Add a sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
This simplest way to make oatmeal taste better is to add a sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar. In moderation, these will make oatmeal taste better and still be healthy. You could also experiment with plant-based sweeteners like stevia extract.
Cook your oats with milk or almond milk instead of water.
Add chocolate or vanilla flavors to your oatmeal.
If you're eating oatmeal for breakfast, the small amount of caffeine in chocolate will add an extra energy kick. The sugars will also give you a nice complement of fast-acting carbohydrates to the slow-acting carbohydrates in oatmeal. Fast-acting carbohydrates (like fruits and pasta) are carbohydrates that are quick to digest and provide you energy faster than other carbs, fat, or protein. It's generally good to prefer slow-acting carbohydrates (like oats) except after a workout. Fast-acting carbohydrates help refuel glyogen fast, which helps you recover faster. Cacao nibs or cacao powder are also slightly healthier options to consider.
There's also a bunch of ways to get your vanilla fix including:
Mix in some nuts or nut butter.
Nuts and seeds not only improve flavor but they also make oatmeal a more complete meal. Peanuts and peanut butter are a frequently used combination but if you're allergic to peanuts you can try any tree nut or seed. Most nuts like almonds, cashews, and pecans are tree nuts. Peanuts are a huge exception. They're actually legumes, which makes them related to beans, peas, and lentils.
This is important because while both foods contain a variety of nutrients, some people are allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts. The only limit is your creativity. Here's a few different options:
Nut butters also make oats taste better. Here's a few more ideas:
What is a complete meal?
A complete meal generally consists of a mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. The optimal ratio is a matter of debate and may vary on a case to case basis. In regards to greek yogurt, adding carbohydrate-heavy food (like fruit) or healthy fat-heavy food (like nuts or seeds) makes the yogurt more complete. [Learn More]
Add some grass-fed butter, almond oil, or coconut oil.
Adding butter or oil is another way to make oats taste good. Here's a few ideas:
Mix in some berries like blueberries or raspberries.
Berries like blackberries, blueberries, pomegranates, raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries both improve the flavor of oatmeal and add more nutritional value.
Season with some salt.
In moderation, adding salt is another way to make oatmeal taste better and still be healthy. You could also add a little more nutritional value by trying salts with more trace minerals like himalayan salt, celtic sea salt, red hawaiian salt, or black hawaiian salt.
Top your oatmeal off with spices.
Here's a few of the spices you can put in oatmeal:
Cook your oatmeal shorter or longer.
Some people prefer crunchier oatmeal while others prefer softer, soup-like oatmeal. You can control which type of oatmeal you make by cooking for shorter (crunchier) or cooking for longer (softer). Using more water will also make your oatmeal softer while using less water will make it crunchier.
Try different types of oats.
There a variety of different types of oats with slightly different tastes, textures, and cooking times. Here's a few of the most popular varieties: