For many healthy eaters, part of their seasonal transition involves trading iced green smoothies for warm bowls of oatmeal. The nutritional benefits of the original healthy breakfast are impossible to deny: oatmeal is full of fiber (with about four grams per one cup cooked) and antioxidants. Here’s the thing though: most easy oatmeal breakfast recipes aren’t all that exciting. (Hey, we were all thinking it.)
We asked healthy eating experts to name the easiest ways to make a bowl of oatmeal more interesting while reaping even more health benefits. Their ideas are sure to make it into your breakfast rotation all year long.
5 easy oatmeal breakfast recipes that are as interesting as they are healthy
1. Add an egg on top
Whole In One author and registered dietitian Ellie Krieger, RD, likes adding extra protein to her bowl by adding an egg on top. “I love to make savory oatmeal bowls in the morning—or for lunch,” she says. “Just cook oats in water or milk, top with a fried egg, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, some chopped parsley, freshly ground pepper, and sea salt. You could even add some prosciutto if you are feeling racy.” Follow her guidance and your oatmeal will be full of flavor.
2. use it as a cruncy topper
Another oatmeal hack Krieger has it to convert it into granola by cooking it in the oven at 300°F, separating it out into little clumps on parchment-lined paper. “Oat-centric granola goes savory too and is wonderful as a topping for salads, squash, or sweet potatoes,” Krieger says. “In my new book, I have a recipe for Roasted Beets and Orange with Savory Granola which I serve over a smear of Greek yogurt.” Converting your oatmeal into a granola topper is an easy way to add more fiber to other meals.
3. add protein powder
Registered dietitian Cory Levin, RD, was sick of having oatmeal for breakfast in the morning and then feeling hungry a couple hours later. Then, she found a way to fix it that not only kept her full but added more flavor: “Adding a scoop of protein powder and some nut butter to our oatmeal increases the protein and healthy fats so we stay fuller, longer,” she says. It’s a fun way to play with the flavor too, experimenting with vanilla, chocolate, chai, or even pumpkin-flavored powders.
4. top it off with roasted fruit
Cutting up a banana or some strawberries to add to your oatmeal is pretty standard, but Kara Lydon, RD, likes to think outside the box, adding roasted blood oranges to hers. “Roasting caramelized the sugars so it definitely bumped the sweetness up a notch, which made them a perfect addition to morning oatmeal,” she says.
5. turn it into a muffin
PSA: You can turn your oatmeal into a warm, gooey muffin in just two minutes in the microwave. This trick comes from nutritionist Rachel Harley, CRN, and requires just a few key ingredients for ensuring you get that perfect cakey-texture: half a banana, one egg, a splash of alt-milk, and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Harley also adds nut butter to hers for extra protein and texture. “Since it’s made with an egg and has nut butter, it’s packed with enough satiating fats and fiber to make it stick,” she says. “Plus, the banana gives it heft and a little extra sweetness without adding sugar.”
Speaking of breakfast, eggs really are incredible: