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OOatmealOatmeal Toppings

(Sorry if this has no title, my computer's acting funky. it should read: Oatmeal Toppings)

What sorts of things do you add to your hot oatmeal to make it more palatable? I used to put in loads of honey but have started using ground cardamom and cinnamon which makes it really tasty.

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  1. I use peanut butter and a little bit of sugar. My mom likes blueberries and chopped walnuts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucia

      i love porridge simply with a bit of natural honey and if feeling extra hungry a bannana or two. i like porridge without spices i think you can taste the creamy oats better but thats just me every on e else in my family likes it with cinnamon and my brother has his with chinese five spice.

    2. a handful of raisins while it cooks, and then a dab of butter, a teaspoon of brown sugar or marmalade or jam, and then milk.


      1. There's an epic thread about oatmeal add-ins on this site already. Use the search tool. It has hundreds of ideas!!

          1. basics. brown sugar slowly melting into it, milk or cream to cool it down, cut up whatever dried fruit I have - persimmons have been wonderful lately

            1. sliced bananas and molasses.

              Often the water I use to make it is leftover tea, especially chai.

              1. I've just recently started making oatmeal with chicken stock and then topping it off with nori flakes and sesame seeds.

                Makes for a nice hearty and savory breakfast.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Kind of like an oat congree? Ever tried it with slivers of meat or a fried egg?

                  1. re: chicgail

                    Eggs yes (cracked and dropped right over the hot oatmeal).

                    Meat? No. But now that I think about it, Spam might be a good addition ...

                2. Condensed Milk. THE BEST!

                  1. depends who i'm making it for...

                    my ex enjoyed bing cherries (dried generally), hazelnut oil, hazelnuts, and a little cinnamon

                    espresso powder and cinnamon

                    pumpkin butter and (candied pecans)

                    candied lime rinds, crystallized ginger, and a few shards of white chocolate on top

                    pineapple chunks, coconut milk, and coconut shreds

                    pureed sweet potato/yam, cinnamon, butter, sugar, and salt

                    crystallized ginger, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves

                    1. I put homemade applesauce on mine sometimes for a really decadent treat.

                      But if you're having to make your oatmeal "palatable" you have to correct the problems with your oatmeal first. First of all, use steel-cut oats. Then start them out risotto-style by sautéing the oats in oil -- I like walnut oil.

                      Cook them in a 3-1 mixture of water and buttermilk with a pinch of salt. Bring them to a boil, stirring. Add raisins and chopped walnuts and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to taste. Cover and turn the heat off. Leave overnight.

                      In the morning, stir and simmer to bring them up to serving heat. Sweeten to taste with brown sugar. You're going to start thinking rice pudding and stop thinking about what it "needs" as topping. ...but some homemade applesauce makes it pretty fabulous.

                      If you're not familiar with steel-cut oats, they're much more polenta-like than sad like rolled oats. You can pack any leftover s-c oats (and I make a week's worth at a time because it keeps very well in the fridge) tight in a rectangular, wide-mouth storage container. You can still warm this (it just takes a minute) in the microwave, OR you can slice off 3/4" slices and pan grill it to top with maple syrup.

                      You're eating the wrong kind of oatmeal, kiddo!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: rainey

                        I have always used steel-cut but what difference does it make exactly?

                        I do agree that, with a good one and cooked properly, there isn't much needed to make oats delicious. I enjoy variety with the toppings here and there just like everyone in this thread, but my favourite is still the classic brown sugar, milk and a pinch of salt.

                        For a bit of extra, I add in some beaten egg right before serving, a la egg drop soup style. I have trouble recalling where I picked this up from.

                        1. re: tarteaucitron

                          MUCH more texture and richer flavor -- but perhaps some of that owes to starting them via the risotto method. Also the longer cooking time that coarser whole grain requires may allow them to take up more of the other flavors of spice and sweeteners.

                          1. re: tarteaucitron

                            OMG! i tried it with the beaten egg this morning and I am in awe. After i added in the egg I stirred in some brown sugar, vanilla and raisins. The egg makes it creamy and becomes a delicious custardy treat. Thanks!

                          2. re: rainey

                            It sounds rather like I'm cooking it wrong as I don't add anything but milk until it's done. Probably that's why it's so bland.

                          3. raisins
                            chopped dried fruit
                            maple syrup
                            Saigon cinnamon
                            brown sugar
                            pecans or walnuts

                            Never all, but usually some combination of the above.

                            1. hmmm, that ground cardamom sounds interesting...I have a bunch of green cardamom pods that might be even more interesting...definitely will try it! I put in usual suspects: I cook it with toasted walnuts (great for your omega-3's each day!) and raisins... top with cinnamon and ground flax seed. I need to shake things up a little so the cardamom might do the trick...I use the same day in and day out, very healthy but becoming monotonous. The savory one posted above sounds really daring...not sure I can swallow savory oatmeal in the morning...another challenge awaits me!!!

                                1. Cinnamon and a little brown sugar are standard.

                                  Others - Raisins or Craisins, mixed berries, currants, granola

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: harrison

                                    Jelly. On the instant from Kirkland.

                                  2. I make my oatmeal with 2% milk and add honey, vanilla and Penzeys baking spice.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Kelli2006

                                      It may be weird, but I always melted american cheese into my oatmeal. used to be a standard breakfast of mine when I was a kid (sort of a liquid sandwich). even today I can't bear the though of adding sugary things to oatmeal, and really don't go for high sweet breakfast items at all.

                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                        I recently started doing this too. It's a nice compliment to the raisins and cinnamon I add in too.

                                    2. Raisins (while cooking) and then brown sugar - topped off w/almond milk (lactose intolerant)
                                      Craisins & walnuts & brown sugar - also w/almond milk
                                      Sliced strawberries (or blueberries), brown sugar and some Fage yogurt
                                      Pumpkin puree, maple syrup, raisins and top w/almond milk

                                      1. I make my oatmeal with 1% milk, I find it a lot less bland than with water....as for toppings some of our faves are:

                                        honey (just a drizzle) and cinnamon
                                        slivered almonds (enhances the nuttiness especially if you lightly toast the oats first)
                                        and of course, maple syrup/maple butter

                                        1. I eat oatmeal almost every morning. i'm a creature of habit for only breakfast so I'm able to eat the same meal everyday for a long time. I usually eat it with rice milk, brown sugar and raisins. When I have time I chop up an apple and cook it in brown sugar until soft and the sugar becomes caramel-ish. Then put a teaspoon or so of salted butter so it becomes sort of a salted caramel apple topping. I set it aside then cook oatmeal as usual. Then combine. Delish!

                                          1. I mostly eat Steel Cut oats (which take about 20 minutes to cook), but if I don't have that much time, I will use thick cut old-fashioned rolled oats (also known as Scottish oats). Regardless of what type, I always brown the oats in some butter or olive oil before adding the liquid and bringing it to a boil. The toasting really brings out a rich, nutty flavor in the oats. As for cooking liquid, I always use milk--either low fat milk or goat's milk (goat's milk in oats is really good--has a nice tangy note). You can also use buttermilk--but you have to water it down with either milk or water to prevent it from curdling. I don't recommend Soy Milk--as almost all of the brands I've tried for oatmeal end up curdling shortly after boiling.

                                            I also don't add the salt until after it's completely cooked--adding salt too early will prevent the oatmeal from developing that lovely creamy texture that makes it so worth eating.

                                            As far as toppings, this depends on my mood. Sometimes I just want it Scottish style--butter and extra salt on top.

                                            Other times, I will cook the oatmeal with raisins and then top it with maple syrup or honey, sauteed apples or sliced banana, and toasted nuts (love pecans on oatmeal).

                                            Besides oatmeal, you can use this cooking method will other whole grain cereals (I love this 9 grain hot cereal that Bob's Red Mill makes--so satisfying and tasty).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: rokzane

                                              I circumvent the time issue by preparing them the night before. I do it up to the point where everything comes to a boil, cover the pot and take it off the heat.

                                              In the morning it will be very thick and firm. I can add a bit of milk to the pot and heat it up or I can take out servings in individual bowls and microwave them.

                                              I also make enough for a week at a time. It keeps beautifully in the fridge making it, really, a major timesaver.

                                            2. stir in some pureed pumpkin
                                              brown sugar


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: eatmyfood

                                                Someone actually told me about the pureed pumpkin, and crumpled graham cracker cookies, last year as I love pumpkin.

                                              2. Any fruit preserves make a great add-in to oatmeal.

                                                1. Oatmeal Brulee! Thank you Modern Diner....

                                                  1. I have the same thing for breakfast at work everyday:

                                                    The night before I put 1/2 C oats (not quick cook), 1/2 C water, and 1/2 C milk into a little container and stick it in the fridge. At work I dump it in a big bowl (big enough for it to boil up a bit) and add 1/2 an apple cut into small pieces. Microwave for 3 minutes. Eat with one packet of Splenda.

                                                    Once I started cooking oatmeal at work like that, I can't eat instant oatmeal at all.