7 Hot Cereals to Try Instead of Oatmeal ...

If hot cereals are your breakfast of choice, things are about to get awesome in your kitchen. Oatmeal might be your go-to choice, but it’s far from being the only hot cereal you can prepare for a healthy and filling morning meal. There are loads of options on store shelves these days, which lets you enjoy a favorite without getting sick of eating the same old thing. Many of them are gluten-free, which makes them great for special diets. Check out these yummy hot cereals and I promise that mornings will never be the same again.

1. Cream of Wheat

A bowl of steaming hot cream of wheat reminds me of my childhood. This one was the best of the hot cereals in my home growing up. The cereal is less lumpy than oatmeal and has a mild flavor that you can dress up just like you would a bowl of oats. My favorite is a pat of butter and some brown sugar, but nuts, dried fruit and syrup also work well.

2. Millet

Millet is a very nutritious choice when it comes to hot cereal. It has a nutty taste and experts say it can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as boosting intake of many important vitamins and minerals. You can eat it with a dash of cinnamon and some syrup or try it plain and see how you like it.

3. Cornmeal

You might think cornmeal is only good for making cornbread or to keep meatloaf and meatballs stuck together. While those are great uses for it, cornmeal also comes together in a super satisfying bowl of hot goodness on a cold morning. Try it with fresh fruit and a tablespoon or so of syrup. Blueberries, strawberries and apple chunks are great choices.

4. Amaranth

This is a great alternative grain if you must eat gluten-free. It’s actually a seed rather than a grain, but it works well for hot cereal. It’s also high in iron and has been reported to help keep cholesterol levels in check. It’s got a slightly nutty flavor that works well with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

5. Bulgur

Often used in place of rice, bulgur is most commonly seen as a side dish in certain types of ethnic cuisine. However, cooked up plain and topped with the right stuff, it creates a wonderful stand in for oatmeal in the morning. Most experts agree that it tastes best with dried fruit and nuts. Try raisins and almonds. Fresh fruit and agave nectar are other great ways to add sweetness and flavor to a hot bowl of bulgur.

6. Quinoa

The great thing about quinoa is that it has a pretty mild flavor that you can dress up in both sweet and savory ways. For breakfast, it tastes heavenly when you stir in syrup, cinnamon, dried apricots and sliced nuts. You’ll be surprised at how yummy this tastes for breakfast, or anytime a craving for hot cereal sneaks up on you.

7. Grits

You don’t have to be from the south to enjoy grits. In fact, my kids love them. They are another grain that you can make savory or sweet. For breakfast, I’d recommend adding brown sugar and raisins and just a splash of milk. Grits are smoother than oats, but have a mild flavor that also pairs well with cinnamon, yogurt, fresh fruit and honey.

What’s your favorite hot cereal? How do you top it? Oatmeal is a staple at my house, but I’m ready to branch out and try some of these other choices. Which one is your top pick? Do you know of any other hot cereals not listed here?