Who said your morning oats have to be sweet?
If you’re sick of the same old cinnamon in your oatmeal, look elsewhere on your spice rack for inspiration. The fastest and healthiest way to add flavor to oatmeal without any extra calories is with spices. Sweet and savory spices can transform bland oats into a creative and delicious meal you can enjoy morning, noon or night. Make your oats the night before so there’s no prep in the morning. Plus, letting the spices and oats soak together overnight gives you big flavor and a thick creamy texture you just can’t beat.
Mix the following ingredients, plus spices of your choosing, in a mason jar or old nut butter jar and let sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, eat cold or blast in the microwave for a few seconds to enjoy warm.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant!)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (depending on how thick you like. You can use any liquid: juice, water, etc.)
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 banana (The banana lends a nice texture and slips in more fruit. If you do not like banana, simply omit it)
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (optional, but adds texture and nutrition)
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 Tbsp spice of choice
Get creative! Add in the following spices and never be bored of your morning oats again!
Tastes like: your favorite latte. Chai is actually a blend of other spices including fresh cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and peppercorns but is available pre-mixed. Some people prefer to add a little sweetener to bring out the spice flavor while other enjoy it solo.
Pairs well with: vanilla or chocolate. Try making your chai oats with a splash of vanilla extract or use chocolate milk in place of plain.
Tastes like: it depends. To some people, saffron tastes slightly bitter, or like “the sea” while others find it semi-sweet, or almost faintly of honey. The only way to find out if you love it or hate it, is to try it.
Pairs well with: ground cardamom and nutmeg. Saffron is traditionally an Indian spice, and adding it to your oats creates a flavor and texture similar to Kheer, an Indian spiced rice pudding.
Tastes like: strong, earthy and biting, with a slightly sweet flavor. A little ginger goes a long way and is most common in Indian and Japanese cuisine. You can find powdered varieties but we recommend grating fresh ginger for best flavor.
Pairs well with: lemon, apple and berries, or let the unique flavor shine all on its own.
Tastes like: the holidays! Cloves typically come whole instead of ground, and these peppery prickles are pungent. Do not eat them- strain them out before serving.
Pairs well with: orange or apple to really drive the holiday spirit home. Cloves also pair well with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, star anise, or peppercorns.
Feeling inspired to try something spicy? Try this!
Spicy Miso Sirracha Oats recipe
- Overnight Oats (above)
- Crushed cashews
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/3 cup Miso soup
- 1 egg
Substitute the water in the base overnight oats recipe for miso soup and top with chopped scallions, 1 runny egg cooked in a non-stick skillet and sirracha. Don’t like nuts? Use diced avocado to make sure you still get your healthy fats.
Like things sweeter? Try this!
Spicy Pumpkin Pie Oats recipe
- Overnight Oats recipe (above)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- sub 1/3 cup pumpkin puree for yogurt- use 1/2 cup milk or water to keep from getting too thick.
- 1/2 cup granola (for garnish so it doesn’t get soggy.)
Don’t like pumpkin? Use acorn or butternut squash.