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Breakfast Dinner Lunch Recipes

Turkey Black Bean Chili Recipe – Smoky, Spicy, and Seriously Healthy!

turkey black bean chili recipe serve with potatoes - healthy ronin
Served with extra microwave jacket potatoes (I love them!) and sliced round courgette.

“Turkey Black Bean Chili” – Doesn’t it just sound exciting? Well, it is – and it’s easy! Here’s a recipe for anyone who enjoys international, Creole, or even Mexican cuisine!

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Chicken and beef steal all the fame from turkey!

This delicious meat comes at a fair price, offers plenty of protein, minerals, and flavour, but it’s often the smallest part of the meat section in supermarkets.

There are many reasons to eat more of this pleasant poultry, and here’s my top recipe for turkey mince: Turkey Black Bean Chili! Take a classic meat, add a Latin / Creole staple bean, a few of the right spices and herbs, and it’ll be gone before you know it.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The benefits of turkey mince (or “ground turkey”)
  • A creole-inspired recipe for any meal of the day
  • Serving suggestions
  • FAQ

I started to enjoy turkey mince when I was looking for nutritious lean meats that were easy-to-cook, affordable, and – of course – delicious.

Already having a lot of fish, chicken seemed like the obvious option for something different. But that’s also a staple for curries in my house, so I took to turkey!

Ground Turkey Nutrition Info – Chicken’s Rival Lean Machine

Whilst we look to chicken for high-protein, low-fat meat, the truth is, turkey (and even pork) can be just as lean.

At the same time, all of these meats have fatty cuts! This goes to show that there is always plenty of variety available, no matter your health goals.

Is Lean Meat Always Healthier?

It’s not that low-fat is good! In fact, dietary fat is essential, including healthy saturated fats which actually protect our brain, heart, cells, bones, skin, “lipid cycles”, and pretty much any other organ.

A famous diet for many health benefits – including weight loss – is the ketogenic diet, which is very high in fat.

It all comes down to your personal genetics, health, goals, and lifestyle, but almost any balanced macronutrient split (providing adequate fat, protein, and carbohydrates) can work wonders for your health if you choose varied, whole foods!

But, a balanced diet, with lean and fatty foods is important. Lean meats are often preferred by certain athletes or those training to build muscle.

I’ve also covered the myths of saturated fatin previous posts, such as this one: Traditional Foods from England – 6 Healthiest Dishes!

So basically, if your health goals allow it, feel free to use any kind of ground turkey or turkey mince for this recipe. 🙂

The Nutrients and What They Mean – Ground Turkey Nutrition Info:

According to USDA data, 100g 7% fat turkey mince (which we use in this recipe) typically provides the following nutrition, raw:

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 18.7g
  • Fat: 8.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g

You may be thinking: “Hey, that’s over 7%”! And yes, it is.

On the other hand, look at most 7% fat ground turkey nutrition info when you’re at the supermarket, and you’ll see that it’s often lower than 7%, and protein may be even higher than the USDA’s figures!

Along with this, just 100g turkey is a considerable source of beneficial vitamins and minerals (^), including:

  • Vitamin B2: 0.2mg (11%)
  • Vitamin B3: 5.4mg (28%)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.4mg (27%)
  • Vitamin B12: 1.2mcg (50%)
  • Iron: 1.2mg (15%)
  • Zinc: 2.5mg (17%)
  • Selenium: 18.9mcg (27%) (^)

Note: (RDI% based off of USDA figures, for reference only)

Overall, these vitamins and minerals support health in many ways. B-vitamins are vital for nerve health, metabolism, iron for hemoglobin production (and oxygen use), muscle function, anaemia prevention, zinc for tissue generation, cognitive function, skin health, and selenium for a potent immune-system boost.

Those are just a few examples. All of these nutrients are highly important and also play major roles in hormone production, aging prevention, and brain health.

Unfortunately, B12 and Iron are two of the most common deficiencies (and even Selenium in some countries).

Fortunately, eating some turkey now and again is a great way to get these 3 essential nutrients in!

Our 500g recipe provides 3 recommended servings, meaning roughly 167g turkey for each.

The Bonus Benefits of Black Beans!

First and foremost, legumes are amazingly nutritious.

Almost any bean you find will provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, and plant-based protein.

Note: Properly prepared (soaked / fermented / sprouted) beans are tolerated well by most healthy people, though some may have intolerances. It’s just as with other food groups.

Onto black beans, and we have a legume known to:

  • Boost heart health
    • One 28-day study on hypercholesterolemic Wistar rats demonstrated a 30% diet of whole black beans to reduce blood cholesterol by 14%, and even up to 35% for dehulled beans (^)(^).
  • Support a healthy metabolism
    • 12 adults with Metabolic Syndrome following a typical Western diet were studied (^). Inclusion of black beans (as a soup) effectively reduced insulin levels after meals, even more than after meals with the same fiber or antioxdiant levels. This shows that black beans exert multiple benefits on metabolism.
    • Those with diabetes benefit from low-glycemic legumes like black beans. In fact, studies show that black beans – and other legumes – reduce the insulin-raising effects of high-carbohydrate meals such as rice (^)(^).
  • Improve digestion
    • One cup of cooked black beans (172g) provides 15g of fibre! That’s 60% of the USDA RDI, for reference. The fibre in black beans includes “insoluble” fibre to slow digestion and add bulk to stools, and resistant starch – which feeds friendly gut bacteria!

Being abundant in vitamin B9 also means they support the nervous system and its development, which is important at all ages.

Impressively, they’re low on the glycemic index (they don’t spike blood sugar levels much), are an excellent source of energy-boosting carbohydrates and some protein, and provide a high amount of fibre.

So, the other superstar of our turkey black bean chili recipe – black beans – truly make quite a spectacular addition!

Turkey Black Bean Chili Recipe – Let’s Get Cooking!

Serving Suggestions – Healthy Ways to Enjoy!

There are countless possibilities when it comes to food pairings – and ones that work.

The following ideas complement the flavours of this turkey black bean chili, and are quick and easy to prepare.

  • Smoky
  • Spicy
  • Umami-rich
  • Herby

That’s what we’ve got to work with so far! But we’re not stopping there…

Personally, I’m a massive fan of potatoes. Give me any kind and I’ll make it work – they’re almost like an alternative bread for me!

Think of shepherd’s pie, or a nice chili-loaded jacket potato, and it’s clear how these classic dishes make use of this humble root veg to make outstanding combinations.

Impressively, they’re also proven to be naturally filling.

That’s why I think the best way to have this meal is alongside baked (or microwaved) potatoes.

Don’t forget you can also go for sweet potatoes! (The added sweetness will also mitigate the spice).

This way, it’s a well-rounded meal, high in protein and carbohydrates, and still providing beneficial fats.

Plus, it’s perfect for the athletic or active type. I actually tailored this recipe to suit an active lifestyle – especially weightlifting, which is my main focus at the moment.

For a nice and refreshing bite, freshly sliced courgette or even cucumber is almost unbeatable!

Finally, I recommend sprinkling on a small pinch of your favourite natural cheese (preferably pasture-raised, grass-fed, and organic). Cheese works excellently with all sorts of herbs, and as a dairy product, creates a flavourful harmony for a spicy recipe like this one.

Sticking to the Creole theme of the recipe, goat’s cheese is an amazing umami-boost high in protein and fat.

What My Recommendation Comes down to:

  • Turkey Black Bean Chili (1/3 recipe).
  • 2 Medium or 1 Large Baked / Microwaved Potatoes.
  • A Couple of Refreshing, Fresh Courgette (or Cucumber Slices).
  • A Sprinkle of Natural Cheese.

Best Sides for Chili

Apart from potatoes, there are other classic side dishes which work well with any sort of chili.

Another traditional pairing is rice. Chili con carne, for example, is typically served over cooked (basmati) rice in most places. Furthermore, as a Mexican dish by origin, it’s also known to work well with chips, tortillas, or bread made from corn.

Since this recipe uses spices and herbs typical of Mexican cuisine, and even common ingredients, it’s almost a no-brainer that it will work with these as well!

However, for most people, it’s best to limit white rice consumption. As it is technically a refined grain, it could cause rapid blood sugar spikes – which over time are harmful.

That’s why I tend to recommend any sort of whole grain variety (brown, red, black, for example), which you can easily soak, sprout, or preferably ferment before cooking.

Read: Let’s Ferment Brown Rice! A Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Antinutrients

This removes “antinutrients”, which lets us enjoy this more nutrient-dense starchy grain with improved digestion, and less of a spike in blood sugar (and therefore insulin).

Since you’re still here, you’re probably a health nut like me… That’s why I know you’ll love this Turmeric Brown Rice recipe! You can see I served the chili with this rice in the recipe image above!

This is my favourite way to cook brown rice, and it always goes down well with the family. Although Indian-inspired, it pairs well with many types of meals.

Turmeric is an amazing spice we should all include in our diets. We’ve spoken about its power before, including how it’s anti-inflammatory, brain-boosting, and longevity-promoting – what’s not to love?

When It Comes Down to It…

You have to eat what you enjoy!

The best sides for chili definitely include the classics above, but nothing beats trying something new – so experiment!

Nonetheless, I hope these serving suggestions give you some inspiration with some delicious, fail-safe side dishes. 🙂

Thank you all for being such awesome readers! Remember to share this post and comment below: Let me know if you learned anything new, tried the recipe, or have any recipe suggestions! Your support truly makes all the difference.

Oh, and always have fun with your cooking! Enjoy.

Until next time, stay healthy

James


Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do You Make Dry Black Beans for Chili?

The benefit of dry black beans is that we can ferment them or sprout them, though as a minimum they should be soaked for at least 12 hours and boiled for 1-2 hours. Only used cooked beans when making chili – they should be the texture you want before adding them in, as the acidic tomatoes will prevent them from softening much further.

Categories
Breakfast Cuisine Food Lists Recipes

Savoury Oatmeal with Cheese – 3 Irresistible Recipes

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, all this means is that Healthy Ronin receives a commission from purchases made using links on this page. This is at no additional cost to you, and only helps to keep the website running. For our full Affiliate Disclosure, you can click here. Enjoy your stay!


Enjoy your oats? Enjoy cheese (who doesn’t)? How about oatmeal WITH cheese? Here are 3 creative ways with this delicious combination.


Savoury Oatmeal (with Cheese or without) Is Awesome

In this post:

  • Why Savoury Oats are AWESOME!
  • The Best Way to Eat Oatmeal (Proper Preparation Is Important).
  • Savoury Oatmeal with Cheese and Mushrooms Recipe.
  • Mexican-inspired Spicy Oatmeal with Cheese Recipe.
  • Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Oatmeal Recipe.

So, I’ve spoken about this a little before (such as in my 5 best oatmeal recipes for breakfast post).

A lot of people view oats as “plain” or “boring”, or maybe don’t like it plain but also get bored of adding fruit.

It’s not their fault. In a way, it’s like saying broccoli is boring when we have dishes like classic roasts, Mediterranean salads, Chinese fried rice, vegetable curries, and so many more that wouldn’t be the same without it.

Savoury oatmeal with cheese and mushrooms recipe image - article

You can be as creative as you want with oats! Really, just like bread and rice (when made / prepared traditionally), it is an amazing staple for any meal of the day.

If across Asia people eat rice for breakfast and dinner, the Italians their pasta, and the French their croissants, we are entitled to our oats! Okay, I am being a little silly, but oats are overlooked.

Much like their staple counterparts, oats are an excellent option for savoury dishes. That means any time of day, and an endless selection of ingredients.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed oatmeal with cheese, vegetables, tuna, sardines, potatoes, herbs, spices, salt, pepper, and more!

I’m not against the simple “fruit and nut”-style pairings on occasion, but there are just so many ways to get more nutrients and higher protein than a banana and some chia seeds.

The Best Way to Eat Oatmeal (Important)

If there’s one thing I want you take away from this article apart from the recipes, it’s this. Even if you change the recipes, learn how to prepare your oats properly.

Properly? Well, I mean how we used to prepare all grains.

Traditionally, our ancestors knew to harness the power of nature, and depended on it! All seeds (including grains) have been soaked, fermented, or sprouted for thousands of years across the globe.

This maximises nutrition and removes harmful compounds designed to protect the seed from digestion!

Also, fermentation – the method we’ll focus on – preserves foods. It’s another reason why fermenting has been a vital skill for our species’ success!

You’ll thank me later. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Complex flavour
  • Improved digestion
  • Boosted gut health and immunity
  • Increased nutrition (B-vitamins, minerals, protein)
  • Fun (plus an awesome new skill)

Discover how you can easily benefit from the best way to eat oatmeal using our article ‘How to Ferment Oats’* by clicking the link* or button below!

Feel free to Pin these recipes, share, or even print them out if you really like them!

1. Savoury Oatmeal with Cheese and Mushrooms Recipe

This one is my favourite oatmeal with cheese recipe (hence number 1)!

I honestly look forward to making any sort of oatmeal, but they work so well with mushrooms that I had to experiment and try this when I wanted cheese, too!

It’s savoury and works perfectly for an easy, even hearty breakfast. For the best texture, make sure you chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces.

You can use any kind, but classic white button mushrooms never go wrong.

A Few Health Benefits – Mushrooms and Herbs:

This is a great recipe for the immune system (for those who tolerate dairy and grains).

Oatmeal is packed full of immunity-boosting minerals like zinc, magnesium, and selenium, as well as beta-glucans.

Beta-glucans are a type of beneficial fibre which also support your gut microbiome, digestive health, metabolism and blood sugar control, heart health, and more (^)(^)(^).

What’s even more impressive is that mushrooms contain yet another kind with other benefits.

Add to that the vitamin C and other antioxidants provided by plenty of herbs, garlic, mushrooms, and the tomato, and this recipe becomes a great way to help fight and prevent infection, inflammation, free radicals, and support a healthy metabolism, digestive system, and bodily functions.

By the way, mushrooms are literally one of the healthiest foods on the planet! The ancients knew it, we know it, and science proves it.

Read More: ‘Why Are Mushrooms Good for You? Are they MAGIC (wait…)?’

Serving Suggestion:

My favourite way to enjoy this recipe is like a classic breakfast: complimented with a hot, black coffee!

… But that’s only a recent thing. In fact, the past week has been the first time I’ve had coffee for over two years!

Not because coffee is “bad”, but it’s not always for everyone (more on that another time, but Chris Kresser offers a couple of reasons why, for example). However, as I now have less personal worry about the caffeine and antinutrients, I decided to reintroduce it into my diet and I feel fine.

Some people prefer not to, others don’t worry and don’t have to.

Anyway, enough about coffee! Let’s speak oats! There are two main ways to seriously boost this recipe.

What My Recommendation Comes down to:

  • Any Simple, Classic Breakfast Beverage (green / black tea, coffee, etc.).
  • Protein of Choice.
    • Tuna
    • Sardines
    • Bacon
    • Pancetta
    • Diced chicken breast
    • Diced red meat or even pork
    • Eggs
    • Etc.

Definitely don’t be afraid to add in any protein you might if this were pasta, for example. I chose tuna, but you go for what you like, maybe a couple of eggs, etc.

This will provide all-important long-lasting energy and a balanced nutrient profile.

2. Mexican-inspired Spicy Oatmeal with Cheese Recipe

Three things:

  • Spicy Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal with Cheese
  • and Mexican food!

You may look at that and see a mismatched fusion of great ideas that come to create one of those not-so-great ideas after a few drinks…

BUT, that’s what this post is about! Oats are amazing. They’re versatile. And yes, they work just as well as other starchy staples (and often with more nutrition)!

If you don’t believe me, only you can try it for yourself. Fun and new ideas make healthy eating exciting, so what are you waiting for?

Here’s the next oatmeal with cheese recipe, turned into a spicy oatmeal recipe. The pro point: Mixing in delicious cheese balances the spice perfectly, so you can enjoy this for any meal (but we’ll call it breakfast)!

A Few Health Benefits – Chillies:

Understandably, this recipe will also have the same benefits of oatmeal as the first recipe (see above). But that’s not all.

In general, spice is a good sign when it comes to food! Chillies contain a beneficial compound called capsaicin. This is actually what gives them their flavour, and it has been shown to have potent medicinal effects:

  • Aid weight loss (^)(*)
  • Reduce inflammation (^)(*)
  • Protect heart health (^)(*)
  • Improve metabolism (*)
  • And more (^)*

In fact, the link study above on inflammation compared the the anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin to that of the NSAID diclofenac (often sold under the brand name Voltaren), but without any adverse effects.

Basically, don’t shy away from chillies!

If you still want all the health benefits and can’t handle spice very well, you could even use dairy milk or a slightly sweet tasting, unprocessed alternative milk like coconut milk (avoid those with additives).

Either way, I’d highly recommend anyone up their spice tolerance so they can include more in their diet – it’s worth it.

Serving Suggestion:

As I said above, there’s an option those who don’t tolerate spice well but still want to experience the health benefits of chillies and capsaicin!

You could replace the water with a healthy milk in the recipe, but that might not work if you’re going to add in extras like vegetables.

In that case, simply enjoy it with a glass of milk!

Other than that, it’s always great to combine spicy food with something slightly sweet, as the flavours naturally balance each other. In India, this is a well-known practice, where something slightly sweet (maybe something with dairy, coconut, or a small amount of jaggery) often follows a spicy meal!

Sticking to the Mexican theme, a traditional ‘Café con leche’ (coffee made with warm milk) can be the perfect way to accompany a nice, warm breakfast. Sprinkle over a small dash of cinammon and you’ll be in for a treat.

To get some more protein into the meal, a couple of 4-5 minute soft-boiled eggs complement the flavours wonderfully.

What My Recommendation Comes down to:

  • Spicy Oatmeal with Mixed Veg of Choice.
  • 2-3 Soft-Boiled Eggs.
  • A Glass of Milk (Or a coffee made with warm milk ‘Café con Leche’).

Feel free to enjoy this as you like, experiment, and maybe have a siesta!

Mexican Spicy Oatmeal with Cheese Recipe with Sardines (HEALTHY RONIN)
Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but I actually enjoyed the one in the recipe image with… Sardines. It’s delicious if you enjoy sardines and, in fact, is one of my 21 Awesome Healthy Ways to Eat Sardines!

3. Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Oatmeal Recipe

Satisfying. Satiating. But not heavy and filling. That doesn’t just sound good, it is, and this recipe is perfect if your looking for a guilt-free, feel-good meal.

This is a recipe that nourishes the body and mind – especially with the serving suggestions below!

A Few Health Benefits – Cauliflower:

Again, this recipe will have the same benefits of oatmeal as any oatmeal recipe (see recipe one for more info).

The second main ingredient is cauliflower. This cruciferous vegetable is sometimes overlooked, so let’s learn about some of its most impressive health benefits.

Number one is nutrient density. Despite being very low in calories, cauliflowers are packed full of vitamins, antioxidants (like glucosinolates and isothiocyanates), and minerals!

They’re a particularly good source of vitamins B6, B9, C, and K1. These support natural and healthy growth, immunity, metabolism, and blood clotting, whilst also preventing chronic illness and degeneration.

Regarding minerals, cauliflower is a considerable source mostly of manganese and potassium.

Here are just a few more reasons to eat this veggie more:

  • Cancer Prevention (^)(^)(^)
  • Improved Digestion due to Fibre Content
  • Weight Loss Potential (Fibre is filling, and cauliflower is low in calories)
  • Brain Development and Protection (^) (Cauliflower is a good source of choline, which many people are deficient in)

Serving Suggestion:

Grilled chicken! “Seriously, chicken with oatmeal…?”.

Yep! It’s an excellent combo here because of how well this white meat goes with cauliflower (and pretty much any cheese)!

It’s not the only choice, though. Fish is a classic for cheesy dishes like this! Just take a look at the recipe image – that’s a delicious flaky pollock fillet right there.

Now I know chicken won’t make your oatmeal won’t look all that colourful and exciting… But, nor do cauliflower cheese, chicken soup, or oatmeal in general!

Usually, the more colour the better when you’re looking at nutrition, but this time we can skip that because we already know the foods are well-diversified.

Although, you can always season with some spices if it suits your fancy!

So what kind of chicken is best? Any chicken cut will work well with this recipe. To make the most of it, grill gently with a dash of olive oil and shred into pieces before stirring through.

As for a drink, this one’s down to you… I can’t think of any one hot or cold beverage to compliment this as a breakfast or other meal in particular.

However, if you’re one of the many who enjoy sipping on bone broth (it’s easy to make or buy, uniquely tasty, and seriously good for you), it’s perhaps the best choice I’d recommend!

The abundance of collagen-building proteins in bone broth will be boosted by the cauliflower’s vitamin C and vitamin B6! It’s savoury (umami-rich), makes you feel good, and is certainly a great way to relax.

What My Recommendation Comes down to:

  • Cauliflower Cheese Oatmeal.
  • Shredded Grilled Chicken (Chicken breast, leg, wings, etc. – they’re all good pairings with cauliflower).
  • Steamed or Raw Cauliflower Leaves (Don’t throw them!).
  • Beverage of Choice, but Bone Broth Is Best!

The Verdict on Oatmeal with Cheese Recipes

If you’re not convinced by now that oatmeal with cheese, and in fact any savoury oatmeal, is an amazing idea, I’m lost!

In this post we covered just 3 recipes, but they’re purposely quite different. Taking inspiration from different cuisines, incorporating distinct flavours, using bold and mild ingredients, there are countless possibilities.

I encourage you to try this, and don’t be afraid to enjoy your oatmeal like any other grain or starchy food!

Please rate your favourite recipe, comment below, and share with friends or family!

Oh, and if you like these healthy oatmeal recipes, why not look at 5 more of our best oatmeal recipes for breakfast (sweet, savoury, and fun)!

Oatmeal with Cheese! 3 irresistible healthy oatmeal with cheese recipes (savoury oatmeal, mexican oatmeal, mushroom oatmeal))

Until next time, stay healthy

James


Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Oatmeal a High Protein Food?

Compared to most grains, oats are a great source of protein at around 6g protein per 50g raw oats (on average). However, oatmeal is best served with an extra protein source for a more balanced meal, higher energy, longer-lasting satisfaction, and for delicious recipes.

Are Oats Good for Dinner?

After seeing just how versatile oats are, it’s easy to enjoy oats for a healthy dinner, substituting recipes like pasta, noodles, rice, and other starches. They’re perfect for all sorts of savoury combinations, including with meat, fish, vegetables, herbs, spices, and beyond. So yes, oats can be great for dinner!

Categories
Breakfast Cuisine Dinner Food Lists Lunch Recipes Snacks and sides

Keto Korean Food – Top 10 Low Carb Dishes to Try!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, all this means is that Healthy Ronin receives a commission from purchases made using links on this page. This is at no additional cost to you, and only helps to keep the website running. For our full Affiliate Disclosure, you can click here. Enjoy your stay!


Keto Korean food? You mean it’s not all rice and noodles? Far from it! Here are the best low carb dishes to enjoy at Korean restaurants (or make yourself).


“Annyeonghaseyo 안녕하세요” everyone! Today we’re back in the oriental land of Asia.

I got thinking the other day… I love to explore different cuisines, and my post on keto Japanese food got a great response (thank you all).

It didn’t take long for my imagination to lead me to Japan’s close cousin – South Korea! With many cultural parallels, and yet unique food and traditions, there had to be something fun to learn about Korea’s cuisine…

Without further adieu, here are the top 10 low carb Korean foods for everyone to enjoy. Make the most of your culture trip, restaurant, or home cooking!

1. Seolleongtang (Ox Bone Soup)

keto korean food milky ox bone seolleongtang soup

Seolleongtang 선릉 탕 is the ultimate keto Korean food, much like any other bone broth.

It is thought that ancient sacrifices may have been the origin of this soup (made to feed many people with few ingredients)! However, we may also have to thank the earlier Mongols for its invention – no one’s quite sure.

Anyway, broth made from bones or other connective tissue is easily one of the best ways to boost your your connective tissue and joint health, bursting with beneficial collagen-building glucosaminoglycans and other proteins.

What really sets this Korean masterpiece apart is the method!

Real seolleongtang is a milky broth, made by slowly simmering ox bones in cycles. This concentrates the nutrients and deep flavour into one single batch!

To complete the soup, beef is often soaked and then cooked in the broth alongside herbs and vegetables.

Maangchi’s easy traditional recipe uses just a few simple ingredients so you can make your very own. Some recipes add starch noodles, not this one. If you like noodles anyway, try some keto-friendly options:

  • Courgette / zucchini noodles (best option: light flavour and delicate texture) (recipe)
  • Butternut squash noodles (recipe)
  • Enoki mushrooms

If eating out, definitely look for this dish, but opt for no starch noodles!

2. Galbitang (Beef Short Rib Soup)

Similar to seolleongtang, galbitang 갈비탕 is a warming, hearty soup made by simmering bones, meat, and vegetables.

However, instead of simmering bones to make a broth and then adding meat to create a soup, galbitang cooks the meat on the bone.

You’ll find this satisfying short rib soup made with Korean radishes as the main vegetable. In addition, a sharp infusion of refreshing vegetables like leeks, onions, and garlic create the base, but these get discarded before serving.

Make it yourself with Kimchimari’s Beef Short Rib Soup Recipe. Thanks JimJoo!

Keto Korean Food - Galbitang and Rice Korean Side Dishes

Traditionally, this may be served as a standalone dish with various sides, but may also be made with starch noodles in the soup.

If you’re ordering this at a restaurant, make sure you ask for it without the starch noodles (if they add them).

On the other hand, feel free to use keto-friendly noodles (like courgette / zucchini noodles).

3. Gui (Korean Grilled Food)

You sit around the table, everyone excited with chopsticks in hand. Out come the dishes.

One by one, delicious meats and veggies are laid on a central grill, searing as they release mouthwatering scents into the air.

If you want to enjoy low-carb Korean food with friends and family – especially those who are not on the same diet – look no further.

‘Gui 구이’ simply means grill in Korean. However, this isn’t just any grill. This is often a traditional table grill, where the food is cooked right in front of you.

In fact, you’ve probably heard of it. The world-famous ‘Korean BBQ’ (as described above) is often called ‘gogi-gui 고기구이’ (meat grill)!

This is some of the finest keto Korean food. With a wide variety of meat and vegetable options, it’s perfect to keep you satisfied and within your carbohydrate limits!

Best Keto-friendly Options

The beauty of gui is the freedom to make your own choices! From fatty cuts of tender beef, to a range of nutrient-dense offal, seafood, and vegetables.

Samgyeopsal (Grilled Pork Belly) 삼겹살 is probably your best bet on keto! High-fat, low-carb, and absolutely mouthwatering. Be prepared to race for it.

The best part is it’s traditionally unmarinated, meaning you can avoid added sugars.

A few more great choices (low-carb and/or high-fat) include:

Meat / Offal ‘Gogi / Naejang’

  • Gopchang gui* (small beef intestines)
  • Galbi gui (pork or beef short ribs)
  • Jumulleok (pork or beef short steak, marinated in sesame oil)

Seafood ‘Saengseon / Seokhwa’

  • Godeungeo gui (mackerel)
  • Jangeo gui* (sliced eel)
  • Garibi gui (scallops)
  • Jeongbok gui (abalone sea snails)

Vegetables

  • Beoseot gui (mushrooms)
  • Gim gui (gim seaweed / nori)

*Some gui are marinated before cooking, and could contain sugar. See below for more information.

korean bbq gui gogi gui keto korean food samgyeopsal

Watch Out for Marinades

Some popular grilled meat dishes at a Korean BBQ are marinated before cooking. The marinades used may contain sugar, however.

If you’re ordering your gui, watch out for these options in particular:

  • Bulgogi: Thin pieces of marinated beef (so bulgogi 소불고기), pork (dweji bulgogi), chicken (dak bulgogi), or other meat or seafood. The marinade is soy sauce-based but is sweetened with sugar.
  • Galbi: This is similar to bulgogi, but thicker and most often made with pork rather than beef. Some varieties may be unseasoned, so it’s best to ask first.
  • Jangeo gui: As we saw above, this means grilled, sliced eel. To add flavour, it is typically marinated in one of two options: gochujang or ganjang (soy sauce). Gochujang is a Korean fermented spice paste made from rice flour, and sometimes contains extra sugar or syrup. If you’re strict on keto, stay away from gochujang. Ganjang is otherwise a great option!

4. Kimchi (Fermented Cabbage)

Everyone’s heard of this one. Kimchi 김치 is no doubt Korean cuisine’s biggest claim to fame, becoming a popular food across the globe.

In simple terms, it’s a pickled (fermented) spiced cabbage dish.

As an excellent source of gut-boosting probiotics and antioxidants, health enthusiasts (like me, I admit) boast about its benefits:

  • Improved digestion (^)(^)*
  • Immune system support (^)(^)(^)(^)*
  • Boosted mood and mental health (^)(^)*
  • Supported heart health (^)*
  • More (^)(^*)

The studies linked above include those about kimchi directly, and also dietary probiotics in general.

You can easily make kimchi at home, or find it online, in restaurants, and at some supermarkets! Make sure you get a fermented type if you purchase it.

On a ketogenic diet, kimchi is one of the best vegetable sources you can have. It uses low carb vegetables, ferments them (reducing carbs further), and packs in nutrients, including the following (^):

  • Vitamins (especially A, B vitamins, C and K)
  • Minerals (especially manganese, iron, and magnesium)
  • Other Antioxidants and phytochemicals
  • Fibre

I recommend Mama Kim’s Kimchi (buy here), being traditional, cheaper than others, and Amazon’s best seller!

P.S. Try out my easy homemade pickles if you’re new to fermenting! The same principles will apply to making kimchi (and sauerkraut).

What Is the Difference between Kimchi and Sauerkraut?

Most of you probably think sauerkraut when you hear “fermented cabbage”. But, there are some interesting differences between sauerkraut and kimchi.

The obvious difference is that Kimchi comes from Korea, and Sauerkraut most likely from the Mongols or Chinese (believe it or not). Sauerkraut came to quickly thrive across Europe and the Germanic peoples, hence the German name ‘sour cabbage’.

Most of the time, sauerkraut is purely shredded white or red cabbage and salt. On the other hand, kimchi almost always uses Napa cabbage and incorporates more ingredients.

These include a wide variety of spices and even other vegetables such as radish.

This provides two rather different taste experiences: Traditional sauerkraut has a powerful (and addictive) tangy flavour, but kimchi is often also aromatic and spicy.

5. Gyeran-jjim (Steamed Egg)

Yep, steamed egg! It sounds weird, but gyeran-jjim 계란 찜 certainly looks delicious.

If you enjoy a good omellete, imagine that, but more “cake-like” and fluffy! You can essentially dig into steamed eggs like an umami-rich souffle.

This can be a main dish or a side dish (called ‘banchan’ 반찬 in Korean). As you can imagine, when it comes to keto Korean food, eggs being a staple of the diet makes the dish a perfect way to enjoy this exotic cuisine.

Finally, to serve, the Koreans finish their soft and silky gyeran-jjim with sliced scallions. It’s one of the easiest Korean recipes to make, definitely try your hand at it!

I think this dish has to be one of my favourite keto Korean food ideas: simple, unique, and it has eggs!

Recipe by Maangchi: View the web version here.

6. Cauliflower /Miracle Rice Bibimbap (Rice Bowl)

You know what I like about bibimbap? You can never get bored of it.

Bibimbap 비빔밥 is Korea’s famous traditional mixed rice bowl.

It’s fun to say, fun to make, and endlessly customisable! (A bit like Japanese “shabu-shabu”, one of the best keto Japanese foods).

Bibimbap essentially means mixed rice, and can include cooked vegetables, kimchi, meat, and eggs. Since white rice will quickly send you out of ketosis, you can simply substitute it with cauliflower rice.

Another popular rice substitute for weight loss and keto especially is Miracle Noodle’s “miracle rice”. Also known as “shirataki rice”, this is made from konjac root, and comes in at just 10 calories and 1g net carbs per 3oz serving!

As it’s unlikely you will find such preparations in restaurants, you’ll probably have to make this one yourself.

That’s the good thing, though: You get to choose the meats, veggies, eggs, and whatever else to suit your needs and taste!

I put together some ideas to inspire you (combine, mix, or substitute as you like):

  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Sauteed leafy vegetables
  • Bean sprouts
  • Yukhoe (see below)
  • Raw egg yolk
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chili peppers
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce ($2.99)
  • Sesame oil ($13.00)
  • Kimchi (bulk $23.99)

7. Yukhoe (Raw Beef)

If you’ve ever seen or tried steak tartare, yukhoe 육회 is basically Korea’s way! Served as raw beef mince and topped with an egg yolk, the dishes are almost identical.

What better way to enjoy beef on keto? This simple combo comes packed with healthy fats and protein, along with essential minerals and vitamins!

In Korea, they enjoy yukhoe topped with sesame seeds. The marinade is usually based on soy sauce and sesame oil, mixed with garlic, spring onions, and a little honey.

Tips for the Marinade

On the other hand, some recipes unfortunately will include sugar. Restaurants will likely let you know if you ask them.

Here are a few ways to work around a sugared marinade:

  • Go marinade-free
  • Use just soy sauce or sesame oil
  • Make your own, omitting the honey!

Enjoying this on keto as a low carb Korean food is easy either way, with only a small carbohydrate content from the marinade.

Also, traditional soy sauce is much healthier. This is brewed using natural fermentation. Kikkoman’s ($2.99) is a popular choice you can find online or in most supermarkets.

Is Yukhoe Safe?

Because yukhoe is raw beef, some people have concerns about trying it.

We know supermarket meat raw, especially if it’s already been minced, as this could contain harmful bacteria and lead to food poisoning.

In particular, the largest risk is salmonella. However, it’s also quite well-known beef and lamb can often be – and are – eaten raw.

The main factors which affect the safety of raw beef are the following:

  • Freshness
  • Processing (minced, sliced, whole, etc.)
  • Preparation and hygiene
  • Beef quality (farming standards and feed)

If you order yukhoe at a trustworthy restaurant, you can guarantee that the beef will be as fresh as possible and carefully sourced and handled.

If You’re Thinking about Making this Yourself, Here’s What to Know

First of all, you’ll want to find a good source.

Speak to your butchers, not the supermarket, and tell them your plans. They should then be able to advise and give you the freshest meat available.

If you can, go for local meat, and preferably grass-fed.

Secondly, you’ll want to use a whole piece of meat – not premade mince (which uses multiple cows and encounters more bacteria from tools, machinery, handling, and packaging).

For yukhoe, lean cuts work best, such as eye of rounds or top rounds, but you can use fattier cuts, too.

It’s important you get that meat on the same day you intend to use it. This limits storage time and prevent bacterial growth. Keep it refrigerated and well-covered until you use it.

Before preparing, salt the outside of the meat well, wash your hands, and clean any tools. Now you’re all set (and it will be worth it)!

Click here for Food Republic’s recipe. This is the best one I’ve found.

P.S. For the egg yolk, use an egg which has been vaccinated against salmonella. In the UK, the lion mark is what to look out for. As always, free-range or pastured and organic is best.

8. Maeuntang (Spicy Fish Stew)

This one works up an appetite! I loooove fish, but add spice and there’s something spectacular!

The Korean word ‘maeun’ 마은 means spicy, and you’ve probably noticed that ‘tang’ 탕 means soup / stew by now. This Korean main dish is always made with fish.

At a restaurant or in South Korea, you could be lucky enough to find it made with traditional fish like Domi (red snapper) or Nongeo (black sea bass).

Maangchi’s recipe uses nongeo, but lean fish like pollock can substitute well.

Making this yourself let’s you limit the amount of carbohydrates from soju, bean paste, or vegetables (but you may not need to).

On keto, you’ll want higher fats, too. The best way to get more fats with maeuntang is to enjoy it alongside keto Korean food like gyeran-jjim.

You can also directly add in extra healthy fats or oils, (or stir them into the gyeran-jjim egg mixture)!

9. Nakji Bokkeum (Spicy Stir-fried Octopus)

Getting a little more exotic, here we have octopus! Going for another great spicy seafood dish, Nakji Bokkeum 낙지볶음 is well worth the try.

This is another lean source of protein, the dish itself doesn’t have to be – it’s a stir-fry, after all!

In addition, octopus is extremely nutritious. According to nutritiondata.com and other sources, here are just some of the beneficial nutrients that are abundant in octopus meat (85g cooked):

  • Protein 51%
  • Selenium 109%
  • Zinc 19%
  • Copper 31%
  • Iron 45%
  • Vitamin B12 510%
  • Vitamin B6 28%
  • Vitamin B3 16%

(Percentages listed as per standard USDA daily values)

I want to mention here that the red spicy sauce tends to contain a small amount of added sugar. This is around 2 tbsp (or 25g) per 4 servings, on average.

On top of that, the dish traditionally contains vegetables like carrots.

Here are some ideas for getting around this:

Firstly, if eating out, ask waiters or the chef about the ingredients. If you’re ordering this somewhere where it’s freshly made, perhaps you could ask for no added sugar.

However, you can always use an online recipe and alter it to your needs.

I still decided to add this as one of the best keto Korean foods because of the nutrient density, availability for high fat and protein, and relatively low carbohydrate content compared to a lot of alternative dishes.

By taking the time to make small changes, you can still experience authentic Korean cuisine to its very fullest!

10. Tempeh

No, I’m not crazy! Tempeh is fermented soy beans, but it’s surprisingly low in carbs.

In a 100g (3.5-ounce) serving of tempeh, there is typically 9.4g of carbs, according to nutritiondata.self.com.

Along with this, there’s plenty of healthy fat (10.8g) and protein (18.5g). Don’t forget that 100g of tempeh could also contain a few grams of fibre.

Because ketosis is different for everyone, some people will be able to consume more than others and maintain their metabolic state. The limit is typically from below 50g per day, but can be as low as 20g per day for some.

Tempeh can still fit into these allowances as a keto Korean food. My recommendation is enjoying it as a delicious banchan (side dish) with a high-fat dish like galbitang! Marinade it in cold-pressed sesame oil for an extra boost of fat.

Can You Make Your Own Tempeh?

Yes, you can absolutely make your own tempeh. It’s an excellent way to learn about fermenting, and is no doubt the freshest you’ll get!

If you’re thinking about making your own (which you definitely should!), Cultures for Health has a great guide you can view here.

By the way, you have more than soybeans at your disposal…

To avoid soy, be it due to the carbs or an allergy, you can simply make tempeh without them. How?

Well, we’ve all heard how great seeds are for keto! They’re similar nutritionally to nuts, and are excellent sources of healthy fats. What you might not have known is how versatile they really are.

Recipes like this creative one by Emillie at fermentingforfoodies.com use seeds just like their legume cousins to create wonderful tempeh!

The recipe above is for sunflower seeds, but you can use almost any kind.

Within just 1-2 days, you can enjoy the complex, nutty flavour and soft texture of your very own homemade tempeh.

Like what you’re learning? Subscribe for more like this!

Keto Korean Food is Easy!

As we’ve seen in this post, enjoying low carb Korean food, that’s authentic, delicious, and varied isn’t as hard as it seems.

Sure, they have noodle and rice dishes, and even high carb sauces. But that doesn’t stop anyone on a ketogenic diet from making the most of this fascinating and unique cuisine.

Rice and noodle alternatives are even an option, such as cauliflower rice and courgette / zucchini noodles!

When it comes down to it, South Korea has a fascinating culture and cuisine. They really know how to make the most of every ingredient (just look at seolleongtang), and that’s something we can all learn to do more!

To enjoy your trip to the country, feel confident at a restaurant, or up your cooking game with new skills, and still stick to a keto diet, these 10 dishes are the best way to start.

That’s all for this post, share your favourite Korean foods below, check out our other articles, and “najung-e boja 나중에 보자” (see you later)!

Until next time, stay healthy

James


Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Korean food Keto friendly?

Enjoying low carb Korean food that’s authentic, delicious, and varied isn’t as hard as it seems. On a keto diet, there are many options available to enjoy this traditional Asian cuisine. These top 10 foods are the perfect place to start.

Is Korean food good for weight loss?

Korean food is typically very high in filling foods like vegetables and soup. Along with high protein dishes (such as the Korean BBQ), this is great for reducing appetite. So yes, sticking to whole foods and low carb Korean dishes can help to your weight loss goals on a keto diet.

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Breakfast Dinner Fermenting & Preserving Food Lists Food Profiles Lunch Recipes Slow Cooker Recipes Snacks and sides

21 Ways to Eat Sardines (Quick, Fun, and Easy Ideas)

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Got sardines and don’t know what to do? There’s more to these fish than “sardines on toast”, whether you use canned or fresh. Here are 21 awesome ways to eat sardines!


Oh dear, you didn’t think sardines were boring, did you? With a little touch of creativity, they’re honestly as versatile as tuna!

Why am I telling you this? Sardines are one of my favourite foods – and they’re overlooked. Maybe not number one, but I can’t say that for any food!

Today, we’ll cover:

  • Why to Eat Sardines (Protecting the Planet, Health Benefits)
  • How to Select the Best Sardines (Checklists for Canned or Fresh)
  • How to Eat Sardines (21 Awesome Ways)
  • Delicious and Easy Recipes (To Get You Started)

Also known as pilchards or herrings (when large), sardines deserve more attention!

In a typical week, I’ll proudly admit to eating at least a few tins of the stuff! Before you question my sanity, hear me out…

sardine fish sardines comic funny - healthy ways to eat sardines

I want to convince you to eat more sardines. The biggest problem people have with these little guys is that they see them as a bit… gross?

Maybe that’s not the right word, but some are put off by either the look, the smell, or the taste (which I’m going to change)!

I mean just look at the cute little guys… You can’t say anything against that!

Why Should You Eat More Sardines?

There are many reasons you can benefit from eating more sardines. For anyone looking to eat healthier, cheaper, or more sustainably, these fatty fish are a no-brainer.

Sardines Are Sustainable

First of all, they’re sustainable.

With the oceans becoming increasingly depleted of natural species due to fishing, it’s important to make responsible seafood choices. In fact, I’d say it’s all part of a natural diet!

Because taking responsibility is important, it should always be done with pride. Therefore, don’t shy away!

Sardines are brave little saviors of the ocean. So, let’s opt to protect the precious atlantic salmon and bluefin tuna and allow their species to recover.

Additionally, sardines are low in the food chain, so contain low mercury levels. Some seafoods (especially predator fish) accumulate toxic mercury, which may pose health risks in large amounts.

What Are the Health Benefits of Sardines?

When it comes to eating a balanced diet, these fish are true nutrient treasures.

They’re an excellent source of dietary protein, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin D, B-Vitamins, and other minerals. They’re also a source of vitamin E, which many Americans don’t get enough of.

A one-tin serving of sardines in spring water or brine (typically around 90g) will typically provide about 180-190 calories, 20g protein, and 10g fat.

What does this mean? Well, here are a few benefits that sardines can provide:

  • Reduced inflammation – As an animal source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and antioxidants, sardines are a potent anti-inflammatory (^). This has been shown to benefit Arthritis and IBS (^)(^).
  • Nervous system and brain health – Omega-3 has been shown in many studies to reduce the risk of neurodegenerate diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (^)(^). Additionally, it is well-known to benefit developing brains (^)! Not to mention, selenium is another often-overlooked mineral which is very important for brain function (^)(^). Sardines containing offal (organ meats) – especially with the head – will provide a hefty dose of brain-building nutrients.
  • Improved Metabolism – Sardines are abundant in B12 especially. This is important for overall cell metabolism. Healthy fats and protein will also help to maintain balance.
  • Boosted immune-system – Antioxidants in sardines, especially selenium, play essential roles in immune function. Once again, omega-3 is beneficial here, and may help to prevent autoimmunity according to a meta-analysis of the Israel Medical Association Journal (^)(^).
  • Heart health – Both omega-3 and the abundance of minerals in sardines may benefit heart health. Increased omega-3 intake (especially EPA and DHA) can help prevent heart disease, as can selenium (^)(^).
  • Bone health – Sardines are an excellent way to get more calcium, vitamin D, protein, and B-vitamins. These are all required for healthy and strong bone development, and may help to prevent osteoporosis, particularly in deficient populations.
  • Protein – Adequate protein intake is vital! We often hear about this nowadays, from clinicians, nutritionists, and in the weight-loss and fitness niche. As the building block of our very DNA, and with many biological roles, protein is important for just about every system in the body.
  • Vitamin D – Yep, the very same vitamin we get from the sun! (Well, sort of)… Particularly in the winter, up to 50% of the world’s population does not get enough. Because of this, supplements are popular, but we can also get vitamin D from food. Sardines are one of the richest sources available and are especially affordable. There are too many benefits and biological roles of the vitamin to cover here, but it’s very important to try and get enough (^).

It’s important to note that these awesome fish deliver many more beneficial nutrients than those mentioned specifically.

Another reason to eat sardines it’s because of how versatile they really are. As this list will reveal, there are many creative and tasty ways to use sardines – there’s sure to be something you’ll like!

Unless you suffer from gout or are susceptible to kidney problems that require you to consume less uric acid, sardines are an excellent food to get eating!

How to Choose Healthy Sardines (Canned or Fresh)

By now I reckon you’ll be more determined. But before you go buying any old sardines, make sure you choose the right ones. Believe it or not, some canned sardines are unhealthy, and there’s a proper way to choose a fresh fish.

I always recommend opting for fresh fish when you can. Fresh sardines are more nutritious and you can consume the whole fish easier and cook them in a healthier way.

Unfortunately, canned sardines may sometimes be cooked at high temperatures before canning. This can create harmful compounds as they are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Because of this, do try to use fresh fish if you are cooking it.

Canned Sardine Checklist

  • Avoid sunflower, soy, canola, and other refined (vegetable) oils*.
  • Opt for cans in water, brine, or olive oil. Water and brine are better, as draining will reduce omega-3 less.
  • Check if sardines in sauce contain any harmful oils* or added sugar.
  • Don’t get deep-fried sardines. Try to read and see how they were cooked (preferably lightly steamed).

*Here’s a list of healthy vs unhealthy fats and oils (especially for cooking).

Fresh Sardine Checklist

  • Bright, clear eyes.
  • Shiny skin (definitely not dull).
  • Red gills as opposed to brown or dull.
  • Fresh smell, perhaps salty. Fresh fish shouldn’t smell overly pungent or “fishy”.
  • Firm and moist skin (it should spring back and not be sticky)
  • For fillets, follow the same general rules, and inspect for damaged flesh or

1. Straight out of the Can!

Jumping straight into the list, if you have some cans laying around, they make an excellent snack. Especially for those who are active or trying to gain muscle, this high protein and fairly calorie-dense fish is a great go-to.

Don’t think you have you have to eat them plain! Some simple lemon juice, herbs, and garlic, with an optional dash of olive oil and pepper is a classic.

This is the most simple of ways to eat sardines, but makes for an interesting side dish to salads or pick n’ mix style meals.

2. In a Salad

Yes, they’re an excellent side dish to vibrant salads – especially those of Mediterranean influence. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not great mixed in as well.

There are hundreds of sardine salad recipes online. This one is one of my favorites, using simple ingredients and new potatoes (there’s nothing quite like potatoes with fish).

As a side note: chickpeas are wonderful for sardine salads, especially to make a meal.

The beautiful thing about salads is you always have room to experiment, too.

3. Serve with Fried Eggs

Gently frying a couple of eggs to go alongside your sardines creates a simple breakfast that’s second-to-none.

However you have it, sardines with eggs guarantee’s a meal that’s:

  • Hearty
  • Wholesome
  • Satisfying
  • High-protein
  • Scrumptious

The best way to enjoy this is with some wholegrain rice, boiled potatoes, or sprouted or sourdough bread. Oh, and some fresh diced vegetables!

I also like to have these two in a nice, baked (or microwaved) sweet potato sometimes!

Remember to choose quality eggs like pastured and organic. These provide more nutrients, especially vitamin D, anti-inflammatory omega-3, and less omega-6.

4. Grill them Whole

Traditional, easy, nutritious.

Grilling whole sardines is one of the most popular ways to enjoy them, and is a well-known portuguese dish.

To preserve the beneficial fats and delicate flavour, brush with olive oil first, and grill them for no longer than 2 – 3 minutes on each side. This way they’ll still come out with a nice grilled texture, just be careful not to burn them!

(Portuguese) grilled sardines with lemon - 21 ways to eat sardines healthy

The typical way to serve this is alongside roasted potatoes, on top of a light salad, or once again as a side for people to enjoy. (Or you can do them all)!

In Portugal you’ll find them just like this, perhaps with some extra grilled veggies.

And eat the whole thing – that’s how it has always been done. The bones are pleasantly soft, and all the organs are extremely nutritious.

Here’s a basic recipe from NY Times to get you started!

P.S. You can also broil the sardines. In the summer, a barbeque works well, but please be careful (sardines are high in delicate PUFA’s, remember)!

5. Wrap ’em up!

This is perfect for the Summer, too! When we all like to sit round the table or have a picnic, wraps are an easy way to enjoy a meal.

For some fun ways to eat sardines, wrapping them up with diced tomato, olives, or sliced boiled eggs creates a snack even kids will tuck into! For condiments, I recommend a mild dijon or wholegrain mustard.

Of course, you’ll want to choose healthy wraps (no refined carbs here)! Great choices to make (or buy) include:

You’ll likely find an array of good options at whole food or health food stores and some supermarkets.

6. Pan-fry

As always, be careful with this, as high heat rapidly turns PUFA’s into harmful compounds (including TRANS fats).

Just like grilling, 2-3 minutes on each side should be plenty enough cooking time.

To maximise the benefits, choose a stable cooking oil (low in polyunsaturated fats) high in antioxidants or saturated fats. This make good old olive oil or grass-fed butter perfect. Both pair well with sardines.

Now onto the delicious part – serving! If you go for butter or olive oil, pan-fried sardines are easy to enjoy as part of a whole fry-up.

I highly recommend topping large white or portobello mushrooms with your sardines and finishing it off with some homemade tomato sauce and steamed vegetables.

7. Make a Fish Sauce

There are two ways you can go about this. If you’re only making a small amount and want to use it immediately, the first method is a quick way to do so.

Method 1: Quick Fish Sauce

Quite simply, you’ll blend or mash cooked or canned sardines into tomato sauce (homemade) and some vinegar and use in cooking or as a condiment! This won’t store for long, so use it as soon as possible. This also won’t have that classic flavour you’ll know of fish sauce.

Method 2: Traditional Fish Sauce

You can expect a much richer flavour from the traditional method, like a fish sauce you would typically find an Asian cuisine. If you like to make Chinese or Thai dishes, for example, then this is a perfect way to use some sardines!

You’ll definitely want fresh (or frozen fresh) fish for this.

The fermentation method naturally preserves the sauce (and therefore your fish). You’ll be able to store it for many months at a time, so go ahead and make large batches!

Here’s are Two Ways:

P.S. If you’ve never fermented before, definitely start with some vegetables like my probiotic pickles. This will get you used to the safety process (don’t worry, it’s easy but 100% necessary – especially for fish or meat).

I’ll try to write a recipe just for this sauce in the future, so look out for that!

For now, I can recommend either:

  1. The Ancient Roman-inspired “Garum” Sauce (which sounds amazing – note that you can use another suitable fermentation container)! OR:
  2. Nourish Joy’s Vietnam-inspired Fish Sauce recipe.

Whichever method you try, making a sauce is one of the most interesting ways to eat sardines.

8. Fisherman’s Eggs

Yes, sardines are cheap, healthy, convenient, and delicious. And you know what else are? Eggs!

Not only that, but they’re both full of quality proteins and fats!

Fisherman’s Eggs is a simple dish of oven-baked sardines, seasoned with onions, garlic, herbs, and topped with eggs.

The best way to make it is to use fresh sardines, filleted or whole. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for making your own:

  1. Season: Chop your seasonings and coat the sardines with them, using a little olive oil.
  2. Bake the sardines: Next, bake sardines in an oven-safe dish until almost cooked. At this point, you can mash them up with a fork if you like.
  3. Add the eggs: Then crack 2-3 eggs per person over the sardines and return to the oven.
  4. Enjoy: Another 3-5 minutes and you can remove the dish, let sit for about 3 minutes to finish cooking, and serve!

Alternatively, you can lightly bake the fish and top with fried eggs – whichever way you like.

This is as easy as it gets for a baked breakfast, and will only take you 15-20 minutes.

9. Indian Sardine Curry

If you’re like me, you’ll stop at nothing for good Indian food! I mean real, authentic food, bursting with colour and flavour and lively aromas.

Making curries at home is always fun and there’s always something new to try. If you haven’t tried sardine curry yet, but enjoy other seafood and fish curries, then what are you waiting for?

The quickest way is to use canned sardines, especially those in a tomato sauce (without added sugar or unhealthy oil):

Lightly sautee your favourite indian spices, garlic, onion and some diced tomatoes. When they’re nice and fragrant, turn down the heat to low, add in your sardines, and optionally add in extra chopped tomatoes or water. Let this get warm and infuse, and enjoy!

But we all know fresh is best!

I happened to come across this video if you’re interested in making something authentic. It starts off with an easy instruction on how to make a Mangalore-style curry paste, but doesn’t show the whole process.

Still it will help if you want to use your own curry sauce!

Remember to use a healthy oil! (Or even ghee)…

10. Jacket Potato (Baked Potato)

Once again, there’s nothing quite like potatoes with fish. Ever wondered why fish and chips became so popular (and I mean the dish, not the fast food)?

The age-old pairing of fish and potato is always a fail-safe option. Lean fish like cod and haddock are best with roast potatoes or oven-baked chips.

Fatty fish like sardines, salmon, and mackerel are even better with a potato that is fluffy when served. This lets the healthy fats soak in just like butter, and works excellently with the texture.

Next time you want a filling, hearty, and simple dinner, bake up a potato and load with your favourite healthy ingredients. Top with grilled or canned sardines, and you’re good to go.

Plus, you can do this in less than 10 minutes if you decide to microwave the potato!

Which Potatoes Should I Use?

Any potato variety will create a good jacket potato.

If you want something truly special, go for starchy types. These are softer inside so can be fluffed up nicely, and include:

  • Russet
  • King Edward
  • Maris Piper
  • Fingerlings
  • Bonus: Sweet potatoes (actually unrelated to potatoes) are just as good.

11. In Savoury Oatmeal!

Yes, really! I know you think I’m crazy, but trust me here… I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to oats (I experiment a lot)!

Just having fun, but for real, oats are the perfect nutritious way to replace many refined carbs. In savoury dishes, they’re honestly just as versatile as pasta can be.

I’ll be sharing some favourite recipes soon, but for a basic way to make your own savoury oats, follow these steps:

  1. Sautee some of your favourite vegetables, finely diced. Add herbs and spices as you like. Go for any theme or cuisine (sardines work well with Indian masala- or even Italian-style oats).
  2. Crack in a couple of eggs. Stir frequently to mix in and create a creamy mix.
  3. Add in your oats and water in an equal ratio. I do this by keeping the oats in some of their soaking water (from fermenting or soaking – the traditional way we should all be eating oats).
  4. Stir well to incorporate into a creamy porridge. Add more water as you like.
  5. Take off of the heat and let sit for 1 minute. This lets the ingredients bind better and creates a thicker, creamy texture.
  6. Add in your cooked fresh or canned sardines.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

Please give it a try – oats are an amazing substitute for savoury pasta and bread (and other refined carbs), and sardines are wonderful for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

You could even cook oats with chopped or tinned tomatoes, and the sardines will work well with most classic (especially Mediterranean) flavours.

So, of all the ways to eat sardines, this creative method is well worth a try!

12. Pair with Spinach and Goat’s Cheese

There are many ways to eat sardines that make them perfect for quick meals for any time of day. This is one example and will be gone just as soon as it’s made (trust me)!

And it’s not just a personal recommendation; we’re using a time-tested flavours here. With the savoury spinach, tangy goat’s cheese, and umami-rich fish, you can’t really go wrong.

Try these ingredients alongside quinoa for a Mediterranean-inspired snack (or meal)! Crumble cheese on top of steamed or sauteed spinach, cooked sardines, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

… I think I’m starting to build an appetite!

13. Make a Soup

Sardine soup!? Believe it or not, South East Asian countries like Thailand and The Philippines love the stuff!

This typically includes canned or small, whole sardines lightly cooked in a tomato base, seasoned with vibrant, aromatic herbs and spices – especially chilies!

It’s an interesting and satiating way to use up sardines, for sure. And there are many varieties such as these:

  • Filipino ‘Ginisang Sardinas’ (Recipe by Panlasang Pinoy – remember to choose a healthy cooking oil, and opt for pure tomato sauce tins (or simply substitute with sardines and chopped tomatoes))
  • Galician ‘Xoubas Guisadas’ (Recipe by Silvia Fooding)
  • Japanese ‘Iwashi no Tsumire-Jiru’ (Recipe by Makiko Ito at Just Hungry – for the sardine balls, try to substitute the starch for a non-refined option such as coconut flour or oats)

14. Rollmops

A dish as famous as it is debated like marmite – rollmops!

rollmops pickled herring - healthy ways to eat sardines

These are made by pickling herrings (or large sardines), and are a traditional delicacy you’ll find here in the UK, across Europe, and in the US and Canada.

Fun fact: rollmops originated in Medieval Northern Europe, and the name meaning “rolled pugs” (maybe because of the curled shape? Or they’re just cute!) comes from German. Thanks Wikipedia!

This is easily the best recipe I’ve found for making your own: Traditional German Recipe ‘Rollmopse’ (sugar-free). If you go for other recipes, just omit the sugar you’ll likely find (it’s really not necessary or authentic).

Similarly, look for sugar-free rollmops in the supermarket.

15. Serve on Top of Sauerkraut or Pickles

There are many reasons I love this way to eat sardines:

  • Organ Meats – A masterpiece of nutrient-density, organ meats and offal benefit health in many ways.
  • Probiotics – Real pickles and sauerkraut are fermented. The gut-boosting enzymes and friendly bacteria not only aid digestion, but also support the immune system, brain and mental health, and help to regulate important bodily functions.
  • Delicious savoury flavour – Sardines + fermented foods = umami! Whether it’s acquired taste at first or not, real food like this has a tendency to excite the taste buds – (it’s how we detect good nutrition)!

I must be honest though. The only downside is that – depending on the pickle – the smell might carry a small “kick”! The solution: Use spiced pickles and season. Also don’t eat this before a date!

As recommended by one of my all-time favourite books: Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan, they’re actually alright on top of sauerkraut as well!

P.S. Check out my recipe for your own Homemade Probiotic Pickles. All you need is a few simple ingredients and any vegetable(s) you like.

16. Dipped in Vinegar (Just Like Mussels)

It’s seafood, after all! Many people treat sardines just like any other small seafood, including shellfish.

A traditional British way to serve mussels, squid, or prawns, for example, is in a small pool of balsamic vinegar with a touch of salt.

It tastes great and takes little time or money, and you can do the exact same thing with sardines! In fact, I recommend this if you like shellfish, but are still easing into savouring sardines.

Any other vinegar can be used, too.

How to Prepare Sardines in Vinegar:

Depending on the type of sardines you have, you can enjoy multiple ways to make this dish (or snack):

  1. For cans, it’s easy to drain (maybe rinse), place in a shallow bowl or dish, pour over your vinegar, and serve.
  2. For fresh fish, simply cook to your liking beforehand. You can use fillets or whole fish (best if small).

17. Dipped in Hummus (or Houmous)

Now I’m really getting hungry! Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, spices, herbs, and olive oil, all combined into a Middle-Eastern masterpiece.

Believe it or not, these delectable little fish make for a perfect pairing with houmous. It’s one of those surprising ways to eat sardines: You have to try it to believe it, but trust me it’s good.

If you love houmous and aren’t keen on sardines when they’re plain, what better way?

Choose a Healthy Houmous

Rapeseed oil or sunflower oil is commonly used in store-bought houmous instead of olive oil. This takes from the flavour and nutrition, and ruins perfectly healthy whole foods like chickpeas.

The best options for houmous are:

  1. Those in olive oil
  2. Homemade

Homemade houmous simply requires a blender* (I use my NutriBullet) and the basic ingredients, along with your own additions. You can skip the tahini for something more budget-friendly.

*Also, you can substitute a pestle and mortar. Chickpeas are soft and easy to mash up into a paste.

18. Dipped in Homemade Mayo

Much like houmous, mayo is a classic dip / condiment of endless possibilites. Considering the amount of ways to eat sardines where eggs can be used, it only makes sense that mayonnaise can, too!

The reason I emphasise homemade mayo is because the store-bought stuff is one of the worst things you can buy! Loaded with toxic oils (most often rapeseed or soybean), most mayonnaise you’ll find is shockingly bad for your health.

The good news is that it’s easy to make mayonnaise. Real ingredients are all you need, and you have the freedom to choose higher quality eggs (preferably pastured / organic).

(Wellness Mama has a rich, flavourful 5-minute recipe).

For something more familiar, stick to lighter tasting natural oils such as avocado oil or light olive oil. You can also use more eggs.

19. Sardine Sandwich

The only reason this item wasn’t higher on the list is because of the tendency to use refined bread.

However, as I have said before, almost anything can be made in a healthy way. Enter real bread: Sprouted, sourdough, or ezekiel! These are made as bread was traditionally, by preparing the grain and the dough using traditional methods.

There are also many creative and low-carb options. Cloud bread would go well with fish, being made with eggs and cheese, but you can find hundreds of recipes online for coconut flour breads, cauliflower breads, and more.

That means you can still enjoy a sardine sandwich that’s keto, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

The important thing is to avoid refined flours, added sugar, and vegetable oils.

Try this with sliced boiled eggs, lettuce leaves, onion, and tomato!

20. “Fill Up” on Stuffed Sardines

The awesome thing about these tiny fish is that you can serve them as snacks or as a meal.

Number 20 on our list of ways to use ideas is the simply to stuff sardines and tuck in!

You could try organic cottage cheese with diced chives and dill, or experiment with adding crushed almonds or walnuts (preferably at least soaked) and serve alongside brussels sprouts, broccoli, or spinach.

As always, experiment and have fun. Find what works for you, but definitely give this a go!

21. Bonus Idea: Fermented!

Ah, Sweden! A Nordic nation of suprise. Surströmming is a traditional recipe from the 16th century at least, and has gained wordwide fame.

There are countless videos of people opening up tins and gasping for air, trying to save their noses!

The truth is, these fermented sardines smell… And I’ve heard it’s potent. BUT, many people are surprised to find that behind this scary mask is a genuinely enjoyable and nutritious dish!

This is more of a bucket-list item when it comes to ways to eat sardines, but who knows? You may love it like the Swedish! (I believe it’s kind of like marmite there: hate or love).

I encourage you to make your own, but start with easy ferments! Check out my Lacto-fermented Pickles if you’ve never fermented before. 🙂

If you’ve ever had Surströmming, please share your whacky or wonderful experience in the comments below!

Conclusion

All in all, most people could benefit greatly from including sardines more in their diet. Not only are they a source of nutrients many are deficient in, like vitamin D and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re are cheap and sustainable way to boost your health in the long run.

Despite this, many people overlook sardines… Sometimes it’s the taste or the look, but we tend to opt for fish like tuna more often.

Whilst other fish are healthy, sardines are unique in their nutrition, alongside being an excellent way to get in more nutrient-dense offal and bones.

This list is my way to convince you that sardines are not just versatile; there are many delicious and creative ways to eat sardines on any occasion.

P.S. I definitely intend to start adding some of my top recipes with sardines. After a long time eating them and a lot of fun in the kitchen, I’ve found some great ways to make the above meals (and more)!

Let me know in the comments below how you like to have sardines. Classic on toast? Curried? Share your thoughts!

Also, which idea do you like best on this list? For me it’s number 10 or 11.

Should I Gut Sardines before Cooking?

Gutting sardines is not necessary! If you enjoy it, I’d always recommend eating the whole thing from “nose to tail”. However, most people do gut the fish for their recipes.

Why Are Sardines Good for You?

These nutrient-dense fatty fish provide high amounts of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin D, B-Vitamins, and other minerals. They’re also a source of vitamin E. To recap, they’re basically one of the world’s healthiest foods!

Categories
Breakfast Cuisine Dinner Lunch Recipes Snacks and sides

Delightfully Healthy Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe

Who doesn’t enjoy quick, healthy side dish recipes? Treat yourself to some Healthy Sauteed Mushrooms. This is a personal favourite worth remembering – read on!


A versatile side dish or main ingredient, this healthy sauteed mushroom recipe is a perfect addition to fish, eggs, salad vegetables, and especially a full breakfast!

Mushrooms can make a meal heartier and are a low calorie, Highly Beneficial substitute for main meals. Let’s get into it!

This is how to saute mushrooms, healthy…

Healthy Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe – Anytime, Anywhere!

There are all sorts of healthy sauteed mushroom recipes, and you can feel free to modify this one to your liking! You could make a spicy sauteed mushrooms recipe, and enjoy your variations in many ways.

This recipe works almost all the time – breakfast mushrooms, delicious lunches, or well-rounded dinners!

Healthy Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe - healthy recipe served with sweet potato, herbs, and spices

I’ve enjoyed this for breakfast alongside sardines with a mix of vegetables. For a lighter dish, opt for vegetables like salad greens, cucumber, courgette, and bell pepper. A fun idea is to grate courgette or carrot, creating a veggie spaghetti (vegetable noodles)!

These are excellent party food, too, no doubt. Guests over? Throw them on 10 minutes before, mix up a salad and serve alongside some Homemade Tomato Sauce.

GET CREATIVE - versatile quick healthy side dish recipe, keto, paleo, low calorie, vegetarian - Healthy Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe

Quality Food Comes from Quality Ingredients

This is a simple recipe, but if you really want to impress and get the most out of your nutrition, here’s the best information for how to cook mushrooms the healthy way (when sauteed).

Mushrooms

When selecting the mushrooms, there’s no need to go crazy. Organic is preferable, both for health purposes and for the planet. UV grown mushrooms are great choices because of the vitamin D content, but aren’t necessary. Any simple button mushrooms will be brilliant, provided they are fresh.

If you’ve ever bought mushrooms and kept them, you may have asked “are my mushrooms bad?”. The key to telling is most often whether they are slimy or not. Ideally they won’t be. If they have only a little bit of slime and are ever so slightly dark, they’re possibly okay to cook. This won’t produce the best results but it won’t be major.

If they have significantly darkened or developed slime, throw them. These signs means that the nutritional content that have deplenished, and it’s likely that is mould (especially if you can see any)!

Keep your mushrooms fresh by storing them in the fridge, and try to use within 5 to 7 days.

Olive Oil

When choosing olive oil for sauteing, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is your best buddy. In this healthy sauteed mushrooms recipe, we want to truly maximise flavour – and when it comes to whole food, that means maximising nutrition.

Extra-virgin olive oil is loaded with beneficial antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.

Always try to get some in a dark container, optimally glass or metal (although plastic is fine), and that hasn’t been kept right in the light.

You’ll want to store it in a cupboard, away from direct heat and light. This prevents any oxidisation and preserves its quality.

I’ve personally only used organic olive oil once or twice, however. If you can get your hands on it, you’ll be in for a treat. And of course, it’s better for the planet. 🙂

Really, are Sauteed Mushrooms Healthy?

The Many Health Benefits of Mushrooms!

Mushrooms are a diverse group of fungi, with many varieties and even more health benefits! Whilst not all mushrooms are edible, the kinds that you find in supermarkets are perfectly safe. This recipe works best with white button mushrooms, but feel free to mix things up.

As covered in our article all about mushrooms (see below), they are low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients. Typical macronutrients per 100g of white mushrooms are 22 calories, 3-4g protein, 2-3g carbohydrates, and 0.3g fat.

Did you know that they will also provide B-vitamins? B1, B2, B3, and B9, all found in mushrooms (especially vitamin B2 and B3), play important roles in efficient metabolism, supporting the heart, boosting the nervous system, and helping with proper development and growth.

Another fun fact is that mushrooms are one of the few dietary vegetarian sources of vitamin D. They certainly shouldn’t be relied on to reach the daily values, providing about 3% per 100g (and D2 as opposed to the easily-absorbed D3 found in animal products), but are still contributory. You can get mushrooms grown under UV lighting in most supermarkets which provide even more vitamin D!

Mushrooms also contain considerable amounts of selenium, potassium, copper, and pantothenic acid. These essential minerals contribute to many impressive health benefits of mushrooms, such as:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Fighting free radicals
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Aiding hormone regulation
  • Supporting bone health
  • Fighting cancer
  • And more…

Read > Why Are Mushrooms Good For You? Are they MAGIC (wait…)?

Why are mushrooms good for you? Health benefits of mushrooms reduce inflammation, boost immunity with minerals and vitamins

What About Fats? Aren’t They Bad?

This recipe uses Olive Oil which is rich in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, another good option. Click Here to Discover Olive Oil’s Health Benefits. Don’t be afraid to use other healthy fats, though.

Maybe you’ve heard that sauteing is unhealthy. Or that frying is. Or even that using fats like saturated fats is! Untrue. All of it. If you’ve been led to believe this, there are a couple of likely reasons.

The first one, especially if you’ve been told that saturated fats are bad for you, is outdated misinformation. Research overwhelmingly now shows saturated fats are important for overall health and may actually protect our hearts (^)(^)(^)(^).

For cooking, saturated fats are the most stable.

Secondly, you’re worried about calories. If you are trying to maintain a calorie deficit, for example, it may be tempting to avoid fats. I understand – it provides 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 for carbs or protein.

However, this is not the way to go and may cause adverse health effects (^). Fat is important for all healthy diets, aiding in metabolism, nervous system health, heart health, and much more. Besides, mushrooms are low in calories!

So sit back, relax! Enjoy your sauteed mushrooms as part of a balanced diet.

Healthy Sauteed Mushroom Recipe

This is a perfect mushroom recipe for weight loss, especially if you want to add some quality protein alongside it.

That’s it! A 15 minute, easy healthy sauteed mushrooms recipe. That’s not all I’m going to give you though. You know me better than that!

Here are some creative ideas – maybe you’ll fancy something different! Sure, a sauteed mushroom side dish as above is great, but it’s not limited. Why not try one of these (out more) out!

Healthy Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe - healthy recipe served with sweet potato, herbs, and spices

What Goes Well with Mushrooms? Some Food for Thought

Sweet Potato and Mushrooms

Sweet Potato pairs amazingly with umami-rich ingredients, which is why it’s so great for chilis, soups, and roasts!

Mushrooms, naturally an excellent plant source of this flavour therefore go hand-in-hand. When I had this recently, I served it on microwave-baked sweet potato (cooled and reheated), and enjoyed with sardines and goat’s yoghurt!

The photo above shows this pairing for you all.

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette

Naturally, this makes an excellent keto mushroom omelette, providing healthy fats and protein. Eggs are a superfood beyond doubt – particularly when pastured (US) and organic (EU), and cheese makes any breakfast better!

This way of cooking them is higher in calories, but mushrooms are naturally very low in calories.

Try sauteing mushrooms and cracking a few whisked eggs in for the last couple of minutes. Maybe throw in some diced tomato and herbs. Finally, sprinkle with cheese and let it melt – goat’s cheese and mushrooms are blissful – and season with black pepper.

Healthy Mushroom Sauce for Steak

A mushroom sauce isn’t as difficult as it seems! Especially if you’ve got some broth around. I use my slow cooker to make Bone Broth very often – it’s great for cooking, sipping, and your health.

To make this simple mushroom sauce, use a saucepan or wok and start with the above – sauteing. Slice the mushrooms thinly for best results, and use fresh garlic (crushed or diced). Also, omit the chili flakes for a traditional flavour.

You’ll want to add a little more cooking fat – butter is most suitable, olive oil’s still good. Reduce the mushrooms until golden.

Add a cup of broth, and stir in about a tablespoon of coconut flour to thicken. Bring to a boil, and simmer over low heat until desired texture. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot over some juicy steak!

That’s All!

To conclude, mushrooms are extremely healthy, versatile, and easy to cook with. This delightfully healthy sauteed mushrooms recipe is sure to open up a whole new door to opportunities.

Savoury party food? How about a low calorie breakfast? You can even vary the ingredients and make it your own, or stick to the trusty guideline straight from us! I hope the last couple of ideas with inspire some creativity and get you creating new dishes to enjoy.

Comment below to share your recipe ideas, questions, or thoughts.

Until next time, stay healthy
James

Categories
Breakfast Recipes

Best Oatmeal Recipes for Breakfast – Favourite 5

Want something besides plain oats? They’re great, but it’s good to start the day with variety! Here are 5 of the Best Oatmeal Recipes for Breakfast.

Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast - Nutritious and Beneficial

There’s nothing better than a hearty and wholesome breakfast. Full stop. These recipes are some of my favourites.

In this article, we’ll explore options for everyone! From high-protein and savoury, to sweet (and sour!*), each of the 5 recipes ahead contains a variety of simple ingredients that you can make yourself at home or find in the supermarket.

I’ll be explaining just why these are so healthy, and you can decide for yourself which you like the most.

*If you read my last post, you’ll know plenty about the benefits of getting your daily oats in and the best possible way that we can enjoy them – fermented.

It’s how things used to be done. Maybe fermenting sounds odd, but trust me, you HAVE TO try it (it’s awesome and easy)!

I hope you enjoy!

Recipe 1 – The Protein Pack

Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast # 1

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Whole or steel-cut oats (preferably soaked or fermented) – 1 cup
  • Whole-fat Milk (or non-dairy substitute) – ½ or 2 cups
  • Eggs – 1 or 2
  • Chia Seeds – 1 tbsp
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  •  

Method:

  1. If using soaked or fermented oats, make sure to drain them first, then add ½ cup of milk per 1 cup of oats. Otherwise simply use a 2:1 ratio of milk to oats. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the eggs and pat dry. We are going to be boiling these, so using a thin skewer, carefully poke a small hole in the bottom of the egg at the larger side. This will prevent cracking.
  3. In a saucepan, boil the water.
  4. Add the eggs and boil the on high heat 1 minute.
  5. Turn the heat off and cover the saucepan. Leave for 6 minutes, and follow the next steps in the meantime.
  6. Microwave your oats for 2 – 3 minutes on full heat for soaked or fermented oats, or 5 – 6 minutes for raw. Alternatively, use the stovetop, stirring constantly until the desired texture is reached and add to the serving bowl.
  7. After the eggs have cooked for 6 minutes, pour the water out of the pan (keeping the eggs in using any necessary tool) and replace with cold water.
  8. At this point you can add your chia seeds and salt.
  9. Finally, carefully tap around the eggs with the back of the spoon the lightly to crack the shell, and peel.
  10. Add your eggs to the oats and voila! A creamy, yolky, and hearty breakfast in 10 minutes!

Extra tip:

Soak the chia seeds ideally for 12 hours to create a gel. This makes the nutrients in the seeds more bioavailable and adds a nicer texture.

This one not only packs a punch of protein, but also makes use of many minerals (Wha- yeah? Too much alliteration? Ah okay, I’ll stop…)

Its protein content comes primarily from eggs which makes this a savoury recipe, and if you decide to use dairy milk this will be boosted.

Furthermore, oats themselves are a fair protein source with an average of around 14% by dry weight. Aside from the other amazing benefits of oats (as covered in my last post) – which are plentiful, there is much loved about this recipe!

High-protein:

The main ingredients in this all contribute to protein intake. Oats and chia seeds both consist of about 14% protein by weight.

Also, on average, one large egg will contain 6-7 grams of protein, and if using pastured (/ free-range in UK) eggs this could be even higher.

Don’t forget milk either! For those that often exercise at least on a moderate level this will help you recover more efficiently and could improve performance. Furthermore, high-protein diets improve bone density, can aid metabolism, and aid in weight loss. For those looking to lose weight this recipe has another bonus: eggs naturally increase satiety and curb hunger!


Immune and nervous systems:

Eggs contain a fair selenium content which is essential for a healthy immune system. The vitamin A (and related zeaxanthin and lutein) content of eggs is also beneficial here, as they support the immune system and nervous system (particularly eye health).

Not only this, but these superfoods contain amounts of nearly every mineral and vitamin that we require!

Another contributing factor is the chia seeds, which are rich in antioxidants. Needless to say, this recipe is also highly anti-inflammatory.

The beneficial effects of beta-glucans also support the immune system, and these healthy fibres are naturally present in oats! Let’s see what else they do…

Heart Healthy:

Oats contain a high amount of fibre – specifically beta-glucan. This soluble fibre is extremely healthy for the heart.

It reduces LDL cholesterol levels, lowers insulin response, and reduces blood sugar. 

Next, I have to talk about eggs. It’s a common misconception that eggs are bad for our hearts.

This is due to multiple misunderstandings and myths promoted by the modern medical system as well as by those who have been told them.

Fortunately, more and more people are realising the truth about nutrition and health today. Eggs actually improve cholesterol profile in most people.

Not only do they raise beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, they make the particles of some LDL cholesterol (which can be potentially harmful) larger. This allows the cholesterol to function efficiently rather than causing damage.

Chia seeds also may benefit heart health due to their high fibre and omega-3 levels.

Brain Boosting:

Choline found in eggs is excellent for the brain, as are protein and the omega-3s found in chia seeds! In particular, choline is essential for aiding in brain development, memory, and mental health!

Recipe 2 – Chocolate Crunch

Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast # 2

Prep time: 3-6 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Whole or steel-cut oats (preferably soaked or fermented) – 1 cup
  • Whole-fat Milk (or non-dairy substitute) – ½ cup for soaked/fermented or 2 cups for raw
  • 2-4 squares of your favourite dark (80% +) low-sugar chocolate bar (I prefer Green & Blacks)
  • Nuts of your choice (best soaked, sprouted, or fermented) – 1 handful
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

  1. If using soaked or
    fermented oats, make sure to drain them first, then add ½ cup of milk
    per 1 cup of oats. Otherwise simply use a 2:1 ratio of milk to oats.
  2. Microwave your oats for 2 – 3 minutes on full heat for soaked or fermented oats, or 5 – 6 minutes for raw. Alternatively, use the stovetop, stirring constantly until the desired texture is reached and add to the serving bowl.
  3. Add your chocolate to melt (stir).
  4. Add the nuts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. ENJOY!

I actually had this yesterday (minus the salt and pepper)! It works amazingly with brazil nuts 🙂

Nuts:

Nuts are extremely nutritious and anti-inflammatory, and are valuable sources of plant protein and fat. The benefits of each nut differ, of course, but one thing they all have in common is their high mineral content. The most common minerals present in nuts are selenium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and more. These are all vital for the body to function healthily in many ways. Nuts also are abundant in antioxidants and fibre, which makes them brilliant for the immune system and heart health, and for reducing the risk of many diseases.

Now onto the exciting part for most – chocolate! Whilst it is no lie that the sugar-packed abominations sold in the high street are worse for health than many of us actually know, chocolate bars can be healthy.

When you can get one low in sugar (preferably below 10%) and high in cocoa (or cacao) and without artificial sweeteners, it won’t have to be cheat food per se. Of course, one without any added sugar is better, but finding them can be hard and making them even more so (but worth it). Instead, opt for the best one that you can find. As you eat a more natural diet, your tastebuds will detect natural sweetness in the chocolate anyway. The benefits of cocoa are vast and far-reaching, so here we will summarise some of the most notable: its flavonoids can greatly strengthen the cardiovascular system brain health – which is undoubtedly the reason that is known to promote a good mood! It also modulates blood sugar levels, and can increase HDL cholesterol whilst lowering LDL.

Recipe 3 – Avocad-oats

Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast #3

Prep time: 3-6 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Whole or steel-cut oats (preferably soaked or fermented) – 1 cup
  • Whole-fat Milk (or non-dairy substitute) – ½ cup for soaked/fermented or 2 cups for raw
  • Avocado – ½ in 2 quarters or 1 in 4
  • Full-fat Probiotic Yoghurt or Kefir – 1 to 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. If using soaked or
    fermented oats, make sure to drain them first, then add ½ cup of milk
    per 1 cup of oats. Otherwise simply use a 2:1 ratio of milk to oats.
  2. Microwave
    your oats for 2 – 3 minutes on full heat for soaked or fermented oats,
    or 5 – 6 minutes for raw. Alternatively, use the stovetop, stirring
    constantly until the desired texture is reached and add to the serving
    bowl.
  3. Using a sharp straight knife, slice the avocado in half lengthwise around the pit. Then slice each half into quarters horizontally around the pit to create 4 similar pieces. Peel each piece and discard the skin and pit (or keep for growing!).
  4. Add the desired amount of pieces of avocado into the oats.
  5. Add your extra probiotics.
  6. Dig in! You can use your spoon to slice the avocado into pieces in the bowl.

This recipe is the creamiest on this list and works greatly on a summer’s day when avocados are in their most optimum season for harvest. It’s simple and yet flavoursome and wholesome.

Benefits of Avocado:

Avocado is consumed extensively for its health properties, and has found itself in the spotlight of many trying to follow a healthy and nutritious diet. Just like all of the other recipes in this list, avocado is rich in fibre, which is great for gut and heart health, weight loss, and blood sugar. Additionally, it is a wonderful source of monosaturated fats (the same kind found in olive oil, specifically oleic acid omega-9 – making avocado and its oil also safe for cooking). In terms of its nutrients, here is some data about (california) hass avocado as per one average avocado (roughly 150 grams):

Avocado Nutrition Label - Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast

There is one correction I would like to make here: Most sources would agree that on average an avocado of this variety do actually contain 2 to 4% of the average RDA of vitamin A for an adult. Furthermore, a little note I would like to make is that avocados can increase vitamin A absorption by up to 4 times, so having it too often with vitamin A retinol sources (first found in animal products) is inadvisable, but this isn’t a concern for most.

Adding yoghurt or kefir will boost the calcium content as well as that of potassium, protein, and healthy fats. Another notable benefit is of course its supportive effect on gut health and the microbiome due to its probiotic properties and bacteria. This is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and brain health, and much more including stimulating and strengthening the immune system.

Recipe 4 – Fun and Fruity

Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast #4

Prep time: 3-6 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Whole or steel-cut oats (preferably soaked or fermented) – 1 cup
  • Whole-fat Milk (or non-dairy substitute) – ½ cup for soaked/fermented or 2 cups for raw
  • Kiwi – 1 fruit
  • Berries of your choice – 1 handful
  • Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (optional) – to taste

Method:

  1. If using soaked or
    fermented oats, make sure to drain them first, then add ½ cup of milk
    per 1 cup of oats. Otherwise simply use a 2:1 ratio of milk to oats.
  2. Microwave
    your oats for 2 – 3 minutes on full heat for soaked or fermented oats,
    or 5 – 6 minutes for raw. Alternatively, use the stovetop, stirring
    constantly until the desired texture is reached and add to the serving
    bowl.
  3. Using a sharp straight knife, slice the kiwi in half. Slice each half into quarters. Slice each quarter into 4 straight pieces. Add to oats.
  4. Add the berries.
  5. Season lemon or lime juice.

Kiwis:

These are very high in vitamin C which is great for immune system and is essential for building tissue, cartilage, and collagen within the body. They have over 100% of the recommended RDA per fruit on average.

The add to this, the small berries such as blueberries and raspberries are also very high in vitamin C (in fact, kiwis are technically a berry). This contributes to their potent anti-inflammatory power, as does the high antioxidants levels.

Antioxidants in berries have demonstrated anti-cancer properties and have been shown to support healthy brain function in multiple ways. Now isn’t that impressive for such a small creation of nature?

For an extra hint of flavour, or an alternative to lemon / lime juice, adding a little orange zest isn’t a bad idea!

Recipe 5 – Classic-inspired Savoury Porridge

Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast # 5

Prep time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Whole or steel-cut oats (preferably soaked or fermented) – 1 cup
  • Whole-fat Milk (or non-dairy substitute) – ½ cup for soaked/fermented or 2 cups for raw
  • Eggs – 1 to 2
  • Yeast Extract (Marmite) – 1 teaspoon
  • Virgin Coconut Oil – 1 teaspoon or tablespoon (preference)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper. (Black Himalayan rock salt works best)

Method:

  1. If using soaked or fermented oats, make sure to drain them first, then add ½ cup of milk per 1 cup of oats. Otherwise simply use a 2:1 ratio of milk to oats. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the eggs and pat dry. Once again, carefully poke a small hole in the bottom of the egg at the larger side using a thin skewer. This will prevent cracking.
  3. In a saucepan, boil the water.
  4. Add the eggs and boil the on high heat 1 minute.
  5. Turn the heat off and cover the saucepan. Leave for 6 minutes, and follow the next steps in the meantime.
  6. Microwave your oats for 2 – 3 minutes on full heat for soaked or fermented oats, or 5 – 6 minutes for raw. Alternatively, use the stovetop, stirring constantly until the desired texture is reached and add to the serving bowl.
  7. Stir in your yeast extract and coconut oil, making sure to mix them in well!
  8. When the eggs have cooked for 6 minutes, pour the water out of the pan (keeping the eggs in using any necessary tool) and replace with cold water. Alternatively you can place your eggs in ice water. Let them cool quickly.
  9. Finally, carefully tap around the eggs with the back of the spoon the lightly to crack the shell, and peel.
  10. Split open your egg, and let the yolk into your oats!
  11. Dig in!

Bonus Tips!

Recently, I’ve taken to lightly frying the egg white and putting the yolk in raw.

As the yolk warms with the oats, it develops a rich caremalised flavour, and the white is easier to break up this way. Only do this with eggs vaccinated against salmonella (UK – British Lion Mark).

For more savoury oatmeal recipes, why not take a look at these ‘3 IRRESISTIBLE Oatmeal with Cheese Recipes’!

Yeast Extract:

Despite being a bit of a “love it or hate it” food, yeast extract has some impressive benefits!

First and foremost, it is an excellent source of protein – and complete protein at that. This makes it a go-to for non-meat eaters.

They provide 18 amino acids, comprising over 50% of this delicious spread’s content!

Additionally, yeast extract – almost always fortified – can provide six different B-vitamins, which are important for the immune system, proper growth, organ health, and metabolism. Oftentimes you will find these vitamins added in, boosting the amounts.

Beneficial minerals also found in yeast extract include selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, and phosphorus!

One study has even found that it may be beneficial in improving chronic fatigue, stimulating the immune system, and reducing inflammation! How’s that for a side product of fermentation!

About the recipe! It’s worth a try…

This recipe is a recent of mine that I thought I’d come and add here!

I have to admit, when I first tried yeast extract without I was a little unsure. However, I quickly found that it works more than well and pairs excellently with other classic breakfast foods.

It is high in protein and has all of the benefits of eggs! We cover some of those benefits in our healthiest foods for longevity list. If you want to know more about eggs, it’s a great place to have a look!

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this recipe, and please comment below if you try it. It’s definitely worth a taste and is a healthy, easy, and even classic breakfast… Or at least I think so!

So, What Have We Learned Here?

(… Well, apart from how to make an awesome breakfast!)

I hope you have learnt at least a little about the benefits of oats, and as I said before you can always check out my last post for more information.

We also discussed eggs in a fair amount of detail, and I’m sure some of you would have been surprised to read that they don’t actually raise our bad cholesterol levels! Trust me, they’re worth including in your diet (mostly if you can get pastured/free-range)… unless you have any intolerence.

Everyone is different after all, so it’s important to eat what is best for you specifically.

Also, we got to cover some helpful nutrition facts about nuts, avocados, chocolate, probiotics such as yoghurt, and fruits such as kiwis and berries, and the tremendous benefits that each of these can have!

See that list? Being healthy is fun (and easy)! And we’re only getting started in this post of the ‘Best Oatmeal Recipes For Breakfast’. So if you enjoyed this, maybe you would enjoy my other posts. Stick around for more 🙂

Thank you everyone for reading, let me know what you thought and if you have any feedback please do share! Did you like these recipes? How do you usually have your oats?

Until the next one, stay healthy

James

Categories
Breakfast Fermenting & Preserving Ingredients / Other Recipes

How To Ferment Oats – A Probiotic Recipe

Oats contain antinutrients, and you wan’t rid of ’em! This recipe lets me maximise nutrient content, probiotics, and flavour… Read on and discover how!


morning breakfast oats traditional healthy oatmeal with fruit and nuts

Helloat there! Wow I couldn’t have started this in any better way, huh? Moving on… Today, we ‘re going to discover how to ferment oats.

Oats have made big news in the world of nutrition, including their fame for fueling athletes.

For a long time, people have savoured them as a healthy part of their diet (even daily). I am one such person.

I LOVE oats!!! As a kid, most people will have memories of growing up eating them as porridge or oatmeal, and that applies to me too. I remember the times before school when I would wake up with a warming bowl of oats on a winter’s morn.

That was always nice…

Now it’s even better. Fermented oatmeal (it’s better than it sounds) makes a much tastier and healthier traditional meal! You’ll be saying the same after this.

Why to Eat More Oats!

These delicious grains contain a host of wonderful health benefits and are a great source of fibre, complex carbohydrates, protein, and even healthy fats. Studies have shown their brilliant potential for nutritional health benefits.

Nutritionally they are very rich in minerals, most notably magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, but also iron, copper, and zinc. This is amazing for proper growth, healthy organs, immune function, detoxification, blood sugar control, lowering LDL cholesterol, lowering inflammation, and much much more!

Not only that but they are good sources of fibres such as beta-glucans, antioxidants and vitamins B1, B5, and B9.

Most of the time, people stick to “instant oats”, you know the ones that come in packets (or boxes) that you mix with a little milk and microwave for 2 minutes?

Well I used to too… Until I started to dive into the deep sea of study on nutrition.

For most people, these instant oats are a healthier alternative food for breakfast. And compared to something like pancakes or biscuits they certainly are.

However, eating oats in this way in large quantities has its drawbacks, and today you will discuss why that is and a very easy workaround. This wholegrain recipe will open a world of flavour and nutrition, give it a try.

The ‘Original’ Oats – A Humble History

It is thought that the earliest cultivated oats came from what is present-day Switzerland during the period of the Bronze Age. That’s at least over 3,000 years ago!

Since that time they have travelled the seven seas, become dietary staples and gained cultural significance across the world.

Thankfully, despite high amounts of unsaturated fats, oats naturally have a lengthy shelf life due to the presence of antioxidants. These include antioxidants such as Avenanthramides and Phenolic Acids. These protect the fats from oxidation (and thus distortion).

In the days before instant oats, it was common wisdom (and in fact written on the early oat boxes) to soak oats at least overnight before consuming them. And in fact this has seen a resurgence recently. This increases digestibility, nutrition, and creates a slightly more wholesome and tasty meal.

Some of you might already know why this is, but in the next part I’ll be explaining why fermenting your oats is a much more nutritious way of preparing them with many added benefits.

Knowing how to ferment oats is also a great skill for other similar fermentation processes.

Fermented Oats – Why Ferment as Opposed to Eat Raw?

For beginner, easy things to ferment, there isn’t a much better starting place!

As I said, many people soak their oats overnight with the intention of increasing digestibility and nutrition. This popular meal is known as “overnight oats”.

Whilst these overnight oats are better than raw, oftentimes the intended benefits are not as effective as we would like.

This is especially true of overnight oats soaked in the refrigerator, where the temperatures actually inhibit the actions we want!

In short, the reason that soaking oats is beneficial is due to the reduction of so-called “anti-nutrients”. These inhibit our natural digestive processes and in high amounts may be related to several adverse effects.

The main concern is ‘phytic acid‘. This is a chemical compound stored in plant seeds with two main purposes:

  1. To provide the seedling of a plant with energy and phosphorus.
  2. And the other is to protect the seed’s stored fats, proteins, and nutrients. 

It does so by binding to minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium, thereby strengthening and toughening the seed. This way, it will not be broken down fully if ingested by many animals.

This binding prevents the absorption of these minerals during digestion.

The thought process behind soaked oats is that the naturally present enzyme phytase will be “activated” and break down the phytic acid. I went into more detail on this subject in my last post about Why to Soak Nuts if you are interested.

Oats, however, have a very low level of this enzyme naturally present within them.

So the people soaking oats by themselves, without the addition of a high-phytase (and even probiotic) food source like apple cider vinegar, rye flour, or whey will achieve little nutritional result. And even those that do, will often store their oats in the fridge for the duration of the process, which will strongly prevent enzyme activity.

The key: aim for sourdough oats. This means fermented, much like traditional flour!

Since I’ve known how to ferment oatmeal, I’ve never looked back. The flavour is so much more complex, as is the nutrition – it really is great!

What Fermentation Does, in a Nutshell!

To truly boost the nutrition of oats is to take things a step further by fermenting. Trust me, it’s very easy! This will produce an amazing yeasty, slightly sour flavour and a creamy texture.

The fermentation process will not only allow for high levels of phytase activity, but it will also encourage the activity of many beneficial bacteria naturally present on the oats.

These bacteria will feast on the starches and sugars in the oats. They are vital for a healthy immune system, and for the microbiome (this is the collection of trillions of bacteria and enzymes – our gut flora – present largely in our digestive system).

A healthy microbiome is important in allowing us to break down food and produce healthy biological compounds, absorb nutrients, prevent infection, modulate mood and aid in brain health, and much more.

P.S. There is an entire developing field of science and study dedicated to the microbiome and I highly suggest you read about it. It’s very fascinating!

The beneficial bacteria in fermentation are what we refer to as ‘probiotics’.

Probiotics are living microorganisms which provide us with many health benefits when ingested! They feed on so-called prebiotics’ for fuel, and as luck would have it, oats are loaded with these! Prebiotics are mostly insoluble fibre.

What’s more, other antinutrients such as amylase inhibitors’ will be reduced by fermentation. That’s great news for us!

This is where we find out about the two different recipe methods most commonly used to ferment oats. Each takes about 5 minutes of work in total.

Great! Now let’s see just how to ferment oats…

Tips for How to Get Started

Fermenting oats is something that I used to do practically every day. I will eat my oats often between 10am and 12pm, or whenever have my body tells me that I’m hungry, and set some more on the shelf for the next 2 or 3 days to ferment.

If you want to eat oats regularly, this is a good way to go about it.

Because of this, I’ll sometimes be using two bowls and two small tea dishes to cover them. Some people prefer to use jam or preserve jars covered with a tea towel or cheesecloth in a dark place, and really it’s down to your preference.

Method 1 – The Wild Method

The first way how to ferment oats it’s very easy. This is the method that I use the most as I personally prefer the results that it yields, and also find this easier and cheaper.

I’d recommend using a water filter for the best results, but it’s not required.

The reason I call this ‘The Wild Method’ elaborates on step 5 above. By allowing a natural flow of air, not only wild yeasts present on the oats, but also in the air will lend a hand in fermentation.

Another important reason for allowing a flow of air is that as the bacteria digests the starches and sugars in the oats they will produce carbon dioxide. This is the gas which will cause bubbles on the surface of the water and it will need a way to escape the container so pressure doesn’t build up.

Can Yeast Ferment Starch? Will this Lower Carbohydrates?

Wild yeasts feed off of glucose, primarily. This means that the starches (complex carbohydrates) in oats are not broken down by yeast directly.

However, this does not mean that the carbohydrate content won’t decrease.

During the early stages of fermentation, enzymes break down carbohydrates into more readily available forms (sugars) such as glucose and fructose. This leads to a temporary increase in sugar content.

Notice I said temporary. It gets more interesting now, because towards the end of the first 24-hour period, the beneficial bacteria start to feed off of this and the overall carbohydrate content decreases.

Over longer periods, more of the free sugars will naturally be used up.

This effect has been observed in multiple studies(^), such as This One on Pearl Millet.

All the while, antinutrients are being reduced, and the amount of nutrition we can absorb is being boosted. This means a better source of proteins, minerals, and vitamins.

So can yeast ferment starch? Not directly, but in these fermented oats they play an important role in nutrient composition.

Once Again, This Will Not Work without Dechlorinated Water…

The easiest way to achieve this (and healthier, fresher water in general, is with a water filter). Here’s our guide to the best water filters for every purpose – from kitchen countertop to portable, and more between.

Boost Your Fermentation (and Water Quality) > The Top Water Filters For Drinking Water – Top 5 For Every Purpose!*

*(P.S. Here are my #1 and #2 recommendations).

Method 2 – Lacto-Fermentation

Our second method when knowing how to ferment oats depends on a probiotic source to kickstart the fermentation process.

This means beneficial strains of bacteria are used, as you’ll see.

This method makes use of the live bacteria (namely of the genus Lactobacillus) present in the yoghurt, kefir, or buttermilk.

These bacteria are renown for their benefits to gut health and are used extensively in many fermented food products. This is where we get the term “lacto-fermentation”. They are also often present naturally on the surfaces of vegetables and fruits.

These lacto fermented oats will have a more tangy flavour than those from the other method. This is simply a consequence of the ingredients and is quite a pleasant flavour for most.

You may even like to refrigerate the oats the day or night before you eat them. That way, you can enjoy them chilled, much like you might sour cream (and yes, they will be creamy)!

Food Safety: How to Ferment Oats Safely

Enjoying the wonderful creations we can produce through fermentation is extremely rewarding. As such, we want to do it right.

There are a couple of safety points that are important to keep in mind when making oats this way. To prevent any unwelcome bacteria, and spot when things aren’t right, here’s what to know:

  1. Use clean equipment. You don’t want to use anything that you haven’t washed first, as this could cause cross-contamination. Wash bowls and spoons (etc.) beforehand.
  2. Use your senses. If the scent or taste is not pleasantly yeasty and slightly sour – and especially if it is unpleasant and not as described – discard the batch and try again.
    This could be a bad sign of unwelcome bacteria that we do not want to be eating!
  3. Look out for mould. If you see any mould or suspected mould (this could be any colour), do not simply scrape it off and eat the oats, as mould has roots.
    Discard the batch and try again.
    You may get some starches or yeasts from the oats rise to the surface of the water, producing an extremely thin filmy layer. Check the recipe images for examples. This is perfectly safe. It should not look “fluffy” or resemble mould in any way!*
  4. Don’t be discouraged. A ferment going wrong happens to almost everyone who does it often at least once.
    It will likely be fine, but should you have to restart, take it as a learning experience and don’t give up! These oats are delicious, healthy, and well worth the effort.

*(Take a look at the recipe photos – the thin layer on top is after 3 days, and is what the starch / yeast may look like)

Remember the above, and as long as you keep your oats submerged, there shouldn’t be any problems.

How to Eat Fermented Oatmeal – Recipes and Suggestions!

When you are ready to try your newfound amig-oats (yes I did), you can simply drain them, add your favourite healthy ingredients, and enjoy! Also, you can add a little milk or water and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Easy!

You don’t even have to cook them, and can enjoy a nice chilled breakfast. More on that in a bit…

As for recipes – the only limit is your imagination! … Okay, and maybe what ingredients you actually have.

I personally am I massive fan of savoury oatmeal. You can literally use oats just like other grains, even rice or pasta; it’s a dreamy food combination that so many miss out on!

How do you eat savoury oats? Here are ‘3 IRRESISTIBLE Savoury Oatmeal with Cheese Recipes’ to get you started!

If you prefer to mix in more typical foods like fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate, etc., don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Take a look at my ‘5 Best Oatmeal Recipes for Breakfast’!

Eat Them “Raw” for More Probiotics!

For those who’ve ever wondered how to eat oats without cooking, this is the perfect method.

Oftentimes I have my oats half uncooked and then heat the rest. This is because heating / microwaving will kill the bacteria, so the benefits are reduced.

However, studies have shown that even dead probiotic bacteria benefit our immune system).

If you want to do this often, whenever you eat the oats, set some more for fermentation and mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of the previous batch to kick-start the process!

Don’t think this is all there is to fermented oats, though. I’ve prepared mine in so many fun and creative ways that work wonderfully and most probably wouldn’t even think of (see above for examples).

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Summary How-To for Fermenting Oats

  1. Grind your oats if whole (at least coarsely).

    This can be done using a coffee grinder, but just as effectively with a pestle and mortar, or the end of a rolling pin. This step helps to release the starches from inside the oats. Pestle and mortar Step 1 grind your oats - How To Ferment Oats - A Probiotic Recipe

  2. Add the ingredients.

    Pour your oats into the container that you will be using. Next, pour the dechlorinated water in with the oats, making sure to submerge them fully. Only do this after making sure that your water is cooled to a lukewarm or room temperature (or possibly warmed if you Use a Filter). Add the 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or substitute).
    oats, apple cider vinegar, water step 2 add the ingredients - How To Ferment Oats - A Probiotic Recipe

  3. Cover the container.

    Cover the container with a cloth or loosely with a small dish. You want to make sure that a little air can get in and out. Remember, you should use ceramic, china, stainless steel 316, glass (but keep in a dark place), or Polycarbonate, PP, HDPE, or LDPE Plastic containers only. steps 3 and 4 cover container and set aside - bowl with small dish / plate

  4. Finally, leave to stand.

    Leave to stand (preferably somewhere warm) for 1-3 days. This will depend on your climate – a warmer environment is more ideal for fermentation. Stir once or twice a day. You’ll know it’s ready when it takes on a yeasty and sour scent and produces bubbles.

  5. Check for safety!

    If the scent or taste is not pleasantly yeasty and slightly sour – and especially if it is unpleasant and not as described – discard the batch and try again. This could be a bad sign of unwelcome bacteria that we do not want to be eating!

    If you see any mould or suspected mould (this could be any colour) DO NOT simply scrape it off and eat the oats as mould has roots. Discard the batch and try again. You may get some starches or yeasts from the oats rise to the surface of the water, producing an extremely thin filmy layer. This is perfectly safe. It should not look “fluffy” or resemble mould in any way!
    sour oats fermented for 3 days - fermenting oats in bowl


Have you ever soaked or fermented your oatmeal before? Let me know of your experiences, or if you tried this, how did you find it? 🙂

I hope to have given you some insight into the world of probiotics, and that these recipes work well for your new ventures!

If you enjoyed this and learned something new about how to ferment oats, you might also enjoy our other posts.

Until the next one, stay healthy

James

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