Happy 4th of July to my American readers! I hope everyone’s month is off to a fantastic start. This July marks the 3rd anniversary of the first post in the Oatmeal Enthusiast series, which featured Brittany and her artistic designs! Now, three years later, this month celebrates Tiffany, whom we’ve met before on her Glühwein Red Grape Porridge a year ago.
Dearest Fellow Oatmeal Addicts,
What is more ideal than on a grey winter’s day, curling up in bed with a warm, comforting bowl of oats while the rain and wind storms outside? Not much, that’s what. And that’s exactly what it’s like here in Melbourne right now, Australia’s very own Windy City. It’s perfect porridge weather!
My name is Tiffany and I am honoured to be your Oatmeal Enthusiast for this month. You may have come across my recipe for Glühwein Red Grape Porridge that Lauren so graciously let me share with you last year. Hello again! I am an aspiring editor and avid reader, meandering my way through the world and eating my way through Melbourne’s oh-so-hipster brunch cafes. Breakfast dates are where it’s at, people. If I’m not ordering smashed avocado (seriously, how can something so simple be so darn tasty?), then I get a beautiful bowl of oats with all kind of fancy-pants ingredients – and typically, edible flowers.
But when I’m at home, breakfast is almost always a soul-soothing bowl of porridge. When rain batters against the window and frost covers the world outside in her thick, damp blanket, my oats are the only thing that help me crawl from beneath the covers and face the bitter chill of another Victorian morning. I enjoy coming up with new recipes and trying different combinations of flavours. I love fruit and my porridge recipes typically involve seasonal fruits, some natural sweetener and nuts or seeds for crunch.
I haven’t always been such an oatmeal enthusiast. Believe it or not, as a kid I loathed porridge. It was a textural thing, I think. But thankfully, my tastes have since changed and my life is so much better with oatmeal. For me it’s among the joys of adulthood, along with red wine, mushrooms, and mornings when I don’t have to set an alarm. I discovered this love for the wholesome oat around the time I became a vegetarian, approximately six years ago. I was becoming very aware of what I put into my body and the nutrients I needed, as well as understanding the ethical ramifications of my food choices. I started out with basic oatmeal combinations – banana and berries, apple and cinnamon etc – and from there my love for oats and my experiments with ingredients took off. And now I’m a lifelong convert.
Since those early days of my porridge journey, my recipes have become increasingly more interesting. Some experiments have turned into my favourite combinations, while others not so much. But it’s all an adventure! Some of my unexpected successes include: Banana, Ginger and Fig Porridge with Toasted Pecans; Summer Apricot and Salted Peanut Porridge; Grilled Nectarine and Blueberry Porridge; Purple Carrot and Cardamom Porridge with Toasted Hazelnuts; Sugar-Roasted Grape and Cinnamon Oatmeal; Maple-Glazed Pear and Almond Baked Oatmeal; Golden Gingerbread Porridge with Bananas and Blackberries; Coconut Passionfruit Overnight Oats with Rockmelon and Banana.
And, of course, some of my all-time favourite recipes are: Peanut Butter Banana Porridge with Fresh Strawberries; Mango Banana Overnight Oats topped with Granola; Baked Pumpkin and Almond Porridge; Passionfruit and Banana Porridge with Toasted Coconut … Did I mention peanut butter and banana?
It’s pretty safe to say that oatmeal has become a major food group in my life. So, without further ado, here is My Week in Oatmeal!
This recipe has to be among my favourites. Coconut milk lends creaminess to the oats and the persimmons are so juicy and sweet that I find no need to add extra sweetness. Toasted coconut adds warmth, texture and a nutty flavour. So good!
This is my take on peanut butter and jelly, which I have never tasted, but I have never quite understood. But if it’s anything like these oats, then I see the appeal! I like to use Mayver’s Dark Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter, maple syrup and fresh red grapes and banana. Seriously, it’s a peanut butter lover’s dream.
Pumpkin Pie Porridge with Maple-Candied Walnuts
Pumpkin Pie. I’ve had it once in my life and it was love at first bite. So, naturally, I had to make it into oatmeal! I candied walnuts with a little coconut oil and maple syrup, and used homemade pumpkin puree that I’d steamed the night before. Cinnamon, clove and nutmeg hum alongside the pumpkin and a final dash of coconut milk makes it extra creamy (and vegan!). I often add a few slices of banana … because banana makes everything better!
Agave Cinnamon Oatmeal with Banana and Strawberries
Audrey Hepburn, Jane Eyre, William Shakespeare … Some days you just have to go with a classic! And for me, that’s the tried-and-true combination of banana and strawberry. To lend a bit of winter warmth, I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of agave syrup, and a chef’s pinch of salt makes it sing!
Banana Chai Latte Oatmeal with Toasted Almonds
Soy chai lattes have become my cafe staple. Yes, I’ve become one of those Melbournians. I’m usually a black coffee drinker, but these chilly months cry out for the creamy, sweet, spicy joy that is a chai latte. And this combination makes for delicious porridge! I steeped a vanilla chai teabag for an hour or so, cooked my oats in the brew and added sliced banana, agave syrup and toasted almonds. Chaikarumba!
Blueberry Basil Ancient Grains Oatmeal
It’s a quiet Saturday morning and I have the kitchen to myself, so it’s time to experiment with flavour! In my humble opinion, fresh herbs can make all the difference to a dish, and I have wanted to try them in porridge for a while now. I had fresh blueberries in the fridge and sweet basil in the garden, and so was born this recipe! I cooked a blend of oats, quinoa, puffed millet and rye with basil, vanilla, banana and medjool dates, added a dash of coconut milk and salt, and topped it with fresh blueberries and basil leaves. Sweet and lightly spicy, this was a pleasant surprise!
Banoffee Porridge – Lolo and Wren
Wintery Sundays call for streaming cups of coffee, lazy mornings on the couch, and brunch at the local hipster cafe, right? Damn straight. My local haunt, Lolo and Wren, is around the corner from my apartment and boasts, arguably, the best comfort food known to breakfast – Banoffee Porridge. Yes, you heard me right, Banoffee Porridge. The oats are cooked with bananas, dates and milk (they use soy for me!) until they’re thick, sweet and delicious, and then topped with a delectable, buttery crumble and a great dollop of caramel. Trust me, this porridge is worth braving the weather for.
Well, that’s all folks! I’ve enjoyed sharing my week in oatmeal with you, and huge thanks to Lauren for giving me the opportunity. You can find me on Instagram at @tiffany_jaded, come by and let’s talk porridge.
Oatmeal on, fellow addicts!