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Is Oatmeal Vegan? Here’s What You Need To Know About Oatmeal In 2023
Whether it’s for weight loss, heart health, or personal beliefs, you may have decided to go vegan. And to stick to your vegan diet, you’ll need to eat plenty of plant-based proteins, fiber, and healthy fats to satisfy you.
You’ll also want to think about which vegan foods are healthiest. And when you think about tasty whole grains and breakfast options, you might wonder, “Is oatmeal vegan?”
Read on to learn which types of oats are vegan and how to include them in your diet.
Is Oatmeal Vegan Friendly?
Yes, oatmeal is vegan-friendly because it contains no animal sources. Oatmeal is a grain that can only be non-vegan when ingredients like milk, sugar, honey, or cream are added.
If you’re vegan, you can add more flavor and nutrients to your oatmeal with ingredients like agave syrup, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and fruit.
Can Vegans Eat Oatmeal?
Vegans can eat oatmeal, as whole grains are an encouraged part of a plant-based diet.
Additionally, whole grains, like oatmeal, can add nutrients usually lacking in the vegan diet, such as iron and zinc. Fortified oat beverages can also be used as a non-dairy substitute for milk, and as an alternative source of vitamin D.
When Is Oatmeal Not Vegan?
Oatmeal is no longer vegan once non-vegan ingredients are added, like milk and butter, which are usually added to boost flavor. For example, some sugar is bleached and refined with bone char, which comes from animal sources, so it shouldn’t be added to your oatmeal. In addition to milk, butter, and sugar, oatmeal is not vegan-friendly when honey is included.
Ideas For Preparing Your Oatmeal
If you want to boost the flavor of your oatmeal, try adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to your delicious bowl of oats. If you ordinarily like honey in your oatmeal, try using maple syrup or agave syrup as plant-based substitutes. Almond butter is also a nice vegan food to mix in your oatmeal to amplify the texture and taste.
Not only can your bowl of plain oatmeal be elevated with spices, but you can also bring it to life by adding fruits like bananas or blueberries. This can reduce the reliance on popular brands that sell flavored oatmeal, like strawberries and cream. You can also try your hand at vegan oatmeal recipes, including those with plant-based yogurts consisting of soy, oats, or flaxseed.
To keep your oatmeal servings from boring, add crumbled vegan meal replacement bars on top of your oatmeal. If you like making smoothies with oats, you can mix green powders in if you want to play around with the taste. Green powders could also be mixed into a savory oat recipe to enjoy late in the evening or at dinner.
You’ll also have to look for sneaky sugars and other possible additives in packaged vegan foods. Additives might be a common issue with health food delivery services, so you may want to try a tailored vegan meal delivery service.
What Is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a whole-grain, fiber-rich food made from oats. There are various ways to make oatmeal, such as steel-cut or rolled oat grains. It’s commonly eaten as a breakfast food but is a versatile source of protein and fiber that can be eaten anytime.
Oatmeal Nutrition Benefits
The addition of whole-grain oats to your diet will provide protein, polyunsaturated fats, antioxidants, and fiber. Key nutrients are supplied, which can help you to cut out animal-based products without losing the nutritive value of your diet.
Oatmeal contains the following:
- A substantial source of macronutrients, protein, and fiber-rich carbs.
- B vitamin complex and vitamin E.
- Minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Phytonutrients and polyphenols.
These nutritional benefits can lead to many health benefits that positively mediate conditions like diabetes and support the adequate function of the gut and heart.
Other benefits include the following:
- Improves blood sugar control.
- Promotes satiety and weight management.
- Helps reduce cholesterol.
- Improves gut function.
Varieties Of Oatmeal
You can cook or enjoy the groats raw, paired with a non-dairy milk source. Its lengthy digestion time can curb your appetite and keep you feeling full for longer.
One type of oat that is great for your diet is steel-cut oats. Steel disks are used to cut pieces of the entire oat kernel. This is one of the least processed types with a high fiber content. If you enjoy the creamy consistency of porridge, steel-cut oats are the perfect preparation. These oats need a longer cook time, so you can put these in the slow cooker as you start your morning routine.
If you don’t have much time to prepare breakfast in the morning, rolled oats may be your better choice. Oat groats are rolled flat and steamed for more convenient cooking, making rolled oats one of the quickest to cook. But one downside may be that most of the bran was removed. This means it contains less fiber than steel-cut oats.
Rolled oats can also be used to make overnight oats. A common way to do this is to soak the oats in milk. You can use plant-based milk and yogurt, like oat, coconut, almond, or soy, for a vegan diet.
Quick oats are rolled oat that has been rolled even flatter compared to rolled oats and steamed. These oats are rolled very thin and cut into very small pieces.
Quick oats also have a very soft texture. Adding some apple slices, or topping the oatmeal off with your nut of choice, like almonds or pistachios, can help bring some crunch to your eating experience.
Instant oats are a convenient option for those in a hurry. All you need is hot water and a microwave to cook these oats.
While some instant oatmeal selections are enriched by adding B vitamins and iron, many instant products are loaded with added sugar and contain less fiber than the other oat preparations. They also have a higher glycemic index, which raises your blood sugar quickly because they’re more processed and digested faster.
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Whether you enjoy it at breakfast or for a snack, oatmeal is a great option for vegans, and it’s high in nutrients like fiber and vitamin E. You can also amplify the benefits of vegan food by adding toppings such as fruit, almond butter, and walnuts.
You have oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats to choose from when making your oatmeal. Choosing oat groats when you can is recommended, as this form is not as processed as the others and therefore contains more nutrients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Oats are vegetarian, as they derive from a plant source. Additionally, unlike vegans, a vegetarian would possibly include dairy products like milk in their oatmeal and add butter or honey to the oatmeal if they choose.
Yes, it’s a grain and possesses some protein. One cup of cooked oatmeal has approximately five grams of protein.
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