How to make satisfying oatmeal // Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Oats

Oatmeal! To some its a bowl of plain mush with curb appeal ranging from gross to meh, and is quite unsatisfying. You can buy some super tasty flavored instant oats, but their satisfaction factor doesn’t last long either.

Oats get a lot of hype in the nutrition world because they are a whole grain chock full of soluble fiber. They're super helpful for your heart health (you’ve likely seen that American Heart Association check symbol on packages of Quaker Oats at the store), but also aid in gut health to help keep you regular and provide prebiotics for your gut bacteria to flourish. On top of this, like other whole grains, oats contain galactogogues that can help breastfeeding moms make more breast milk too!

To put it simply, if we can make oats taste good and provide long-lasting energy, they’re 100% worth including in your morning. Plain oatmeal is pretty much just boiled carbs with some fiber - it’s probably going to taste unpleasant and won’t keep you full for very long. Remember: satisfaction is about more than just feeling comfortably full - it’s the pleasure of eating something tasty that makes it truly satisfying. So, that takes us to my not-so-secret formula for a satisfying meal:

Carbs + Protein + Fat + Fiber + Flavor = SATISFACTION

Pumpkin chia oats with apple

Pumpkin chia oats with apple

Peanut butter chocolate oats with banana

Peanut butter chocolate oats with banana


Oats provide the carbs and fiber, but we can add in some fruit for more carbs and fiber plus some flavor too. Using rolled oats or steel cut oats helps the carbs release slower too - this helps with longer lasting energy. Cooking the oats in whole milk or soy milk adds some protein and fat, and extra nuts, seeds, or nut butters provide an additional dose of protein and fat. YUM. Above are some examples (don’t mind the chipped bowl - real person over here!)


One of my favorite breakfasts lately has been these delicious Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Oats with banana cooked in. Recently I bought Fairlife whole milk, which is higher in protein than regular milk and is super creamy! Not sponsored, I just think its a cool alternative. It’s lactose free too for all you lactose intolerant readers. Cooking my oats in this milk was SO tasty, but is also delicious with regular whole milk or soy milk. Pea milk like Ripple will supply a good amount of protein, but if you’re using other plant-based milks I’d suggest making sure you add a little extra nuts or seeds to get enough protein with this breakfast.

This recipe uses old fashioned rolled oats. If you’re using steel cut or instant, simply follow the directions on the box using 1/2 milk and 1/2 water for your liquid, then add in your desired toppings while you cook them.

Cooking the banana into the oats brings out a lot of sweetness. However, simply keeping it fresh and slicing it on top brings in a little tartness (depending how green your banana is) and a different texture. Either way is great!

This recipe is also just for 1 serving - you can easily double or triple it to serve more people or fill your personal hunger needs.

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Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Oats

A satisfying bowl to start your day.

Makes: 1 serving

Prep time:

Cook time:


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • Instructions:
    1. In a small pot over medium high heat, combine milk, water, oats, chia seeds, vanilla and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.
    2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and add in the banana. Stir and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    3. Remove the pot from the heat. Let stand with the cover still on for 5 more minutes.
    4. Serve in a bowl with an additional sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!