20 Ways to Jazz Up Your Oatmeal

By   

Support Cheapism: Do your shopping with our retail partners.

View as:

Photo credit: Yeko Photo Studio/shutterstock

OAT-SIDE THE BOX


Oatmeal is the ultimate budget-friendly breakfast, and it's packed with nutrients. But eating the same kind of oatmeal every day can get old. Whether you prefer to cook oats in the morning or chill them overnight, bake them or drink them, here are 20 ways to add flavor and flair.

Related: 25 Cheap, Quick Breakfast Ideas to Start the Day Right
Photo credit: Ines Behrens-Kunkel/shutterstock

BRANCH OUT

First, try a different oat. Steel-cut, instant, and rolled oats are processed differently, so they have different textures. In steel-cut oats, sometimes called Irish or Scottish oats, the kernel (called the groat) is cut instead of flattened and has the chewiest texture. They also take the longest to cook. Instant oats are pressed smaller and cook the fastest but also have a mushier texture. Rolled oats, also called old-fashioned oats, are a middle ground in consistency and cooking time. They look like discs because the groat has been steamed and rolled.
Photo credit: ff-photo/shutterstock

DIY OATMEAL PACKETS


Instead of buying store-bought packages in different flavors, make custom packets with inspiration from the blog Oh My Veggies. A few suggested flavor combinations include cranberry pistachio, apricot hazelnut, and apple ginger.

Related: 10 Easy-to-Make Foods to Stop Buying at the Store
Photo credit: Kiian Oksana/shutterstock

MAPLE AND BROWN SUGAR OATMEAL WITH SWEET POTATO


A recipe by the blog Foodie Crush conjures memories of fall. It calls for milk, salt, cooked sweet potato, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and chopped almonds.

Related: How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte: 10 Recipes to Try at Home
Photo credit: margouillat photo/shutterstock

STRAWBERRY PEANUT BUTTER WITH MASHED BANANA

The blog Veggie Inspired Journey uses a smashed, overripe banana to add natural sweetness. It's puréed and added to the water as gluten-free oats cook. Cinnamon spices up this oatmeal.
Photo credit: kiboka/shutterstock

TROPICAL FLAVORS

Oatmeal can taste like the tropics with a recipe from Real Simple using flaked coconut, chopped mango, cashews, and brown sugar.
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

ARUGULA AND AVOCADO

A recipe from the blog Fannetastic Food brings veggies to the breakfast table. Along with steel-cut oats, the recipe calls for garlic, onions, mushrooms, olive oil, avocado, arugula, and a runny fried egg.
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

SPINACH

Spinach and Parmesan pair well with steel-cut oats, Men's Fitness says. For those who would rather not start the day with leafy greens, the magazine suggests adding pumpkin purée and protein powder, or chai mix.
Photo credit: Allyso/shutterstock

NUTELLA AND BANANA

The blog Simply Scratch has a decadent recipe for Nutella oatmeal with sliced bananas. The recipe also calls for milk, brown sugar, and sea salt. To change it up, swap out the Nutella for peanut butter -- or combine them.
Photo credit: Rimma Bondarenko/shutterstock

SWEET MIX-INS

For those with a sweet tooth, The Kitchn recommends adding cacao nibs or cocoa powder to oatmeal. Graham crackers are another option for sweetness and crunch.
Photo credit: siamionau pavel/shutterstock

SAVORY MIX-INS

Crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, or a bit of both can give oatmeal a savory spin. They're just a few suggestions from the blog The Gracious Wife, blog, along with scallions, tomatoes, or zucchini.
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

OVERNIGHT OATS WITH A TOPPING

Instead of making hot oats in the morning, try cold overnight oats. The blog Kath Eats Real Food has a basic recipe that's equal parts rolled oats, milk, and yogurt with chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Simply combine the ingredients and store them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top with something crunchy and a little bit of healthy fat, such as nuts.
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE PEANUT BUTTER OVERNIGHT OATS

The blog Minimalist Baker has a five-ingredient recipe that is gluten-free and vegan. It includes almond milk, chia seeds, peanut butter or almond butter, maple syrup, and gluten-free rolled oats. After the mixture sits overnight, top with fruit, flaxseed meal, or more chia seeds.
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

ADAPTABLE OVERNIGHT OATS

The blog Wholefully provides a base recipe for overnight oats (including chia seeds or flaxmeal, vanilla extract, salt, and either honey or maple syrup) adapted for different tastes. Swaps can make it vegan, sugar-free, or gluten-free, and there are chocolate peanut butter and carrot cake variations.
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/shutterstock

SLOW-COOKER APPLE PIE OATS

After cooking overnight, slow-cooker oats are hot and ready first thing in the morning. The Healthy Maven blog's recipe turns apple pie into part of a nutritious breakfast. The recipe calls for steel-cut oats, almond milk, apples, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and lemon juice. The mixture cooks for four to eight hours.
Photo credit: Ekaterina Kondratova/shutterstock

BLUEBERRY BAKED OATMEAL

For those who like the idea of oatmeal but not the texture, baking could be the answer. A recipe from the blog Cookie + Kate includes spices, toasted nuts, and fruit and makes a substantial six to eight servings.
Photo credit: MShev/shutterstock

BAKED OATMEAL WITH APPLESAUCE

Applesauce replaces most of the butter in a baked recipe from the blog Two Peas & Their Pod. The recipe also includes dried cranberries and raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a few other ingredients, taking only 20 minutes to cook.
Photo credit: Brian Senic/shutterstock

OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES

Take oatmeal on the go with cookies from the blog Oh, Sweet Basil. They're made with almonds, overripe bananas, dried cranberries, maple syrup, molasses, and spices. White chocolate chips are an optional addition.
Photo credit: ratmaner/shutterstock

OATMEAL TRAIL MIX CUPCAKES

Oatmeal trail mix breakfast cupcakes from the blog Chocolate Covered Katie are a good grab-and-go option, and egg-free and dairy-free. Ingredients include banana or applesauce, salt, cinnamon, a sweetener, dried fruit, wheat germ or flax meal, water, vanilla, and oil (or a little more applesauce).
Photo credit: Julia Sudnitskaya/shutterstock

BERRY OAT BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

For a cold and fruity oatmeal option, especially for those who don't like the flavor or texture of a bowl of oatmeal, the blog Creme de la Crumb adds milk, frozen berries, honey, yogurt, and ice in a blender.
Photo credit: Liliya Kandrashevich/shutterstock

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL SMOOTHIE

A smoothie from the blog What the Fork could be a sweet, filling breakfast or a hearty snack. It calls for combining oats with ice cubes, coconut milk, peanut butter or peanut butter powder, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla extract.