Oatmeal IS THE BEST! It’s exciting, versatile, and delicious! Not to mention oatmeal i packed with fiber, protein, and many vitamins and minerals we need for a healthy start to the day. This post is all about the different ways you can make oatmeal and the different add-ins and toppings you can choose from. Get creative and start experimenting to find out what you like!
Types of Oatmeal
- Steel Cut – these can be cooked in the instant pot to save time. Follow the guidelines that came with your pressure cooker but I believe for the instant pot it’s a 2:1 water to oats ratio and I cook them for about 20-22 minutes. Cook a big batch and then reheat with a splash of milk or water each morning.
- Baked – there are TONS of baked oatmeal recipes out there that are vegan friendly. This is a great one to make on a weekend and save the leftovers for those busy weekday mornings. Check out my baked oatmeal recipe on this page!
- Overnight Oats – this uses Rolled Oats and whatever liquid you prefer (a nice creamy plant-milk like oat or soy is a great choice but you can do any milk or even water if you want). Place your oats, milk, fruit, and any add-ins like vanilla extract, cinnamon etc to a mason jar. Seal and stick in the fridge. These can be made days in advance so you have a grab-and-go breakfast ready for you for a few mornings. I add things like nuts and seeds just before eating so they don’t get soggy. You can also chose to eat these cold or heat them up!
- Instant/Quick oats – the easiest thing to make in the morning. Put your dry oats in a bowl and pour enough water or plant-milk so the oats are all covered. Microwave for 1 minute and then stir in your fixins! Be sure to buy just the regular plain instant oats and not the packets that come with all the added sugar. You are more than welcome to add some sweetener to your oatmeal bowl, but usually those packets contain way too much and you can chose better sources like maple syrup or stevia.
Oatmeal Toppings and Add-Ins
- Spices: cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, pumpkin spice
- Extracts: vanilla extract makes the oatmeal a bit sweeter and who doesn’t love that hint of vanilla?
- Nut/Seed Butters: Get your healthy fats from peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter etc. Some people I know even love putting tahini in their oats. This thickens up the oatmeal a bit and you may need to add a splash more liquid to stir it in.
- Cocoa powder + maple syrup or date syrup: if you like chocolate oats add 1 tbsp of cocoa to your bowl but be sure to add a little sweetener like maple syrup or date syrup to balance the cocoa’s bitterness. You are of course free to add the bit of sweetener without the cocoa too!
- Protein powders – if that’s your thing. This is great for pre or post-workout if you strength train and need a little extra protein. It also helps to flavor the oats but be wary if you use protein powder what the ingredients in it are. Many are sweetened with sucralose, which is artificial and can cause GI distress.
- plant yogurt: for extra creaminess
- FRUITS: berries, bananas, dried fruit, mango, pineapple, kiwi, etc. Depends on what overall flavor you’re going for. You can make it more tropical or go with a chocolate-peanut butter-banana combo.
- Nuts/Seeds: finally, sprinkle some nutrient-packed nuts and seeds on your bowl. My go-to’s are some chia, flax or hemp seeds so I am sure to get my omega-3’s. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3’s. Any nuts/seeds are great sources of protein, fiber, iron, zinc and magnesium. Vary them from day to day to get a wide variety of these important micronutrients.
Plant Powdered Baked Oatmeal
- 3 cups rolled oats (GF if needed)
- 2 tbsp hemp powder
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups plant milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (1/2 cup if you prefer a sweeter oatmeal)
Set oven to 350 deg F
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet to the same bowl and stir into the dry ingredients until well combined
Pour oatmeal into an 11×17 baking dish and smooth out. Place any toppings on as desired
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Portion into 4-6 meal prep containers for the week.
Each add-in is optional (hemp powder, seeds, and spices). Just use what you have on hand!
Reheated portions can be served with a little splash of milk and topped with fresh nuts/seeds, berries, bananas, and/or a drizzle of nut butter or maple syrup.
I hope you enjoy these seasonal fall meal prep ideas! Only after healing myself of lifelong chronic constipation through healthful, plant-based eating did I arrive at my life’s work as a dietitian. Now, I find an immense amount of joy in helping others simply and sustainably eat foods that taste good and make them feel even better. To learn more about my approach to nutrition, click the button below.