November’s Oatmeal Enthusiast is one of my favorite Instagrammers. Her pictures have a simplicity to them without being dull. She appreciates a great aerial shot, just like me, and she doesn’t bother with excessive backdrops or props–except an occasional hand grasping the bowl. Instead, all the focus is on her beautiful bowl of oats, thoughtfully prepared with surprising twists and unique flavors. Read on, oatmeal lovers, and then check out her Instagram page: @vegankween.
Greetings fellow oatmeal worshippers!
My name is Kat (although the full name happens to be Katya) and I am a senior (grade 12) at an all-girls school in Canada. Between busting my butt at field hockey practice and studying up to be accepted into my university of choice, I always find happiness in the humblest bowls of oatmeal.
To be honest, I really have no clear reason when it comes to why I was first drawn to oatmeal. As a child, I would have marmite and butter on toast, or on weekends (at my cottage) my mother would make AMAZING fruit pancakes with whatever seasonal fruit was at the market, but somewhere along the line my mother found out about steel-cut oats. Steel cut oats are thicker, meatier and chewier. They are delicious, but take a heck of a long time to make (about ½ an hour if they’re not the instant kind) so I fell back on its quicker and less chewy relative: the rolled oat for rushed school day mornings.
The classic brown sugar and cinnamon was interesting for a while, but soon became boring. I wanted MORE adventure in my life, and I decided to become a self-proclaimed ‘Oatmeal Daredevil’. Let’s just say I am adventurous when it comes to flavour profiles. I’m a pretty strict vegan (no honey or bee products, etc.) and because of that, I always need to be thinking outside the box for substitutions, or making vegetables taste better. I have been known to make some pretty weird combinations like: curry-apple, sesame ‘n gingerbread or even pizza oatmeal! [TOA: Pizza Oatmeal is the best!]
I love oatmeal because it’s a blank canvas, every morning there’s a new combination to be made, and it can be spicy, sweet, salty, or even sour, and the fact that it’s nutritious is an added bonus!
My mind is always running on what interesting oatmeal flavour I should make next. I even have a growing list of ideas on my phone [TOA: ME TOO!] for inspiration and sometimes I use the ideas, other times I think “what was I thinking?!”
Mostly I go along the general outline of what makes a good bowl of oats into a meal: I choose 1 or 2 different types of fruit, a spice (my favourite’s are: garam masala, cinnamon, ginger and rosemary), normally one of my various extracts that I keep in my cupboard (I have: vanilla, chocolate, almond, anise, orange, coconut, maple, banana and mint), and then some type of healthy fat (like almond butter, tahini, nuts or avocado)
I make my oatmeal a very specific way: ¾ c. of almond milk, ¼ c. water and like a splash of soy milk. I add the oats while the liquid is boiling, then I add the fruit so it can soften, and usually I add grated zucchini if the oats need some bulking up. After everything had been cooked, I let the oats sit off the heat for about 2 minutes so they solidify. And then I dig in!
So, that is how I came to be an oatmeal enthusiast. Without further ado, here is my week in oatmeal recipes!
I started my week on a truly colourful note, and I woke up groggily, and got my itchy uniform on (pleated skirt and everything), and made this warm bowl. The unhappiness that accompanies Monday’s was contradicted by the sunny delight of Maple & Pumpkin oatmeal with a delicious drizzle of golden tahini and maple sugar flakes.
I continued with the warm, autumnal theme, and made Orange & Cranberry oatmeal. This time, I spooned a dollop of my kryptonite: roasted almond butter. See, much to your surprise— I am anaphylactic to peanuts and most nuts, (Anaphylaxis means I have a fatal allergy to the substance) but almonds are exempt from this— I don’t know why, but I sure eat a lot of almonds.
On my hump day, which I happened to be feely very ‘humpy’ about (I was slumping— hard.) I picked myself up temporarily, with sunny Salted Ginger, Almond Butter & Pumpkin oatmeal. I took Lauren’s advice on salting my oats, and boy! Did it taste good. As long as the sweetness trumps the saltiness— you’ve got yourself a bowl of heaven.
Ah, the weekend is within reach! I was craving a sinful-tasting oatmeal on the slightly chilly morning, and I made Almond & Pear oatmeal (with the usual: Roasted almond butter). OMG. I literally forgot all of my stresses and problems as soon as my spoon dived into this delight. LITERALLY. YUM.
I LOVE FRIDAYS. Fridays like me back too, or so I hope. The weekend was right around the corner, and after the night prior’s steamy Vampire Diaries episode, I was craving something dark, mysterious and seductively enticing. Well, what kind of seductive bowl of oats is without chocolate? So, this morning’s daily dose of oatmeal was what I like to call “Black Forest & Coffee Cake Oats”. This means: Chocolate, black forest cherries and coffee was added. I just made the title suuuuper long to make it seem more gourmets than it really was. It worked right?
It’s Saturday, and I am not feeling so good— I am stressed about schoolwork, tests and my immediate future (upcoming university applications). I am not a happy camper. I comforted my inner procrastinator by taking an obscenely long time to make my breakfast: I made Satsuma & Raspberry oatmeal with roasted almond butter, with a decorative presentation, once again: my attempt to prolong studying. Let’s just say I didn’t get much work done.
The last day, tomorrow I would have to get back into the school mindset. Dreading the stress that accompanies school. Oh well, I will keep my nose in textbooks so I can rest a bit at university. Pounding the books everyday uses a lot of brainpower. Power that I believe can only be replenished by oatmeal. Yes, I just attributed my intelligence to a bowl of oatmeal. That is how much I love them. For the last meal of this week of oatmeal’s I went out with an artistic BANG! And I made Almond & Peach oats, with almond butter. I don’t think I could ever get sick of almond butter. IT IS LIFE.
Lastly, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to Lauren (and to you) for picking me to be November’s ‘Oatmeal Enthusiast’. It was truly an honour to be recognized!
TOA: If you’re interested in becoming my next Oatmeal Enthusiast, be sure to show your enthusiasm by tagging your oatmeal pictures with #oatmealartist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Thank you for all your love and support!