Until I got myself into the internet world of recipe-making a few years back, I only associated oats with one thing–oatmeal–and I thought that was the only way to consume it. There are actually endless ways to eat oats because it's a type of grain, and in general is very versatile. Wheat, for example, is another grain, and just as wheat is used in many different ways, oats can be used in just about as many ways!

Oats are a very healthy food. They are high in minerals such as thiamin, manganese, and selenium, and even help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. Not to mention oats taste pretty bomb, and if you disagree with me, it’s probably because you don’t know how to prepare them.

But don't fear: I’ve linked some great recipes in this article that show some pretty creative and delicious (and not too difficult!) ways to eat oats.

1. In homemade burgers

bacon, cheese, cheddar, beef, bun, onion
Caroline Ingalls

Oats are a great thickener and help bind burger patties. Oats can be added into any kind of homemade burger recipe, and recipes like this veggie oat burger recipe are absolutely delicious.

When I'm feeling lazy, I honestly just take two ingredients–black beans and oats–blend them up in a blender or food processor (or even mash it with a fork), then take all my good spices and season the sh*t out of it, form the mixture into patties, and heat them on a pan until the edges are crispy. I usually make a whole bunch and store them in my freezer (#mealprep).

2. Oatmeal pancakes

pastry, cream, butter, honey, dairy product, sweet, syrup, pancake
Christin Urso

I love those mornings where you wake up and have all the time in the world to make pancakes for breakfast. I don’t even bother with pre-made pancake mixes because it’s just better to make it from scratch. Oats make a great base for pancakes: just blend up the oats and use in place of white flour in any recipe, like this scrumptious banana oat pancake recipe.

Using oats or oat flour provides a healthier way to enjoy pancakes while still being delicious. Oat flour is sold in stores, but if you have a blender at home, you're better off just making your own oat flour by blending dry oats.

3. Any baked goods like muffins or cookies

chocolate, cookie, sweet, goody, cake, pastry
Katherine Baker

Incorporating oats into muffin or cookie recipes is a great way to step up the nutritional profile of these recipes. For example, these healthy oatmeal muffins  or these vegan pumpkin oatmeal muffins can definitely make a wholesome and delicious breakfast or on-the-go snack.

4. Toppings for parfaits and smoothie bowls

cheers, acai, bluberry, strawberry, berries, Smoothie Bowl, smoothie, straw, milk, ice, milkshake
Julia Gilman

While the most common toppings for parfaits and smoothie bowls tend to be things like nuts, granola, shredded coconut, fruit, cacao nibs, etc., raw or toasted oats work equally as great. I used to think that oats couldn’t be eaten raw, but turns out that's actually a myth.

Rolled or instant oats can serve as a pretty great topping, and they also give the parfait/bowl some texture. I personally prefer toasted oats to raw oats as a topping (mainly because it resembles granola more), but in a pinch I find it quite suitable and tasty to simply sprinkle some raw oats on my food.

5. Tortillas and wraps

Basically, any recipe involving regular white flour can also be made using oat flour instead. It is incredibly easy to make oat flour tortillas, and this wrap recipe makes them out of just three ingredients: oats, salt, and water. This is especially useful for those times when you just need tortillas but don’t have any, and don’t feel like buying them, either.

6. Granola bars

cornflakes, oatmeal, cereal bar, candy, wheat flake, muesli bar, granola bar, wheat, oat, corn, sweet, muesli, cereal, granola
Sarah Fung

Granola bars typically already use oats, but I had to include them here because they are just so darn handy, delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Most packaged granola bars tend to be expensive, so it will save you money to try making some at home. Even better, you’ll get the freedom to put your favorite ingredients in your own granola bars.

There are so many different types of granola bars, like these 5-ingredient bars that use oats, almonds, peanut butter, dates, and maple syrup. Or, if you want to save yourself the hassle of baking, there are these no-bake oatmeal raisin granola bars that you can make in 10 minutes!

I can't end this article without mentioning that oats are CHEAP. I think oats are a win-win, so find your favorite way to eat them and make it happen.