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
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.
This recipe conjures memories of fall. It calls for milk, salt, cooked sweet potato, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and chopped almonds. Recipe: Foodie Crush
Instead of making hot oats in the morning, try cold overnight oats. The basic recipe involves 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. Recipe: Kath Eats Real Food
A gluten-free and vegan alternative, this recipe uses 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. Recipe: Minimalist Baker
This recipe for overnight oats (including chia seeds or flaxmeal, vanilla extract, salt, and either honey or maple syrup) can easily be adapted for different tastes. Swaps can make it vegan, sugar-free, or gluten-free, and there are chocolate peanut butter and carrot cake variations. Recipe: Wholefully
After cooking overnight, slow-cooker oats are hot and ready first thing in the morning. This 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. Recipe: The Healthy Maven
Oatmeal trail mix breakfast cupcakes are a good grab-and-go option, and they are 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). Recipe: Chocolate Covered Katie