Six Ways to Top Your Morning Oatmeal

Rolled, steel-cut, or instant – however you like to eat them, oats are an easy, versatile, and nutritious way to kick off your morning.

Oatmeal is made from whole oat grains that have been broken down and processed to varying degrees. A serving size, which is typically around half a cup, is packed with soluble and insoluble fibre, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, and plant-based protein. This means that oats can contribute to a healthy digestive system and keep you feeling full for longer. Numerous studies have also found that incorporating oats into your diet can help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation.

With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder oatmeal has become a North American breakfast staple. There are, however, two things to keep in mind if you want to get the most out of your bowl. First, avoid pre-packaged, pre-flavoured oatmeals, which often contain added sugars, preservatives, and high amounts of sodium. Secondly, opt instead for fresh toppings and mix-ins to maximize flavour, nutrition, and variety.

Here are some combinations to get you started:

Peanut Butter and Banana

Nothing beats this classic combo of healthy proteins, fats, and carbs. Add a tablespoon of your favourite nut butter, slice up a small banana, and finish it off with a sprinkle of hemp seeds for an added crunch.

Strawberry and Coconut

Top off your bowl with a spoonful of dairy-free coconut yogurt (or coconut cream if you’re feeling decadent) and a handful of sliced strawberries. It’s light, creamy, and a great way to boost your immune system for the rest of the day.

Caramelized Apple and Pecan

If you have some extra time in the morning, try slicing a small apple and sautéeing it in some coconut oil and cinnamon over medium-low heat. After five minutes, stir in two tablespoons of chopped pecans, then add to your oatmeal and enjoy!

Carrot Cake and Walnut

Get your veggies in early by adding a quarter cup of grated carrots to your oats. Finish it off with a handful of raisins, some shredded coconut, and a tablespoon of chopped walnuts for a delicious, well-balanced bowl packed with vitamins, protein, and fibre.

Blueberry and Pistachio

Pistachios are a great energizing, low-calorie option for nut lovers. Add a couple tablespoons to your oatmeal, along with a handful of fresh blueberries, to create the perfect sweet and salty combo. For an extra-sweet twist, finish it off with a tablespoon of cacao nibs.

Garlic, Egg, and Spinach

If you prefer your breakfasts savoury, try swapping traditional toast for an oatmeal base. Simply sautée a handful of spinach in some olive oil and garlic, add a fried or hard-boiled egg, and top your bowl with a sprinkle of sea salt and red pepper flakes. If you’re feeling adventurous, think about mixing in roasted tomatoes, sliced avocado, or fresh herbs for a filling, protein-packed dish.