Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spicy Mango Oatmeal

Mango chutney--that's the inspiration for this recipe.

Believe it or not, the first time I had chutney was in Ireland. I remember asking the waitress what "chutney" was because it came on the sandwich I wanted. She tried to explain it, but it sounded like nothing I had ever heard of, so I requested it on the side.

It was life-changing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brownie Baked Oatmeal Parfait

I feel like I picked the right time to go herbivore. It's so exciting to watch new vegan products pop up on mainstream grocery shelves all the time. It seems like every time I go to the store, I find a new vegan product. Now, I try not to fill my diet with mock meats and fake dairy, but it is amusing to experiment with them from time to time.

My local produce market, which understandably has a tiny dairy section, just added Almond Dream yogurt to its selection. They only carry two flavors--coconut and strawberry--but I am completely fine with that. The coconut flavor is one of my favorites anyway.

To celebrate, I made this parfait. I typically eat one of my banana/peanut butter recipes on weekends, so I actually had to FORCE myself to make this. I think I pouted the entire time until I was finally spooning the results into my mouth. Then the sacrifice seemed worth it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Apple and Cherry Jam Baked Oatmeal

After several recommendations from multiple readers, I finally tried grating an apple instead of dicing it. I originally disregarded it because I thought about how much I loathe grating carrots. Luckily, apples are softer than carrots and grate much more easily. I actually found it easier--and possibly even faster--to grate the apple than dice it!

Because apple is so juicy, grating it results in a sauce-like (but wonderful) glop. That may sound unappealing, but it's perfect when you consider that you'll have apple flavor in every single bite. It also means you won't have big mushy apple chunks, which is my least favorite part of baked apple oatmeal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fruits 101

In the past two years, I've learned quite a bit about working with different fruits. For example, putting diced strawberries in overnight oatmeal? Not a great idea (it tastes sour in the morning). Mashed banana in baked oatmeal = good. Sliced banana in baked oatmeal = only good if you're eating it immediately. And so on.

Because many of my readers are new to the idea of adding fresh fruit to their oatmeal, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my experiences as a reference guide. Since I'm type-A, I put the fruits in alphabetical order and gave hints about stove-top, baked, and overnight oatmeal. You're welcome.

If you disagree with any of my recommendations, please comment below!

On the stove: I've already written extensively on this, but basically, cut it up as small as possible and let it cook for ten minutes or longer. If that means stewing the apples before adding to the oatmeal, do it. It's worth it. [See: Apple & Veggie Sausage Oatmeal]
Baked: Cut into small chunks...seriously, as small as your patience allows you. [See: Apple Nut Butter Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Use stewed apples or applesauce only. Raw diced apples will brown and lose their freshness. [See: Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal]

On the stove: You can pretty much do whatever you want here. I will always prefer mashed bananas, which is why you rarely see me slice it. [See: Banana Bread Oatmeal]
Baked: Only use sliced bananas if you are serving it immediately. They will look kind of ugly when it comes out of the oven, and even uglier as it sits in the fridge and is reheated later. Once again, I prefer it mashed. It improves texture and endurance. [See: Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Mashed, all the way. If you want slices, add them in in the morning, just before serving. [See: Chocolate Banana Overnight Oatmeal]

Berries (Raspberry, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
On the stove: If you're using fresh berries, wait until the end to add them, otherwise they turn to a sad mush. :( For a change of pace, I like to puree strawberries sometimes; they take on a different flavor. [See: Triple Berry & Banana Oatmeal]
Baked: Mix up all the batter first, and then gently stir in the berries at the end. Once again, pureeing them adds a nice touch sometimes. [See: Neapolitan Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Blueberries and raspberries work pretty well here. Don't dice up strawberries and let them sit overnight; they become sour. Instead, puree them into the liquid first, or add them in the morning. [See: Strawberry Limeade Oatmeal]

Cherries & Grapes
On the stove: Cut in half and add at the end (stir them in just before serving or use them as a topping). [See: Peach Cherry Almond Oatmeal]
Baked: Mix up all the batter first, and then gently stir in the cherries or grapes at the end. Because of their large size, cutting them in half is preferred. [See: Peanut Butter & Grape Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Pureed cherries work best in overnight oatmeal, but I believe you could use fresh and it would be fine. Grapes work fine, halved or whole. [See: Black Forest Cake Overnight Oatmeal]

On the stove: Add them early in the cooking process so they can soften (in regards to both texture and flavor). Use a lid. They pop and oatmeal splatters everywhere--trust me. [See: Carrot Cranberry Oatmeal]
Baked: Mix up all the batter first, and then gently stir in the cranberries at the end. [See: Cranberry Brownie Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: I would advise against using fresh cranberries because most people find them unappetizing raw. I would use dried cranberries or a cranberry sauce. [I've never tried this.]

On the stove: Cut in quarters (or smaller) and add at the end (stir them in just before serving or use them as a topping). [See: Coconut, Honey, & Fig Oatmeal]
Baked: [I've never tried this.]
Overnight: [I've never tried this.]

On the stove: Cut in half. Use a paring knife to loosen up each segment and then prop out with a spoon. Stir in half of the segments during the cooking process. Add the rest at the end (stir them in just before serving or use them as a topping). [See: Grapefruit Blueberry Oatmeal]
Baked: [I've never tried this.]
Overnight: Same as stove-top. [See: Grapefruit Overnight Oatmeal]

On the stove: I like to use this best as a topping. When I want it to be the star, I will use two, and I'll mash up one into the oatmeal and dice the other as a topping. [See: Strawberry Kiwi Oatmeal]
Baked: I've never used this, but if I did, I would mash/puree it.
Overnight: Same as baked.

Lemon & Lime
For all types: Extract juices and add to the oatmeal at any point in the cooking process.

On the stove: Either dice into small pieces or puree. Add at any point in the cooking process. [Mango Raspberry Oatmeal]
Baked: Reduce the amount of liquid you would usually use because mangoes are quite wet. Dice or puree. [See: Strawberry Mango Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Dice or puree. [I've never done this.]

On the stove: Melon is best used as a topping for oatmeal. Cooking melon gives it a rather strange flavor and texture. [See: Fruit Salad Oatmeal]
Baked: [I've never done this.]
Overnight: I recommend pureeing the melon first, but I haven't tried it another way. [See: Honeydew Overnight Oatmeal]

On the stove: Cut in half. Use a paring knife to loosen up each segment and then prop out with a spoon. Stir in half of the segments during the cooking process. Add the rest at the end (stir them in just before serving or use them as a topping). [See: Orange Sweet Potato Oatmeal]
Baked: [I've never tried this.]
Overnight: Same as stovetop. [See: Orange Dreamsicle Overnight Oatmeal]

On the stove: Peaches work well sliced, diced, or pureed. Add them at any point in the cooking process. You do not need to peel. [See: Peach & Almond Butter Oatmeal]
Baked: Same as stovetop. [See: Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Same as stovetop. [See: Peach & Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal]

Pears & Plums
On the stove: Similar to apples, give them as long of a cooking time as possible. If necessary, stew them (diced) before adding to oatmeal. [See: Pear Sauce Oatmeal]
Baked: Puree or dice. You could also go half and half: mash or puree half the fruit for complete distribution of flavor and dice the rest for variation in texture. [See: Pear & Almond Baked Oatmeal]
Overnight: Dice into as small of cubes as possible. [See: Spiced Plum Overnight Oatmeal]

On the stove: I add my pineapple right after I add my oats. This is mainly because I always use frozen pineapple, but I do the same with fresh pineapple. If using fresh pineapple, save some for a topping! [See: Pineapple Sunbutter Oatmeal]
Baked: I would use small pineapple cubes/tidbits. You could also try using crushed pineapple, but then you would want to reduce the amount of liquid. [I've never done this.]
Overnight: You can use fresh or frozen pineapple in small cubes/tidbits. No special instructions. [I've done this, but I've never posted about it.]

On the stove: Save as a topping or stir in right at the end. You want to minimize the cooking time as much as possible because they are best when fresh and cold. I usually stir in half and put the rest as a topping. [See: Apple Pomegranate Oatmeal]
Baked: [I've never done this and am not sure if it's possible!]
Overnight: Save as a topping. Pomegranates take on a weird flavor when they're mixed with other ingredients and sitting in the fridge. [I've never posted on this.]

On the stove: Dice into small half-inch chunks. Cook down the rhubarb (I just simmer mine in water and a drop of maple syrup) before adding to oatmeal. If you don't like tart flavors, add a touch of sweetener (either sugar or a liquid sweetener) when you simmer the rhubarb. [See: Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal]
Baked: I would follow the same procedure as the stovetop instructions. Then I would make the batter for the baked oatmeal and stir in the rhubarb last before putting it in the oven. [I've never done this.]
Overnight: [I've never done this.]

**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!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Banana Plum Oatmeal

I truly pity anyone who doesn't like bananas in their oatmeal. Now, I can understand not liking bananas plain--even I struggle with that one sometimes, especially if it's not perfectly overripe. :) But bananas in oatmeal? It yields such creamy, sweet, and luxurious porridge. Also, combined with the soluble fiber of the oats, it makes my digestive system feel sooooooooo great afterwards.

This recipe is similar to Banana Bread Oatmeal--using many of the same ingredients--but it is peppered with small bites of silky red plums. It shows that you can add other fruits to another recipe to vary up the tastes and textures. You don't always have to invent; sometimes, you can just innovate. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Oatmeal Recipes for St. Patrick's Day!

As I said earlier this week, I'm slightly offended by the American celebration of St. Patrick's Day. It's like a giant caricature of Irish culture.

That being said, there is a legitimate history behind the color green for St. Patrick's Day. I turned to Wikipedia, holder of all truth and authenticity, to explain:
Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's Day grew.[13] Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century.[14] Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the ubiquitous wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs has become a feature of the day.[15][16] In the 1798 rebellion, to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention.[13] The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.
(Isn't Wikipedia great?)

In honor of my favorite country everrrrrr, here are five oatmeal recipes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Some are green; some are not. ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mango Coconut Cardamom Oatmeal

Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits, yet you rarely see one in my kitchen. They're so expensive! I used to buy frozen mango, but for some reason I stopped doing that... (I know what I'm adding to my grocery list this week!!)

My local produce market has reasonably priced produce, especially for New York. I noticed that their mangoes were one for a dollar, which is how much I pay for my oranges, too. Since I buy an orange for every day of the week, I could not justify NOT buying a mango at that price! ^_^

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shamrock Oatmeal

St. Patrick's Day is coming up! I have mixed feelings for St. Patrick's Day. In a way, I adore it. It reminds me of my beloved Ireland, where I studied abroad during college. On the other hand, the way Americans celebrate it is almost offensive to me. Yes, even in Ireland, binge-eating and drinking is the tradition, but in America, all of it is surrounded by an absurd mockery of the culture. TV and radio ads are taken over by obnoxious fake Irish accents, ridiculous looking leprechauns are plastered everywhere, and everything is dyed fluorescent green. Nooooo...

Last year, I rejected that by making Irish Soda Bread Baked Oatmeal, which turned out surprisingly well (to this day I'm shocked it actually turned out). This year, I decided to embrace the American absurdity and make a Shamrock Oatmeal. Why not, right? Unlike McDonald's, my porridge contains no dairy and no food coloring. Instead, it's extraordinarily rich in nutrients (but still packed with flavor).

What's the secret? Spinach.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Carrot Cranberry Oatmeal

Where, oh where, have all my carrot recipes been? Despite my deep love for carrots (and zucchini!) in oatmeal, my blog has been lacking in those recipes lately. Why? No grater. :(

Well, problem solved: I finally own a grater. Expect carrot and zucchini recipes in the future. :)

I recently realized I have some cranberry goodies left from the holiday season. My roommate had a bag of fresh cranberries (which she said I was welcome to), and I had half a jar of Trader Joe's cranberry sauce. Perfect!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Plum Almond Oatmeal

If you liked my Pear Almond Baked Oatmeal, methinks you'll like this. It has a similar profile, but it's better because it's pear-less and made on the stove.

You've probably noticed a lack of baked recipes lately (except for the occasional brownie, of course). I much prefer stove-top recipes because they're easier to control and significantly faster. Additionally, I make all my oatmeal for the week on Saturday and Sunday, and then I reheat them throughout the week. I don't own a microwave (I know, right?), so I heat the oatmeal on the stove while I'm doing my hair and makeup at 4:45 am. It's ridiculously difficult to reheat a baked oatmeal on the stove, so it rarely happens these days.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that plums are better than pears, stove-top is better than baked, and almond extract is wonderful. Or something like that.

Plum Almond Oatmeal

by The Oatmeal Artist
Prep Time: 3 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 plum
  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Prep your plum by dicing it into small cubes.
  2. Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add plum cubes and oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  3. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add almond extract and salt. Stir.
  4. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (sliced almonds, shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).
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**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!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Oatmeal

Any Happy Herbivore fans out there? It's the only cookbook I've spent money on (why buy cookbooks when any recipe you could dream of is online already?), so I guess you could say I'm an avid supporter.

I had already tried a few recipes and was a proud Herbie, but then I tried the mac and cheese, and that sealed the deal. To be truthful, this isn't a dead-ringer for cow's milk cheddar, but I'm so obsessed with it and confidently claim that it's better. If you're a nutritional yeast fan, you'll likely love this cheesy sauce.

Considering I already loved the cheese sauce, I knew this oatmeal would be fantastic. And yeah, it was. Creamy, cheesy, and overflowing with giant, emerald florets.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Laura!

Like most of my Enthusiasts, I discovered Laura on Instagram. What initially drew me to her account was the adorable heart-shaped bowl she used for most of her oatmeal pictures. It made her pictures truly stick out whenever I searched the #oatmealartist hash tag!

You can’t imagine how excited I was when Lauren asked me to be the next Oatmeal Enthusiast. Thousands of ideas for porridge appeared in my mind. I could not wait to start experimenting and eating!

But first I’ll introduce myself a little ;)

My name is Laura, and I’m 16 years old. Some of you may know me from my instagram account @laura__kiss. I live in Switzerland, but I lived my first 2 years in Scotland. I still go to school and I’ll start at the university in about 1 and a half years. In the last 2 years I struggled with anorexia; I’m not ashamed to say that I had an eating disorder because it made me the person I am today. With my account I got inspired and hope to inspire others to recover.

I have to admit that I don’t like bananas or peanut butter :O I’m not vegan or vegetarian but I avoid sugar. I’m sorry Lauren, but I add sweetener to my porridge. I have a huge sweet tooth and I haven’t found any other way to satisfy me …

That’s enough from me... now comes the oatmeal, or how I call it, porridge part.

In Switzerland, cooked oats are very unpopular, almost not existing. The only oats that are eaten here are mueslis. The first time I discovered porridge was about 2 years ago. I went shopping and in an English bookshop there was a food corner with tea, marmite, and porridge pots. I have a crush on British/ American food so I grabbed one of those and went straight home. I put the kettle on and added the boiling water. The first spoon full of the golden goodness was like heaven in my mouth! But those porridge pots were really expensive, about 5 Swiss franks / $5 for 40g oats!

I had to find another way to have porridge in my life. I found at the same shop those instant sachets and a 1 kg box of plain oats. Yep, I was a happy girl.

First I just had plain porridge then I became braver and tried various flavors like blueberries or chocolate. My love with porridge has gone way too far but in a good way, maybe a little obsessive ;)

I often wish I could eat breakfast all day long…

I was trying to choose which porridge I’d make for my post but I couldn’t decide. There were just too many delicious recipes and flavors. No way I could fit them all in just one week. But then I had a moment of enlightenment, maybe it was just madness, I thought why shouldn’t I go a little over the top and finally give in to my craving for porridge? There’s no reason I can’t have porridge 3 times a day! And that’s what I did! One week full of porridge!

Now I can tell you this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

I usually use steel cut oats because they give you a creamier porridge, but I appreciate biting on a whole oat. I often add egg whites to my porridge for some extra volume and protein.

Monday Breakfast: Mango Porridge

I always wondered how fresh mango and oats would work together. Now I know they are made for each other! If you like mango you’ll love mango porridge!

Monday Lunch: Blood Orange Porridge

When I saw this recipe on Lauren’s blog I knew I had to try it! All though I don’t like oranges that much I love the color of them! And I wasn’t disappointed!

Monday Dinner: Porridge Soufflé

At dinnertime I watched a cooking show and thought, if they can do a soufflĂ© why shouldn’t I?! Porridge tastes completely different when you prepare it like that. Light, salty yet sweet. A bite of lightness.

Tuesday Breakfast: Toasted Porridge

I stumbled across this recipe and got curious how it would taste like. Toasting the oats before you cook them gives them a hearty and rough flavor. For this recipe I tried to give bananas a last chance but I just don’t like them …

Tuesday Lunch: Lime Meringue Porridge Tart

This doesn’t look healthy or like breakfast but it is! Lime Meringue tarts is one of my favorite deserts. Unfortunately they are full of sugar and not that healthy, so I had to find a replacement. Although I takes a lot of time to make this recipe but it is so worth it!

Tuesday Dinner: Tonka Brownie Baked Porridge

Basically this is Lauren’s Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal but I substituted the salt for Tonka beans. Tonka beans have a strange taste, like chocolate, rum and cinnamon together. It gives a nice twist to plain chocolate.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Orange Plum Oatmeal

Close followers of the blog have probably recognized my fruit phases. One month, I'll have a bunch of strawberry recipes, followed by a string of apple recipes, and then a random fig phase. There was even about a month or two last year when I *gasp* liked pears and made several recipes with them.

Right now, I love plums. I love their small size, the squishy interior, the slight peachy taste, and the deep red color. Unfortunately, it's not exactly plum season. :( Despite this, I was able to find someone at my local produce market--success!

Sadly, I've learned that plums don't "star" well in oatmeal. They need a little help. For this recipe, I paired a plum with an orange (specificially, a cara cara favorite!). I love pairing other fruits with oranges. The sweet citrus flavor is subtle (oranges also don't "star" well), and just enough to complement the subtle plums.
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