Given that oats are nutritious, affordable, and versatile, it’s no wonder that a warm, hearty bowl of oatmeal can help me have a great start to the day.
Unfortunately, at first glance, oats can seem kind of boring. They’re not, though! There are so many delicious was to prepare them. Need some ideas? See below for dozens of recipes.
Before we begin, let’s clarify some terms that are used in recipes.
- Groats = Whole, unbroken oat grains. Long cooking time required.
- Steel-cut oats = Whole groats split into several pieces. Intermediate cooking time required.
- Rolled oats = Groats that have been steamed (to make them soft and pliable) and then pressed between rollers. Short cooking time required.
- Quick oats = Similar to rolled oats, but steamed longer and pressed thinner. Very short cooking time required.
- Instant oats = Similar to quick oats, but steamed longer and pressed thinner. Fully cooked once boiling water is added to them.
According to registered dieticians, all types of oats have similar nutritional benefits (source). What are some of these benefits?
- They increase appetite-control hormones
- Their beta glucans improve immune system defenses
- They lower bad cholesterol and help control blood pressure
- They may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Click here to read more about the health benefits of oats. Now, on to the recipes!
Ways to flavor a bowl of oatmeal
- Apple butter
- Applesauce or other fruit sauces
- Brown sugar
- Canned pumpkin
- Chocolate chips (milk, dark, and white)
- Coconut flakes
- Coconut milk
- Coconut oil
- Coconut sugar
- Dried fruits (apples, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, etc.)
- Fresh fruits (blueberries, bananas, peaches, strawberries, etc.)
- Jams or jellies
- Maple syrup
- Orange marmalade
- Orange or lemon zest
- Table sugar
- Cheese (cream cheese, Parmesan, feta, cheddar, etc.)
- Chicken or beef broth
- Chocolate hazelnut spread
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs (scrambled, hardboiled, etc.)
- Herbs (dried or fresh)
- Milk or cream
- Nut butters
- Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, etc.)
- Tabasco or other hot sauce
- Vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, etc.)
Other ways to prepare oats for breakfast
Make-ahead and overnight oatmeal
- Make-ahead steel-cut oats in mason jars
- Overnight oatmeal with caramelized apples in the slow cooker
- Overnight oatmeal with maple and brown sugar in the slow cooker
- Baked oatmeal with apples and cinnamon
- Baked oatmeal with bananas and maple syrup
- Baked oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon
- Baked oatmeal with cranberries
Oatmeal breads and muffins
- Bread made with applesauce and bananas
- Bread made with honey
- Bread made with raisins and pecans
- Muffins made with blueberries
- Muffins made with cinnamon and applesauce
Oatmeal breakfast bars and cookies
- Plain bars
- Bars made with peanut butter
- Bars made with raisins
- Cookies made with pecans and maple syrup
- Cookies made with raisins or chocolate chips
Oatmeal breakfast cakes
Oatmeal pancakes and waffles
- Waffles made with buttermilk
- Granola made with apricots and pistachios
- Granola made with coconut and almonds
- Granola made with cranberries and orange zest
Though there are many recipes here, I know they represent only a small portion of the ways oats can be prepared. After all, these are only breakfast ideas! Oats can be used in many lunch and dinner dishes, too.
What is your favorite way to prepare oats?