And then there is the rest of humanity, those folks who — as with vanilla ice cream — treat oatmeal as a carrier for whatever you care to pile on and mix in. This list is for those folks, the people who like to dress their breakfasts to impress — or at least to taste awesome.
10 IDEAS FOR DRESSING UP YOUR OATMEAL
Start with your favourite way to prepare a bowl of oatmeal, whether it's cooked steel-cut oats, slow-cooked extra-thick oats, or a packet of instant. Jazz it up by adding any of these toppings:
— Tropical: Stir in 1 tablespoon of cream of coconut, then top with a spoonful of crushed pineapple and chopped toasted macadamia nuts.
— Bacon and Gouda: Stir in a handful of shredded aged Gouda cheese, then top with crumbled crisp-cooked bacon.
— Pumpkin pie: Stir in 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, then top with crumbled shortbread cookies.
— Brulee: Spoon into an oven-safe ramekin. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top, then broil until golden and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes.
— Morning glory: Stir in 1/2 cup finely grated carrot, 1 teaspoon orange zest and a handful of golden raisins. Top with toasted sunflower seeds.
— Caramel mocha: Stir together 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons half-and-half. Stir into the oatmeal, then drizzle the top with caramel sauce. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
— Spinach, tomato and feta: Stir in 1/4 cup chopped, cooked, well-drained spinach and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Top with roasted marinated tomatoes (often available where fine olives are sold) or jarred sun-dried tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese.
— Banana bread: Mash a very ripe banana and stir into the oatmeal along with a pinch of nutmeg. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and toasted walnuts.
— Raspberry-lime: Stir in the zest and juice of 1/2 lime and a spoonful of brown sugar. Top with a handful of fresh raspberries and a drizzle of fresh cream.
— Honey-pear: Stir in a chopped ripe pear, drizzle with honey and top with a few slices of a brie cheese. Add shredded pan-fried prosciutto, if desired.