
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 poached egg
- a drizzle of gluten-free soy sauce
- a drizzle of sesame oil
- hot sauce optional
- fresh minced scallions
Place ginger, oats and broth in a bowl. Microwave for 3-4 minutes (longer if you like it creamier).
Place poached egg on top of oatmeal, and drizzle soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce on top. Sprinkle scallions on top.
More Oatmeal Recipes (sweet and savory):
Hot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Rice Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Baked Ginger Oatmeal with Apricot, Cherry & Almond, Cookin’ Canuck
Savory Oatmeal, An Edible Mosaic
Clean Eating Savory Oatmeal, The Gracious Pantry
Rethinking Oatmeal: 7 Savory Morning Recipes, theKitchn
World’s Healthiest Foods: Oats
Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients
This recipe is linked up to Beyond The Peel’s Keep It Real Thursdays.
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says
how clever can you get!
What a wonderful idea! I’ve got to try this.
Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) says
I love savory oats and addition fresh ginger sounds amazing!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
I have yet to make savory oats either and keep wanting to. I love the flavor profile you used and how easy it looks!
Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste) says
I love the idea of transforming oatmeal into a savory snack! I love ginger for a perfect punch of flavor and can’t wait to try this!
Beth @ Tasty Yummies says
This looks amazing!! I always forget about savory oatmeal and I just adore it. I cannot wait to get home from this short road trip and make this. Thanks for another amazing recipe!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
I love savory oats–I was skeptical at first, but they are delicious! And somehow they feel even more filling than the sweet ones. 🙂 This definitely looks like a power breakfast!
I actually like savory oats more as It’s more soul satisfying for me than the sweet one. I like to make them into crepes and eat with some cilantro chutney! And now i have another great recipe to try. Thanks for this recipe.
Pretend Chef says
I have never tried savory oats before but this sounds amazing. The addition of the egg is perfect for the protein. What a fantastic breakfast idea. I can’t wait to try this soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits says
I’m going to have to try savory oatmeal. My son also found that he loves it and he’s been encouraging me to try it. The occasion hasn’t presented itself so I may just have to find the occasion.
Sanjeeta kk says
Oh, yes, this is very much my kindda breakfast…savory, spicy and healthy!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
I’m not a huge oatmeal lover, but now that you’ve gone and put hot sauce in it, I might have to give it another try.
Glad you all are enjoying this savory oatmeal idea – it’s really good – I actually like it better than sweet oatmeal.
Lisa | With Style and Grace says
never would have thought to do a savory oatmeal, but now I’m intrigued!
France @ Beyond The Peel says
Savory oatmeal is something I have also never tried… I’m intrigued. I wasn’t sure at first but then you mentioned the congee and the chicken broth..the eggs. Yup I’ms old. I do need to try this since I’m really not into sweet things for breakfast, it might be the perfect fit.
I love oats! I have yet to venture into the savory oat world, but this recipe looks like a great place to start! Something about the egg, soy sauce, and sesame oil sounds really delicious. Thanks for sharing!
It was truly one of those ‘ah ha’ moments when I first heard about savory oatmeal. Just wanted to share that this recipe is the inspiration for the one I enjoy the most. Lemongrass + veggie broth are my go-to for the liquid and from there it’s game-on. =)
Nic, so glad you found this savory oatmeal an inspiration for your own versions. Lemongrass and veggie broth sounds great – I’m going to make some this week as I am making a big pot of vegetable broth today.
I totally got inspired by your recipy. Here’s my savory oat meal I just made (juymmy). For one dish cooked oat:
– mix through the cooked oat: half a dessert spoon of umiboshi and half a dessert spoon of wasabi past
– poached egg on top of the oat
– some diced spring onion, alfafa and rocket salade on top
– drizzle some sesame oil and soy sauce over it
Much better than the sweet version.
Thank you and kind regards, Maud
Maud, love all your additions – sounds so good! I’ll have to add some sprouts and salad on top next time.
This alternative is surprising REALLY amazing. I was amazed at how good it was! I added sesame oil and kale. Wow. SO good. Thank you!
Christy – so glad you enjoyed this. This was an eye opener for me too – I love savory oatmeal now. Great idea adding kale – I’ll have to try that next time.
Alison Chan says
I ate savory oatmeal when I was young. That’s really a fast & healthy food that we should recommend to our friends.
Alison – I grew up with congee, but not savory oatmeal – it’s a lot heartier – great for breakfast. Thanks so recommending it to your friends.
S B says
Tried your asian inspired savory oatmeal, it was life changing. Now I am looking at different combinations like adding pork sung into it for a nice bite.
Thanks for your feedback – pork sung sounds delicious with this savory oatmeal