My Favorite Noatmeal (aka Low Carb Oatmeal, which is actually oat-free porridge) is a hearty warm breakfast that can be made on the stovetop or in the microwave for a healthy, quick breakfast that only has 5g net carbs per serving.
Like many of us, I’m a creature of habit who craves routine. I get up, make coffee and a quick breakfast, and get to work early before breaking for my mid-morning workout. Routine keeps us centered, but the downside to this is that I’m prone to falling into eating ruts, particularly with breakfast.
Seasonal fruit with yogurt is a long-time favorite, and cottage cheese and fruit is another mainstay. Sometimes a toasted slice of my favorite paleo bread, or occasionally homemade granola. Eggs are rare for me at breakfast, although they’re a favorite for lunch.
I also enjoy a hot breakfast of some kind of porridge…it always reminds me of mornings as a kid when my mom would make oatmeal for my sister and I. Because my mom’s favorite way to eat it was topped with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar, in turn, this became mine and my sister's favorite way to eat it as well.
Oatmeal is still one of my favorites, but lately I’ve been cutting back a little on carbs and even dabbling in keto (aka nutritional ketosis) recipes (so heads-up, you can probably expect to see a couple more of them here soon). One of my favorites that I’ve come across, which seems to be huge in the keto world (at least, I've noticed it a lot on Pinterest and Instagram when searching for keto recipe ideas), is something called “noatmeal”, which is nothing more than oat-free porridge. (Truth be told, it very much reminds me of paleo cream of wheat-style porridge that I’ve been making for years now.)
My version of “noatmeal” is full of healthy fats and fiber, with 15 grams of vegan protein and just 5 grams of net carbs per serving! (Remember, net carbs are calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber from the grams of carbohydrates.) For the sake of comparison, compare those nutritional stats with a serving of old-fashioned rolled oats, which has 27 grams of carbohydrates and only 5 grams of protein per serving! (Side Note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with oatmeal, in fact I thoroughly enjoy it as a heart-healthy whole grain. However, my only point is that a bowl of regular oatmeal isn’t low-carb and doesn’t contain as much protein as this low carb oatmeal or “noatmeal”.)
You can cook this either on the stovetop or in the microwave (I give instructions for both in the recipe below). I like to pre-mix several batches of this recipe (adding everything except the water and vanilla) and store each serving in a small glass bowl in the pantry so that this literally comes together in minutes on busy weekday mornings. You can also pre-mix the recipe, pack it up, and microwave it at work for a quick, delicious breakfast at your desk!
A bowl of this keeps me satisfied until lunchtime, even with a mid-morning workout. And maybe the best part about this recipe is that there are endless ways you can change it up (several variations are pictured in this post), so it never gets boring. Although I have to say, I don't mind falling into a breakfast rut with this.
Low Carb Oatmeal
Low carb oatmeal is actually not oatmeal at all because it contains no oats! Instead, it’s a porridge-like dish that resembles oats in texture. It’s rich and creamy, and you can eat it the way you’d eat a bowl of oatmeal, topped with anything you’d put on your oatmeal.
Keto Oatmeal (Oat Free Porridge)
Keto oatmeal or noatmeal can be made with a variety of nutrient-rich keto-friendly ingredients, and takes just a few minutes to make.
Ingredients in Keto Low Carb Oatmeal
There are a lot of ingredient options when you’re making low carb oatmeal. The main thing is to get a creamy, porridge-like consistency that has some texture in it, to simulate regular oatmeal. Here I use a combination of the following keto and low carb-friendly ingredients:
This recipe is pretty forgiving though, and it allows for a few substitutions. For example, if you’re allergic to coconut, use double the amount of almond flour. Or if you don’t have chia seeds on hand, use double the amount of flaxseed meal.
How to Make Keto Oatmeal
My version of keto n’oats can be made in two ways: 1) on the stovetop, or 2) in the microwave. For the stovetop method, add all ingredients (except the vanilla, which gets added once it’s removed from the heat) to a small pot over low heat and cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the vanilla, transfer to a bowl, and top with anything you like.
To make this low carb oatmeal in the microwave, add all ingredients except the vanilla to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until thickened, about 2 minutes. And then stir in the vanilla, add any goodies you like on top, and devour.
Regular Oatmeal (Made From Oats)
Nutrition in Oatmeal
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a ½-cup serving of old-fashioned rolled oats (which is what is mixed with liquid, such as water, and cooked to make oatmeal) has the following nutrition information:
2.5g total fat
Oats are also a good source of quite a few vitamins and minerals, like manganese, copper, phosphorous, iron, selenium, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. (Read more about the nutrition in oats on Health Line.)
Is Oatmeal Good for Weight Loss?
When you’re trying to lose weight, like anything else, keep portion size in mind. Once you measure your portion to make sure you’re not taking in more calories than intended, be careful about your toppings. A lot of people fall into the trap of adding lots of sugary things to their oats, which can be problematic when you’re trying to lose weight.
It’s thought that one of the best things about oatmeal in terms of weight loss is its fiber content. Fiber helps make you feel satisfied longer, helps prevent constipation, and assists in lowering blood pressure.
If you’re craving oatmeal, but trying to lose weight, I definitely recommend giving this noatmeal recipe a try! It’s very satiating, delicious, and quite nostalgic if you grew up eating steaming bowls of oatmeal on cold mornings.
Can You Eat Oatmeal on a Keto Diet or Low Carb Diet?
We all know that oats are a gluten free whole grain with a lot of nutritional benefits, but if you’re following a ketogenic lifestyle, the real question is whether you can eat them and stay in ketosis. For people just starting keto, the standard keto diet recommends a daily carb intake of between 20 to 50g.
Of course if you’re already fat-adapted or if you exercise frequently and/or intensely, your carb needs could vary. Also, if you’re trying to lose weight instead of maintain your weight or even gain weight, your carb requirements could vary. Once you determine your fitness goals as well as your body’s needs and then calculate your macronutrients, you can see if you can fit a serving of oatmeal in. (For information on how to calculate your macros without an indirect calorimetry device, check out this article on The Keto Queens.)
Which Fruits Have the Least Carbs?
When it comes to eating a bowl of oatmeal, the nutrition and carbs in oats aren’t the only factor that come into play. This is because most of us top a bowl of oats with sweet things like brown sugar, maple syrup, or fruit! Even if you skip the obvious sugary things like honey, maple, and brown sugar, it’s good to know how many carbs you’re adding when you add fruit.
Low Carb Fruits
Here are a few good low carb fruit options for topping your low carb oatmeal. You can probably fit a lot of these fruits into a keto way of eating, just make sure they fit into your macros. Additionally, note that if a full serving doesn’t fit into your meal plan, you might be able to easily fit in half a serving. I’ve also included serving size and nutrition information for each.
- Shredded Unsweetened Coconut: Serving size 3 tablespoons (15 g); 100kcals; 1g protein; 9g total fat; 4g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 1g net carbs
- Peach: Serving size ½ medium (about 75g): 29kcals; .68g protein; .19g total fat; 7.15g carbohydrates; 1.1g fiber; 6.05g net carbs
- Blackberries: Serving size 1 cup (144 g); 62kcals; 2g protein; .71g total fat; 13.84g carbohydrates; 7.6g fiber; 6.24g net carbs
- Red Raspberries: Serving size 1 cup (140 g); 70kcals; 2g protein; 0g fat; 17g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 8g net carbs
- Strawberries: Serving size 1 cup (144g); 46kcals; .96g protein; .43g total fat; 11.06g carbohydrates; 2.9g fiber; 8.16g net carbs
- Blueberries: Serving size ½ cup (74g); 42kcals; .55g protein, .24g total fat; 10.72g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 8.92g total carbs
More Low Carb Breakfast Ideas:
- Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Gluten Free Granola from Healthy Sweet Eats
- Keto Low Carb Quiche Lorraine from An Edible Mosaic
- Keto Vanilla Cream Bulletproof Coffee from The Keto Queens
- Low Carb Overnight Black Forest Mocha Chia Seed Pudding from Healthy Sweet Eats
- Almond Vanilla Chia Pudding with Peach Pie Topping from An Edible Mosaic
My Favorite Noatmeal (aka Low-Carb Oat-Free Porridge): The Basic Recipe and 6 Variations
- ½ cup water see Note
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon granulated stevia/erythritol blend or any kind of sweetener you like, to taste
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Stovetop Method: Add all ingredients except the vanilla to a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes; stir in the vanilla. Serve warm.
- Microwave Method: Add all ingredients except the vanilla to a large cereal bowl that’s microwave-safe. Microwave on high until thickened, about 2 minutes; stir in the vanilla. Serve warm.
- Mango Cardamom: Add ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom to the noatmeal; top with ¼ cup mango puree.
- Maple Walnut: Top with 1 teaspoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.
- Blueberry Pie: Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon; stir in ⅓ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) right before serving.
- Cinnamon Brown Sugar: Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon; top with 1 pat grass-fed butter and ½ teaspoon coconut sugar.
- Pina Colada: Top with ⅓ cup cubed fresh pineapple and 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Almond Joy: Top with 1 tablespoon chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon chopped toasted almonds, and 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut.
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