Oatmeal Obsession – Five Fun Ways to Spice Up Your Morning Bowl

I love oatmeal. It is one of the only things that keeps me full throughout the morning (I am definitely an “I need a carb with my breakfast” type person). Oatmeal is also great fuel for runners in that it is carbohydrate rich and it provides a lot of options for doctoring it up to meet your own nutritional needs.

My obsession with oatmeal started when I was younger, living at home, and still able to convince my mom to make be breakfast the day of a big race. She would add anything and everything that could be found in the pantry to give the dish a little extra nutritional boost. To this day, I still love getting creative with my breakfast and trying different combinations of toppings. Below, I have compiled a list of some of my favorites (note: I try to only use slow cook oats rather than instant oatmeal unless I am in a pinch or am running late and need to be able to quickly made breakfast at work).

1. Honey toasted almonds, dried cranberries, cinnamon, and almond milk

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This combination was actually the result of left over salad toppings from dinner the night before.

I always try to add some sort of protein (usually in the form of nuts) to add some nutritional balance (and to help keep me full)! The dried cranberries also add a little hint of sweetness to the meal without making it overly sweet. The almond milk also adds slight flavoring, making the overall combination taste more interesting.


2. Peanut butter, banana and strawberries

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Who doesn’t love peanut butter?!? I have found that stirring a spoonful (or two) into oatmeal not  only gives it a heartier texture but also adds some protein. Peanut butter also goes well with banana and strawberries. This combo is my usual go-to (since the ingredients are simple and almost always stocked in the pantry).

3. Strawberries, blueberries, honey, and gluten free granola 


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This combination is perfect for a hot summer morning! The strawberry/blueberry combo just screams “summer” to me, while the honey provides just a little touch of sweetness. I added a little bit of granola on top just for texture (and because I like the added crunch). I found a great gluten free granola at Aldi for only about $3.50/ bag (as opposed to my normal go-tos which run closer to $7.00 a bag). Side note: Aldi has a really great gluten free section generally and I have found that I like the Aldi gluten free brand better than some of the more well known brands.

4. Almonds, brown sugar, and raisins 

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Easy, yet delicious. Again, I love adding nuts into my oatmeal for some protein. Almond slivers are a great choice because they are not too overwhelming. Raisins and brown sugar are always a solid go-to for me (and something that I almost always have in my cabinet). Sometimes there’s something to be said for simplicity!
5. Banana, blueberries, almonds, brown sugar

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The key when using bananas in your oatmeal is to put them in the bowl first and to allow the oatmeal to partially cook them (reminds me of banana bread)! The blueberries add a little tartness as contrast. I know that the brown sugar isn’t necessary – but I love it. However, it could easily be cut out (or substituted with honey) and it would be just as tasty!

What is your go-to for breakfast? Do you eat oatmeal? What combinations are you loving?