Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious easy breakfasts you can make. Done wrong, though, it can be a breakfast disaster—gummy at worst, tasteless at best. These 5 fix-its save the day, making oats the tastiest way to start your day.
You can use these flavor combinations to dress up instant oatmeal or, for even better results, quick cook oats. Either way, get ready for kiddo to have a new favorite breakfast food.
1. Coconut Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Swap coconut milk for the regular milk or water you usually use to cook oatmeal and mix in some shredded coconut (I prefer unsweetened) and dark brown sugar. (Light brown sugar works well, too, but you get a deeper, richer flavor from the dark variety.) If you want to get really fancy and have bitters on hand, add a few dashes. Just keep in mind that bitters have alcohol content (!!), so you should only include them if you are cooking oats. Add them at the beginning of the cooking process to ensure that the alcohol cooks off and use a light touch.
This oatmeal is also super tasty topped with cubed fresh pineapple. So tropicale!
2. Chai-Spiced Oats
Turn a favorite breakfast drink into favorite breakfast eats by cooking oats in milk (or coconut milk) and adding ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of ginger, cardamom and cloves and—the secret ingredient—a dash of black pepper for every serving. Sweeten with honey (not for kids under 12-months-old) or maple syrup.
3. Blackberry Ginger Oatmeal
Cook oatmeal however you like and mix with plain yogurt (use whole milk yogurt if sharing with kids under 2-years-old), fresh blackberry puree (just whizz berries in a blender or food processer) and a dash of ground ginger. You can puree the berries up to three days ahead of time or store a big batch of puree in the freezer so that you’re ready to make this anytime you or kiddo please.
4. Cardamom Pear, Almond and Plum Oatmeal
Move over applesauce—Cardamom Pear Almond Plum puree might be one of the best fruit sauces ever. I made this up when my first son was starting solids and we’ve been obsessed ever since. A prime example of how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, this is way more delicious than it should be. Plus, it offers a nutrient boost with the addition of almonds. (You can easily leave the almonds out if sharing with someone who doesn’t eat nuts.)
Make the puree, freeze in an ice cube tray and, whenever you’re ready, defrost and mix into cooked oatmeal.
5. Banana Pecan Oatmeal with Wheat Germ
It doesn’t get any easier than this: top cooked oatmeal with sliced bananas, toasted pecans, wheat germ and a touch of your favorite sweetener (I like maple syrup). I also add ground flax seed and a dash of cinnamon for extra yum. This is like a warm, hearty breakfast muffin in a bowl… with way less sugar and fat!