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Oatmeal additions to spruce up your bowl

January 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Many health-conscious Americans wake up and head to the kitchen to rip open a packet of oatmeal for breakfast. But let's face it, that can get boring fast. We've got some sassy additions that might just help you look forward to your next bowl.

If you are already using berries and almonds, why not get creative with your fruit and nut choices. Pomegranate arils and pistachios are a nice combo when combined with slightly sweet and nutty almond milk.

Instead of nuts, think nut butter. Any nut butter with a crisp sweet fruit, like pear, is a winner with a splash of your favorite milk.

Banana and walnut are always good in baked bread, so why not your hot steamy oats? Boost the flavor further with a splash of vanilla extract.

An overnight oatmeal is a solid standby for when you want a sweet, creamy, satisfying fix. Take two parts oatmeal, one part low-fat yogurt, one part juice and stir. Put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you've got three servings of a thick, cool, creamy and tangy oat treat that you can eat as is or warmed up.

Finally, Health Magazine features one you may not have thought of: savory oatmeal, complete with a crumbled piece of turkey bacon, low-fat cheddar cheese and scallions. This is nice for those breakfast eaters who want something a bit heartier in the morning.

No matter which one you choose, if you stick to the manufacturer's suggested serving size, just a tablespoon of nut, nut butter or cheese, and a half a piece of fruit, you'll be under 200 calories a bowl. But you'll be getting plenty of protein, fiber, heart-healthy fat and those fun-loving carbohydrates.