Sometimes oatmeal gets a bad rap for being dull, boring and — let’s face it — tasteless. What you top your oatmeal with can make all the difference in the world and turn it from cardboard into a gourmet breakfast worth bragging about to your gym buddies.
Here are 7 ideas to turn your ordinary oatmeal to extraordinary!
7 Fun Oatmeal Toppers
Fruit: You’ve probably already tried putting sliced apples or banana in your oatmeal, but what about more unique fruits like pumpkin, dates, mango or coconut? Each week, try to top your oatmeal with at least one new fruit. The variety makes sure you’re getting a range of vitamins and minerals, and the new flavors keep you from getting dreaded breakfast boredom.
Nut butters: Many people put peanut butter in their oatmeal for a filling, stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast, but why not try other fun butters like almond and cashew? All nuts are high in good fats and fiber, so you’re really starting your day off strong.
Jams: The typical grocery store is filled with a variety of jams and jellies. Always keep a couple of jars of all-natural jams or applesauce on hand in your fridge so that in a pinch you can throw some into your oatmeal for a new flavor.
Protein powder: Starting your day off with protein is a sure-fire way to keep your blood sugar stable and your belly full, so why not try stirring a scoop or two of protein powder in your oatmeal? It’s the perfect breakfast topper for when your fridge is empty.
Yogurt: A little low-fat and low-sugar vanilla or plain yogurt can take your oatmeal to a whole new level. Try vanilla yogurt with strawberries for a strawberry-shortcake taste or peaches and plain yogurt for a play on peaches and cream.
Cottage cheese: For those who don’t want something sweet in the a.m., try mixing some cottage cheese into your oatmeal. Cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium and makes for a savory morning meal.
Pudding mix: If you’re really craving something sweet like a chocolate-filled donut, mix a little sugar-free pudding mix into your oatmeal. Just a tablespoon or two will give your oatmeal a whole new flavor, whether it’s chocolate fudge, cheesecake or butterscotch!
When you mix and match these topping ideas, you literally have hundreds of oatmeal options. From peanut butter and jelly to mango-coconut to black forest (dried cherries with chocolate pudding mix) oatmeal, the sky is the limit!
The one caveat to all this fun in the kitchen? Remember that each topping adds up calorie-wise, so go easy on the nut butters and other calorie-dense toppings. One half-cup of plain oatmeal itself has five grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, three grams of fat and just 150 calories, so it makes for a great base to create a healthy breakfast.
What do you top your oatmeal with?