5 Ways to Spice up your Oatmeal

Let’s get this straight: oatmeal is not just for your Grandma. Yes, it used to be a boring, and not particularly tasty breakfast enjoyed by your older relatives. Or maybe it reminds you of the slop you were served before school with the promise “it will warm you up and keep you full all day”.

But 2020 is the year of change, and the world’s attitude towards oatmeal has definitely changed. Just check out your favourite ‘fitspos’’ Instagram or take a look at ‘oattok’ on TikTok, you’ll be left seriously impressed. Once you see the videos of chocolate melting into oats you will never go back to thinking oatmeal is boring.

And if that hasn’t swayed you already, your morning oats really can keep you full all day. The key is to combine all the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) in the one meal. Carbs, protein and fats all digest at different rates, meaning you’ll have the feeling of being full for way longer. And is there anything more annoying than being hungry in you 11am zoom meeting? By this point you’re probably thinking ‘but how can I get all of those macronutrients in a breakfast?’. Enter: 5 ways to spice up your oatmeal.

5 ways to spice up your oatmeal

1 – Protein Powders

Obviously one of the best ways to include protein in your oatmeal is through supplementing it with protein powder. The protein will help make the meal more satiating, and thus help you feel full for longer.

If you’re on a fat loss journey as well a high protein diet, alongside weight/ resistance training, protein will help to preserve muscle mass and aid with body re-composition.

But, it can also just be a great way to transform the flavour of your oats without having to over complicate the recipe. If you want chocolate brownie oatmeal simply pick a chocolate brownie flavoured protein powder. Or if you fancy a blueberry muffin make blueberry muffin oatmeal with blubbery and cinnamon protein powder.

Recipe:

You will need:

  • 40-60g Oats (steel cut is best)
  • 200ml water, milk or plant milk
  • Blueberry and cinnamon protein powder (my vegan do a great one)
  • 20g blueberries
  • Add any toppings you would like

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a microwaveable bowl.
  2. Then microwave for 1 and half minutes, stir and then keep microwaving it until the texture is something you would like.
  3. Once you’re happy with the texture, stop heating and add your favourite toppings.

2 – Nut Butters

Nut butters are one of the best ways to bring a source of healthy fats into your breakfast. Not only will healthy fats help keep you full for longer they also have a range of health benefits.

According to the NHS monounsaturated fats (the kind that is found in nuts) “helps protect your heart by maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood”.

Other than the obvious health benefits associated with these fats, they can also be a super tasty way of spicing your oats up. They can be used as part of the mix or as a topping and can completely change up the taste of your oats.

Snickers Oatmeal Recipe:

You will need:

  • 40 – 60g oats (steel cut is best)
  • 200ml water, milk or plant milk
  • Chocolate protein powder
  • 10g peanut butter
  • Any toppings

Method: 

  1. Mix together the oats and protein powder, then add your liquid of choice.
  2. Microwave for 1 and a half minutes, take out, add the peanut and heat for another 2 minutes.
  3. Once its at a good texture for you it time to add any toppings.

3 – Throw some veg in the mix 

If you are on a weight loss journey a great way to add volume to your oatmeal is courgette.

Courgette is low in calories but is very filling, by adding it to your oats you’ll save on calories but end up feeling fuller. This is something that can significantly help with adhering to a calorie deficit.

Use an even amount of oats and courgette for courgette oats (e.g. if you use 30g oats use 30g courgette).

Alternatively, you can use veg to just make your oatmeal more fun. For example, if you like carrot cake why not make carrot cake oatmeal by adding carrot, along with spices, to your oats. This is a great way of making your oats tastier but also getting some micronutrients in.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Recipe

You will need:

  • 40 – 60g Oats (steel cut is best)
  • 1 large carrot grated (around 100g)
  • 200ml water, milk or plant milk (add more if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of ginger to taste
  • Dash of cinnamon to taste
  • Tsp maple syrup (sugar free or normal depending on your preference)
  • Tsp vanilla essence
  • Any toppings you like

Method: 

  1. Grate the carrot using the finest grate of a box grater.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Microwave for longer if consistency is too runny.
  4. Once at desired consistency stop microwaving and add toppings.

4 – Add all of the toppings

Ok so in all of the recipes included in this article it says, ‘any toppings you like’, so you’re probably thinking; what do you mean any toppings? Well if you’re imaginative enough anything is able to be an oatmeal topping.

And yes, I mean anything. Toppings are literally the one thing that can really make your plain oatmeal excel. For example, if you want to keep it simple, add some peanut butter, banana and blueberries with a dash of cinnamon.

But if you want to really spice up your oatmeal have the peanut butter, banana and blueberries but throw in your favourite chocolate on top.

Recipe: Apple Crumble Oats

Basic oatmeal recipe with or without protein powder, nut butters or veg.

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Your favourite granola
  • Peanut butter or Lotus Biscoff Spread

 Method:

  1. Make your basic oatmeal.
  2. Cut your apple into small bite size squares. Put it in a microwaveable container and add maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Microwave for 1 minute or until slightly soft.
  3. Add the apples to the top of your oats, then sprinkle on your granola (this is what makes it a crumble) and add either peanut butter or Lotus Biscoff spread (or both) depending on preference.

5 – Make them overnight 

So, one thing that may see as a downfall of oats is that they can take a bit longer to make than a standard bowl of cereal. But that’s where overnight oats come in.

They can be the quickest and easiest way to spice your oats up and can easily combine all of the above tips. You can even add your toppings the night before and enjoy an extra few minutes in bed on a cold morning.

Also, if you aren’t a fan of the idea of cold oats most recipes can easily be microwaved warm, but if you get the consistency right cold, they’ll be like eating cake for breakfast.

Recipe: Banana Bread Overnight Oats

You will need:

  • 40-60g Oats (steel cut is best)
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 50g yoghurt (Greek or any thick dairy free depending on dietary needs)
  • 75ml almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to make:

  1. Mix altogether in a jar or container and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning take out and add your desired toppings.

About the Author

Charlotte Wilson
Charlotte Wilsonhttps://squatsandsustainable.wixsite.com/squatssustainsbility
My name is Charlotte Wilson and I am a writer specialising in fitness and nutrition. I am extremely passionate about both of these things due to personal experiences. I have had a significant weight loss journey which also helped me to build a healthy relationship with food and exercise, which is something I now aim to share through my writing. I want my articles to help others build a healthy relationship with food and exercise and step away from yoyo dieting, diet fads and unsustainable exercise. I am a big believer in eating food to fuel you that you enjoy, but making sure it is still nutritious, and doing exercise that makes you feel good physically and mentally.

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