I bought a huge tub of Quaker Steel Cut Oats and decided to play around with different types of oatmeal. I don't like eating the same thing several days in a row, but I can do it if I keep switching up the flavors. So I decided I'd try a different kind of oatmeal every day for a week. And take pictures. And blog about it. Because that's what the internet's for!
These aren't extraordinarily healthy: The idea is to get in some whole grains without adding too much junk. But if a little junk is going to get me to eat my oatmeal, then so be it. Most of these are about 400-500 calories since that's a good portion size for me for breakfast. I didn't count calories when I made them and figured out the nutrition after the fact for this post, in case it's useful for you and you want to make any modifications (more protein is probably a good idea). I'm too lazy to figure it out in more detail, but that's also what the internet is for should you feel up to it.
If you feel like making any of these, you can play with the portions as much as you want. I usually just microwave my oatmeal because I work a full-time job and run 70 mile weeks and my time isn't exactly abundant in the morning, but you can prepare these however you want. You can also always replace water with milk. I usually use water because oats have a lot of iron and calcium inhibits the absorption of iron, but then so does fiber, so I doubt it really makes a significant difference.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup oats, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 tbs brown sugar, 1 cup frozen peaches, dash of salt, cinnamon. Top with 1/2 cup granola.
492 calories, 88g carbs, 11g fat, 13g protein
This was actually my favorite despite it being the first one I made, probably because I spent a really long time thinking about how to pull it off. It tasted delicious and the granola added a nice little crunch. The only mistake I made was adding the peaches before microwaving it. It didn't really cook correctly and I had to stick it in for some extra time.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup oats, 1 1/2 cup water, 1/2 can pumpkin, dash of salt, cinnamon, 1 tbs brown sugar.
345 calories, 69g carbs, 5g fat, 12g protein
I got the idea of using canned pumpkin in my oatmeal from my sister. I'm really glad I tried it. It was amazing. It added a ton of flavor (and some nice color) but still kept things pretty healthy. To be honest, I think the amount of brown sugar I used in this one was unnecessary: The pumpkin adds enough flavor that this would probably be good (although less pie-like) without any sugar, and you can definitely get away with one or two teaspoons.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup oats, 1 1/2 cup 2% milk, dash of salt, 2 tbs Hershey's Special Dark Syrup.
505 calories, 83g carbs, 12g fat, 20g protein
Dark chocolate syrup goes a long way. And even though I usually use water, I really had to go with milk for this. It tasted like hot cocoa and oatmeal at the same time. Amazing, especially when you've just gotten back from a run in cool, rainy Seattle.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup oats, 1 1/2 cup water, dash of salt, 2 tbs King's Cupboard cream caramel sauce, 1 gala apple.
445 calories, 80g carbs, 12g fat, 8g protein
I had this one on a Sunday (16 mile day) so I figured it was OK to indulge a little. Every time I'd ever had oatmeal with apples, it had been cinnamon-apple oatmeal. Lame. I added the caramel and apple with 30 seconds to go on the microwave. The apple pieces got nice and soft and the flavors permeated the oatmeal, but the oatmeal still cooked correctly. This was insanely delicious.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup oatmeal, 1 1/2 cup water, dash of salt, 1/8 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup dried bosc pears.
540 calories, 119g carbs, 4g fat, 8g protein
I got this idea from a mini-pie I'd had earlier that week. Maple and pear go pretty well together, and a small amount of maple syrup adds a surprising amount of flavor. But man, this was overkill on the dried pears. I'd add probably half as many next time.
Peanut Butter, Honey, and Banana
Ingredients: 3/4 cup oats, 1 1/2 cup water, dash of salt, 1 tbs peanut butter, 1 tbs honey, 1 banana.
489 calories, 89g carbs, 12g fat, 13g protein
Peanut butter, honey, and banana is a post-run staple I'd had in many forms (as a sandwich, on waffles, and in shakes) so I knew I had to try it with my oatmeal too. It was as good as it always is. I'd tried to make oatmeal with peanut butter before and it hadn't worked very well because I'd used crunchy peanut butter. This time, I used creamy peanut butter. I'd definitely go with creamy. I like nuts in my oatmeal too, but crunchy peanut butter really doesn't mix as well. Honey is about as awesome as maple syrup at adding a ridiculous amount of delicious sweet flavor even in pretty small quantities. This honey in particular was made by some family friends which made it even better. Total win.
428 calories, 79g carbs, 10g fat, 11g protein
I had to try this just once even though it involved a lot of junk. I'm kind of upset that I did, because it's so good that I think I'll be having this a little more often than I probably should. You're probably better off using chocolate syrup than melted chocolate since melted chocolate doesn't really add that much flavor in small quantities. Other than that, this was fantastic.