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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Sweet and Savory Ways to Dress up Your Oatmeal

Let’s make oatmeal better. For how popular and versatile it is, oatmeal doesn’t seem to live up to its potential, often falling into the category of foods we eat because we know they’re good for us. But it can totally fall into a more favorable (and flavorful) category with just a few little tweaks to the standard preparation. Not only that but oatmeal, and the oats themselves, lend themselves to be used in different recipes and made in ways that sound like they wouldn’t work but totally do. Let’s leave the boring bowls of flavorless, clumpy oatmeal behind and try out some new ways of making it — here are 7 of my favorite ways to do so.

Overnight Oats {via 100 days of real food}
This is my favorite way to eat oatmeal. I think it could make even the strongest oatmeal-hater like oatmeal. It’s like the gateway oatmeal. If you enjoy the taste of oats but the texture gets to you, or you’re just looking for a change from the normal hot oatmeal, these are pretty much oats soaked in milk overnight with flavor additions. I’d suggest following the recipe completely the first time you make them so you can see what it’s supposed to be like but then feel pretty to play around on subsequent tries. You can switch out the extracts, the sweetener, how much liquid you use, pretty much anything here can be messed up — just play around until you find exactly your type of overnight oats.

Image Credit: jessica merchant

Ina’s Oatmeal {via ina garten}
A pretty classic bowl of oatmeal. The only difference here is Ina uses quick cooking oats in place of the old-fashioned oats that make up every other recipe I’ve listed here. The quick cooking kind are more processed so that they will cook faster (hence the name) and because of this they will also create a smoother textured oatmeal. This oatmeal is also not a version that I make to eat on a weekday when I have limited time and am trying to be healthier. Not to say that this is the most unhealthy breakfast ever, but it’s a pretty sizable portion made with whole milk and seems like a better fit for a lazy weekend, or a Sunday morning like Ina suggets.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal {via oh she glows}
Nothing goes together like peanut butter and oatmeal! Wait, actually, the saying goes “nothing doesn’t go with peanut butter.” Is not a saying? Oh. Well, it is in my brain…and probably yours too after you try this bowl. Peanut butter is such a great add on to oatmeal, it’s one of my absolute favorites. It not only adds flavor but alters the texture as well, making it a little more thick and dough-y, which helps to make it seem like you are eating cookie dough for breakfast (always a good thing). I usually stick extra PB in this one and use regular milk in place of almond but that’s only because I’m allergic to tree nuts. I bet the almond milk would make the flavor even more nuttier.

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries & Bananas {via skinnytaste}
For those of us that find traditional oatmeal’s texture to be the only off-putting part about it, baked oatmeal is a gift. It’s got everything traditional oatmeal has going for it minus the texture that can be a little hard to handle for some (read: me!). I actually make this recipe with half quick cooking oats and half old-fashioned because I really like having the big things of oats in there. This is a really healthy breakfast too – uses banana and a small amount of honey as sweetener. Depending on your blueberries they could be either additional sweetener, or a tartness in contrast. Both ways are equally yummy.

Image Credit: federica diliberto

Oatmeal To Go {via chocolate covered katie}
Possibly one of the best on the run, homemade breakfasts (or snacks, really) out there. I love making these to have around at all times. If you make them on a weekend then you have breakfast for your entire week, but I also really love these as an afternoon snack. They are healthy, will keep you full, and can be eaten anywhere. I do make a few changes to this recipe though — I use milk in place of the water because I just can’t do oatmeal with water and I generally will use brown sugar, regular white sugar, or honey as the sweetener instead of stevia. I also prefer raisins to chocolate chips in these. Please stop throwing rocks at me for suggesting that.

Oatmeal Latte {via howsweeteats}
Have you heard about the oatmeal latte yet? Stay with me here! I first heard about it a few months ago, during Winter when it made a lot more sense to drink than it does now that we are about to enter into Spring but season displacement aside, I was equal parts confused and intrigued by the idea. The intriguing side of my brain won last month and I tried out this recipe — surprise, it’s actually delicious. Coffee lovers, and/or specialty coffee drink lovers, this is for you. It’s exactly what it seems like (coffee and oatmeal in a mug) but without the weirdness that seems like it would. I ended up half drinking and half eating the oats with a spoon after much of the coffee was gone, and the world continued on turning with no problems.

Oatmeal Berry Smoothie {via bobby flay}
A cold smoothie, now we’re more on season drink-wise. Oats might be my favorite addition to smoothies. I get a few side eyes when I say that sometimes so hear me out — they not only add a hearty flavor but they help to thicken up the smoothie as well. Sometimes recipes will just add a small amount to smoothies (and these recipes are fine and totally have their place) but this one puts the oats at the forefront and even ups the ante by adding flax seeds into the blend. You’ll see pomegranate molasses on the ingredient list here which I just never have, so I normally skip it, and have never had a problem with the smoothie being the correct texture.

What’s your favorite way to prepare oatmeal?

Featured image is from learninglark on flickr.

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