Oatmeal gets a bad rep for being boring and tasteless and if you make it as from the container it will be. But cup of oatmeal for breakfast, is quick to make, easy, filling, good for you, cheap, so it it is hard to pass up, right?
We literally buy out oats in ginormous 50 pound bags. When you find a breakfast that works you gotta eat it… Only my kids have started getting bored with it… until… We made a list of all of our favorite toppings for our oatmeal and I have a breakfast bin full of toppings the kids get to pick toppings to smoother their bowl.
Oatmeal is a hit again!!
Basic ways to Make Oatmeal Taste Better
Mix and match these ingredients and your kids will never get tired of oatmeal again… *I hope*.
How do you make oatmeal taste better? Well, before you add toppings, cream, fats, and sweets to it, you can make it taste better by the way you cook it.
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1. Add Milk
Milk or dairy alternatives are a great way to give your oatmeal more flavor. Not only that, but it gives your oatmeal more body and makes your oatmeal creamy, thicker, and stickier.
If you want it less thick and sticky add water with a touch of milk or dairy alternative.
2. Secret: Boiling Water
So many of us are quick to throw cold water in a bowl with oats and heat it up. It’s good, but mushy in texture. If you get your water boiling first and then add your oats your oats will be more textured.
3. Pop in Some Salt
Don’t skip the salt! A lot of people worry about their salt intake, with good reason, but a pinch of salt really gives flavor to the oatmeal when it is cooking.
Adding More Variety To Your Oatmeal
Now that you know how to make your oats a little better during the cooking process, it is time to add in all the tasty bits!
If you don’t have time to add your own favorite things, here are some options that are ready to go, from Amazon!
If you’re always on the move like we are, check out our favorite Oats to Go Bowl from Sistema. It’s BPA free and dishwasher and microwave safe. We adore it.
4. Fresh Fruit
Adding fresh fruit, especially fruit that is in season, can really make oatmeal a lot more exciting. Not only is adding color visually appealing which signals to our brains that it will taste good, but fruit has natural sugars which will naturally sweeten your oats.
Here is a list of our favorite fresh fruit to add to our oatmeal:
- Apple Slices
- Peach slices
- Shredded Carrot
- Pureed Sweet Potato
5. Dried fruit
Sometimes we don’t always have fresh fruit on hand or if you’re like me there are times were dried fruit is just easier to keep around when the fridge is stuffed full with other stuff, especially around the holidays.
So this list is our favorite dried fruit to add to our oatmeal:
- Chopped Dates
- Dried cherries
6. Boost the protein and Omega-3s
When we eat oatmeal we often forget about healthy fats and protein. Sure, oatmeal is a hearty meal, but it is still carbs. The fiber will keep us full, but not as full as it will when you add healthy proteins and fats to it.
A list of our favorite nuts and seeds to add to our oatmeal:
- Ground Flax Seed
- Chia Seeds
- Wheat Gern
- Coconut Shavings
7. Spice up with Spices
Flavor up your oatmeal with spices! Most people don’t think about adding spices to their breakfast food or don’t really cook with them to begin with. But spices can make any dish, no matter how bland, exciting and tasty!
Here are some of our favorite spices to add to our oatmeal:
- Vanilla extract
8. Include Something Creamy!
This is another way to add some healthy fat and protein to our oatmeal. Plus, a lot of these change the texture of our oatmeal to something creamier, stickier, and heartier!
A list of creamy things we like to add to our oatmeal:
- Coconut Oil
- An egg (whip it into very hot oatmeal)
- Peanut Butter (or an alternative)
9. Make It Sweet
Don’t be afraid to add something sweet to your bowl of oatmeal. Healthy doesn’t have to mean it tastes bland. Plus, there are plenty of healthy sweeteners you can use.
Some of our favorite sweeteners to add to our oatmeal is:
- Maple Syrup
- Molasses (extra iron)
- Brown Sugar
10. Make It A Treat
There are special days where you just need to splurge once in a while and make it extra sweet. Making it extra sweet is a great way to make breakfast on birthdays or other holidays special.
Super sweet treats we like to occasionally add to our oatmeal is:
- Chocolate Chips
- Icing or frosting
- Cookie Crumbs
I know you are all going to write comments and tell me how sprinkles aren’t good for my kids, but we have found that using a tiny spoon the kids do not put as much sugar on their food as they would consume if they were eating bagged cereal, and if a half a teaspoon of sprinkles makes breakfast fun, then it is worth it to me!
Which toppings hack is your kiddo’s favorite oatmeal toppings? Share in the comments!