13 Delicious Substitutes for Oats

Substitutes for Oats
Photo by Jocelyn Morales

Oats are an excellent breakfast food but are often overlooked as an ingredient in other dishes. The versatile grain can make various healthful and delicious meals, snacks, and desserts. You’re good to go from oatmeal to oat flour, bran, and steel-cut oats! 

Read through to swap out other grains in your diet or get new ingredients to add to your meal rotation! Here are ten delicious substitutes for oats that will give you ideas to help with your cooking repertoire. Enjoy!

1. Flaxseed Meal

Flaxseed is high in protein and fiber, making it an excellent option for people who want to boost their intake of nutrients.

Also, a flaxseed meal doesn’t have to be cooked like oats. Mix two tablespoons of ground flaxseed with two cups of water and allow it to sit overnight.

You’ll have flax milk that tastes like oat milk in the morning. If you prefer cold-brewed beverages rather than warm, mix three tablespoons of ground flaxseed with three cups of water. 

Then allow it to sit in a refrigerator overnight. You’ll have a smoothie that also serves as breakfast in the morning! Flaxseed is one of the best substitutes for oats, just if you need to improvise.

2. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are rich in fiber, calcium, protein, and antioxidants and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Try adding chia seeds if you need substitutes for oats or oatmeal in your smoothies.

Chia seeds can be mixed with plain yogurt or almond milk, and they can be used to replace bread crumbs in meatballs and burgers.

To get started with chia seeds, blend 1/2 cup chia seeds with 3 cups water (for a thick consistency). Use 6 cups of water (for a thin consistency). 

You’ll need to keep it refrigerated for about 30 minutes, making it become like a gelatinous substance before you eat it. The more significant advantage is that it stays fresh for about five days once refrigerated!

3. Canned Pumpkin

 Canned pumpkin isn’t technically one of the substitutes for oats, but you can use it to make your favorite oatmeal recipes. Replace 1/4 cup oats with 1/4 cup canned pumpkin in any overnight or quick-cooking recipe. 

You can add two tablespoons of pumpkin to other baked goods (bread, muffins, scones). You can do this in place of using fruit puree or oil. And if you aren’t a fan of pumpkins, try adding your favorite squash, butternut, or acorn squash instead!

4. Applesauce

Applesauce makes a tasty replacement for oats in baked oatmeal or oat bran muffins, and it adds flavor and texture to these sweet treats and extra fiber.

Plus, it’s cheaper than buying oats at your local grocery store! Make sure you choose unsweetened applesauce.

If you select an option with added sugar, you will also be adding calories and fat to your recipe. You can use roughly 1/2 cup of applesauce instead of one cup of oats in most recipes for oats. Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for two weeks.

Finally, applesauce is one of the best substitutes for oats. That tastes great and gives you all the nutrition you need! Would you pick applesauce as one of your substitutes for oats?

5. Raspberries

This is one of the substitutes for oats recipes that sounds more difficult than it is. You must pour your favorite pancake batter into a bowl of raspberries and cover it with a plate. Cook until set, then flip over and let cook again. 

You could also use blueberries or blackberries in place of raspberries if desired. Try to choose fruit that’s not overly ripe or sweet. Otherwise, your pancakes may be too sentimental. This will ensure you get an excellent combination of flavors in each bite. 

6. Bananas

A banana is not only one of our favorite fruits, and it’s also considered one of the great substitutes for oats. Mash half a banana and use it in place of rolled oats in your breakfast recipe. You’ll get all of that beautiful banana flavor you love.

The good news is you’ll have it with fewer calories than traditional oatmeal (about 90 calories per cup). Enjoy any way you usually enjoy oats.

This is an especially great substitute if you’re gluten-free. Make sure your oats are labeled gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination and allergies.

7. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds make an excellent addition to many smoothies and work as a thickener in baked goods. The seeds have a nutty taste with just a hint of sweetness, and they are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, iron, and magnesium. 

Enjoy sunflower seeds in trail mix, cereals, or sprinkled on top of salads. If you’re trying to lose weight safely but quickly, you can swap out your oats for 1⁄2 cup of sunflower seeds and save about 45 calories!

Sunflower seeds are one of the fastest weight loss substitutes for oats you can get. All you need is a recipe and your cooking skills!

8. Shredded coconut

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener derived from maple tree sap and offers a healthy alternative to sugar. It can be used in hot drinks, salad dressings, and baked goods.

If you’re looking for one of the healthy substitutes for oats, use less maple syrup than sugar in your recipes. 

You may also want to add it sparingly to oatmeal or drizzle some on top of pancakes. Don’t go overboard. Syrup can contain significant amounts of calories! (1 cup contains 468 calories.) If you would like more flavor options, try adding honey as well. 

Finally, remember that both are natural sweeteners that can have a laxative effect when consumed in excess. You will have no issue with them when taken in moderation, though! 

9. Mixed Berries

One cup of berries can deliver three to four grams of fiber, which is twice as much as you’ll find in a cup of most whole grains, including oats. Berries are so sweet, so you only need to eat a quarter cup per serving to feel satisfied. 

Berries also pack vitamins A and C and bone-building calcium. Combine them with oatmeal or other whole grains for a satisfying breakfast or dessert.

Ensure that doesn’t spike your blood sugar too much, or consider just eating them independently. It’s one of the savory substitutes for oats.

10. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is one of the most excellent substitutes for oats and it has a rich flavor and a high level of sweetness and holds up very well in recipes. Although it’s expensive, you can usually find it on sale or use coupons to get a better deal. 

You can use maple syrup to make pancakes, waffles, oatmeal cookies, and cereals such as granola and muesli. You can use it to sweeten other desserts like puddings and custards. 

Also, you can drizzle it over ice cream or cheesecake. Maple syrup is delicious on pork chops or stir-fried vegetables for savory dishes.

11. Buckwheat

Traditional cereal grains like oats, wheat, and rice are often touted as healthy, and these grains provide energy by converting carbohydrates into glucose. By contrast, buckwheat is not a cereal grain; it’s a fruit seed closely related to rhubarb. 

Buckwheat provides energy differently: It converts protein into glucose instead of carbohydrates, making buckwheat excellent for people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets. In addition to its high protein content, buckwheat is rich in fiber and other nutrients. 

When cooked properly, buckwheat makes one of the excellent substitutes for oats. This is because it has a similar texture and consistency when cooked, making it perfect for baking muffins or pancakes!

12. Millet

This gluten-free grain is loaded with protein, so it’s a great option if you need to bulk up. It also has a lower glycemic index than oats, which will help keep your blood sugar levels in check and avoid spiking hunger. 

If you have celiac disease or wheat allergy, millet is an excellent substitute for oats. You can find it at health food stores and online.

13. Brown Rice

One of the most apparent substitutes for oats is brown rice, which is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Try it if you’re looking to replace your favorite hot breakfast cereal with something slightly healthier. 

You can use brown rice in everything from porridge to overnight oats. Just cook it like regular rice, and you don’t want lumps! Another great thing about substituting brown rice for oats is that it takes less time and effort to cook.

Just make sure not to overcook your batch, or else they will get mushy and lose their texture. It’s a highly nutritious substitute you should try.

What to Consider When Replacing Oat?

There are a lot of substitutes for oats out there. You want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, and the two most common substitutes are corn and quinoa flakes.

However, they taste very different from one another. Corn flakes have a light, milky taste, while quinoa flakes have more of a nutty flavor. The nutty flavor is good in hot cereals and cold desserts alike. 

A third option is to go with rolled oats in your recipes. They can be disguised easily and won’t affect your finished product much!

Remember that if you decide to use these substitutes, your recipe will likely need some adjustment time. Don’t forget it needs to taste right. So please don’t give up on it too quickly!

If possible, substitute only half of an oat recipe’s flour with one of these alternatives. You’ll get similar results without losing too much texture or sweetness. 

Finally, If you’d like to swap half of an oat recipe’s flour for something else, try using a mixture between flours.

You could choose quinoa flakes and cornflakes or add some additional baking powder/baking soda, which would compensate for any changes in acidity caused by substituting ingredients.

Conclusion

Instead of whole oats, try using more oats in your cooking. If you don’t want to add them as a cereal or want to cut back on your usual intake, it’s okay. You can try removing some of your other high-calorie carbohydrates and replacing them with oats. 

They can be a delicious addition to many dishes. Next time you eat rice, pasta, or potatoes, ask yourself, can I have that with oatmeal instead? You might find it makes all those old standbys taste like new again. 

Of course, if you prefer eating whole oats plain or just some milk and fruit, keep doing so! We hope our list of delicious substitutes for oats helped you pick what best suits you.

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