Author Archives: Lauren Smith

About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Brownie Baked Oatmeal – Big Batch!

I always promise people to publish more “big batch” versions of baked oatmeal, but I rarely get around to it. Well, I got around to it.

The benefit of an entire 8×8 pan of Brownie Baked Oatmeal is that it is a definite crowd-pleaser. Who wouldn’t want to eat oatmeal if it tasted like a brownie? If you find yourself needing to make breakfast for a group of friends or your family, this one is a safe bet. (more…)

Blood Orange and Coconut Baked Oatmeal

Forgive me for my spotty posting this year. (That sounds pretty dramatic considering it’s only the second week of the year.) The constant lack of sunshine in NYC (on the days I’m home) have been really killing my vibe. As I’ve said before, I need natural light to photograph my recipes, so a string of cloudy days results in a tragic lack of posts.

This week, I’m ready to attack! First up for your consumption (literally) is this simple and citrusy baked oatmeal. Yes, I’ve been slacking in the baked oatmeal department for a year or two–but here’s a new one! (more…)

This Week in Oatmeal 01/07/2017

Every Saturday, I gather oatmeal recipes from around the web from the previous 1-3 weeks, as well as outstanding Instagram photos. These posts may grow or evolve as time passes. Please feel free to give your feedback in the comments section!

This week’s theme is chocolate!




Savory Lentil-Oatmeal Taco Bowl

Another savory recipe! I’m breaking my once-every-six-months tradition. [If you missed it, I posted a Savory Pumpkin and Kale Steel Cut Oatmeal with Veggie Sausage last week.]

This taco bowl replaces meat with a lentil and oatmeal mixture. I went with rolled flakes to achieve a “piece-y” texture, as opposed to the creamy texture I would get from a steel cut oat. Together, the lentils and oat flakes create something similar to a ground beef, and they’re seasoned with typical taco seasonings–cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, garlic, onion, etc. (more…)

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet…Me!

I never planned on doing this myself. It was always intended to be for guest posts. But when my featured poster had to back out, I didn’t want to throw the assignment on anyone else last minute (it can be a somewhat extensive project to just take on out of nowhere). So here I am.

You can read all about me elsewhere on the site (and, like, on every post), so what else is there to say about me? 🙂 So here are five facts about me:

(1) I love hip hop. I may dress like a 50s housewife, but I can spit every word to a variety of J. Cole, Kendrick, and Drake songs.

(2) I am the youngest of three kids. My parents recently celebrated their 32nd anniversary.

(3) I hate garlic and onion. Obviously I still eat them because food tastes pretty flavorless without it, but I generally reduce the amount from the recipe to a fifth of what they call for. The concept of “40-cloves-of-garlic chicken” that I see on Pinterest all the time is abhorrent to me, and not just because of the chicken.

(4) I set an alarm for 5:30 am every day (even weekends) because I just love mornings.

(5) I was involved in just about everything in high school, which is common in small towns: volleyball, basketball (until 9th grade), softball (until 11th grade), wrestling cheerleading (until 11th grade), football cheerleading, theater, choir, band (alto saxophone), Business Professionals of America, knowledge bowl (9th grade only). I hated most of them except theater, choir, and BPA. 🙂

^^ baby high school Lauren

Now, here is what a week of oatmeal looks like for the Oatmeal Artist herself!

Wednesday: Banana Oatmeal with Almond Butter & Grape Jelly

It’s basically Banana PB&J Oatmeal, but with almond butter. My favorite is the salted crunchy AB from Trader Joe’s. This is a pretty standard choice for me, especially when I’m at my parents’ house (which I was for Christmas).

Thursday: Brownie Batter Oatmeal + toppings

Brownie Batter Oatmeal is another classic. (I would have loved to have Cardamom Fudge but my mom doesn’t have cardamom. 🙁 ) Blackberries were on sale! I also enjoyed the wide range of baking ingredients my mom has on hand, like the walnuts and coconut.

Friday: Banana Oatmeal with Almond Butter and Blackberries

Today I babysat my nephew, Graham, so I made us a simple Banana Oatmeal and topped his with blackberries and bananas (he loves berries), and I added almond butter to mine. I was afraid to give nut butter to a toddler. Nut allergies scare me. 😛

Saturday (Christmas Eve!) – Almond Joy Oatmeal

Since I have almond butter, the original Almond Joy Oatmeal seemed like a natural choice. Plus, my mom has sweetened shredded coconut. I definitely prefer the unsweetened kind (better texture, and it’s toastable), but it’s always a fun change to have it sweetened sometimes. Kind of like how regular Oreos are the best, but every now and then it’s fun to have a peanut butter Oreo. Stuff like that. 😉

Sunday (Christmas Day)

Despite my grand ideas for my Christmas Day oatmeal, I ended up being dreadfully sick and couldn’t even keep a single grape down (believe me, I tried). So no oatmeal was had. 🙁

Monday – Grape & Rosemary Oatmeal

This is a combination of Grape & Rosemary Oatmeal and Grape & Walnut Oatmeal, with a bonus of a little almond butter. I was still a little queasy Monday morning so that little teaspoon of richness was about all I could handle. I chose to make this because I rarely buy grapes (is it just me, or do they cost a billion dollars?), but my mom always has them on hand. We also had rosemary for our holiday baking, so I used the opportunity to make this recipe again.

Tuesday – Mocha Berry Blackout Oatmeal

It’s basically Berry Blackout Oatmeal with a Mocha Brownie Batter base. I used coffee extract instead of coffee granules for the first time, and I must say, I’m not a fan. It tastes a bit like a bad cold brew. I shall stick to the instant granules! The oatmeal is topped with dried cranberries, the last of my blackberries, and some chopped unsweetened baking chocolate (like the 100% cacao stuff). My mom will not be thrilled when she opens up that package and sees that sliver missing. 😇

The next day, I had Rosemary Brownie Batter Oatmeal. I wish I could have taken a photo but I got up really early (to get back on my usual sleep schedule) and it was still pitch black out.

Would you like to be an Oatmeal Enthusiast in 2017?

Head to my Contact page and shoot me an email. I’d love to feature you!

This Week in Oatmeal 12/31/2016

Every Saturday, I gather oatmeal recipes from around the web from the previous 1-3 weeks, as well as outstanding Instagram photos. These posts may grow or evolve as time passes. Please feel free to give your feedback in the comments section!

Happy New Year’s Eve!! This crazy year is finally over. I’m so glad I didn’t assign a theme for this week because there were so many beautiful shots to choose from!




Weekend Musings: Beware of New Year’s Diet “Advice”

The following contains my personal opinions and a synthesis of my own research through the years. However, I am not a professional and only wish to start a conversation, not give medical advice.

Hi friends!

As I navigate the check-out aisle at Walgreens, new posts on BuzzFeed, my feed on Twitter, and shared posts on Facebook, I am bombarded by unwanted “diet advice.” You know the kind:

How to Lose that Holiday Weight!
The Detox You Will Actually Enjoy!!
Cleanse Those Holiday Goodies Away!
Get Your Bikini Bod Back!
Ten Recipes to Undo All That Eggnog!!

The exclamation marks are a must. 😉

At their best, these articles contain nutritious and unprocessed recipes yet typically just emphasize the caloric content and temporary extreme restriction. At their worst, the articles include body shaming, misogynistic notions of what a woman’s body should look like or what women should care about, unrealistic guides from celebrity trainers, and misleading (or downright wrong) advice about “healthy eating” (e.g. DRINK GREEN JUICE TO BURN YOUR FAT AWAY!).

(I almost linked you to actual articles for examples, but I refuse to give them any more traffic.)

I am not against using the notion of a “new year” to make positive changes to your life. After all, I did this when I first started eating less meat. I am asking you to be careful about the goals you are setting and the action plan you choose to achieve them.

I have two main issues with these articles:


Best of 2016

See also: Best of 2012 / Best of 2013 / Best of 2014 / Best of 2015

In many ways, 2016 was a pretty tough year. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that as we all seem to be on the same page about this dumb excuse of a year. 🙂 But in other ways, this year was big for me. I really found my passion in school–bilingual education–and my mental health improved by a billion. I feel almost as balanced and stable as I did pre-teaching, just way more jaded. But I can deal with that. I got not just one but two jobs. My nephew can finally say my name and recognize me. My boyfriend brings a lot of joy and adventure into my life. The initial work of my thesis has gotten a lot of praise. I even learned a good chunk of Spanish!

Oatmeal-wise, this year has challenged me as I have fallen in love with experimenting with unique ingredients and sophisticated flavor combinations, yet I also want to keep my recipes easy, quick, and inviting. I wish all my recipes could be made with five ingredients, and I don’t want to scare anyone off with my persimmons. 🙂

As usual, I have assembled the top recipes from the year for us to reminisce together!

1. Fan Favorite Recipe

These German Chocolate Cake Oatmeal Bites, much to my surprise, received more views than all other recipes from 2016. I did not see that coming!



This Week in Oatmeal 12/24/2016

Every Saturday, I gather oatmeal recipes from around the web from the previous 1-3 weeks, as well as outstanding Instagram photos. These posts may grow or evolve as time passes. Please feel free to give your feedback in the comments section!

Merry Christmas Eve!




Pear Orange Fudge Oatmeal

Since Citrus Pear Oatmeal was a success, I decided I could give it another go, this time with chocolate. 😉

I’m currently relaxing at my family’s home in Minnesota, so I won’t make this post very long. But if you like Citrus Pear Oatmeal, or you like those orange chocolate thingies, this oatmeal will have a lot of flavors you will enjoy. And it’s easy, too! (more…)