Once again, I apologize for being so absent. It pains me to see how few recipes I shared in February, but I guess if it’s a symptom of me achieving other great things, then it’s not such a terrible thing, right? For the start of March, I’d like you to meet Michael, whom you may know from her Instagram, @finding_clareity. She has been a long-time participant in the #oatmealartist hashtag, and I’m so excited to finally feature her here!
Hello there my oat lovin’ friends!
My name is Michael Clare. Some of you may know me as Clare (finding_clareity) on Instagram. I am a 20-year-old Journalism student at Saint Bonaventure University in Western New York.
Honestly, I had to pinch myself when the Oat Queen herself asked me to be the Oatmeal Enthusiast for March. When I first began following her in tenth grade (five years ago!) I never thought I would get to be featured on her blog!
Isn’t it beautiful that Lauren has brought us together through our love of oats? I think so!
In fact – the Oatmeal Artist Blog was a real “grain-changer” for me. Like many folks, the first time I tried oatmeal, I was appalled. I made a sachet of apple spice oats in the microwave and thought, “How do people eat this!?!”
Being an avid baker, my senses told me that I couldn’t trust the microwave version of anything.
A Google search led me to Lauren’s recipage and after a few weeks of using her amazing recipes, my own creative juices started to flow.
Oats became more for me than just a breakfast, though.
Between my senior year of high school and sophomore year of college I struggled with a eating disorder. Luckily I had wonderful doctors, friends, family, and teachers to give me the support I needed to recover. Still, it was incredibly challenging and complicated. Eating in recovery was anything but fun. It was a scary, daunting, struggle. Oatmeal changed all that.
Each morning, I looked at my oat bowl as a work of art and myself as an artist. I didn’t think about the calories, macros, ingredients, or amounts I used. Oatmeal helped me see food as being fun! Nourishment for the soul and body.
From a practical standpoint, oatmeal also allowed me to easily up my calorie intake. I started to make a new oat base: ½ cup oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, ½ scoop plant protein, and 1/3 cup liquid egg whites. This allowed me to keep my same familiar bowl of oatmeal for breakfast that I was used to having but with some added fuel. Oats are amazing because they can be customized for a multitude of dietary needs!
These days, my favorite way to eat my stovetop oats is cold. I usually cook the base the night before and add fruit and toppings in the morning. It saves me lots of time for my busy college schedule! Also – I always add a bit of cereal for CRUNCH ☺.
Monday: Chocolate Banana Berry Oats topped with Rice Krispies.
Chocolate is always a good idea for breakfast, but it is a MUST on a Monday!
Tuesday: Chocolate Sweet Potato Berry Oats topped with Cinnamon Chex
When I have sweet potato oats, it means I had some left over from dinner the night before ☺. I love how it pairs with berries and chocolate, too.
Wednesday: PB&J Oats – grapes, strawberries, powdered PB mixed in, topped with Trader Joe’s Valencia PB and multigrain Puffins after the photo
Peanut Butter and Jelly is CLASSIC. You just can’t go wrong. I used to think grape oatmeal was too weird, but grapes quickly became a favorite add-in for me.
Thursday: Chocolate Covered Pineapple Raspberry Oats topped with Van’s Cocoa Sensation cereal
Pineapple can be a hassle to cut, honestly… but it is so worth it! I usually just spend a little extra and buy some pre-cut.
Friday: Strawberry Kiwi Oats topped with Trader Joe’s sunflower butter and Vanilla Chex
This was actually my first time using kiwi in my oats and I LOVED it! Also, shout out to my fav nut/seed butter.
Saturday: Pumpkin Blueberry Oats topped with Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice PB and Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s
Okay, call me basic but I am going to be real – Pumpkin spice oats are my fav year-round. I love the flavor of real pumpkin combined with cinnamon and ginger. Frozen blueberries add a nice hint of sweetness.
Sunday: Mixed Berry Oats topped with sun butter and Very Berry Cheerios
I had to buy the Very Berry Cheerios as soon as they came out and, obviously, they had to go on top of mixed berry oats as well.
Note: For all “chocolate” oats, I mixed in Trader Joe’s dark chocolate chips while cooking. I also always use frozen raspberries and blueberries in the winter time — plus I like how it freezes the oats 😉 .
That’s it, my week in oats! Thanks for reading and many thanks to Lauren for making my wildest oat-dreams come true. <3