Thursday, September 25, 2014

Double-Chocolate Mango Oatmeal with Toasted Coconut

What kind of recipe-creator would I be if I didn't take some risks? Chocolate and mango are not often paired together, but it has been done. For example, there's chocolate-covered mango, this chocolate-mango loaf cake, this coconut mango cashew chocolate bark, or Oatgasm's Chocolate Chili Mango Baked Oatmeal.

I was in the mood for peanut butter when I made this, so I found a way to include that as well. I actually made Happy Herbivore's Nutty Spread, but instead of adding cinnamon, I added cocoa powder. I love Nutty Spread because it gives me less of a tummy ache than pure peanut butter, and it can be supped in for peanut butter in most situations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tiramisu Oatcakes for One

You know my oatcakes always feature some sort of fruit or veggie, whether it's mashed banana, pureed peaches, apple butter, or pureed beets.

Can you guess the produce packed into this one?

It's zucchini! Now, I have experimented with using zucchini in the past, but it has often failed to serve the purpose I needed it for. I usually want it to be a "tasteless filler" in an otherwise "nutrition-less" recipe (see: any cookie recipe). However, it never worked as nicely as I would have liked. Just recently, I used it to make a brilliant recipe (you will just have to wait until I "nail it" to see what it is!), but I could taste the zucchini. As low in flavor as it is, it does leave some sort of flavor, particularly when paired with cinnamon, as it was in that recipe.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

20 Ways to Take Your Porridge to the Next Level

Oatmeal has a tendency to seem pretty humble. It's traditionally a peasant food, after all. If you really want to impress your breakfast guests, here are some tricks you can stun them with!

1. Use vanilla bean paste (or even a fresh vanilla bean) instead of vanilla extract. 

[Strawberry Vanilla Bean Oatmeal]

2. Toast your coconut just before topping your oatmeal.

[Tropical Oatmeal]

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spiced Brownie Baked Oatmeal

It may look like a calm, traditional brownie (or at least the baked oatmeal version of one), but this brownie is feisty. He's maybe even a little vicious.

Of course, you have control over his viciousness. You could just give him a little bit of bite. OR you could be like me and drop three generous pinches of cayenne pepper into the batter. It's up to you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ambrosia Overnight Oatmeal

Ambrosia reminds me of my high school days working in the deli of my hometown grocery store. Yes, your dear Lauren used to stand behind a counter and weigh super thin slices of smoked turkey, bread and fry chicken, and gobble down leftover chicken thighs at the end of her shift. I was basically a walking tub of grease for two years. To this day, I can't stand the smell of a deep-fryer...and most fried foods, actually.

However, our deli counter also offered a variety of salads. The standards were, of course, potato salad and macaroni salad, but there was also always a couple "sweet salads." The Midwest is infamous for its...erm...salads (Exhibit A and B). I think Ambrosia is actually "a thing" outside of the Midwest, but it was definitely one of the occasional offerings at my humble little deli.

Any excuse to take out my martini glass, yes?

The key ingredients for Ambrosia are mandarin oranges (blegh), pineapple, marshmallows (obviously), cherries (the faker, the better), and coconut, all mixed together in a creamy base. I have a strong disdain for mandarin oranges, so I used good ol' navel. I skipped the cherries because I'm too cheap to buy them. I omitted the marshmallows know...breakfast. And finally, I subbed So Delicious yogurt <3 for the cream.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

5 Back-to-School Oat-tastic Solutions for Students & Teachers

Some people think students and teachers live a different world. WRONG. I became a teacher because I wanted to be a student forever, and it's the closest I could get.

Either way, both students and teachers have some early mornings and long days. And both groups are known for skipping meals--particularly breakfast!

Here are 5 solutions for enjoying your oatmeal during that dreaded morning rush!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mocha Almond Fudge Overnight Oatmeal

I need to confess my feelings. My strong, unwavering feelings.

I'm in love.

...with the So Delicious brand.

I've been eating their yogurt for a couple years now, but their pints of ice cream are a new world for me. I stopped buying prepared desserts and snacks several years ago--for a few different reasons. 1) Michael Pollan says to eat as much junk food as you want--as long as it's homemade (the result being you want eat that much junk food because it's hard work to make your own french fries, desserts, etc.). 2) I cut junk food from my budget to help me afford organic produce. 3) IBS, of course. Always.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blackberry Thyme Oatmeal

Remember less than a week ago when I said that my rosemary plant was the only one still thriving?

Joke's on me! It's dead now.

Shortly after making the Grape Rosemary Oatmeal (which was delicious!), my rosemary plant went from green and robust to brown and brittle. I don't even know...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

#FarmFreshOatmeal Update

Remember, the jam/applesauce giveaway will go to the Instagrammer who uploads the 50th #FarmFreshOatmeal post! I am happy to announce that we are over halfway there, and we need just ELEVEN MORE to reach 50 before next Friday!! As I said earlier, if we don't reach 50, I'll keep them for myself. ^_^

Here are some of my favorite uploads from the past couple of weeks.

First of all, I was super pleased to see that someone already made my Strawberry Pretzel Overnight Oatmeal...with farm fresh strawberries!

Lenore made use of her local peaches.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Grape Rosemary Oatmeal

Ugh, you guys... I suck so much at taking care of herbs.

I bought four different herbs from the farmers' market: basil, cilantro, thyme, and rosemary. The basil looked beautiful for nearly two weeks, and then it turned a sad yellow color. The thyme turned brittle after a few days. The tall bush of cilantro collapsed into a  yellow pile within hours. All three of them never fully recovered. I believe the basil and thyme improve a little bit every day, but the cilantro had to be removed from the pot and tossed. The only plant that still looks functional is the rosemary.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mango-Coconut Overnight Oatmeal with Puffed Wild Rice

Before I share the beautiful recipe pictured below, let me just declare my love and commitment to New York City. I love you, NYC, and there's nobody else for me than you. Please don't be jealous at what I'm about to say. At the end of the day, my rent money goes to you, and it's your beautiful bridges and skylines I drool over.

That being said, there's another city I adore: MSP, better known to the rest of the world as "Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Yasmin!

TOA: Happy first day of September! It's also Labor Day, which means I have the day off. :) Today, I'm happy to share with you the work of Yasmin, whom I know better as @binilein from Instagram. While searching through the #oatmealartist hashtag, I was immediately smitten by her gorgeous, cozy photos of oatmeal. She and I share a love for aerial food photography, bananas, and peanut butter. I could not wait to feature her beautiful photos on my blog!

Hello fellow oatmeal lovers,

My name is Yasmin and I am in the proud position to be the Oatmeal Enthusiast for September. I got so excited when Lauren asked me because I have been a fan of her blog for quite a while. I love oatmeal, and breakfast in general is my favorite meal of the day. Let me tell you some facts about myself.

I am German and I lived in northern Germany until the age of 18, when I started to study Journalism which took me to the other end of the country. Since then, I haven’t lived in the same city for more than a year. I finished my BA studies last year and continued with my masters shortly afterwards, which will take me to London this fall. When I am not trying out new oatmeal recipes, I like to run, read and travel.
I don’t really know anymore how I discovered oatmeal, but I remember my first attempt to make oatmeal. Thinking it was enough to just heat up the milk, I ended up having some kind of oatmeal soup with a sliced banana in it. This was in the fall of 2011, and since then my oatmeal skills have improved immensely. How I found Lauren’s blog I don’t know anymore either, but it has been bookmarked on my list of favorite websites from the day I found it.

You have to know about me that I have suffered from an eating disorder for years and years. But no matter how bad it was, I always would have breakfast. Breakfast was the only meal I never ever skipped. Days ahead I would plan what I would eat for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) and I always would look forward to my morning oats. I would come up with new combinations and would add more fruits, nuts, and nut butter after a while. Oatmeal became and still is to this day my favorite breakfast. There are so many flavors to add, different kinds of fruits to put into it, that it never gets boring. Luckily, today, I am way better and healthier.

I am a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you fuel to get through the day. I could eat breakfast foods all day long, to be totally honest with you. Oatmeal is so nutritious, healthy and filling that it makes the perfect breakfast. Especially on cold winter mornings, a hot bowl of oatmeal is the best way to start a busy day.

For the week I documented I decided to try out a lot of new recipes. I always bookmark new and interesting looking recipes I want to try, but then I tend to be too lazy or I am just too busy to really try them. But since I have summer break now, I didn’t really have an excuse not to try all these recipes – and I really was looking forward to every one of them and enjoyed every bite I had.

Day 1: Quinoa Flake Porridge

I love trying new recipes and experiment with other grains than oats such are buckwheat and quinoa. I recently purchased a bag of quinoa flakes, so I was looking forward to have them for breakfast. I used the quinoa flake porridge recipe from and it was delicious. Apart from the banana the recipe requires, I added blueberries, dried white mulberries, almonds and almond butter. It’s a great alternative to my usual oatmeal, very nutritious and filling!

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