Oatmeal for breakfast can get such a bad rep. What used to come to mind for me was soggy oats floating in a bowl of too much warm water, accompanied by the three whole raisins that came in the individual oatmeal package. Boring. Bland. Blah. Not exactly the invigorating start to your day you wanted to wake up to.

It’s amazing how this meal, seemingly void of any creative potential, has now become one of my go-to breakfasts because of how versatile, fun (and still easy!) it can be. Whether for starting your day, kicking that comfort food craving, or settling in with a warm midnight snack, these bowls have got you covered!  All you have to do is ditch the pre-packaged flavoured oatmeal, grab a bag of whole oats, and come along for the ride to discover just how exciting they can get.

 

Exhibit A: Coffee Oats Loaded with Strawberries & Almond Butter 

Who said you had to use water to cook your oats? This bowl is made by adding 4 ounces of coffee to 5 tbsps of oats, boosted with a heaping tsp of flax seeds, then microwaved for 2 minutes. Stir in a splash of maple syrup and milk, then load it up with fresh cut strawberries and a big dollop of creamy almond butter. Four food groups in one bowl? Check!

coffee oats

 

Exhibit B: Coconut Oats with Chocolate Covered Almonds & Banana 

If you find yourself with more of a sweet tooth in the morning, this is the perfect way to get a hearty breakfast in and have an excuse for a little chocolate fix. This bowl is made by adding 4 ounces of water to 5 tbsps of oats, boosted with a heaping tsp of flax seeds, then microwaved for 2 minutes. Stir in a generous splash of coconut milk, chop up a few good quality dark-chocolate-covered almonds, and top it all off with a sliced banana. Yum!

coconut oats

 

Exhibit C: Apple Cinnamon Oats

There’s something so comforting about the warm scent of apple commingled with cinnamon to start your day right (or to end the day when you’re dreaming of apple pie). This bowl is made by adding 4 ounces of water to 5 tbsps of oats, boosted with a heaping tsp of flax seeds and 1 tbsp of raisins, then microwaved for 2 minutes. Instead of milk, stir in one individual serving container of applesauce (or about 1/3 cup of homemade applesauce) and sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Mmmm.

apple oats

 

On-The-Go Tip!

Oatmeal is great for savouring slowly, but it’s also a really easy and hearty on-the-go option. If you’re making it to take to work, simply put the ingredients in a large glass container (the oats will expand and the water will bubble over the sides of the container in the microwave if the container is too small). Carefully remove from the microwave, add desired toppings, and the oats will get deliciously tender as they soak up the extra water on your way to work. As a teacher, this has been my go-to breakfast for early mornings when there’s no time to eat at home, but a hearty breakfast is still very needed!