Happy Labor Day, Americans! To everyone else, I hope your September is off to a great start. To anyone going back to school this month, I wish you well on your year. I start my last year of graduate school this week as well.
This month’s Oatmeal Enthusiast is actually two Enthusiasts. They share a joint account on Instagram and post some gorgeous food shots regularly–check them out!
The first thing you should know about us is that we come as a pair. We are pretty much joined at the hip and we do everything together. Even when we started University we were just known as ‘Kirsty and Roxy’, with no one being able to distinguish who was who. The interesting thing is that we are actually polar opposites. I, Roxy, am short, loud, erratic and a dark, dark brunette. Kirsty, however, is tall, graceful, quiet and a dark blonde. We went through school, college and university together, even surviving a year in the jungle together. Kristy keeps me grounded and I like to think I make her laugh, although probably in exasperation over something stupid I have done.
Powerlifting and fitness is our latest joint venture. We have always cooked together and we have been working out together since we were in school but powerlifting was introduced to us by Kirsty’s boyfriend in university. It has lead us to kitchens that look like bomb-sites, questionable-tasting food, spicy-as-hell food and, on the most part, absolutely delicious food. We may slave away in the kitchen for hours but it is worth it for a plate of nutritious and glorious food. Contrary to what was said earlier, there is one thing that we do separately and that is breakfast. I am inherently lazy whereas Kirsty likes to sing with the dawn chorus. She rises early, I rise late, in time for brunch rather than breakfast.
We both appreciate the importance of a substantial and tasty breakfast. Especially with our training, it is vital to kick start the day with something that will keep the engines burning well into lunch time. And the holy grail answer to that question comes in the form of tiny, golden flakes of deliciousness. Oats. So versatile and filling. Now don’t judge, but it took a while for me to get on the bandwagon with oats. Kirsty is the porridge queen and never fails to make a perfect breakfast. Her signature is ‘zoats’ and will most definitely be featured later on. I, on the other hand, have to come from a different angle, jazzing things up so that I don’t miss out on the powerhouse that is oatmeal. Lauren’s recipes are the perfect kind of recipes for jazzed up oatmeal. We will definitely be trying the Mojito Overnight Oatmeal. Yummy.
We are ‘Kirsty and Roxy’ and we are honoured to be this month’s Oatmeal Enthusiasts. We hope we can share and inspire you to create some delicious recipes of your own.
Monday: Classic ‘Zoats’
At first I was very hesitant to add courgette/zucchini to my oatmeal… But after my first try I was hooked! ‘Zoats’ are a great way to get in one of your five a day, and it also adds lots of volume and fibre to your breakfast. It is such a versatile recipe and any toppings would suit! This morning I went for frozen blackberries and raspberries, banana, mixed seeds, milled linseed and lotus biscoff spread.
Tuesday: Granola and Yoghurt
This is the perfect breakfast when you have to rush out the door as you can make it ahead and all you need is a fridge full of fresh yoghurt. Maple syrup and pecan granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit. The granola is easy to make by baking oats and pecans in a little maple syrup. Absolutely delicious. And every dish can be different by using a variety of fruits.
Wednesday: Carrot Cake Oatmeal
I am a complete sucker when it comes to anything “carrot cake”. So when I saw the Oatmeal Artist’s recipe for carrot cake oatmeal I knew I needed to try it! The recipe is so simple, and just like zoats – who thought it would be such a good idea to add a vegetable to your oats?! Today I topped mine with banana, a healthy cream cheese frosting and some walnuts. A delicious representation of the real thing!
Thursday: Overnight Oats
Now Lauren has plenty of overnight oat recipes but strawberry cheesecake inspired overnight oats are delightful. Almond milk, cream cheese, vanilla essence, shortbread pieces, strawberry chunks, white chocolate chips (only a sprinkling of course) and chia seeds. Combine and leave in the fridge overnight and voila, you are left with a super creamy breakfast to dive into the next day. There is a running theme with my breakfasts and that is that they must be quick. I wake up far too late for a grand assemblage in the morning.
Friday: Banana Spiced Baked Oatmeal
If you have an extra few minutes in the morning, finishing off your oats in the oven is definitely worthwhile. This recipe was perfect for such a summery morning, as baked banana just reminds me of summer. I sliced a banana lengthways, and mashed one half to mix in with the oats and milk, and cooked on the stove as normal. The mixture was then transferred to a baking dish, topped with the other half of the banana and a variety of fruit and seeds and put in the oven for approx. 15 minutes. The baked bananas just go all sticky and caramelised – perfect!
Saturday: Granola Dust
Luckily I have more time on Saturday mornings which means I can spend more time creating something scrumptious. This is a healthy take on ‘Ready Brek’ (a popular instant breakfast of oatmeal in the UK). It takes a bit more preparation but I usually make it per serving. Add a handful of oats, a handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit, cocoa powder and a touch of wheat bran, blitz in a blender until it becomes a dust. Just add to milk and heat up like normal porridge. Now prepare to be full to the brim after eating this one.
Sunday: Apple Oatmeal with Mixed Berry Compote
A slightly colder morning required for this big warming bowl of apple porridge topped with a warm mixed berry compote… Grating apple into oatmeal makes your oats really thick and creamy and is another way to increase the volume of your oats! This is a wonderfully easy recipe, it’s so quick to cook and uses just 4 ingredients, so you can throw it together in no time! Simply place the berries in a saucepan with a splash of boiling water, and let them bubble for 5-10 minutes until they are soft and juicy. Grate apple into your normal oat and milk mixture and cook on the stove. Once the compote and porridge have cooked mix them together and enjoy!