The Foodie Blogroll

These are a few of my favourite things.

Oats and I haven't always been the greatest of friends.  I'm not saying I was never a fan of oatmeal muffins, or oatmeal raisin cookies (because trust me I would mow down on those like there's no tomorrow).  However, when it came to a bowl of piping hot oats, it just sort of freaked me out.  I would always see porridge and think it looked like slop.  I would have these vivid visions of Goldilocks eating her porridge, or being back at my overnight camp when I was younger and seeing the older kids happily waiting in line for a big bowl of what looked to me as mush.  Because of this, I never had any incline to even trying it.

Over the years however, and especially once I started blogging and trying foods I never thought I would like and realizing that once cooked the way you like it, foods you might have strongly disliked before now become foods you crave on a regular basis.  Oatmeal is one of these things.  I'm not sure why I decided to try oatmeal, or even when, but it's within the last two years, and I've never regretted that decision.  Other than pancakes, oatmeal is by far my favourite go-to option in the morning.  I love how versatile oatmeal can be.  Oatmeal to me, is how tofu is in a regular dish.  You can make it simple, you can spice it up, make it tropical, make it luxurious, make it downright sinful, make it creamy, make it thick, make it nutty, make it cold, make it overnight, add some variety by choosing different genera of oats, etc... whatever it is, oatmeal can meet your taste-buds and give your mouth a little party at the start of the day.

I love how healthy oats are, which, come to think of it is probably the thing that motivated me to try it in the first place.  The past few years, I have made variations upon variations of different types of oats.  Sometimes I've even used different types of grains, but held the concept of oatmeal in my mind (quinoa, bulgur, millet).  Oatmeal is perfect before a work out, especially because you can add in flaxseed, chia seeds, nuts, protein powder, and nut butters for an added boost of protein, and it is full of carbohydrates. Even if you're not working out this is a great way to start the day, because it keeps you fueled and satiated for hours.  If you don't have time in the morning, you can make them overnight for a quick on the go breakfast.  You can spice it up and have it as dessert, hello Tiramisu Oatmeal (also other dessert forms on this link).  You can have them for a pick-me up after a work out, in an oatmeal scramble form, throw on some nuts, nut butter, and seeds for your protein.  However busy your day is, there is always a way you can eat oats that'll fill you up and give you the boost of energy you eat (granola, snack bars).  With all of this being said, I have been eating oatmeal like there is no tomorrow lately, especially because I need a pre-work out meal packed with fuel, and this is my favourite way of getting it.

Sometimes I like to keep my oats simple, sometimes I like to spice them up, however, no matter what I may or may not toss in, my oats definitely always have certain staples to go in: oats, soy milk (or other non-dairy milks), water, banana, salt and vanilla.  Other than those ingredients, the rest is decided by what I'm craving.

This morning for instance, I made one of the simplest oatmeals I've ever made before, however, truthfully it was one of the best.  Sometimes it's nice to just keep things as simple as they can be, and you actually get blown away how amazing simplicity really is.

Banana Mixed Berry Oatmeal




Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup Holly Nog
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful of mixed berries - mine included, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries
  • Handful of hemp hearts
  • Cinnamon 
Directions:

In a small sauce pan, bring your oats, milk, water, salt and vanilla to a boil.  Once your oats have started to boil, mash in your ripened banana.  Keep your oats on the stove until your level of "cooked" oats has been achieved (mine take about 4-5 minutes, I still like them a bit hard).  Top with cinnamon, then fruit, then your hemp hearts.

Served this alongside of my mug of my Candy Cane Lane green tea, and it was reminiscent of a beautiful Christmas morning, awwww.

Some more of my recent favourite oat combinations:


Indian Spiced Oats




Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk + more to top
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp hemp hearts

Directions:


In a small sauce pan, bring your oats, milk, water, salt and vanilla to a boil.  Once your oats have started to boil, mash in your ripened banana.  Keep your oats on the stove until your level of "cooked" oats has been achieved (mine take about 4-5 minutes, I still like them a bit hard).  Stir in your spices.  Then top with your hemp hearts, raisins, almonds and additional coconut milk to flavour.

Peanut Butter Banana Jam Sandwich Oats

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 heaping tbsp of peanut butter
  • Handful of raspberries
  • 1 tbsp of raspberry jam
Directions:

In a small bowl mash your raspberries until they resemble a chunky jam.  Once your raspberries reach that consistency add your jam and mix until well incorporated - set aside.

In a small sauce pan, bring your oats, milk, water, salt and vanilla to a boil.  Once your oats have started to boil, mash in your ripened banana.  Keep your oats on the stove until your level of "cooked" oats has been achieved (mine take about 4-5 minutes, I still like them a bit hard).  Top with peanut butter and raspberry jam mixture.


Gingerbread Oatmeal




Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 Gingerbread Spice tea bags
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Drizzle of molasses
  • Handful of chopped pecans
Directions:

Same as above, just top with molasses and pecans instead.

How do you enjoy your oats?

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Ahh those look so amazing. I love trying out new oatmeal concoctions. Have you ever tried making oats with rye flakes or barley flakes as opposed to just rolled oats? So good! I'm a firm believer that oats taste best cooked in almond milk. I also love it with banana and ground flaxseed, never gets old. I also love pumpkin pie oatmeal; add canned pumpkin, top with pumpkin seeds, and lots of cinnamon!

Samantha said...

I've never tried it with rye/barley flakes, but I have used quinoa flakes. At first I wasn't much of a fan, but as I kept making different bowls and working my way through the bag I definitely grew to really enjoy them. I will definitely keep my eyes open for rye/barley flakes. Pumpkin oats are definitely a favourite of mine, since I absolutely loooooove fall flavours!!