Oatmeal Toppings Bar

Oatmeal Toppings Bar
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Learn How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good with This Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe

On cold winter mornings, nothing is quite as welcome as a hot breakfast. This steel cut oatmeal bar is designed to impress with sliced almonds, dried berries, flaxseed meal & chia seed toppings!

Oatmeal Toppings Bar: Learn How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good with this Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe

How To Make Oatmeal Taste Good

Let’s be honest. No one loves plain oatmeal. Like pizza, oatmeal relies on toppings to really make it shine.

Whether you’re into a dash of maple syrup and a splash of oat milk or piling your bowl high with dried fruits, roasted nuts and healthy seeds, there are plenty of ways to make oatmeal taste good!

Is Oatmeal Good for You?

You bet! Oats are nutrient-dense whole grains, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Just one cup of oats will net you 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.

What are Oat Groats?

Oats are whole grains, commonly packaged as instant oats, rolled oats or steel cut oats. We’ll get to those differences in a minute. Right now, what you need to know is that these versions come from oat groats, the de-hulled oat grain.

Oat groats are edible, but they take a long time to cook (overnight by most cooking methods). When cooked, they’re dense and chewy and make a great breakfast. They’re also a great addition to soups and salads or as a side dish.

What Are Steel Cut Oats?

Steel cut oats (also known as Irish oats) are oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces. This maintains chewy texture of oat groats, but decreases the cook time.

Steel cut oats are my favorite oat variety, so I’ve included a recipe below for making this star of your oatmeal toppings bar. They’re dense, chewy texture contrasts the mushy childhood memories of instant oatmeal and helps me to stay fuller, longer.

Oatmeal Toppings Bar: Learn How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good with this Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe

What Are Rolled Oats?

Rolled oats are simply a further processed version of oat groats. Oat groats are steamed and then rolled, changing the texture of the oat groat. The rolled oats category includes instant, quick cooking and old-fashioned, each with a different thickness and cook time. Instant oats are the thinnest and are pre-cooked, enabling them to become “instant” oatmeal for breakfast.

What is Porridge?

Porridge, a common oat-based breakfast food in the United Kingdom, is made from ground oat groats. When combined with hot water, ground oat groats become thick and creamy, creating a hearty, healthy breakfast option.

The Best Oatmeal Bar Toppings

Whether you prefer steel cut oats or rolled oats, some well-chosen toppings can bring addition health benefits (and deliciousness) to your breakfast.

Nuts & Seeds

  • Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are quite possibly the mightiest ingredient in vegan cooking. Packed with antioxidants, protein and calcium, these tiny seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Read more about chia seeds in my Vegan Cooking 101: How to Cook with Chia Seeds post.
  • Flaxseed Meal. Flax seeds, like chia seeds, are tiny packages of intense nutrition. Flax seeds provide protein, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, which may assist in maintaining weight, managing cholesterol and reducing blood pressure.
  • Almond Slivers
  • Pecan Pieces
  • Walnut Pieces


    • Cinnamon. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits.

    Plant-Based Milks

    • Oat Milk
    • Almond Milk
      Oatmeal Toppings Bar: Learn How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good with this Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe


      • Maple syrup
      • Date syrup


        • Dried cranberries
        • Raisins
        • Bananas
        • Blueberries. Blueberries are another one of nature superfoods. They’re packed with anti-oxidants and Vitamin C.
        • Apples

          Nut Butters

          • Peanut Butter
          • Almond Butter

            Do You Love This Oatmeal Toppings Bar Post?

            Do you love this post about how to make oatmeal taste good? Be sure to check out my other breakfast recipes. If you’re into granola (also featuring oats), then be sure to try my Small Batch Granola recipes! Forever-searching for a healthy donut alternative? Then you’ll love my Pistachio Matcha Donuts recipe. 

            Small Batch Granola Recipe

            Small Batch Granola Recipehttps://herbivoreskitchen.com/2021/02/small-batch-granola-recipes/

            Basic toasted oat granola is quick and easy to make and features rolled oats (a surprisingly nutritious ingredient) and unrefined sugars. You can stop there, or you can explore variations to this toasted oat granola base and make a variety of small batch granola recipes. I add nutritious ingredients like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and blueberries. 

            Matcha Pistachio Donuts Recipe

            Pistachio Matcha Donuts Recipe

            How can you make donuts a little bit healthier? By baking them and including nutritional ingredients like matcha. Matcha is high in anti-oxidants and may play a role in reducing your risk of cancer, diabetes & heart disease.

            Oatmeal Toppings Bar: Learn How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good with this Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe

            Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal

            Lookingfor healthier breakfast options? How about an oatmeal toppings bar? Learn how to make oatmeal taste good!
            No ratings yet
            Prep Time 5 minutes
            Cook Time 25 minutes
            Total Time 30 minutes
            Course Breakfast
            Cuisine American
            Servings 4 servings


            • 4 cups water
            • 2 cups steel cut oats
            • 1/2 tsp salt


            • Combine the ingredients in the Instant Pot.
            • Seal and set the Instant Pot for high pressure cooking for 4 minutes.
            • Allow for a natural steam release.
            • See my blog post above for oatmeal toppings bar ideas!
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            Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

            About Herbivore’s Kitchen

            Herbivore’s Kitchen is a plant-based food blog started by me, a vegan home chef, cookbook author, aspiring food photographer and how-to-be-a-better-food-blogger junkie. You’ll mostly find creative and tasty vegan recipes and detailed deep dives into vegan ingredients (check out my Vegucation section) on my blog. I love knowing as much as I can about the food that I make. I’m also really into running a food blog as a business, so I’ve also got a section of my blog titled: Confessions of a Food Blogger where I get into the nitty gritty on how to build, manage, market and monetize a food blog.