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Up Your Oatmeal’s Taste Game with These 4 Easy Recipes

For many runners, oatmeal is a go-to way to kick off the day.

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For many runners, oatmeal is a go-to way to kick off the day. But if your morning bowl of oats is usually topped with a handful of berries or a few almonds, it can get, well, boringfast. Stop selling this nutritious whole-grain short: made properly, oatmeal can be a delicious base for all sorts of flavors, sweet and savory. And there are easy ways to make oatmeal taste better, if you’ve never been a fan. Wake up your taste buds with these four delicious remixes.

Two Rules to Make Oatmeal Taste Better

Step One: Soak and Salt Your Oats

Why settle for soggy oatmeal? You can spoon up more satisfying steel-cut oats as the backbone for your most important meal of the day. The key to how to make oatmeal taste better (and slashing the cooking time) is to soak them overnight and add salt. Place 2/3 cup steel-cut oats, a pinch of salt, and 1 3/4 cups water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a slight simmer, immediately turn off the heat, cover, and let sit overnight.

Step Two: Heat and Build Your Flavor

In the morning, stir in a couple of splashes of milk and any of the stir-ins below and then heat over medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Dump into bowls and then apply the toppings of choice. This makes enough for two servings. To reheat leftovers, place cooked oatmeal (minus the toppings) in a saucepan with a touch of additional water or milk and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through.

[Read more about oatmeal and its place in an athlete’s diet here.]

4 Easy, Delicious Oatmeal Recipes

If you’re burned out on your usual mix-ins, we’ve got four ideas (one of them savory!) to help you get out of your morning funk.

PB&J 

pbj-oatmeail

STIR-IN:
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1⁄4 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

TOP:
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin-pie-oatmeal

STIR-IN:
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves

TOP:
1 chopped apple
1/4 cup sliced pecans
4 tsp maple syrup

Egg Salad

egg-salad-oatmeal

STIR-IN:
2 cups baby spinach
2 Tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto

TOP:
2 fried eggs
1 Tbsp chopped chives
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Mocha

mocha-oatmeal

STIR-IN:
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

TOP:
1 cup raspberries
1/4 cup sliced (or chopped) hazelnuts