Oatmeal is normally thought of as a pretty healthy breakfast, but most pre-packaged oatmeals can be full of unnecessary sugars and artificial ingredients. That’s why we’ve decided to figure out what makes a great healthy oatmeal.
In our research, we found that the best oatmeals often contain extra nutritional ingredients like nuts and seeds. And depending on your tastes and health preferences, you may want to look for oatmeals that are specifically gluten-free, rolled, or steel-cut. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve put together a list of our favorite healthy oatmeals available online.
Top 10 Best Healthy Oatmeals to Buy Online
When looking for a good oatmeal, it’s as much about the texture as it is the flavor, so be sure to read reviews thoroughly before buying to see if it matches your preferences.
1. Farm to Table Foods Ultimate Organic Oatmeal (3 Pack, 16 oz Each)
Best Oatmeal Blend
This blend of oatmeal, grains, and seeds is hearty, filling, and full of protein. It has a fun, chewy texture and naturally nutty flavor–without any extra seasonings. Plus, all of the ingredients are sourced from small, independent, sustainable farms.
Reviewers love the flavor and texture plain and write that it makes a great canvas for simple toppings like maple syrup or brown sugar. It’s great for those who don’t want to dress up their oatmeal much but still want more than plain oats.
|Cook Time||8-12 minutes|
|Additional Ingredients||Organic rolled oats, cracked wheat, sunflower seeds, oat bran, flax seed, pumpkin seed|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/3 cup, Calories: 160, Carbs: 25g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 3.5g|
|Official Certifications||Organic, non-GMO|
2. Nature’s Path Original Whole Rolled Oats (6 Pack, 18 oz Each)
Best Organic Rolled Oats
If you’re looking for high-quality, plain, old-fashioned oats, these may be the oats for you. These rolled oats are organic and free of any flavorings or preservatives.
Reviewers love that these oats maintain a pleasantly chewy texture and don’t get mushy or gooey. Some reviewers note that other brands occasionally taste salty, but these oats are consistently pure.
|Cook Time||3-5 minutes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/2 cup, Calories: 150, Carbs: 27g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2.5g|
|Official Certifications||Organic, non-GMO|
3. One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Quick Oats (2 Pack, 24 oz Each)
Best Gluten-Free, Sprouted Quick Oats
These quick oats aren’t your average Quaker mush. They’re made from sprouted grains, which are easier for your body to digest and promote a healthy gut.
Reviewers write that it has a pleasantly creamy consistency and that it cooks well by just adding hot water, and it makes great overnight oats. However, some reviewers do have issues with the packaging, so you may want to transfer it to another container.
|Cook Time||2-3 minutes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/3 cup, Calories: 140, Carbs: 23g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2.5g|
|Official Certifications||Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO|
4. Coach’s Oats 100% Whole Grain Oatmeal (3 lbs)
Best Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats
If you’re already an avid oatmeal eater, you’re likely familiar with Coach’s. Known for its nutty flavor, chewy texture, and quick cooking time, these oats are great for those looking for the texture of steel cut without the wait.
Reviewers love that they can enjoy steel cut oats even when cooked in the microwave. They write that it’s great done up with fruits or nuts, but that its distinctly chewy texture also holds up on its own.
|Cook Time||3-5 minutes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/3 cup, Calories: 160, Carbs: 31g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 3g|
5. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 8 Grain Hot Cereal (4 Pack, 27 oz Each)
Best Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Oatmeal
This oatmeal mixture features eight milled whole grains that cook up to be a unique combination of flavors and textures. Despite all of these grains having fairly long cook times individually, they’ve been milled to a size that cooks in under 10 minutes.
Reviewers love the layered flavor of this oatmeal (you can actually taste the corn!) and write that it is highly versatile. Reviewers have had great success adding it to bread doughs and waffle batters, for instance.
|Cook Time||8 minutes|
|Additional Ingredients||Brown rice, corn, soybeans, millet, sorghum, oat bran, sunflower seeds, flaxseed|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/4 cup, Calories: 150, Carbs: 29g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2.5g|
6. Purely Elizabeth Organic Ancient Grain Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal (6 Pack, 10 oz Each)
Best All-in-One Mix with Fruits and Seeds
This oat mix is great for those who like a little convenience–it includes both fruits and nuts and cooks in just two minutes, but it still allows you to add your own sweetener.
Reviewers love this combination and appreciate that it’s full of flavor and texture. They write that it makes eating well easy and makes plain oats look boring.
|Cook Time||2 minutes|
|Additional Ingredients||Dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, puffed amaranth, quinoa flakes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/3 cup, Calories: 140, Carbs: 19g, Sugar: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g|
|Official Certifications||Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan|
7. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats (4 Pack, 24 oz Each)
Best Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats
For those who are gluten-sensitive but want to eat high-quality steel cut oats with peace of mind, these may be the oats for you. They’re hearty, nutty, and definitely not mushy.
Reviewers–gluten-sensitive or otherwise–love the flavor and texture of these oats, writing that they’re nice and chewy. If you don’t want to watch the stove, reviewers success using an instant pot, a slow cooker, or even a rice cooker.
|Cook Time||15-20 minutes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/4 cup, Calories: 160, Carbs: 31g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2g|
|Official Certifications||Gluten-free, non-GMO|
8. Gluten-Free Prairie Rolled Oats (3 Pounds)
Best Celiac-Friendly Rolled Oats
These gluten-free rolled oats are perfect for anyone looking to make old-fashioned oatmeal or add some oats to their cooking–minus the abdominal discomfort other oats may cause.
Reviewers love the flavor and write that each grain stays well-separated when cooked. Many reviewers are repeat buyers and report that these oats are completely celiac-friendly.
|Cook Time||5-10 minutes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/2 cup, Calories: 150, Carbs: 26g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 2.5g|
9. John’s Killer Protein Proats Protein Fortified Oats (2 lbs)
Best Protein-Packed Oatmeal
If oatmeal leaves you feeling hungry again within a couple hours, it could be that you need more protein. This oatmeal comes fortified with whey protein isolate to give you 12 grams of protein per serving.
Reviewers write that these oats have a creamy texture when cooked and are indeed quite filling. Others report that they’re also a great way to add nutrients to a smoothie.
|Additional Ingredients||Whey protein isolate|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/2 cup, Calories: 189, Carbs: 29g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 3g|
10. Augason Farms Rolled Oats Emergency Food Storage 10 Pound Pail
Best Bulk Oatmeal
If you’re the type to use a lot of oats whether you’re doing a lot of baking or cooking for a large family, this 10-pound bucket should be more than enough for at least a little while.
It can be held for 30 years as emergency food storage (or a year once opened) and contains 108 servings of oats. Despite its long shelf life, reviewers write that it has a pleasant nutty flavor.
|Cook Time||8-10 minutes|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1/2 cup, Calories: 160, Carbs: 28g, Sugar: 0g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 3g|
How to Choose a Healthy Oatmeal – Buying Guide
Finding a healthy oatmeal is actually pretty easy. Just be sure to keep the following guidelines in mind, and you should have no problem.
Look for Official Certifications Like Gluten-Free
While oats are naturally gluten-free, they’re often processed on the same machines that process items with gluten. Because of that, if you’re gluten-sensitive, it’s very important that you look for oatmeal that has official gluten-free certification. If you aren’t gluten-sensitive and just want peace of mind regarding the quality of your oats, look for other certifications like non-GMO, organic, vegan, or kosher.
Look for Oatmeals that Also Incorporate Seeds, Nuts, and Grains for Additional Nutrition
Plain oatmeal is versatile and super healthy on its own, but for those looking to up the nutrition factor and maybe even improve taste and texture while they’re at it, look for oatmeals that contain other grains, seeds, and nuts. These additional ingredients can really help to make your bowl of oatmeal more interesting, which can be good for those who don’t normally like the texture of plain oatmeal.
Some common additions include chia seeds, flax seeds, millet, and quinoa. Just be sure that the only things added are whole foods ingredients and not sweeteners or artificial flavorings.
Quick, Rolled, Steel-Cut—What’s the Difference?
You normally see oatmeal referred to a few different ways—quick oats, rolled oats, or steel-cut oats. All three types are made from oats groats, and the only real difference is the amount of processing, which leads to vastly different textures and cook times.
Quick oats are the most processed. They’re pre-cooked, dried, and pressed thin to make them—you guessed it—quick cooking. They cook within a minute or two and have a soft, mushy texture. Rolled oats (or old-fashioned oats) are steamed and rolled flat. They hold their shape fairly well and have a lightly chewy texture. They usually cook within five minutes. Steel-cut oats (or Irish or Scottish oats) are the least processed and are simply oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces. They’re chewy, highly textured, and take up to 30 minutes to cook.
While there isn’t too much difference in nutrition between the different types, steel-cut and rolled oats tend to have slightly more fiber per serving than quick oats due to being less processed.
Luckily, oatmeal is one of the foods that is often left alone, and many options are indeed quite healthy as it is. Sure you might have to give up some of the convenience of a pre-packaged mix, but the health benefits definitely pay off.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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