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Oatmeal is a breakfast staple for a bunch of reasons—it’s filling, quick to prepare, and packed with fiber and other nutrients. Problem is, eating the same old stuff morning after morning can start to get a little dull. After all, there’s only so much peanut butter or honey you can spoon into it before you’re left wanting something more.
But there are actually a lot of ways you can level up your oats into something you’re excited to get out of bed for. And you don’t need to put in loads of work to get it done, either. It’s possible to breathe new life into your bowl by swapping out traditional add-ins, experimenting with new flavor combos, and trying different cooking techniques. Test out these suggestions below, and we promise you’ll jump back on the oatmeal wave in no time.
1. Bake your oats.
You don’t always have to go the top-of-the-stove route. Jessie Shafer, RDN, a Denver-based registered dietitian, pops hers in the oven and cooks them in a casserole dish for a different kind of texture. “Baked oatmeal [is] a cross between a bowl of oatmeal and a breakfast bar,” Shafer tells SELF.
Keep in mind: You’ll want to use rolled or old-fashioned oats instead of slow-cooking steel-cut or instant options, since they hold up better under heat. Shafer suggests mixing with your choice of milk, maple syrup, chia seeds, berries, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, then cooking until it reaches an apple-crisp-like consistency—golden brown on the top and gooey in the center. The resulting texture lends itself well to reheating, so you can make a big batch to eat throughout the week, she explains.
2. Brew your oats in tea.
Brew your favorite variety, like Earl Grey or matcha, then mix it into your oats. The result? A quick way to spice up the flavor of your bland bowl. If you want crunchy bites, you can add in some dried cranberries or granola too.
3. Top it off with frozen fruit.
For a sweet and refreshing hit, toss frozen staples like blueberries, mangoes, peaches, and strawberries into your oatmeal right out of the bag—no need to thaw first. The heat will soften them perfectly. Bonus: No need to prep fresh produce for your morning meal, because who’s got time for that?
4. Raid your spice cabinet.
Plain oatmeal is a blank canvas, which makes a whole bunch of options work in it. Sprinkle on cinnamon or ginger for sweet notes or everything bagel seasoning or curry powder if you’re going the savory route. A pinch or two can go a long way in upgrading your dish—and it takes mere seconds.
5. Grate in some cheese.
A fun bowl of oatmeal doesn’t have to be sweet. If you prefer savory flavors, prepare your oatmeal like a risotto by grating in Parmesan or Asiago for some creamy and nutty notes. You can also try different types of cheese each week—say, Gruyère or cheddar—to keep your grains interesting.
6. Mix in some hearty veggies.
For more savory oatmeal ideas, mix in roasted produce like zucchini, carrots, or broccoli—or pretty much any other leftovers in your fridge, Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, a NYC-based registered dietitian, tells SELF. This adds a heartiness to your grains that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Cassetty says. Plus it’s simply a quick and easy way to eat more veggies, which can help your health as well as shake up your plate. “Vegetables are incredibly nutrient-dense,” Shafer says. “They have high amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.”
7. Stir in some yogurt.
“The combo of oats with yogurt will give you a really creamy consistency,” Cassetty says. You can go with plain, especially if you’re planning on add-ins, but strawberry- or vanilla-flavored options work too, particularly if you gravitate toward sweeter notes.
This combo packs some hearty nutritional perks too. A half cup of oats contains about five grams of protein, but if you add a serving of Greek yogurt to it, you can more than quadruple the amount in your meal. Experts generally recommend shooting for at least 20 g for a filling breakfast, so this will help you get there, Cassetty says.
8. Top it off with eggs.
Whether it’s over easy, poached, or boiled, an egg can add flavor and texture (plus five to eight grams of protein) to your oatmeal, Cassetty says. The yolk oozing over your grains will give it a rich, buttery taste.
9. Don’t forget the nuts.
Pick up some almonds, cashews, or pistachios, and sprinkle them on your oatmeal for some crunch. (If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can roast them beforehand to add a nice caramelized flavor). You’ll load up on healthy fats and fiber, which boost fullness and help keep food moving through your digestive tract, Cassetty says.
10. Drizzle on chili crisp.
A douse of heat can certainly amp up your meal—and chili crisp is a quick way to add that in. The crunchy, savory, oil-based condiment pairs deliciously with the neutral base of your grains. There are tons of varieties of sauces out there too; some have sweeter notes, and others are more garlic-forward, so you’ll never grow bored of your oats again.
Originally Appeared on SELF