Oatmeal is a tasty snack to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it’s very nutritious. Oats on their own have kind of an earthy taste, and there are some people who don’t like their texture, so to improve it, they load it with sugar.
However, this takes away from its health benefits as there are lots of downsides to eating added sugar. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy oatmeal without loading it with sugar. If you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, here’s how to make oatmeal taste good without sugar.
We know this may not sound like the best suggestion. Butter, in some ways, is just as bad as sugar, but butter is okay for you in moderation. And depending on what problems sugar is causing in your life, this may be a really good alternative. For instance, if you are struggling with your dental health, butter will be better for you than sugar.
Melting just a little bit of butter will really improve the flavor of oatmeal, and it’ll improve its texture, as well. And if you choose plant-based butter instead of traditional butter, it will be even better for you.
Add a Sweetener Alternative
If you really want sweet oatmeal, try using a sweetener alternative instead of sugar. There are tons of fantastic sweetener alternatives available, and many of them are natural.
Honey, maple syrup, agave, and more can all be used to sweeten up your oatmeal, as can sugar alternatives like Stevia or Splenda. You can also look to other sweeteners, like vanilla extract or almond extract, to give it a sweet flavor, as well as a different flavor profile.
Pair It with Fruit
Another great way to add some sweetness while adding some texture and additional health benefits is by adding fruit to your oatmeal. There are tons of different fruits that will taste great in your oatmeal, and you can cook them or just add them fresh.
You can slice bananas, add blueberries, add some strawberries, and so much more. There are dozens of ways to incorporate fruit into your oatmeal; all of them will be much healthier for your body than adding sugar.
Add Some Nut Butter
If you don’t want to add regular butter, try adding some nut butter. This could be almond butter, hazelnut butter, sun butter, or even traditional peanut butter (the last two are technically not nut butter, but you get the point). Any of these kinds of butter will add some welcome flavor, and they will give you a creamier texture, as well.
As another added benefit, many of these kinds of butter are full of protein and other good nutrients, so while you’re preventing bad additives from entering your body by reducing your sugar intake, you are simultaneously healthily fueling your body thanks to these nut butters. They’re a great way to make your oatmeal just a little bit more nutritious.
Use Flavored Milk
Unless you’re making a bowl of instant oatmeal with water, you probably make your oatmeal with milk. If you’re using regular milk and want to reduce sugar, try using flavored milk instead.
Many different flavored kinds of milk will taste great with your oatmeal and add a little sweetness. You can use vanilla-flavored almond milk or sweetened soy milk. You could even experiment with chocolate milk. Though there may be a little bit of sugar in the milk, it likely won’t be as much as you are adding on your own.
Make Overnight Oats
Another good way to avoid using sugar in your oatmeal is by making overnight oats. When you make overnight oats, it’s not only an easier way to cook the food or soften the oats, but it is a great way for the oats to absorb the flavor because it’s taking at least eight hours to soak everything in.
By using this method, you can add smaller amounts of whatever you are using for flavor because the oats will have longer to take it on. It’s an excellent method for portion control.
Another good way to improve your oatmeal’s taste without sugar is by adding toppings. We already mentioned adding fruit, but other sweet toppings can be added, as well.
Whether you like chocolate chips, coconut flakes, nuts, or something similar, toppings will add lots of flavor and texture and make you totally forget that you don’t have sugar in your bowl of oatmeal.
Add Some Spices
Remember, sugar is essentially a spice. It’s just a way to add flavor to oatmeal because it’s not vital to the chemical reaction of cooking oatmeal. If you don’t use sugar, your oats will turn out just the same.
If you view sugar as a spice that enhances the flavor of oatmeal instead of a vital ingredient, it changes how you use it in your recipe. By simply viewing sugar as a spice, you can view it akin to other spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, and you can use those instead. This saves you from consuming that sugar and allows your oatmeal to maintain its delicious flavor.
Add Some Powders
We’ve already mentioned adding sugar alternatives, but there are other powders that you can add instead of sugar, too. Protein powders, flavor packets, and more can all add some much-needed flavor to your oatmeal, and they’ll be much healthier than sugar.
There are dozens of ways to improve the taste of oatmeal without using sugar, and each one is simple and cost-effective. When you start incorporating these methods into your oatmeal routine, you find that you don’t crave sugar and still enjoy your oatmeal just as much. It’s a win-win.