Oatmeal is one of my all-time year-round favorite breakfasts, as it is so incredibly versatile! Think of oats as a ‘blank slate’ and add whatever flavors you have available to you in your kitchen. Having oatmeal for breakfast allows you to get a serving in of whole grains, as well as potentially servings of fruits and/or veggies, depending on your choice of toppings and mix-ins. Oatmeal is also quite filling, and I find a nice warm bowl gives me lasting energy throughout all of my morning activities!
- Go for the texture. Add homemade granola, chopped almonds, or your favorite crushed, whole-grain cereal on top for a texture switch-up.
- Explore add-ins! Some of my faves include canned pumpkin, butternut squash puree, mashed bananas, or even a little bit of applesauce!
- Dessert Oatmeal. Every once in a while, it can be a fun treat to top your morning oatmeal with a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, sweetened coconut, or sweetened dried cranberries! Be careful of going overboard though – choose just one option!
- Chock-full of protein. Stir in cottage cheese or liquid egg whites while your oats are cooking (closer to the end stages) to get an extra dose of satiating protein!
- Natural fruit flavors. Instead of buying packaged oats that are flavored, make your own by adding fresh fruit like chopped kiwi & cantaloupe melon, or apples & pears!
- Switch up the bowl. Sometimes it’s fun to try eating your morning oats in a different “bowl” -> try half of a melon like cantaloupe or honeydew, or eat your oats from an almost-empty jar of nut butter to get that extra flavor.
- Go savoury! Make oatmeal as per usual, but add savory spices like oregano, basil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir in a little cheddar cheese, and then top with sauteed peppers & onions, corn, black beans, salsa, and avocado!
- Boost of healthy fats. Add almonds or almond butter to your oats for a healthy dose of good-for-you fats, or any other nut butter of your choice! Try to choose ones without added sugar.
- Try steel-cut oats. For a texture change, try these – they’re chewier and have a slightly nutty flavor to them. Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than old-fashioned oats, so try them out on the weekend when you have more time to cook breakfast.
- Overnight oats. Essentially making homemade muesli, mix in raw oats with Greek yogurt (protein-packed!) and other add-ins, then let sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning you’ll have a cold version of oatmeal that’s rich & creamy taste will have you thinking it was dessert instead of breakfast!
Assistance provided by Megan Skinner