Oatmeal is a classic breakfast staple, loaded with iron, fiber, and other healthy goodies your body loves. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, making it many a doctor’s favorite recommended food for those patients that are seeking to eat a healthier diet, or that may be forced to change their diet due to health reasons.
As healthy and good for you as it is though, the sad truth is that if oatmeal is not prepared properly, it can wind up tasting like a bowl of soggy . . . well, oats. Not very good, for sure.
Luckily, oatmeal is a highly versatile food, and it can easily take on just about any flavor you can think of adding to it. Whether you use quick oats, regular rolled oats or steel-cut oats, here are five ways you can spice up that next bowl of oats and make it sweet or savory, depending on what your taste buds crave the most. You can even add these toppings to your to-go oatmeal in a cup to make it even tastier.
For a fall spin on an old favorite, why not try pumpkin oatmeal? Just mix your oats as directed on the package, then add in about a 1/4 cup puréed pumpkin. Pumpkin is loaded with fiber, among other good things, and besides . . . it’s pumpkin.
Spice it up with a hefty shake or two of cinnamon (or try pumpkin pie spice), and add a sprinkle or two of cloves and nutmeg. Throw some sliced banana on top for extra flavor and potassium.
You can also stir in a handful of frozen blueberries to pizazz it up even more. And if it’s still not filling enough, you can even stir in some cottage cheese and sliced almonds to up the protein and fat content, both of which help fill you up and keep you feeling sated throughout a long, busy day.
Brown Sugar, Butter and Raisin Oats
Sometimes, you just want a steaming bowl of oatmeal like grandma used to make. This means a bowl of oats loaded with delicious, melted, grass-fed butter, then topped with brown sugar and lots of raisins.
Add a pinch of sea salt to bring out those nostalgic flavors even more, and add a bit of milk to make it even creamier. This is a bowl of oats you will love, and so will all of the littles in the family.
Cheesy Bacon Oats
If you're not in the mood for something sweet, you can top your oats with cheese and crumbled bacon instead, for a savory bowl of goodness that will help you start your day off right. You can use shredded cheddar, or if you want to be a little daring, you can try crumbled goat cheese. You can also mix in some fresh basil or rosemary for added flavor as well as a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar or maple syrup, depending on the demands of your taste buds.
Bread Pudding Oats
Did someone say bread pudding? If you want to try a slightly different twist on grandma's oatmeal, a bread pudding oatmeal blend will suit just fine. Choose a fruit-filled bread (like cinnamon and raisin swirl) and chop it up into squares. Then add it to your oatmeal as it begins to thicken up and just come to a boil.
Add more raisins, plus a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and milk or cream. You can also add butter (yum) or throw in a handful of chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch and healthy fat.
Mango Coconut Oats
Some days, you may just be feeling a bit more tropical than others. When that happens, why not try topping your oats with mango chunks and coconut flakes? Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla coconut milk, and you'll have a bowl of oatmeal that is filling, healthy, and only slightly sweet. If you like more crunch and want to add a dollop of protein, you can toss in some slivered almonds or walnuts, too.
There you have it! Whoever said eating oatmeal had to be boring? Try one of these five delicious ways to spice up that bland bowl of oats, and enjoy! Pro tip: make enough to share!