Ahhh, oatmeal … our absolute favorite breakfast (and it’s perfect for any time of day, really!)
Oatmeal is so filling and comforting, but often, we find ourselves putting the same old toppings on our oatmeal, and this tends to get a little boring.
To avoid the oatmeal blues, it’s great to mix it up when it comes to toppings. And finding sweet, yet healthy, oatmeal toppings isn’t as hard as you may think! Here are a few of our favorites that will satisfy your sweet tooth without the sugar crash.
How to sweeten oatmeal
There’s really no right or wrong way to sweeten oatmeal! Some people love a subtle sweet that comes from fruit, while others need more indulgent ingredients to really satisfy a craving. :)
There are several simple ingredients you can use to sweeten your oatmeal that you may already have on hand!
And if you’re not sure how to even make oatmeal? Don’t worry! We’ve written a starters guide on how to make oatmeal to walk you through that process as well.
One of our favorite oatmeal toppings is fresh fruit! Cutting up fruit to go with oatmeal is especially perfect in the summertime when fruit is in season (but it can also brighten up a dreary winter day, too!).
Fresh fruit is naturally sweet but filled with antioxidants, so it’s very good for you. Plus, the essential vitamins and minerals in fruit can help reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, inflammation, and diabetes. The fiber in fruit also helps keep you full!
Strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries all pair well with oatmeal. Another fruit option is oranges–many people don’t consider pairing a sliced orange with oatmeal, but it really does provide a citrusy kick!
You can get fresh fruit in the produce aisle at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. And, you can even opt for frozen fruit if you’re worried about it going bad. Just take the fruit out of the freezer the night before to thaw and enjoy on top of your oatmeal the next day.
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, AND minerals (whew, what a mouthful!). They regulate body weight because their fats are not fully absorbed, plus, they regulate food intake and burn energy.
All in all, a stellar super food!
But just because nuts and seeds are good for you doesn’t mean they can’t also be juuuuust a little sweet.
Enter: candied nuts and seeds.
There are many ways to sweeten nuts without loading up on refined sugar. Candied pecans are a popular holiday treat–why not add them to your oatmeal?
A way to sweeten up pecans in a healthy way is to add real maple syrup. In fact, if you drizzle pecans with real maple syrup and stick them in the oven, it creates a slightly crisp, yet non-sticky, exterior! You can also add a dash of vanilla for a nice pop of flavor.
We found this super simple recipe for candied pecans if you’re in the baking mood! If pecans aren’t your thing, feel free to swap for another kind of nuts, like almonds.
We talked earlier about how fresh fruit is rich in antioxidants, but if you don’t love fresh fruit with oatmeal, raw honey could be an option! Raw honey has many plant chemicals that act as antioxidants, and several variations of honey even contain the same antioxidants and fruit and vegetables.
Raw honey is also a prebiotic, which supports the good type of bacteria in the intestines. Prebiotics are important for overall health as well as for digestion.
We love a small drizzle of raw honey on top of our Proper Good Perfectly Plain Oatmeal. Adding in a fruit, like apples, plus a pinch of cinnamon makes this healthy treat feel decadent.
But when looking to use honey in your recipes, watch out! Store bought honey often is pasteurized and many beneficial nutrients in honey are destroyed in the pasteurization process. If possible, we recommend buying from a trusted local producer.
And for days where you DO want the oatmeal blues (… but literally! ;)) give our Proper Good Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal a try!
Our mouths are watering just THINKING of this next recommendation–dark chocolate! It’s filled with antioxidants! (are you sensing a theme? We love good-for-you antioxidants. :) ) In fact, some studies have shown that cocoa and dark chocolate even had MORE antioxidants than other fruits tested, such as blueberries and acai berries.
The key is to buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, which preserves the nutritional content. Dark chocolate is also rich in fiber, magnesium, copper, and other minerals, too. As if you needed more reasons to get your chocolate fix!
So how do you have dark chocolate with your oatmeal? We’d recommend using a cheese grater to finely grate some chocolate on top! When the oatmeal is warm, this will make the chocolate so lovely and melty.
So oatmeal with sweet toppings–what’s not to love?! We’re happy you took the time to read through this blog post today and share your sweet tooth with us.
Did we miss anything? Let us know what your favorite sweet oatmeal topping is!