As the weather cools, a warm breakfast is the perfect way to eliminate those early morning chills. There is no better option than oatmeal because, with every bite, the hearty bowl of fiber warms you from the inside out. Oatmeal is as healthy for you as it is budget friendly so I'm sure a lot of us grew up eating it. But plain oatmeal doesn't have a lot of flavor or excitement.

The innocuous "greige" color and thick consistency leaves little visual appeal to whet your appetite. Nana's solution: butter, milk, and granulated sugar. Now THAT was oatmeal: warm, sugary, and creamy! However, with the addition of these toppings, the oatmeal's benefits become compromised. So here are some healthy, flavorful, fun and colorful topping to make old-fashioned oatmeal new!

Oatmeal Toppings

Fresh Fruit

oatmeal and syrup
fruit and oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Coconut
  • Figs
  • Kiwi
  • Pomegranate

Dried Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Golden Raisins
  • Cherries
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Dates
  • Mulberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Papaya

Nuts And Seeds

nuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Nutella
  • Almond Butter
  • Peanut Butter

Sweetness

honey
  • Dark Chocolate Shards
  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Berry Jam
  • Brown Sugar
  • Real Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Agave Nectar

Creamy

cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Almond Milk
  • Regular Milk
  • Whole Milk

Spices

spices
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Cardamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Ginger

How To Choose Toppings

There are several types of oats from which to choose. They are all healthy and vary mostly by cooking time. They all have a bland taste which makes oatmeal a blank canvas for the toppings of your choice.

When choosing toppings, you want to consider how healthy you want your options to be. For example, agave nectar or honey can be added instead of sugar as sweeteners. To add creaminess, consider almond or coconut milk (especially if you are lactose intolerant), in lieu of traditional cow's milk. Also, consider what type of texture you want. Slivers of dark chocolate or homemade granola can offer health benefits while giving the porridge a nice crunch. Oatmeal is a great resource for carbohydrates and fiber but is low in protein. You may want to add a bit via chopped or spreadable nuts.

Recipes

Cinnamon Apples + Pecans + Maple Syrup

cinnamon apple oatmeal

The aroma of cinnamon and apples filling the kitchen is what fall is all about. This warm breakfast will make everything begin right in the world. Added pecans give your breakfast more protein. The chewy texture allows you to savor each bite. Maple syrup binds all of the flavors and give it a hint of sweetness.

Healthy Peanut Butter Bowl

peanut butter bowl

We all know that peanut butter and dark chocolate pair well together. You could top your oatmeal with just those two and be perfectly satiated. In this recipe, however, you add a little bit of coconut, blueberries, and bananas topped with a hint of agave nectar (or honey) and you've got a raging party of healthy antioxidants in your mouth. The agave adds a bit of sweetness that adds to the peanut butter and offsets the tartness of the blueberries. It also gives it a bit of exotica that enhances the coconut.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

carrot cake oatmeal

Who doesn't love dessert in the morning? This recipe can be made overnight for cold oats or sprinkled on top while it is warm. This is a great way to add some much needed carotene to your diet without having to go through the hassle of juicing carrots or keep it boring just by eating one whole. The orange vegetable is natural sweet but can be enhanced with honey or agave nectar. The added pumpkin seeds, walnuts, spices, and coconut flakes will give you a power boost to keep you going well after lunch time.

Super Oatmeal Bowl

super oatmeal bowl

This oatmeal bowl is chock full of superfoods! The dried goji berries, pistachios, almond butter and coconut not only help kick start your morning, but it adds a whole host of texture: chewy, crunchy, and creamy. The chia and flax seeds give you nutritional value without disrupting the combination of flavors in place.

Cookie Dough Oatmeal Bowl

cookie dough oatmeal

When preparing to make cookies, it's hard to keep little hands out of the dough. And for good reason! Its sugary gooeyness is a treat that rivals its baked counterpart. This oatmeal bowl contains all of that delight without the refined sugar and bad stuff that can make you crash by the afternoon. Using natural sweeteners, this oatmeal combo will trick your taste buds into thinking you're cheating on your diet when you are actually boosting your brain power and metabolism to get you through the day!

Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal

cinnamon roll oatmeal

This particular bowl is perfect when making completely healthy choices is not what your palate desires. Sure, we can substitute to create delicious choices but sometimes it's just too much trouble. Just because this contains powdered sugar and cream cheese, you are still eating oatmeal. Therefore, in a sense, you're still winning.

Peaches + Cream

peaches and cream

When it's the dead of winter and you yearn for those hot summer days, this peaches and cream oatmeal bowl is a perfect way to fulfill your desires. The sweet, juicy peaches are combined with just a hint of cream for texture. This classic pairing will satiate not only your appetite but also longing for warmer weather.

Elvis Oatmeal

elvis bowl

Elvis may have left the building but you can put a little bit of hip shaking into your breakfast! He was famously known for his bacon, peanut butter, and banana sandwiches. This recipe takes these ingredients and puts them into oatmeal. The salty crunch of the bacon enhances the sweetness of peanut butter and banana. Now this is what rock n' roll should taste like!

The combination of toppings for your oatmeal is limitless! You can create a beautiful bowl with things that you have on hand. You can also plan ahead and grab ingredients that may not be everyday staples in your pantry or fridge. You can cater to your cravings and kids. However you choose to dress up your oats, share some with Nana.

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