Have you ever had oatmeal that has just fallen flat?

On its own, oatmeal is, unfortunately, one of the most flavorless breakfast options on the market. But surprisingly enough, it is also one of the cheapest and most nutritious ways to chow down in the morning. One serving, or 1/2 cup uncooked oats, has 15% of your daily fiber needs and costs just 13 cents.

These five fabulous additions are a great way to boost the flavor and nutritional benefits of your bowl without any extra sugar or additives. With the proper ingredients, this breakfast staple can go from 0 to 100… real quick.



Photo by Abby Galyon

This is an obvious one — who hasn’t added bananas to their oatmeal? But have you tried adding them before you cook the oatmeal? Try cutting up a banana and adding it before you pop your bowl into the microwave.

The sugars in the banana are released with the heat, so your oatmeal will be sweetened naturally. You don’t even need the brown sugar.

Bonus: Bananas are one of the cheapest fruits on the market, coming in at around 19 cents each.

Greek Yogurt


Photo by Abby Galyon

Try adding a dollop of cold greek yogurt when your oatmeal is done cooking. The tangy and cool flavor of plain greek yogurt helps cut the bland flavor of the oats. This protein-packed addition will make your oatmeal smooth and creamy, while keeping you full and satisfied all morning.

Peanut Butter


Photo by Hana Brannigan

For all of you peanut butter addicts out there, this is just another way you can incorporate that peanut buttery goodness into your life. This inexpensive addition enhances the protein content of your oatmeal while adding additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Peanut butter has a variety of health benefits, but be careful when choosing which brand to buy. Some companies sneak in additional sugar and hydrogenated fats, which counteract all of the great benefits. Try to stick to the more natural kinds, and check the ingredients list for added sugars and processed oils before purchasing.



Photo courtesy of theoatmealartist.com

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Unsweetened applesauce is a great way to add flavor to your bowl without using any additional sugar. You also get a boost of fiber and vitamin C with this sweet addition.

While applesauce oatmeal is delicious on its own, it can serve as a base for a plethora of creative recipes. This recipe for applesauce oatmeal has a list of extra additions you can use to spice up the flavor of this simple breakfast.

Cocoa Powder


Photo courtesy of pickyeaterblog.com

Chocolate lovers, rejoice. Adding a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder to your bowl is just another way you can eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While chocolate itself may not be the best addition to your breakfast routine, unsweetened cocoa powder actually has a ton of health benefits.

Cocoa powder comes from ground up cocoa beans, which are packed with magnesium, copper, sulfur, and vitamin C. Cocoa beans have been shown to enhance cardiovascular health and may have antidepressant effects as well.

You can add 1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder along with a little bit of sweetener (like the bananas or the applesauce) to transform your bowl into a chocolate lover’s dream. Take it even one step further with this creative recipe for chocolate brownie oatmeal.