BreakfastNew & NowWinterCommunityAdvice

The Best Wintery Oatmeal Toppings

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We’ve got so much love for a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Cook up a batch and in no time you’ve got the ultimate blank canvas for a filling, healthy breakfast (or lunch...or dinner...) for the entire week ahead. The best part is that you can choose your own cast of characters—there are no limits! Craving a little sweetness? Just throw in some dried fruit and honey, and you’re good to go. Need a change of pace and a kick in the pants? Add some salt, olive oil, and a poached egg with a dab of hot sauce.


Barbara asked the community on the Hotline for their favorite ways to gussy up a bowl of oatmeal using inexpensive, seasonal, and healthy ingredients. As always, you came through with the best toppings and techniques for a better, more personalized bowl of oatmeal. Here's what you came up with:


The Sweet Route

  • Nate Davis likes to garnish oatmeal with chopped apples, nuts, and cinnamon.
  • Cookinginvictoria sautés apples or pears in butter and spices and then adds our personal favorite: Genius granola. And to finish? “A dollop of crème fraîche or Greek yogurt is unexpected and very tasty.”
  • Nancy gets her inspiration from cookies and scones, suggesting toppings like butter, cream, nut butter, and chocolate chips.
  • Maedl's perfect bowl includes cranberry sauce and some plain yogurt.
  • AntoniaJames has a unique variation on the sweet route. Her mix-ins include: "almond butter, ground flaxseed, black rice, cooked quinoa, chopped dried apricots, toasted nuts, or Nekisia Davis' granola (just a fat pinch)".
  • Trampledbygeese suggests adding dried fruit or trying an "oat-only oatmeal," made special by toasting the oats first before cooking them.
  • Boulangere tosses in chia seeds at the end of the cooking time for some subtle crunch, and adds: “The zest of any citrus fruit is a heavenly addition as well.”

Overnight Oats


The Savory Route

  • Nate Davis likes bacon and poached eggs on his oatmeal. (We think "healthy" means everything in moderation—sounds like Nate's with us.)
  • Aargersi loves the poached egg approach, but adds a dash of hot sauce; she also recommends a kimchi and poached egg version.
  • Klrcon dices and cooks up some butternut squash, spinach, and leeks for the oatmeal, and then tops it all with sage and nuts. 
  • Barbara reminds us that oatmeal is lovely in its simplicity with her suggestion of butter, salt, and a bit of grated cheddar cheese.

What are your favorite oatmeal fixin's? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: oatmeal, toppings, healthy, quick and easy, inexpensive, breakfast on the go, hotline, burning questions