Creamy Oats and Lentils with Sweetly Spiced Apples: A Healthy Breakfast

Creamy oats and lentils with spiced apples served in two bowls
Photo: Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND

Searching for a healthy breakfast recipe? A bowl of oatmeal is a great way to start your day. This one takes a common pairing of oats and apples and adds lentils and milk to boost the protein. And cardamom and cinnamon make the taste AMAZING!

You may be thinking lentils for breakfast? That’s weird. Or maybe you’re questioning the whole lentils and oats combo. Don’t worry. It’s delicious. Even my very skeptical daughter found my recipes with lentils and oats so delicious that she took my recipes with her to grad school.

What’s To Love About This Healthy Breakfast Recipe

Both lentils and oats contain compounds that feed your healthy gut bacteria, and both of these foods are good for your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. You’re getting a good dose of fiber, plant protein, vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Though research is inconsistent, the spices may also improve insulin resistance. So in addition to being delicious, Creamy Oats and Lentils with Sweetly Spiced Apples is a heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly, health-boosting breakfast recipe. 


Creamy Oats and Lentils with Sweetly Spiced Apples

If you want this on the table in under 5 minutes, cook up a batch on the weekend and dish out 1-cup servings in individual microwaveable bowls. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Before reheating, stir in a bit of milk for extra creaminess.

Serves 5 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 large apples, unpeeled, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups)
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1½ cups nonfat milk (or milk of choice)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the canola oil and swirl to cover the surface. Add the diced apples. Cook until lightly softened, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the cardamom and cinnamon and stir to mix the seasonings well.
  2. Add the water and the salt. Increase the heat to bring the contents to a boil. Add the lentils and oats. Stir vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium low to obtain a steady simmer. Add the milk and stir well.
  3. Cover and continue to simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the lentils and oats are cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Serve with toppings of choice such as additional diced apples, brown sugar, honey, almonds or walnuts. Refrigerate leftovers. To reheat, add a little milk and warm on the stovetop or the microwave.
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Jill Weisenberger
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a writer, nutrition consultant and speaker with a private practice in Newport News, VA, and is the author of four books, including the bestselling Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and her newest title, Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. Follow her on social media and learn more at jillweisenberger.com.