It’s time for my first Enthusiast duo! I have often admired the oatmeal photos shared on Elnè and Claudine’s Instagram account, @happyhealthyhangry, and after finding out it was run by a sister pair, I couldn’t think of a reason why they both shouldn’t have the spotlight together this month.
We’re Elnè and Claudine, two sisters living in South Africa who have slowly but surely developed an obsession with oatmeal. About two years ago we both decided to start living healthier lifestyles. The first thing we cut out was sugar. So, no more breakfast cereal. This is where oatmeal, especially quick oats, came into play. It was a convenient and healthy breakfast perfect for Elne, who is a university student without a stove, and Claudine who needs to get up early for school.
We started experimenting with different flavor combinations and cooking methods. The first of which was simply adding a heap of peanut butter to oats, which is still a favourite. We became more and more adventurous and after discovering The Oatmeal Artist’s blog our horizons have broadened even further and we find inspiration in the loads of recipes she has on her blog. Sometimes our crazy combinations work (can anyone say Bovril and banana?) and sometimes they don’t. We take full advantage of the end of year holiday in South Africa which provides us with more than enough time to experiment and fine tune our oatmeal baking skills.
As of 2016 Claudine will start a new chapter in her life by joining her older sister Elnè, now in her fourth year of studying medicine, at university. Claudine plans on pursuing her love of cooking by becoming a food journalist. We plan on staying oatmeal enthusiasts for the rest of our lives.
Saturday 26 Dec 2015: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Smoothie
After the massive amounts of food consumed on Christmas, neither one of us felt like having a heavy breakfast. Cue the smoothie. A bit of oatmeal keeps you full, without that heavy, sluggish feeling. Making this smoothie is very simple; just blend about 2 tablespoons of uncooked oats with frozen yogurt, Peanut butter, cacao, milk and any sweetener you prefer (we use a low kilojoule sugar substitute).
Sunday 27 Dec 2015: Caramelized Pumpkin Oatmeal
Pumpkin Pie Spice is our favorite thing this time of year. We added a dash of homemade pumpkin pie spice to cooked oatmeal and then caramelized pumpkin chunks and pumpkin seeds with a bit of maple syrup. It’s the perfect holiday breakfast.
Monday 28 Dec 2015: Red Velvet Baked Oatmeal
Before we cut sugar out of our diets Red Velvet Cupcakes were our go to treats with coffee. So it was compulsory for us to try and recreate this classic into oatmeal. We mixed oats, cacao, water, yogurt, crimson food coloring and baking soda before sticking it in the oven. When it came out 30 minutes later we added a dollop of sugar free cottage cheese frosting and boy, was it all we dreamed it would be. Definitely a must-try for all red velvet lovers!
On sugar free ‘cottage cheese frosting’:
Our go to topping is cottage cheese frosting and the concept is incredibly simple and versatile. Mix smooth cottage cheese with sweetener of choice and whatever else you prefer. Peanut Butter, cacao, lemon juice, vanilla, caramel essence. The options are endless!
Tuesday 29 Dec 2015: Chocolate Sesame Oatmeal
This oatmeal recipe is inspired by Lindt’s roasted sesame chocolate. It is definitely one of our favourite combinations and we prefer the oatmeal to the chocolate any day. Cook oats as you normally would and add about a tablespoon of cacao powder. Roast 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and sprinkle on top with a drizzle of tahini.
Wednesday 30 Dec 2015: Lemon Poppy Baked Oatmeal
This is a classic combination that always works. The freshness of the lemon with the poppy seeds is a winner. We add fresh lemon zest and lemon juice to oats, as well as a heaped teaspoon of poppy seeds, baking powder, sweetener of choice and an egg white (optional). Bake for approximately 30 mins and top with a mixture of smooth cottage cheese, sweetener and a sprinkling of lemon zest. No muffin can compare.
Thursday 31 Dec 2015: Maraschino Cherry Bircher Muesli
We made our own sugar free maraschino cherries for the Christmas cake we baked, and even though we used all of the cherries, the juice that was left over was too divine to throw away. So we made Bircher muesli, which is very similar to overnight oats.
The following recipe makes one serving of Bircher Muesli.
What you'll need:
- ½ a cup of sugar free maraschino cherry juice (heated until bowling)
- ½ a cup of oats
- ½ a cup of yoghurt
- 2 teaspoons of chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons of toasted slivered almonds
- Some fresh and dried blueberries or berries of choice (optional)
- ½ a cup of cherry juice
- 1 teaspoon of almond essence
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- Sweetener of choice to taste
- 1 teaspoon of Lemon juice
How to make it:
- Bring to a boil until sweetener is dissolved and add your cherries. Or simply add all of the above to your oatmeal!
- Just mix everything together, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Just an FYI:
Recipe by Elnè and Claudine from @healthyhappyhangry.