This creamy coconut milk oatmeal recipe with citrus proves that oats can taste amazing. It’s low in calories, great for meal prep and vegan!
Is there anything better than a warm and hearty bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning? Maybe one that is creamy with coconut milk, maple syrup and a hint of citrus! This steel cut oatmeal recipe is completely vegan and so easy to prep ahead of time that you will even have time for a luxurious breakfast before an early morning workout or running out the door for work.
Which type of oat is healthiest?
Take a walk down the cereal aisle, and you’ll likely end up staring confusedly at all the different types of oats. Between steel cut, instant, old fashioned and quick cook, the amount of choices can be overwhelming.
Something I’m always asked is which type of oat is the healthiest. This is actually a trick question because they are really all the same! The only difference in the types of oats is the way it’s processed, which results in different cooking times and textures. All oats are 100% whole grain, a good source of fiber and have the same calories, fiber and protein per serving.
Different types of oats
There are four main types of oats. Each has the same nutrition properties, but a different texture and cooking time. Here’s a breakdown of each:
- Old Fashioned Oats: These are also called rolled oats because they are made by flattening and rolling the groat. They cook in about 5-10 minutes on the stove top or microwave and have a soft but slightly chewy texture. Old fashioned oats are often used in energy bites, cookies, pancakes and granola bars.
- Quick Cook Oats : These oats are rolled oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces, so they cook in just one minute. They are smooth and soft, and you can make them in the microwave.
- Instant Oats: These are individually packed quick cook oats that just need water to be ready to eat. Many versions of instant oats come packed with added sugar, so make sure you read the label and look for other ingredients.
- Steel Cut: These are made by chopping the groat into smaller pieces, but not flattening them. They are the least processed, so they take 30+ minutes to cook and have a chewy texture.
What is the nutrition profile of oats?
One cup of oatmeal contains about 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oatmeal is rich in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.
The fiber in whole grain oats makes them a really nutritious way to start your morning. First, fiber helps control blood sugar and hunger levels throughout the morning, meaning that a bowl of oatmeal will keep you full for hours.
Oats also have a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan, which is associated with lowering cholesterol levels. And fiber is most known for its role in digestive health. Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is a fantastic way to stay regular and avoid constipation.
How to make steel cut oats?
Steel cut oats require more water and a longer cook time than other types of oats. Use a 3:1 water to steel cut oat ratio. Bring the water to a boil and add the oats. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
Is coconut milk good for you?
Although coconut milk is super creamy, tasty and luxurious, it’s also high in saturated fat. A diet rich in saturated fat has been linked to heart disease and obesity. So why would I ever include coconut milk in one of my recipes? Because everything in moderation!
The health benefits of oats and citrus far outweigh the risks of having a little bit of coconut milk. I personally like coconut milk because of the creaminess, taste and texture. And if you’re really opposed to coconut milk, feel free to use any other type of milk for an added creaminess.
Can I make substitutions to this recipe?
My answer to this question is almost always YES!
If you would prefer almond or dairy milk to coconut milk, go for it.
If you think blood oranges will taste better than clementines, be my guest.
If you prefer chopped nuts instead of chia seeds, by all means.
And if you want to use a different type of oat because it’s just easier, follow your heart!
How to make Creamy Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oatmeal
First things first, whip up a batch of steel cut oats using only water. Everything else in this recipe, including the coconut milk, is just a topping.
You can make a big batch of steel cut oats and eat them for multiple days in a row. Just pop them in the microwave with a tablespoon of water, microwave on high for 1 minute and then stir. Add the toppings when you’re ready to eat and enjoy!
Creamy Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oatmeal with Clementines
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup oats
- 4 clementines peeled
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup chia seeds
Bring water to a bowl and add oats. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
Divide the oatmeal among four bowls and top each with 1 clementine, 1 tablespoon of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.