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.
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