Trying to cut back on the added sugar in your diet? While removing sugar-laden cereals from your breakfast is a good first step, be careful that you’re not just swapping out one sugary food for another. If you’re adding a generous helping of sugar to your morning oatmeal, you could still be consuming more sugar than you think.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make oatmeal taste good without sugar, healthfully and with ingredients you may already have on hand. There’s no need to settle for oatmeal that tastes like the container it came in. Here’s how.
Add Some Fruit
When topping your oatmeal with a serving of fruit, go for low-sugar fruits that taste great without negatively impacting your blood sugar. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and peaches are all good picks.
Don’t just limit yourself to fresh fruit, either. Dried fruit and fruit compotes are also great options.
Try a Natural Sweetener
While Cleveland Clinic does note that fruit is your best, healthiest option for adding sweetness to your food without using actual sugar, it does admit that natural sweeteners, while not as healthful as fruit, do still provide a few health benefits that table sugar does not. For example, raw honey, date sugar, and maple syrup offer prebiotics and antioxidants. However, if you’re eating natural sweeteners, be sure to still count them toward your daily sugar intake.
Mix in Nuts and Seeds
If you prefer to get your protein without a powder, mix in some nuts and seeds or some nut or seed butters. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter, sunflower butter — pick your favorite (and pick a no-sugar option).
Raid Your Spice Cabinet
Chances are likely that you have some delicious oatmeal toppings waiting in your spice cabinet. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice are key ingredients for pumpkin pie spice and can be used separately or combined in your oatmeal, for a fall-inspired breakfast. You can also use extracts like vanilla extract, maple extract or almond extract, for easy flavor.
Go the Savory Route
Who said that oatmeal should only be sweet? Savory oatmeal is growing in popularity and for good reason — oatmeal makes an amazing base for savory ingredients, if you want to create a warming, comforting meal, perfect for anytime. Think adding a fried egg, cheese, sautéed veggies, etc. Not sure where to start? Try this savory oatmeal recipe with figs, pine nuts and feta.
Still Finding Your Oatmeal a Little Lackluster?
If you’re still finding your daily oatmeal breakfast to be less than exciting, consider experimenting with different cooking methods, such as the overnight oats method or cooking a big batch of oatmeal in your slow cooker. Additionally, don’t limit yourself to just one of the above options; play around with various topping combinations for both a tasty and visually appealing bowl of oats.