Nutrition Articles

No More Boring Oatmeal!

20 Ways to Turn Ordinary Oats into Something Special

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Europeans have made oats a centerpiece of their morning meal for generations, notably in the fruit-oat-milk mix called muesli. The idea is simple: stir together oats and milk, add a bit of sugar, cinnamon and fruit, let sit overnight in the refrigerator, and you have a hearty, delicious (and no-cook!) starter. Follow this basic recipe; feel free to add chopped apple, fresh or frozen blueberries, sliced banana or dried fruit.

If you like cold cereal and milk, consider adding oatmeal’s healthy benefits to your bowl: Swap 1/4 cup of your regular breakfast cereal for an equal amount of old-fashioned oats. You’ll gain a bit of filling fiber, which just may help you make it through your morning.

Creative Oatmeal Combinations

A bowl of oatmeal, warm and hearty though it is, isn’t all that exciting by itself. But added fruit, nuts and other toppings make it delicious! Make your morning easy by having the add-ins ready to go the night before. Try one of the combinations below to add pizzazz—and nutrients—to a single serving of oatmeal.

One serving of cooked oatmeal (about 1 cup cooked) contains 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, around 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries, 1 Tbsp toasted pistachios, 1 tsp sugar (115 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp chopped pecans, 1 tsp sugar (125 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp dried cherries, 1 Tbsp chopped almonds, 1 tsp sugar (115 calories)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts, dash of cinnamon (70 calories)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple, 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (90 calories)
  • 1/2 cup diced pears and 2 Tbsp dried cherries (100 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread), 1/2 a banana, sliced (150 calories)
  • 1 cup diced apple, 2 Tbsp raisins, sprinkle of cinnamon (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 Tbsp maple syrup,1 Tbsp chopped toasted walnuts (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp peanut butter (165 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts (175 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp peanut butter (160 calories)
  • 1/2 sliced banana, 1 Tbsp peanut butter (145 calories)
  • 1/2 cup sliced peaches, 1.5 tsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds, dash of vanilla extract (120 calories)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, dash of cinnamon (35 Calories)
  • 1/4 cup apple butter, dash of cinnamon and allspice (or pumpkin-pie spice), 1 Tbsp dried cranberries or cherries (170 calories)
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds, dash of almond extract (75 calories)
  • 3 Tbsp of your favorite fruit spread or preserves (80 Calories)
  • 1 Tbsp dry-roasted peanuts, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (150 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dried banana chips, 1 Tbsp dry-roasted peanuts, 1 Tbsp raisins (120 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp chopped pecans (130 calories)
  • Italian oatmeal: 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (125 calories)
More Deliciously Healthy Oatmeal Recipes
  • Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal: A recipe that calls for canned pumpkin and milk. Tastes like fall!
  • Orange Cranberry Slow-Cooker Oatmeal: Orange juice and cranberries give this oatmeal some zing.
  • Baked Oatmeal: A nice alternative to a bowl of oatmeal. Makes soft breakfast squares that are easy to reheat and enjoy!
  • Savory oats: Who says oatmeal has to be sweet? Here’s another interesting option: Cook oatmeal as directed above, and add a generous grind of fresh pepper. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, then spray lightly with cooking spray. Crack one egg into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook to your liking. Spoon oatmeal into a bowl, top with the egg and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese and some sliced scallions if you like.
If you really want to tame the mid-morning munchies, then opt for a hearty, filling and delicious bowl of oatmeal. Using the ideas above, oatmeal will never be boring again!

Sources
Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers, from MayoClinic.com
Wake Up to the Benefits of Breakfast, from International Food Information Council
World's Healthiest Foods: Oats, from WHFoods.com
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About The Author

Bryn Mooth Bryn Mooth
Bryn Mooth is an independent copywriter and journalist focused on food, wellness and design; she's also a Master Gardener and enthusiastic green thumb. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.

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