Many people comment, “I cannot believe all the things you can do with oatmeal!” or “And I thought I was being inventive by putting peanut butter on my oatmeal!”
The thing is, we can all be oatmeal artists (as cliché as it sounds). I became more innovative the more I played around with oatmeal. I may have an absurd amount of recipes here, but we all have our own personal tastes, so it’s worth taking the risk and trying your own artistry, even if that means just tweaking my recipes (or another blogger’s).
So if you need help developing your inner artist, here are some tips for getting started:
- Mix and Match! I commonly combine two or three recipes to make one happy hybrid. Obviously try to stick to the same “family,” such as “apple recipes” or “banana recipes.” For example, maybe you love Nutty Nana Berry Oatmeal, but you’ve had it 10 days in a row and are ready for something else. What if you made Banana Bread Oatmeal and then topped it with peanut butter and berries? Boom! Happy hybrid.
- Make your favorite recipe as an overnight recipe. If it fits with the recipe, make it in an almost empty jar of peanut butter!
- Switch up the fruits. To play it safe, it’s best to stay with similar types of fruits. For example, swapping pears with apples or raspberries for strawberries are an easy fix. For a more adventurous swap, try swapping plums for cherries or apricots for apples! Trust me, from personal experience, this can be risky, but you never truly know how it will be unless you try it!
- Switch the nut butter. Have you tried almond butter? Pecan butter? Flavored nut butters? Coconut butter? Mutli-nut butter (e.g. my coconut-pecan butter!!). There is so much out there.
- Top a recipe with an unexpected and exciting fruit. For example, I topped my Peach Poppy Seed Overnight Oatmeal with fresh figs! I put persimmon on top of my Chai Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal. P.S. Raspberries and strawberries manage to go well on 90% of all oatmeal recipes (according to a very formal and scientific study I conducted…).
- Play with extracts and spices. For example, my Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal was really just my Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, but with chai spices instead of pumpkin pie spices. Another easy swap is using pumpkin pie spice in place of cinnamon, and hazelnut extract instead of vanilla.
- Turn it into a parfait. This is especially great for overnight and baked recipes. For baked recipes, separate your favorite baked oatmeal batter into several mini muffin slots instead of dumping it all in a ramekin. It will cook in less time than it does in a ramekin (taking around 15-20 minutes instead of 20-25). Then layer it with your favorite filling, whether it’s yogurt, Cashew-Yogurt Cream, chocolate avocado mousse, coconut whipped cream, nut butter, or berries!
- Split your oatmeal in half and flavor the halves separately. Rasberry Lemonade Overnight Oatmeal + Lemon Drop Overnight Oatmeal? Yes. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal + Peanut Butter Oatmeal? Yes. Thin Mints Overnight Oatmeal + Cookies & Cream Overnight Oatmeal? Mmmhmm.
- Try adding a topping (like a compote or a reduction sauce) to the top of your favorite oatmeal base.
- Stew, roast, sautée, grill, caramelize, or poach your fruit before adding it to the oatmeal. For example, if you like Berry Blackout Oatmeal, what if you roasted the strawberries first? If you like Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, what if you sautéed the apple first? If you like Banana, Pineapple, and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal, what if you caramelized the banana and grilled the pineapple?
Happy innovating, fellow oatmeal artists!