three simple game-changing tricks for your morning bowl of oatmeal

I hope I’ve gotten your attention. I hope you didn’t skip over this post thinking, “Blech, I hate oatmeal it’s so gross” or wondering why anyone would be excited about oatmeal at all. I used to not be excited about oatmeal, too. Now we have it every Monday and Friday and even my kids are happy about it. Here’s the thing: these tips are game-changers because they turn your bowl of oatmeal from a flavorless mess of gluey slop into something that is actually full of flavor, delicious, and doesn’t even need brown sugar. (Although you can still put brown sugar on. I do. Along with a lot of other yummy things. Read on!)

  • toast your oats

    This is a simple but really effective way to give some depth of flavor to the oats. When toasted, they take on a wonderfully warm, almost nutty flavor. I like to toast them in some butter for just a few minutes before I pour in the liquid, but you could also use any oil of preference or even just toast them dry. Be careful not too burn them! Burnt oats are NOT yum.

  • swap in some milk for your cooking liquid

    Adding some milk to your cooking liquid makes the oatmeal delightfully creamy. I use half water, half milk. I find all milk is a little too much. Although I never have, I imagine using almond milk or coconut milk or some other alternative milk would work well and taste delicious.

  • throw in some salt

    Salt is the single most important element of flavor. If I have learned anything in my years of baking and cooking, it is that salt, or the lack of it, makes or breaks a dish. Try a loaf of bread with salt and without. It’s really not the difference of salty-or-not, it’s the difference between flavorful and flavorless. Salt makes things taste more like themselves. So toss some salt into your cooking liquid, just a generous pinch, and taste oatmeal like you never have before.

  • some bonus tips

    • extra add ins. Try adding these to your oats as they cook for a little added flavor or texture: grated or chopped apple; mashed banana; chopped dates; coconut; chia/flax/hemp seeds; cinnamon/nutmeg; a splash of vanilla or other extract.

    • top it off. Toppings can make a bowl of oatmeal really fun and also more filling. In our house, we use any of the following: dried fruits, nut butters, coconut, brown sugar, sliced fresh fruits, a splash of cream, and chocolate chips. (If you’re raising your eyebrows at the chocolate chips: 1) people put chocolate chips in their pancakes, so… ; 2) it’s still way better than most cereals out there in terms of nutrition; 3) I defy you to find a child that won’t eat a bowl of oatmeal if you put even just three chocolate chips on it; 4) it’s delicious.)