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!

2. Pinterest Queen & 3. Best Baked Oatmeal

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal: This recipe was the most popular pin on my board “The Oatmeal Artist.” This isn’t an exact science, considering it all depends on what day and what time of day I pin the recipe, but regardless, this was the one that gathered up the most repins! It was also the most-viewed baked recipe of the year.

4. Best Steel-Cut Oatmeal & 5. Best Savory Oatmeal

Savory Citrus Arugula Steel Cut Oatmeal: For the second year in a row, I have reserved steel-cut oats primarily for savory recipes, meaning this category gets combined. This recipe was inspired by a quinoa salad. It’s savory, but also bright and zesty! They also happen to be my favorite photos from the year. <3

6. Best Non-Porridge Recipe

Salted Pretzel PB2: After the German Chocolate Cake Bites (see above), this was the next most popular non-porridge recipe. I approve! This topping is salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy, and (most importantly) versatile!

7. Chocolate Oatmeal of the Year

S’mores Oatmeal: I went all out for my blog’s 4th birthday, finally splurging on the tricky vegan ingredients to make this s’mores-themed oatmeal. You all approved, making it the one of the most-viewed chocolate oatmeal (after the aforementioned German Chocolate bites and Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal).

8. Herb-acious Oatmeal of theYear

Rosemary Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal: This year I went nuts for fresh herbs. I made my position known right from the start, posting this popular recipe on January 6th. I AGREE. IT IS SO GOOD.

9. Best Overnight Recipe

Dirt Pie Overnight Oatmeal: Inspired by the dessert of chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreos, this overnight recipe made many of very nostalgic for our childhoods!

10. Most Popular Guest Post

Valentina’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownie Baked Oatmeal: Not surprisingly, the brownie baked oatmeal contest was a huge success this year and gave us all some amazing recipes. Based on page views, Valentina’s was our favorite! Runner Up: Lyndsey’s Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownie Baked Oatmeal with a Shortbread Crust!

11. Most Viewed Oatmeal Enthusiast

Meet Tyler!: These bright, bold, and beautiful photos captured the most views in 2016. Thank you to all my OE participants, and I can’t wait to continue this series in the future! Runner up: Meet Sandra!

12. Most Liked on Instagram

This Pumpkin, Brown Sugar, and Fig Oatmeal barely beat out a few close competitors to be the most popular post on IG this year.

Coming tomorrow ? Pumpkin, Brown Sugar, & Fig Oatmeal.

A photo posted by Lauren Smith (@oatmealartist) on

13. TOA’s Recipe of the Year

Ignoring the stats and views and pins, this Cardamom Fudge Oatmeal became my personal new all-time favorite this year. It beat my long-time favorites, and I eat it almost every. single. day.


Did any of your favorites from 2016 not make the list? Are there any specific recipes (or ingredients) you’d like to see more of in 2017? Comment below!

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.

5 Responses to Best of 2016

  1. You could never scare me off with persimmons! I’m so glad to hear that you are happier and have found your calling. Bilingual education! That definitely fits.

  2. Christine says:

    Congratulations on another great year of blogging! Your Dirt Pie Overnight Oatmeal and S’Mores Oatmeal were two of my all-time favorite recipes from your blog. So decadent and dessert-like! Too bad I can’t find those Russell Stover S’Mores treats in stores anymore, or I’d make the S’Mores Oatmeal more often.

    Next year, I wouldn’t mind seeing more overnight recipes and reader contests. I’ve also learned a lot from your Tips and Tricks posts. Really, keep doing what you’re doing because I enjoy reading all of your posts. All the best for 2017!

  3. To be quite honest, I have to say that every post from your blog is incredible! Granted, every blogger has behind-the-scenes problems that they may or may not mention in their posts, but I have noticed from your writing that you do sound more vibrant and lively after pouring out your thoughts! 🙂 Also, the salted caramel PB2 and S’mores oatmeal recipes are fantastic! <3

  4. Quickly posting my thoughts before the year ends! First, I want to say that your blog never ceases to amaze me!! I love your candidness and variety! Congratulations to Tyler for having the most views on her Oatmeal Enthusiast post!! It is an honor to be the runner up, (I’m that interesting?) but the real honor was being able to be featured among many creative Oatmeal Enthusiasta. I look forward to see what else you cook up in 2017!

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