18 Easy Oatmeal Add-Ins
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I’m a big fan of oatmeal at breakfast, but I’m also getting pretty bored with it. What can I add to my oatmeal to change things up?
Rock the Oats
Canned Pure PumpkinPuréed pumpkin will make your oatmeal thick and creamy with a fiber boost. And, no, it won't make your hot cereal taste like pumpkin pie... unless you add pumpkin pie spice! A 1/4-cup serving of pure pumpkin adds about 20 calories and 2g fiber. Just don't confuse this with pumpkin pie filling, which is higher in calories and sugar.
Mashed BananaHere's another way to bring creamy texture to your oatmeal—this time, with a burst of sweetness! A 1/4-cup serving adds 50 calories and 1.5g fiber. So good with a little cinnamon…
Light ButterA little light butter brings richness like you wouldn't believe. A 2-tsp. serving averages around 30 calories and 3g total fat. HG favorite: Brummel & Brown.
Unsweetened Cocoa PowderHot chocolate is great—hot chocolate oatmeal is better! Dark/premium cocoa is my go-to choice. Each tablespoon has about 10–20 calories, 0.5–1g total fat, and 1–2g fiber. Adding a little sweetener really brings out the flavor.
Protein PowderMake your a.m. oats more filling with a spoonful of protein powder! Look for picks with about 100 calories per serving. A 2-tbsp. portion is all you need—about 35 calories, 0.5g total fat, and 6.5g protein. Dissolve it in cold water before cooking your oats. Try plain, vanilla, or chocolate... My favorites are made by Simply Tera's.
Powdered Peanut ButterThis product is a must! It's made from defatted peanuts—perfect for adding nutty flavor without excess fat. A 2-tbsp. serving has about 50 calories and 1.5g total fat.
Chia SeedsChia will infuse your oatmeal with omega-3s and give it some great texture. Bonus: It'll thicken up an oat-based breakfast that's too watery. A tablespoon has 60 calories, 4g total fat, 4.5g fiber, and 2.5g protein.
Egg WhitesYes, seriously! Stirring liquid egg whites (thoroughly!) into your oatmeal while it simmers gives you a slightly larger serving with extra creaminess and a nice protein boost! A 1/4 cup adds about 30 calories and 6.5g protein.
Low-Sugar PreservesSugar-slashed jelly is a great calorie bargain, with just 25 calories per tablespoon. It's a fantastic way to flavor up your b-fast bowl, even when your favorite fruit is out of season. Pair grape jam with that powdered peanut butter for PB&J oatmeal! I also love these naturally sweetened sugar-free jams!
Light Caramel DipA drizzle of this sweet stuff will bump up your oats to fancy-pants status. It's especially great with apples or peaches. Swirl in 1 tbsp. for 55 calories and <0.5g total fat.
Assorted ExtractsVanilla, almond, maple, and beyond! Change it up, mix 'n match… just don't add too much. While they're very low in calories, overdoing it can give an alcohol-y taste to your food. Spice Islands and Watkins make incredibly good extracts.
Shredded Sweetened CoconutThere's a tropical party in your cereal bowl, and you're invited! A tablespoon contributes 35 calories, 2g total fat, and 1g fiber. Try browning it in a dry skillet first for a toasty taste! Sugar avoiders: Reach for unsweetened shreds.
Almonds or PistachiosNuts are calorie dense but super satisfying! If you’re watching your calorie intake, just keep an eye on the portion size. A 1/4-oz. serving (about 1 tbsp.) contains around 40 calories and 3.5g total fat.
Fresh FruitFeel free to get a bit crazy with this stuff. Cook your oats with chopped fruit like apples, pears, and peaches; or top your oatmeal with whole berries, like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The calorie content varies.
Canned Fruit Packed in JuiceKeywords: packed in juice. Even light syrup is pretty sugary and high in calories. That said, canned fruit is a big time saver. And that juice brings extra sweetness! A 1/2-cup serving averages around 60 calories and 1g fiber.
Mini Semisweet Chocolate ChipsBecause what makes the morning more bearable than chocolate? Mini chocolate chips go a long way—add a teaspoon for around 25 calories and 1.5g total fat. Then let them get nice and melty... Mmmm! Bonus favorite: the (full-size) low-sugar chips from Lily’s!
High-Fiber Bran CerealThis stuff brings big CRUNCH when sprinkled on top of your oatmeal, not to mention a major dose of fiber. A quarter-cup of Fiber One Original has about 35 calories, 0.5g total fat, and 7g fiber. Also good? All-natural Nature's Path Organic SmartBran, with about 35 calories, <0.5g total fat, and 5.5g fiber.
Light YogurtThis one's more like an add-on than an add-in; we like to chill our oatmeal, and layer it with creamy yogurt. (You can also just add a dollop on your hot cereal.) Awesome! A 1/2 cup has about 80 calories. Choose Greek yogurt for bonus protein.
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Chew on this:
The first week of February (now in progress) is Shape Up with Pickles Time! Grab a jar of your favorite pickles, and do a few bicep curls with it while you snack.
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