Take old-fashioned oats to a whole new level by adding warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice. The spiced oatmeal is topped with cooked apples and perfectly sweetened with brown sugar. Incorporate this recipe into your healthy lifestyle in no time.Jump to Recipe
Say goodbye to packets of instant oatmeal and hello to a warm, homemade, oatmeal that's full of spices and perfect for the cooler weather. One of my goals for the New Year has been to spend more time cooking in the kitchen on weekend mornings to serve my family through food.
My favorite way to start the day is with a healthy, homemade filling breakfast like this bowl of oatmeal. There's something therapeutic about cooking first thing in the morning and filling the home with the warm aromas of spiced oatmeal. I especially like serving this with homemade chai lattes.
This nutritious breakfast will keep you full and satisfied for hours. I'm so excited for you to share it with your family as well. More of my favorite breakfasts I've been enjoying are Strawberry Banana Acai Bowls, Easy Waffles Without Milk, and Avocado Waffles.
You'll Love Spiced Oatmeal
The spiced-up oatmeal never gets old because it can be customized with your favorite spices and toppings. Start with cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice but feel free to add a little ginger, clove, or even nutmeg. Take it to the next level by adding your favorite nuts and fruit. Want more suggestions? Don't worry, we will get more into that later.
Quick and Easy Preparation
The cooking time for this healthy recipe is extremely minimal, we're talking only 5 minutes. This is for whole oats, not instant oats. Simply place the ingredients in the small pot and cook until thickened. It doesn't get easier than that.
This oatmeal is made with whole grains and whole food ingredients. Each bite is packed with fiber, protein, and complex carbs. There are no added preservatives or hidden added sugar so you will feel ready to start your day after enjoying this meal. You don't need to worry about getting a sugar high and then crashing before lunch because you're in control of the amount and type of sweetness added to the oatmeal.
Oatmeal is a super affordable staple. If you don't have whole oats in your pantry I recommend you go to your local grocery store and get some now. If you have a stocked spice drawer I recommend using what you have on hand. You could even use your favorite spice blends like pumpkin spice, chai spice blend, apple pie spice, or even Indian spices like garam masala. This is a cost-effective way to enhance flavor without breaking the bank by trying to buy spices you may not use in other recipes.
What kid doesn't love oatmeal? I know in our family, oatmeal is one of our favorite breakfast foods, especially apple cinnamon. We have opted for the instant packs in the past but have switched to homemade oatmeal because the flavor and nutritional benefits are way better. Plus it's easy to make so it's a win-win.
Perfect for Meal Prep
Spiced oatmeal can be prepared in batches and stored for several days, making it an excellent option for meal prep. Simply place the cooled oatmeal in small containers and reheat with some added milk on busy weekday mornings.
Old-fashioned rolled oats - The rolled oats give the oatmeal a delicious chewy texture. They also have slightly more nutritional benefits than quick oats. However, the type of oats you choose is based on personal preference. If you choose instant oats, you'll have a creamier and smoother texture. Steel-cut oats on the other hand are a wonderful option. If you choose steel cut oats, keep in mind you'll spend more time and may need more milk. You're looking to spend around 30-40 minutes but it's so worth it.
Milk - Any milk you have on hand can be used. Choose your favorite plant-based milk to make this a vegan oatmeal recipe. My favorite plant milk lately has been unsweetened soy milk and oat milk. Don't have milk on hand? Hot water can be substituted instead.
Vanilla extract - To enhance the spices and other ingredients of the oatmeal.
Cinnamon - This is my favorite spice of all. If you don't have any other spices on hand this one is all you need to make the cinnamon spice oatmeal recipe.
Ground cardamom - Expect a very unique flavor from this spice. Many describe it as peppery, piney, floral, with a hint of citrus. Don't have ground cardamom? Buy some whole green cardamom seeds and smash them in a mortar and pestle before adding them to the oatmeal.
Allspice - This is a spice made from a dried unripe berry of Pimenta dioica. It can be substituted with a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
Brown sugar - Adds a little sweetness to the oatmeal. You can use any sweetener you'd like. Try cane sugar, turbinado sugar, agave syrup, pure maple syrup, and even dark brown sugar.
Cooked apples - Peel and chop apples and cook in healthy fats like coconut oil, season with sugar, and other sweet spices like cinnamon until tender. Add over top to the oatmeal to take it to a whole new level.
Sliced almonds - For added crunch. Substitute with pecans or walnuts.
Dried cranberries - For added color and sweetness. Raisins or any other dried fruit can be substituted.
How to Make Spiced Oatmeal
Step 1. Place oats, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir until well combined.
Step 2. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a boil then reduce heat to medium low and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened.
Step 3. Serve the tasty oatmeal immediately and top with cooked apples, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries.
Tips and Tricks for Making Spiced Oatmeal
Experiment with Spice Blends: Don't be afraid to experiment with different spice combinations you might already have on hand. Classic options include cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla but think about some spice blends like pumpkin spice for a change. You're also welcome to use whole spices to infuse the oatmeal as much or as little as you'd like. Be sure to remove it before eating!
Sweeten Naturally: Opt for natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or mashed ripe bananas to add sweetness without relying on refined sugars. This complements the warm and wholesome flavors of spiced oatmeal.
Serve Warm: Enjoy spiced oatmeal while it's warm for the best experience. The comforting warmth enhances the release of aromatic flavors.
Double or Triple the Batch: Prepare a larger batch and store leftovers for quick and convenient breakfasts throughout the week. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a bit of milk if needed.
Personalize Your Bowl: Customize your spiced oatmeal with individual toppings like chia seeds, flaxseeds, a dollop of yogurt, or a scoop of nut butter for added nutrition and personal flair.
Add a Pinch of Salt: A perfect way to maximize flavor with minimal effort is to add a touch of salt. Don't go overboard but add just enough to enhance the other ingredients in the oats. We're talking a small pinch here.
Favorite Toppings For The Spiced Oatmeal
Fresh Fruit Toppings:
- Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Sliced banana or other tropical fruits
- Diced apples or pears
- Chopped mango or pineapple
Nuts and Seeds:
- Toasted almonds, raw walnuts, or pecans
- Chia seeds or flax seeds for added nutrition
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds for crunch
- Hemp seeds for a protein boost
- Drizzle with honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
- Sprinkle with brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Add a dollop of fruit preserves or compote
Dairy and Non-Dairy Options:
- Stir in a spoonful of Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt
- Add a splash of milk, almond milk, or coconut milk for creaminess
- Grate some cheese (cheddar or feta) for a savory twist
- Mix in protein powder or collagen peptides
- Add a spoonful of nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter)
- Include a handful of cooked quinoa or chopped hard-boiled eggs
- Stir in raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried apricots
- Mix in dates or figs for natural sweetness
Chocolate Lovers' Delight:
- Add a few chocolate chips or chunks
- Stir in cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist
- Granola for extra crunch
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Crumbled graham crackers or cereal
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal:
- Mix canned pumpkin puree into your oatmeal while cooking.
- Add pumpkin spice, a touch of maple syrup, and a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.
Chai Spiced Oatmeal:
- Brew a strong cup of chai tea and use it as the liquid for your oatmeal. This is a delicious way to incorporate chai flavor in these cooler winter months.
- Add ground cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and a splash of almond milk.
- Incorporate molasses, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon into your oatmeal.
- Top with chopped crystallized ginger and a dusting of cinnamon.
Maple Pecan Oatmeal:
- Mix in chopped pecans and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.
- Top with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and a pinch of sea salt.
Cranberry Orange Oatmeal:
- Add dried cranberries and orange zest to your oatmeal.
- Top with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and a drizzle of orange honey.
Storing and Reheating
To store spiced oatmeal, transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Refrigerate the oatmeal for up to three to four days for the best results. For longer storage, you can freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers for up to six months. Allow the frozen oatmeal to thaw completely before reheating.
To reheat refrigerated oatmeal, add a splash of milk or water to maintain its creaminess, then warm it in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-second increments stirring in between until heated through. If you're heating a bigger batch you can do so on the stovetop over medium heat. Stir in some milk to prevent the oatmeal from drying out then heat until completely warmed through. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Meal Prepping Spiced Oatmeal
Meal-prepping spiced oatmeal is one of the best and most convenient ways to enjoy it. Feel free to double the batch if one is not enough for your family. Cook the oatmeal according to the directions above then store in small airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
I recommend storing without the extra toppings to ensure optimum freshness. You can add these when you serve. Feel free to add a little extra splash of milk to each container before storing it to maintain the moisture of the oatmeal. When you're ready to enjoy simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in no time at all.
Make an Instant Oatmeal Mix
Alternatively, if you want to prep the oatmeal ahead of time without cooking it you can make your own "instant oatmeal mix". This is a great way to prep the perfect breakfast ahead of time and you don't have to worry about it going bad. To do this combine oats, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Stir until well combined. Place about a half cup in glass jars or airtight containers and store in your pantry until you're ready to enjoy. To make the oatmeal, simply place a small amount of milk in the jar or container (enough to cover the oats). Then microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Stir and enjoy with your favorite toppings.
Another great way to meal prep the spiced oatmeal is by turning them into overnight oats. Make these the night before and enjoy the next morning! To do this you're going to follow the steps above to make your own "instant oatmeal mix" Then you're going to fill each jar or container with enough milk to cover the oats. Place in the fridge overnight and allow the oats to soak up the oat mixture. Then serve with your favorite toppings!
The Best Cinnamon Spiced Oatmeal Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- Cooked apples
- Sliced almonds
- Dried cranberries
- Place oats, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir until well combined.
- Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a boil then reduce heat to medium low and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened.
- Serve the tasty oatmeal immediately and top with cooked apples, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries.