I love oatmeal for breakfast in the colder months - warm, filling, and so darned healthy! We buy rolled oats in bulk (think 25 or 50 lb sacks) - which makes for a frugal breakfast (and ensures I have enough oats for baking treats as well).
But plain oatmeal? Sorry, doesn't do it for me. I like to jazz mine up with various stir-ins.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to make oatmeal special!
1 - Pumpkin Spice: this is a treat! Stir in 1 Tbs pumpkin puree, 1 tsp maple syrup, a few drops of vanilla extract, and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice to taste.
2 - Chunky Applesauce: this is my regular standby. I stir in a heaping Tbs of my homemade chunky applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
3 - Cinnamon Raisin Maple: stir the raisins into the oats as they cook. I use about 1 tsp per 1/2 cup of uncooked oats. The raisins will plump as they cook. A sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup (the real think, not the pancake topping stuff) make for a comforting start to the day.
4 - Peaches and Cream: I freeze peaches in the summertime, and noting is sunnier on a blizzardy day than stirring little chunks of peachy goodness! I usually add a drizzle of honey and a splash of milk or cream.
5 - Raspberry Jam: stir in a tablespoon of raspberry jam for a sweet treat. When I was in England many years ago as an exchange student, raspberry jam stirred into my porridge was an essential start to the day!
6 - Blueberries: stir 1/4 cup or fresh or frozen blueberries and a splash of milk. I sometimes add a tiny drop of almond extract and a dash of honey for an extra special treat!
7 - Classic Cranberry-Orange: stir in 1/4 cup of cranberries and a splash of oj for a unique breakfast twist! Only have craisins? Cook them along with the oats, just like raisins!
8 - Creamy Banana: I like banana slices in my oatmeal...but I love creamy banana even more! Blend 1/2 banana with a splash of milk so its thick and creamy, and stir into the oatmeal.
9 - Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: this is more like dessert, but once in a while it makes a nice treat. Stir in brown sugar (to taste) and chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, whatever), add a dollop of heavy cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
10 - Tropical Delight: stir in shredded coconut, small pieces of mango and pineapple, and a spoonful of brown sugar.
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