Sure, oats can be a bit bland, but think of them as a blank slate: They absorb the flavor of whatever you mix in. Plus, they pack a ton of health benefits—especially the steel-cut variety. “The grain’s nutrients, like fiber, are fully intact. Plus, they’re sodium-free, which is rare when it comes to breakfast foods,” says Elisa Zied, R.D., a nutritionist based in New York City.

Ready to dig in? Skip the sugar-heavy insta-oatmeal packets, and go for the real deal. Leftovers keep in the fridge for a week, so make a big batch over the weekend and reheat before you dash out the door. Here’s how to do it: Bring about three cups of water or milk to a boil, then mix in one cup of steel-cut oats and a pinch of salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20–30 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the bottom doesn’t burn.


Once that’s done, it’s time to take your bowl from “ho-hum” to “holy crap!” Amp up the flavor—and nutritional content—with these six add-ins.