Healthy Porridge Toppings
You can’t beat starting the day with a warming bowl of porridge. Not only is it a nutritious breakfast with fibrous wholegrains that leave you fuller for longer, it’s also super tasty. The beauty of porridge is you can make it personal; you might like it fruity, you might like it sweet, you might like it with salty peanut butter flavours. Whatever your ideal bowl looks like, we’ve got a few healthy topping ideas you can use to create a tasty yet slimming friendly bowlful in the morning.
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Healthy fresh and frozen toppings
Not only do fresh, seasonal fruits bring the flavour, they also bring a welcome boost of vitamins and antioxidants that’ll start your day right. Porridge is such a versatile breakfast, you can experiment with all sorts of different fruity flavour combinations until you find the one that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
We’ve put together a few fresh (and frozen) porridge topping favourites, with their calories, to help you create a warming, healthy bowlful:
Bananas are one of our go-to porridge topping staples because they’re so quick and easy to slice up and they’re packed with potassium for only 89 calories.
To get even more flavour from your fruit, stir a few slices of banana into the pan with the oats as they warm up, then serve the rest of your cold banana slices on top. Bananas combine nicely with other fruity toppings, so try adding a few halved strawberries and a dollop of fat-free natural yoghurt for a refreshing, creamy brekkie.
If you’ve never tried popping your porridge in the oven, a bowl of baked oats is a real game-changer – especially where fruit is involved! A handful of fresh raspberries and blueberries packs in fibre and plenty of vitamins for less than 100 calories.
Berries can be a little pricey when they’re out of season, but using budget-friendly frozen berries works just as well in baked oat recipes like our Lemon and Blueberry Baked Oats.
You might be tempted to defrost your berries first, but we’ve found you get better results if you stir them in while still frozen – that way, your mixture won’t be too wet when it goes in the oven.
When we’re baking oats, we use fat-free natural yoghurt instead of milk to prevent our oats from turning watery. For preparing porridge on the hob, experimenting with different kinds of non-dairy milk – soya, coconut, almond – is an easy way to cut some calories.
Calories may vary from brand to brand, so be sure to double-check any calories if you are counting. We’ve used Alpro’s nutritional information for the table below.
From apple pie to carrot cake to bakewell tarts, flavouring your porridge can be an opportunity to work your favourite sweet treat combos into your healthy morning routine. For example, our Bakewell Baked Oats recipe combines indulgent vanilla and almond-flavoured oats with a cherry jam centre for just 431 calories. How’s that for a sweet start to the day?
It’s not just about borrowing fruity flavours from the dessert menu either. Our Carrot Cake Baked Oats gives any spare carrots a new lease of life by shredding them into the mix (for an additional 16 calories per 40g!), alongside signature ginger, cinnamon and vanilla flavourings.
Healthy store cupboard toppings
With a drizzle of honey, a sprinkling of sweetener or a touch of spice, you can instantly level up your porridge bowl using everyday store cupboard ingredients.
By adding just one – or a combination – of our staple picks below, you can create a tasty bowl of oats with or without fresh ingredients involved.
Jars of peanut butter and Nutella will not let you down when you fancy adding some indulgence with a scoop. For mornings where you’re short on time, a freezer-friendly recipe like our Nutella Baked Oats is just the ticket.
We’d top with some crunchy toasted hazelnuts too, to keep the nutty vibes going! Just be sure to count any additional calories if you’re keeping track.
If you love the idea of a chocolatey brekkie without Nutella calories, you can always use a drizzle of Choc Shot flavouring instead. Choc Shot is available in a variety of flavours and it’s handy to have in for brownies too!
Our tasty cake-like Chocolate Orange Baked Oats recipe (who doesn’t want cake for breakfast?) is only 348 calories per serving and bursting with zesty orange flavouring, thanks to 2 tsp of Chocolate Orange Choc Shot.
You can also make Goldilocks jealous with another common store cupboard item: granola. With a tablespoon or 2 of granola covering your porridge, every bite will have a healthy, satisfying crunch to it. Some granola brands can be quite high in calories, so be sure to look out for a low sugar alternative.
Healthy overnight oats toppings
Overnight oats are the definition of convenient breakfast times. You can leave oats to soak for around 12 hours in the fridge until they’re just right, without the need for heat. It’s an extra-nutritious way to enjoy porridge, as your oats will release even more fibre and soak up plenty of protein from the yoghurt.
Yet another dessert-inspired porridge recipe, you’ll love waking up to a jarful of our Tiramisu Overnight Oats. With a sweetened coffee and vanilla oat layer at the base and a chia seed and yoghurt topping, it’ll definitely leave you feeling satisfied and ready to take on the day.
We use kilner jars to prepare our overnight oats because they seal nicely and you can see how your oats are doing, but you can use just about anything that’ll fasten tight – a lunchbox with a lid or even a dish covered with cling film will do the trick!
Our Slow Cooker Oats with Two Toppings takes a bit of patience, but the creamy, nutritious results are so worth it. You’ll need a jug or jar that’ll fit into your slow cooker’s cooking pot – the jarred ingredients are then submerged halfway in boiling water for 7-8 hours until the family’s out of bed.
We’ve used two different compote combinations you can make ahead of time and chill overnight. One is fruity with frozen blueberries and dessert apples, while the other is salty and sweet with peanut butter and bananas.
Using peanut butter powder is a great way to get peanut butter flavouring into a dish for fewer calories, but you can swap out the powder for a tablespoon of smooth spread if you’d prefer.
You can keep a note of your shopping lists, meal plans and even water intake in our latest planner: Quick & Easy Food Planner.
Feeling inspired to spruce up your morning oats?
How do you like your porridge topped in the morning? Let us know over in our Facebook group where there are almost 1 million members already sharing tips, inspiration and slimming motivation. Don’t forget to tag us in any amazing photos you’ve taken of your favourite Pinch of Nom recipes!