You know that oatmeal is packed with fiber (each half-cup serving of oats contains four grams). But did you know that it's also a decent source of protein? You'll get a little more than five grams of the filling nutrient in each half-cup. To pump up the protein content even more, we asked Sam Stephens, chef/owner at the restaurant OatMeals in New York City and "creative oatmeal officer" for Quaker Oats, for her favorite protein-rich topping ideas:
A poached or fried egg is the perfect complement to savory oatmeal toppings like cheese or scallions. Each egg packs six grams of protein.
This topping is surprisingly delicious if you also mix veggies, peanut butter, or cheese into your oatmeal—and each quarter-cup of turkey bacon pieces will score you six grams of protein.
Cool, creamy yogurt provides a great contrast to hot oatmeal and makes it taste richer. Two tablespoons pack three grams of protein.
You've probably tried topping your oatmeal with slivered almonds or maybe even peanuts, but consider pistachios to mix things up; each ounce is filled with six grams of protein.
We're guessing we don't even need to try to sell you on this one, but just in case, let us remind you that peanut butter is delicious with jelly, fresh fruits, and dried fruits alike—and each two-tablespoon serving contains a whopping eight grams of protein.
It's not just for smoothies—this ingredient mixes into oatmeal well, too. Plus, who can resist adding a chocolate or vanilla flavor to your breakfast? The exact protein count will vary based on the brand of protein powder you use, but this is an easy way to drastically up your intake.
Skeptical about putting black beans into your oatmeal? Check out Stephens' Cuban-style black bean and plantain oatmeal, and you won't be anymore (it's great for lunch or dinner). Plus, each quarter-cup of black beans contains three grams of protein.
This is another fun savory ingredient that you need to try on your oats. An ounce contains 11 (yes, 11!) grams of protein.
Just one slice will net you 3.5 grams of protein—and this may be something that you have sitting in your fridge already. Try chopping it up and combining it with Parmesan and oatmeal for a tasty treat.