Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chai and Pear Oatmeal

Pears have never really been my thing. To me, they are just a little too similar to apples, but without the satisfying crunch. However, I find that pears work beautifully in oatmeal, so I buy some occasionally to switch up my routine.

The first time I tried pears in oatmeal, I simply spiced it with vanilla, but I found the result a little dull. Pear has a pretty neutral flavor, so I've learned to play around with stronger flavors in the oatmeal to dress up the pear a little bit. Cue: chai tea!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal

Tomorrow is my final day of student teaching. For three months, I have devoted my time to the middle school and these students; it will feel incredibly strange waking up Thursday morning as simply another college student, and not a student teacher.

Anyway, it's also amusing that I went three months eating oatmeal for breakfast every. single. day. I can only think of two occasions that I didn't. One time, it was because I had run out of oats. The other time, it was because I was recovering from a kidney stone and felt too nauseated to stand over the stove to cook (so I reheated my banana oat waffles).

To be honest, most days my oatmeal was pretty simple. I stuck to apple cinnamon or grapefruit (thanks to the ginormous box of grapefruit my mom bought me!). For these final three days of student teaching, I've been in a more "celebratory" mood, and my oatmeal has reflected that. Having fresh blueberries on hand was truly a treat! In addition to my super awesome baked blueberry muffin oatmeal (which I'm incredibly proud of), I also made this blueberry banana combination. I just love pairing berries with bananas--such a great duo!

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal

by The Oatmeal Artist
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • handful of fresh blueberries*
  • sliced almonds for topping
  1. Bring milk (I use an equal mixture of almond milk and water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. I also add a spoonful of milled flax at the same time as my oats.
  2. Mash up a ripe banana and add to the oatmeal. Stir.
  3. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add vanilla extract, a tiny pinch of salt, and cinnamon. Stir.
  4. If you'd like to add any extra ingredients (coconut oil, raisins, sunflower seeds), do so now. When the oatmeal is close to finished, add a handful of fresh blueberries and stir gently.* You could also wait and add the blueberries as a topping at the very end, but I prefer cooked berries to raw ones.
  5. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Serve with another splash of your milk of choice, sliced almonds, and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).
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*You could use frozen blueberries, but you'll need to add them much sooner, like when you add the banana.

**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Banana Oat Waffles

One of the best decisions I ever made was stealing my mom's waffle maker. Not only have I gotten a LOT of use out of it, but has she never complained in the entire year that I've had it (I'm not sure if she has even noticed!).

I used to make waffles so I could reheat them for breakfast in the mornings, but that's no longer the case. Since I literally eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning, I now save waffles for lunch and dinner. (Yes, I'm one of those people that regularly eats breakfast for dinner.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blueberry Muffin Baked Oatmeal

I don't bake my oatmeal very frequently. The time spent staring at the ramekin sunbathing in the oven is too much for me to bare. I prefer the faster, more intimate process of preparing my porridge on the stove top.

However, as I considered what to do with the lovely tub of blueberries I bought on Friday, I decided to replicate the flavors of a blueberry muffin. And, let's be honest, a baked version would seem much more authentic.

Ahh, blueberry muffins--cue the nostalgia! My family rarely had "special" breakfasts. We stuck to our sugary cold cereals, even on the weekends. However, occasionally I would wake up on a Saturday morning to the smell of cinnamony french toast, scrambled eggs, or (my favorite) my mother's incredible caramel pull-apart rolls. Yet, one of the "special" breakfasts I looked forward to the most was Betty Crocker blueberry muffins.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Almond Joy Oatmeal

I truly did have great ambitions for the blog this week. I had a couple new ideas for breakfast oatmeal, a lengthy list of savory oatmeal possibilities, and even a couple baked goods in mind. But then I went ahead and got myself a kidney stone.

Yes, Wednesday morning, I awoke bright and early with a kidney stone slicing its way to my bladder. How pleasant! I practically sang and danced all the way to the emergency room. Never in my life have I been filled with such joy and endless optimism!

Yeah right. In truth, it was easily the most painful experience I've ever been through. Luckily for me, it was only one small stone, and it passed pretty quickly. I'll count my lucky stars this time.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Honey Nut Oatmeal with Apples

If you're allergic to peanuts, look away now... :)

The idea behind this recipe began a while ago, but I'll take you back even further: I highly admire several food activists fighting Big Food these days. One of my idols right now is Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian from Seattle. He's one of the best tweeters, constantly posting clever, educational, and witty updates. He's also friendly and helpful, and he always answers any questions I ask him.

One of these questions popped up about a month and a half ago. I saw that bizarre PB2 product at the store; it's basically a jar of dried peanut butter, in the form of powder. I rolled my eyes the first time I saw it, but then I couldn't stop thinking about it later. Think of the possibilities! And what would it be like in my oatmeal? Wouldn't it be like using cocoa powder instead of chocolate syrup (not to suggest chocolate syrup is in any way nutritionally similar to peanut butter!)?

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