Tired of your typical bowl of oats? No matter how comforting of a morning meal oatmeal is, we all know it can get a bit boring after a bit. Oats are one of the easiest foods to prepare in the mornings and one of the best you can count on to keep you full a long time. And while it’s nice to appreciate oats for their amazing health benefits, sometimes they need a little bit of spark and pizzazz to make them more enjoyable.
Aside from the 10 Ways to Make Your Oatmeal Creamier Without Milk, there are even more ways to take your oatmeal up a notch or two. Typical oat toppings include things like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds but even those can become mundane after awhile. Give your oats a little life by trying out some new ideas instead. Try out these tasty add-ins in your next bowl of oatmeal instead and discover a new favorite morning meal!
1. Coconut Yogurt
Yogurt is a popular ingredient used in many overnight oat recipes since the probiotics in the yogurt help make the oats easier to digest without having to cook them. Adding yogurt to overnight oats also adds a delicious creamy, thick flavor. You can make overnight oats with coconut-based yogurt just like you can regular yogurt. Be sure to choose unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt to avoid added syrups and other forms of sugar found in sweetened varieties. Or for a more healthful option, make your own raw coconut yogurt at home.
To make overnight oats: Stir 1/3 cup oats (gluten-free or regular), 1/3 cup coconut yogurt, 1/3 cup non-dairy milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and a healthy sweetener like stevia. Set in the fridge overnight and you’ll have a delicious bowl of oats to enjoy the next morning that you don’t even have to cook.
Or, if you like your oats hot, try adding the yogurt on top of your oatmeal in your bowl, after the oats are finished cooking. The mixture of hot creamy oats, and cold, tart yogurt is absolutely incredible!
As a lover of all things coffee, I’m never hesitant to try out coffee in a new way, such as coffee-flavored oats. Don’t knock it until you try it – it’s like an espresso flavored bowl of oatmeal! You can use hot coffee to cook the oats in (which is really tasty) and stir in your choice non-dairy milk at the end to cream it up a bit. Or, you can cook your oats in non-dairy milk or water as you normally would and stir in a bit of instant coffee or even a shot of espresso at the very end. I like to add vanilla stevia to improve the flavor, but you can keep yours plain if you enjoy that too.
3. Pureed Berries or Cherries
Berries and cherries are common toppings used on oatmeal, but they’re much tastier once given a quick spin in a mini food processor and stirred into oats rather than just used as a topping. You can use frozen or fresh berries and cherries, and either stir them in during cooking or immediately after. This technique will enhance the flavor of your oatmeal, lessen the need for sweeteners, and even give your oats a beautiful color too!
4. Shredded Zucchini
Zucchini has the most unique way of being combined into the most unlikely recipes. Though vegan chocolate pudding and chocolate chip zucchini bread are nice and popular ways to use the healthy veggie, they’re not the only creative way to use the humble veggie.
Try grating some zucchini in the food processor and cooking that in with your oatmeal. Zucchini really has no taste once cooked but adds a delicious creamy texture to baked goods and oatmeal. You could also peel the zucchini, puree it with some almond milk, and cook the oats in that mixture to add a creamy texture too. Zucchini is packed with fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium, so it’s a great way to enhance the nutrition of your oats in an entire new way.
5. Vanilla Bean Powder
Vanilla bean powder is one of the tastiest ingredients to keep in your kitchen. It’s made from pure, ground vanilla beans and adds the most compelling flavor to all your oatmeal bowls. It’s also much more flavorful than vanilla extract, which is usually made in a base of alcohol or sugar. Go for organic vanilla bean powder or buy organic vanilla beans and scrape the tiny seeds out of the vanilla pods. About 1/8 teaspoon is all you need. You can either cook your oats with the vanilla or stir it in after cooking.
Other tasty (but more common) add-ins for oatmeal include:
- cocoa powder (or cacao)
- shredded coconut
- whipped bananas
- sliced almonds
- spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pumpkin and apple pie spice
- almond, cashew, or peanut butter
For more creative oatmeal recipes, check out:
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal with Ginger Spiced Cashew Cream
- Banana Oatmeal with Hazelnut Butter, Raisins, and Baobab Powder
- Jujube Raspberry and Hemp Seed Oatmeal
- Slow Cooker Vegan Pear Rose Cardamom Cake Oatmeal
- Ayurvedic Oatmeal
What’s your favorite thing to add to oatmeal?