Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pomegranate Nut Butter Oatmeal

I love pomegranates. I love nut butter. The two were bound to meet.

You can use any nut butter for this recipe, and I can imagine that almond butter or PB&Co.'s Dark Chocolate Dreams would be fantastic here. If you're super fancy, you could even go so far as using pistachio butter (look at you!).

Me? I used crunchy peanut butter. Shocked? You shouldn't be.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Fudge Oatmeal

If you like Brownie Batter Oatmeal (and it appears that most of you do), then you will love this. Bonus: NO BANANA. To me, that's a downer, but to some of you, it will seal the deal.

Now let's be real. Have I ever steered you wrong with any recipe that contained the word "fudge"? Let's look at the evidence: Raspberry Fudge Oatmeal. Fudgy Banana and Peanut Butter Oatmeal. Ummm, CASE CLOSED.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Strawberry Almond Oatmeal

Inspired by my recent Berry, Almond, & Coconut Oatmeal, I realized I haven't done enough with almond extract. So many possibilities!

My favorite aspect of almond extract (besides its taste) is the intensity of its flavor. This allows me to (drum roll please) ...use the hidden banana trick! Oatmeal without banana is like a cookie without chocolate chips (a poor analogy, considering my favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle).

Anyway, strawberries have been--inexplicably--on sale and in great quality at my local produce market, so I've been enjoying them in my oatmeal and salads. Combined with the nutty almond extract, this oatmeal is a fresh and fruity delight.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal: Revisited

Despite its popularity, I've never been particularly proud of the original Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal. At the time, I was a bit precarious with my recipes. I knew it wasn't perfect (it tasted like bananas, for Pete's sake!), but I enjoyed it, and it sounded fancy, so I posted it before I should have. Much to my anxiety, this recipe became a hit. I wasn't surprised that people were excited about the recipe itself, but I was stunned when people actually tried it and liked it. Really? But it tastes like bananas!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coconut Kiwi Oatmeal

Coconut butter is THE most luxurious ingredient in the entire world. More luxurious than pomegranates. More luxurious than pistachios. More luxurious than dark chocolate.

(Let me get one thing straight: coconut butter is NOT better than peanut butter. However, because coconut butter is a rarity for me, it is more exciting and special. But in the end...peanut butter FTW!)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Product Review: MixMyOwn Healthy Breakfast

Recently, Klara, a reader, approached me about a fantastic new company she and her husband launched called MixMyOwn Healthy Breakfast. The concept is simple: you choose from a ton of options to create your own healthy breakfast cereal (either a muesli or granola). The ingredient choices range from sweetened to unsweetened, organic to conventional, and classic to unique.

Klara gave me a wonderful opportunity to try and review my own custom-made cereal. Creating my mix started out a little overwhelming. I wanted everything, but I knew I wanted it to be a cohesive mixture. For example, I couldn't add chocolate to a tropical mix, and I wouldn't want mango in a strawberry-banana mix. This was the hardest part--but in a fun way. I also loved how I was able to choose organic and unsweetened varieties.

Eventually, I went the "strawberry banana" route (although it contained raspberries and goji berries as well). Choosing the base of my cereal was difficult. I initially chose muesli since granola can give me a stomach ache sometimes (all the sugar), but then it felt like a waste (since I make homemade muesli all the time easily). I chose the oil-free granola. This was "special" to me because I tried making an oil-free granola once and it turned out terribly, so I wanted the luxury of having someone else make it for me. :)

The packaging is fantastic. The back tells you the ingredients used, the nutrition info (even though it's a custom mix!), AND a QR code in case you want to order the exact same mix again without having to work through the options and lists again. Nice touch.

My package from MixMyOwn also contained this little baggie of goodies. I'm not sure if everyone gets the same thing, but it's cute. The coconut in there looks delish.

Throughout the entire ordering process, from first opening the web site to holding the actual package in my hands, I could see that this company has a passion for breakfast and pleasing modern needs. They recognize that there is a demand for information (clear ingredients list that says exactly which products are organic, for example), as well as a demand for the option of better-quality ingredients. As further proof, Klara passed on this list of 7 tips for healthier breakfasts, and I agree with all of them (although I believe all fruits and veggies are superfoods!).

7 Tips for Healthy Breakfasts that Combat Weight Gain During Holidays and Throughout the Year
1. Don’t skip breakfast - skipping breakfast leads to snacking and overeating the rest of the day - muesli, granola or multi-grain flakes cereal is quick, easy, low in calories and helps prevent snacking and overeating later in the day
2. Eat low-calorie and enjoyable breakfast foods - looking forward to breakfast makes it less likely to be a meal that gets skipped - with over 100 ingredients and a variety of options, custom-mixed cereals from give customers a variety of combinations with their favorite flavors
3. Avoid foods high in cholesterol and fat like fatty breakfast meats and fried eggs - whole-grain foods like muesli, granola or multi-grain flakes have little fat and almost no unhealthy cholesterol
4. Eat foods high in fiber - fiber prevents some fats from being absorbed by the body and reduces risk for heart disease -’s custom cereals have up to 4 grams of fiber per serving.
5. Include protein - protein builds muscle and staves off hunger - muesli, granola or multi-grain flakes with nuts and whole grains can add significant protein without adding excess saturated fat;’s Tutty Nutty premix contains 3.9 grams of protein per serving.
6. For fast, portable breakfast make your own smoothie - homemade smoothies can drank while commuting to work and can contain fresh ingredients with less sugar and fat - muesli is a great smoothie ingredient as in this Banana Muesli Smoothie recipe from the New York Times:
7. Include superfoods - superfoods boost the immune system, aid with weight loss and lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer - favorite superfoods include nuts, seeds, berries, oats, and soy, all of which can be included in any custom cereal mix at

I was giddy as soon as I opened up my bag of granola. I saw the giant vanilla bean sitting amid all the other ingredients, and I knew it was going to be excellent (the vanilla bean is one of the choices in the final list of special add-ins; I highly recommend it). I picked out a clump of granola first, and--success!--it was crunchy. Already, it was better than the homemade oil-free granola I made once. ;)

My mix already contained dried bananas, but I added sliced banana to mine anyway because (if you haven't noticed from the majority of my recipes) I'm pretty adamant about starting my days with banana. :) I also know that a true "serving" of granola is pretty small, so I would need to bulk it up with fruit. I always eat granola with banana, so it was the obvious choice.

My mix was incredibly flavorful. Each of the ingredients had retained their individual flavors, so each bite had a different impact. I loved the bites with coconut in them--so nummy!

If you are interested in learning more about this company, here is more information directly from Klara:
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is dedicated to promoting a wholesome lifestyle for customers by providing a way for customers to choose their own whole-grain and multi-grain cereal ingredients and have it delivered fresh to their doorstep. The website offers nearly 100 responsibly chosen ingredients -- including many 100% natural, unprocessed, organic and non-GMO, preservative-free and sugar-free options*. Ingredients include 31 types of dried fruits, 20 types of nuts and seeds, and five whole-grain bases. Or customers can choose from one of eight pre-mixed breakfast cereals. MixMyOwn was created by entrepreneur couple Klara Charvatova and David Filipi in July 2013. The company uses U.S.-based suppliers only and ships orders to all U.S. states for a flat rate.

For more information about the advantages of custom cereal and, please call Klara Charvatova at 702-354-1936 or send e-mail to
**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!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Banana Pomegranate Oatmeal

Sometimes I work so hard trying to think of interesting flavor combinations that I miss the most obvious ones. I'm constantly trying to dream up great ideas for pomegranates, and when I thought of bananas, I felt a little silly. How could I have missed that? Banana + any other fruit = happiness.

Some of you have already noticed my love affair of bananas. I seriously cannot hide it. I'm in love with the flavor (I didn't use to be!), I appreciate how it makes my body feel, and I adore the texture it adds to oatmeal. Complain all you want, banana-haters, but I'll continue to pump out recipes with bananas. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gingerbread White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

My sister and her husband hooked me up for Christmas. In addition to the fantastic vanilla bean paste they gave me, I also received four bags of nondairy white chocolate chips. Hooray! Time to make those white chocolate recipes I've been dreaming up.

The white chocolate chips add an unexpected sweetness that mellows out the intense gingerbread spices. To keep this porridge healthy, go easy on the chocolate chips. The banana makes the oatmeal sweet and healthy, and a small handful of white chocolate chips will just add a hint of pizzazz.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Oatmeal

Confession: I did not buy vanilla beans for this recipe.  *gasp*

Truthfully, I found something better: vanilla bean paste (Christmas present from my sister! Thanks, Amy!).

Now, I'm sure the quality of an actual vanilla bean is higher than that of my paste, but the difference is that I have the next best thing up in my cupboard, easily accessible, whenever I need it, for a fraction of the cost. Look at the pictures! You can see the little vanilla dots if you look closely!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Banana Chai Latte Oatmeal

Yes, my friends, that would be steamed milk you see. (Soy milk. I'm in a soy milk phase right now.)

Some of you might remember my concept for "flooded" oatmeal. In truth, I had grand plans for that concept. I was going to whip it out fairly regularly with creative twists and blah, blah, blah. However, I needed the foam. I didn't want warm milk. I wanted steamed milk. With foam. Without the foam, the flood just wasn't doing anything for me.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Berry, Almond, and Coconut Oatmeal

Whenever I make a recipe with coconut, I become angry with myself for not doing so more often. Coconut is so...perfect in every way. Buttery, rich, flavorful. So great.

This oatmeal combines the lovely combination of almonds and coconut, like my Almond Joy Oatmeal. It also contains a hidden banana, so I guess you could say they're close cousins. The difference is this one tastes a little healthier (without the chocolate, and the addition of fresh berries)! However, these cousins are equally tasty. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Claudia!

I'm continuously amazed by the enthusiasm for oatmeal I find on Instagram. Are there really that many people like me who eat oatmeal every single day? Turns out, yes. Recently, I found another one. Her name is Claudia, and she knows how to cook some creative oats! I had to ask her to be this month's Enthusiast immediately...and she did not disappoint! Claudia not only documented an entire seven days, but she had oatmeal multiple times a day! Hmm...could we be long-lost sisters?

Hello! I’m Claudia, I’m currently studying economics at university and I have an oatmeal addiction (as you can see from my Instagram page @professorclaude, or from the blog I recently started

Despite celebrating Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, I’m actually from Sydney, Australia (I’ll take any excuse to make a dessert). My mother was born in Italy (but hates garlic!), my father was born in England, and I grew up watching nothing but American television – so my food inspiration comes from many places. My favourite foods include oatmeal, muesli, pumpkin, pasta, bagels, and peanut butter. I’ve also been a vegetarian for about six years.

I am super-excited about being this month’s Oatmeal Enthusiast. But first, here’s something you probably wouldn’t have guessed about this month’s Oatmeal Enthusiast: I never used to like breakfast. Growing up, I used to hate breakfast food (except for pancakes), and would eat leftover pasta – or worse, apple pie – for breakfast. I gradually became enamoured by breakfast during high school, and now I often wake up ridiculously early just because I’m so excited about my oats! 

My love of breakfast began when I discovered muesli, and it wasn’t until last year (2013) that I discovered the joys of oatmeal. Why oatmeal? I wanted something warm and healthy for breakfast. Since I’m a vegetarian and can’t stand savoury food in the morning, the whole eggs and bacon thing wasn’t an option. My parents both ate oatmeal, so I thought I’d give it a try. 

First, I tried some microwaveable oatmeal recipes – and it kept exploding! While I liked the taste, the oats kept turning into goo (which was undoubtedly due to my over-zealous microwaving). Then I came across the Oatmeal Artist, tried making oatmeal on the stove, and became hooked. I’ve tried tons of Lauren’s recipes, and recently started making a few of my own.

Since making my first stovetop oatmeal (Caramelized Banana Oatmeal from the Oatmeal Artist), I’ve become so enthusiastic about oatmeal that sometimes I have it for lunch or dinner. While I’m a huge fan of desserts, these days I’m more interested in turning my favourite desserts into oatmeal than I am in eating the “real” thing. Has that happened to anyone else? (From Lauren: me!!)

But enough about me, here’s the important part: the oatmeal. I decided to document my week from Wednesday to Tuesday, just because that was the day after Lauren asked me to be an Oatmeal Enthusiast (and I was feeling excited!)

Wednesday Morning: Oatmeal Suzette
I love having Crepes Suzette at restaurants, but there’s a ton of butter in it. So this is my healthier oatmeal version. I sautéed an orange in honey, orange juice, vanilla extract and brandy extract, and then mixed it into the oatmeal along with some orange zest. Crepes Suzette usually has a fair amount of Grand Marnier, but I didn’t think it was a good idea to get hammered before 9am.

Wednesday Lunchtime: Salted Caramel Macaron Oatmeal
I was eating a salted caramel macaron at a café, and thought, “There are just some things I can’t turn into oatmeal”. And then my brain responded with, “Well, not with that attitude!” So I made this oatmeal. Sure, it didn’t quite have the texture of a macaron, but this oatmeal definitely satisfied my salted caramel craving. The oatmeal had some caramel syrup (from Starbucks), a little cinnamon, almond meal, vanilla extract, two egg whites and, of course, a pinch of coarse salt.

Thursday Morning: Christmas Pudding Oatmeal
As I mentioned earlier, my Dad was born in England. And the English eat a lot of weird food, or at least food with odd names – there’s Toad in the Hole, Spotted Dick, and Bubble and Squeak, just to name a few (and whatever you do, don’t try the Blood Pudding!). One of the more “normal” traditional British foods is Christmas pudding, which is similar to fruit cake, but is much better. So that was the inspiration for this recipe, which included half a shredded Granny smith apple, orange zest, cinnamon, brandy extract and a ton of dried fruit. I also added some custard on the top.

Thursday Dinnertime: Italian Cheesecake Baked Oatmeal
Ok, I wasn’t originally going to have oatmeal for dinner on Thursday. But then I had all the ingredients for this Italian Cheesecake oatmeal that I’d thought of earlier. What makes a cheesecake “Italian”? Ricotta cheese. Italian cheesecakes use ricotta instead of cream cheese, or use a combination of ricotta and cream cheese. This makes the cheesecake much lighter, and in my opinion, much better (but I am biased). This baked oatmeal included low-fat ricotta cheese, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla extract and sweetener. I also added raisins and half a crumbled digestive biscuit (it’s like a graham cracker) for a little cheesecake “crust”.

Friday: Black Forest Overnight Oatmeal
This was inspired by the Oatmeal Artist’s recipe, except I had to add in more chocolate! I also left out the coconut milk and used more cherries and yogurt. The topping is muesli with cocoa powder, maple syrup, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and cherry jam. I don’t mean to sound boastful, but Oh My God this was so delicious! It was like I died and went to heaven – or maybe some kind of fantastic hell?

Saturday: Zucchini Oatmeal
I’d originally planned to have a chocolaty oatmeal, but I actually didn’t feel like chocolate! Probably because of that overly decadent oatmeal yesterday. So instead I went with a nice, green oatmeal. This oatmeal had the usual zucchini accompaniments of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and maple syrup. As I didn’t want to use too much maple syrup, I added some apple juice for extra sweetness. I grated/shredded one large zucchini, threw in some chia seeds, and the result was a huge green mass of oats. I couldn’t have been happier!

Sunday: Baked and Flooded Banana Hot Chocolate Oatmeal
Firstly, sorry about the picture. I’m useless at removing things from ramekins. You’ll have to believe me that it tasted better than it looked.

This was the oatmeal I’d originally planned to have yesterday. I was really intrigued by the Oatmeal Artist’s flooded oatmeal, and I love hot chocolates, so I put the two together. It became a banana hot chocolate oatmeal when I noticed that I had a banana that was way overripe. The banana added a really fluffy texture, and extra sweetness. I had originally planned to flood my oatmeal in a hot chocolate (or just some warmed up chocolate milk), but then I noticed I had some leftover custard in the fridge (from Thursday’s Christmas pudding oatmeal) – so I figured, “Why not? I’ll throw it in.” So I added some hot chocolate powder to the custard and poured it over the oatmeal. Mmmm… so chocolaty!

Monday: Apple and Cherry Strudel Oatmeal
I used to live near a German bakery that made fabulous apple and cherry strudels, so I thought I’d try to recreate that dessert in this oatmeal. Firstly, I sautéed my chopped apple in apple juice, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Then I removed the apple from the saucepan, boiled the almond milk, and threw in the oats, sautéed apple, chopped cherries and raisins. And the piece of actual strudel next to the oatmeal was just to compare the taste. Not because I still like eating dessert for breakfast or anything J

Tuesday: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Swirl Overnight Oatmeal
Peanut Butter. Chocolate. Need I say more?

Not really, but I will anyway. I made two separate overnight oatmeal batters – one with peanut butter and a little cinnamon, the other with cocoa powder, hot chocolate powder and vanilla extract. Then (the next morning), I transferred the chocolate batter into a margarita glass, poured the peanut butter batter over the top, and tried my best to make some swirls. This was my favourite oatmeal this week, since I’m a sucker for peanut butter!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my week of oatmeal, as I certainly enjoyed eating it. Some of the recipes are already on my blog, and I’ll post all of them soon.

So goodbye for now, from the future (Sydney is 16 hours in front of New York).

P.S. If you’re ever in Australia, whatever you do, don’t try Vegemite or Weet-bix – they’re both just awful. However, I can recommend Tim Tams. 

[Editor's Note: If you're interested in becoming my next Oatmeal Enthusiast, be sure to show your enthusiasm by tagging your oatmeal pictures with #oatmealartist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Thank you for all your love and support!]

**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!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lemon, Thyme, and Honey Oatmeal

The more I experiment with savory oatmeal, the more I accept that I prefer recipes that are "half savory." The Greek Oatmeal and Pizza Porridge recipes are both great...but I'd much rather have the sweet, velvety texture of Butternut Squash Oatmeal or the perfect flavor pairing of Sweet Potato and Soyrizo Oatmeal.

I suppose that's why I've somewhat recently been inspired by dessert recipes that feature herbs, like this sorbet recipe. It allows me to combine my love of fruity oatmeal with flavors that are associated with more savory dishes.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Banana, Pineapple, and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Whenever I considered trying out this recipe, I would look at the name and wonder, "Why in the world would I combine those three ingredients?" Then, I would remember that it's much like a banana split (sans strawberries, which you could obviously include!).

Banana and pineapple are great together. Banana and chocolate are delicious. Pineapple and chocolate are surprisingly tasty. Obviously the three of them together have to work, right?
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