20 Ways to Jazz Up Your Oatmeal
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).