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10 Ways to Spice up your Oatmeal

Refined Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Oatmeal by Very Veganish

Oatmeal is such a good-for-you breakfast. Filling, comforting and healthy. It’s a staple in our house for those simple reasons. It’s great for heart health and keeps you full for hours on whole food carbs that will give you the energy you need to start your day. But, how can you make your oatmeal taste good, like really good? Never fear, keep reading and your morning oats will get the flavor they need.

Steel-Cut or Old-Fashioned?

Opt for steel cut oats or old-fashioned oatmeal, to ensure you’re getting all the nutritional bang for your buck. Bob’s Red Mill has quick-cooking steel cut oats that are ready in the same amount of time as regular old-fashioned oatmeal, but you don’t lose out on the health benefits.

I like to combine the quick-cooking steel cut oats with the old-fashioned oats in the same pan. You get the chewiness from the steel cut oats and the tenderness of the old-fashioned oats. Plus, you save money, because the old-fashioned oats are usually more affordable.

Healthy Ways to Flavor Oatmeal

Oatmeal by itself is pretty blah and tasteless, but thankfully, there are many ways to jazz up the flavor in healthy ways. First of all, add a pinch of salt to your water when you’re cooking your oatmeal. It makes a difference in the taste.

Pouring Pumpkin Spice Syrup Refined Sugar Free by Very Veganish

If you want, you can sweeten it with the sugar of your choice, refined or otherwise. Brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup and coconut sugar all work well.

Dr. John McDougall, plant-based pioneer, suggests that if you’re going to use sugar, add it to the top of your food so you taste it right away. You end up using less this way because the sweetness doesn’t get hidden by being mixed into the food.

As far as ways to flavor oatmeal, you can play around with combinations of fruit + nuts + spice that you like. Typically, I recommend adding the fruit and spice to the oatmeal while it’s cooking. For dried fruits, it helps them plump up and warm up.

For fresh fruits, like apples, it cooks them a bit so they are tender. The only fruits I would recommend adding only as a topping in the bowl are tropical fruits, like banana and mango.

For the nuts, you can toast them in the dry pan on the stove for added flavor. I prefer to add mine as a topping in the bowl, instead of stirring them in, but that’s purely preference.

simple maple oatmeal with sliced bananas easy vegan breakfast by very veganish

Ready for a bite of Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal with Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Oatmeal by Very Veganish

10 Ways to Spice up your Oatmeal

  1. Sliced bananas + maple syrup + hemp hearts
  2. Diced apples + cinnamon + walnuts
  3. Dried raisins + cinnamon + walnuts
  4. Dried cranberries + roasted pumpkin seeds/pepitas or pecans
  5. Strawberries and Cream: Strawberries + plant-based milk + hemp hearts
  6. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries + sliced almonds + vanilla
  7. Peaches + pecans + ground cardamom
  8. Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal: Pepitas + homemade pumpkin spice syrup (refined sugar free!)
  9. Peaches and Cream: Diced peaches + plant-based milk + vanilla
  10. Your favorite fruit preserves + your favorite nuts

What are your favorite ways to add flavor to your oatmeal? Share in the comments below!

How to flavor your morning oats so they taste amazing. Vegan, plant-based and refined sugar free options. 10 Ways to Spice up your Oatmeal by Very Veganish

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Abi Cowell
Abi Cowell is a pasta-slinging food and travel blogger with a cup of tea in one hand and her phone in the other. She believes that making even small changes in what you eat can improve your health and quality of life. Her family of four travel for fun and purpose, homeschooling on the road and love sharing their fun adventures and tips for family travel with you.


  1. I love my steel cut oats and eat them 6 days a week. My go-to is with bananas, raisins, nut butter, ground flax and chia. Occasionally, I will change it up with apples and cinnamon. If I have a serious sweet tooth, I will add maple syrup. Thanks for the other suggestions.

    1. Hi Doug! Thanks for commenting. 🙂 We eat oatmeal probably 3-4 days a week in our house. I like it simple most days, with just a touch of maple syrup and sliced bananas. But, I do love to switch up the flavors. Cardamom is a favorite of mine. But, my family loves it with apples and cinnamon and raisins. Have a great day!

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