(Natural News) Oatmeal may not always the first thing you think of when discussing delicious breakfasts.
But this fiber-rich superfood has a lot to offer, and you can easily make oatmeal more delicious – and nutritious – by adding other flavorful ingredients like fresh fruits or cacao.
Not sure where to start? First, remember the basic oatmeal ratio: Two parts liquid to one part rolled oats.
Next, combine the oats with your choice of liquid (milk, alternative milk, or water) in a small saucepan. Add a pinch of salt, then bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook while stirring occasionally for three to five minutes or until the oatmeal has thickened. Even though oats are inherently gluten-free, the product you’re using may be processed in a facility where they can be exposed to wheat. If you can’t tolerate gluten, cook a gluten-free oatmeal variety.
Follow the tips below to boost your fiber intake with a delicious bowl of oatmeal.
Make seasonal oatmeal
Give your breakfast a sweet, fall twist by making “pumpkin pie” oatmeal. Add half a cup of canned pumpkin puree for each serving of oats, then use a creamy milk like coconut or oat milk as the liquid. While cooking, add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a generous dash of vanilla extract. Top the oatmeal with a drizzle of maple syrup and some pecans before serving.
To make “apple pie” oatmeal, add chopped or grated apple to your initial oat mixture before cooking. Add a pinch of cinnamon and some vanilla. Top the apple pie-inspired oatmeal with a dab of ghee and some coconut sugar.
Try making savory oatmeal
If you don’t like plain or sweet oatmeal, shake things up with a bowl of savory oatmeal.
Add a bit of tamari to the water before adding the oats, then stir in a spoonful of miso when you’re done cooking – don’t cook miso as that will damage the probiotics in it. Serve with a sprinkling of sliced green onions and a drizzle of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
Add an egg
According to Jessica Cording, a registered dietitian, adding an egg makes your oatmeal thicker and creamier. (Related: Just got home from a run? Here are 15 foods you can eat to fulfill your goals.)
When preparing the oatmeal, cook until the liquid is almost fully absorbed. Add the egg and stir in vigorously for one to two minutes or until the mixture begins to look fluffy. Cover the pot and let the oatmeal sit for about five minutes before serving.
Add sweet and healthy ingredients
Sweet doesn’t always mean bad for you. You can make oatmeal a sweet treat by adding superfoods such as a spoonful of raw cacao, cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne and a splash of vanilla extract.
To make chocolate-strawberry oatmeal, try the same mix above, but add fresh or frozen strawberries. For a Bananas Foster-inspired breakfast, top your oatmeal with sliced bananas and sauteed in ghee or coconut oil with some coconut sugar.
Add crunchy ingredients
Oatmeal by itself is mushy and boring, but adding seeds like chia, flax and hemp makes for a crunchier and healthier breakfast. You can also try other healthy toppings such as chunked apple, nuts and seeds, or seed-filled berries.
Try oat alternatives
If you want a breakfast that’s similar to oatmeal but using different grains and seeds, try some oat alternatives such as quinoa. When cooking quinoa, use the same 2:1 ratio to make delicious, protein-rich porridge. Add either sweet or savory ingredients like you would with oatmeal.
Alternatively, you can use millet. This smaller grain is creamier when cooked, like skillet cornbread or mashed potatoes, but you need to use a 2.5:1 ratio for best results.
Start your day by enjoying a fiber-rich bowl of oatmeal served with fresh fruits or savory ingredients like miso and tamari.