As temperatures drop, the desire for a hot breakfast to entice you out of bed in the morning tends to rise. And while oatmeal is cool and all, it’s not exactly the most exciting thing on the menu; and some days, you need healthy breakfast ideas to put a little more pep in your pot to get things going.

4 Alternatives to Oatmeal That Will Leave You Satisfied

If you have a sensitivity to oatmeal or have just gotten sick of having it every day for breakfast, there are other warm breakfasts that can help you feel satisfied. Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and chia are delicious when eaten as a hot cereal or as part of a recipe. Check out these four alternatives to oatmeal that will keep you satisfied all morning long.

Brown Rice

Despite the rising popularity of ancient grains like quinoa, you can’t beat a classic like brown rice. You may think it’s a strange substitute for oatmeal, but the mild flavor makes brown rice a great breakfast substitute. And on top of that, it is full of healthful phytonutrients along with plenty of fiber to fill you up.

Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine almond milk, maple syrup, almond butter, dates, and apple. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent burning and ensure that everything is well combined.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes until the dates and apple have softened.
  3. Add cooked brown rice and cinnamon, stirring until all the ingredients are fully combined. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, until the rice is warm and soft.
  4. Serve immediately.

Quinoa

Unlike a majority of grains, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has a ton of protein thanks to its supply of amino acids. It’s also full of fiber, magnesium, and iron. This superfood comes in a variety of colors, from black to red to a lighter beige; the darker varieties taste just a tiny bit earthier. Regardless of the color you choose, you are sure to enjoy its rice-like consistency and fluffy-yet-crunchy texture.

While quinoa is commonly served as a side dish or protein-packed salad ingredient, it’s ideal for morning fare too. Suitable for both sweet and savory moods and easy to throw together in minutes, breakfast quinoa is pretty much the perfect weekday morning meal — even when it’s not served oatmeal-style.

Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 2 heaping tbsp chopped raw pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa (either chilled or warm from cooking—both will work)
  • 1 tbsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup

Instructions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl
  2. Enjoy!

Buckwheat

Despite what its name suggests, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed that is chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients along with magnesium. There are two options for enjoying this gluten-free oatmeal alternative:

  • Roasted buckwheat, which provides an earthy and rich flavor
  • Unroasted buckwheat, which boasts a much more subtle taste

Buckwheat flour is also a versatile, nutrient-rich ancient grain that can be used in recipes. It’s high in fiber and gluten-free. The flavor is rich and nutty and works nicely when making pancakes, muffins, and quick bread. It’s also much darker in appearance than plain flour (or even whole wheat) flour.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (or use 50-50 blend of buckwheat and all-purpose flour, see notes)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (dairy and non-dairy both will work)
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda, see notes for substituting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea or table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sugarman of Vermont Bananas Foster Maple Syrup (for topping)

Instructions:

  1. In a 2-cup measuring jug or bowl, stir the milk and vinegar (or lemon juice) together, and then set aside for five minutes. (This mixture mimics buttermilk, which when mixed with the baking soda makes the pancakes fluffy.)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg and vanilla into the milk.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the milk mixture and melted butter into the well and use a fork to stir until you no longer see clumps of flour. It is okay if the batter has a few small lumps – it is important not to overmix the batter.
  5. Heat a large skillet (or use a griddle) over medium heat. The pan is ready if when you splatter a little water onto the pan surface, the water dances around the pan and eventually evaporates.
  6. Lightly brush the skillet with melted butter. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto the skillet. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle.
  7. When the edges look dry, and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top surface of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. Serve immediately with warm syrup, butter, and your favorite pancake toppings.

Chia Seeds

They may be small, but chia seeds are mighty. This powerhouse food is bursting with vitamins, fiber, and minerals, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. On top of all of the health benefits, chia seeds have a consistency and texture that closely resembles traditional oats. Because of their gelling properties, they help make breakfasts more filling and satisfying without weighing you down.

The easiest way to prepare chia seeds for breakfast is to soak the seeds overnight in milk (or a milk substitute like almond milk) and top with nuts, fruit, or spices like cinnamon. You can also use mashed banana and vanilla extract to make a delicious morning treat.

Buckwheat and Chia Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (preferably ripe)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats (your choice of buckwheat kernels, raw, whole, or unroasted buckwheat)
  • 1 cup water (or a plant milk substitute)
  • 1 tsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1 handful of frozen cherries
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1 tbsp almond butter

Instructions:

  1. Combine the first six ingredients in a mason jar, and then refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, add the cinnamon and almond butter. You can either eat it cold or enjoy it warmed up.