Whitney may have joined Instagram fairly recently, but her photos instantly caught my eye. Her bowls of oatmeal always seem to include a pop of colorful berries and melty peanut butter and puddles of berry sauces. Combined with her trademark white rug and glass bowl, her oatmeal is a treat for the eyes!
Hello, everyone! It is my great honour to be your host today for May’s Oatmeal Enthusiast installment. 😉 A big thank you to Lauren for allowing me to put this piece together for you guys! Her blog is beautiful and her recipes never disappoint, so I only hope that I can do the Oatmeal Artist site the justice it deserves.
My name is Whitney, and I am a 19 year old biology student residing in the hopelessly dazzling Pacific Northwest region of Canada. Spring here has finally sprung, and I can’t help but feel at peace among the rows of emerald-leaved trees and glowing flowers. I love to spend my evenings down at the beach on campus, watching the waves roll in as the sun sets behind the endless mountains. I am always blown away by the sheer beauty of my home when the rain starts to fade and blue skies roll in.
I am very new to oatmeal – in fact, I had my first bowl since early childhood less than 6 months ago, and I’ve only been experimenting with it since late February! You can see some of my progression on my Instagram, @wholewhit. Nowadays, I look forward to the next morning’s oat-y creation nearly every night. I guess you could call me a real dev-oat-ee. (sorry [not really])
My later meals are typically filled to the brim with veggies and healthy proteins, but as a self-professed lover of dessert as well as my entire friend circle’s one-woman bakery, I can’t go a day without eating something sinfully sweet and indulgent. These days, I turn to oatmeal for a healthier version of my favourite treats. I love how filling it is; I am never hungry before lunch. It’s also full of good nutrients, especially when loaded up with fruits and cooked in vanilla cashew milk, my liquid of choice.
For my 15 minutes of fame, I decided to share with you my most favourite creations. From these, you may draw a few things; 1) I love fruit; 2) I have a nut butter problem; and 3) damn, that girl can really put away a lot of chocolate.
I decided to kick things off with my most favourite flavour of all – dark chocolate raspberry. I cooked this baby down with lots of cocoa powder & frozen raspberries, as well as my usual salt, vanilla, and mashed banana. I topped it off with hot raspberry “sauce” and fresh raspberries (plus chocolate and PB, of course). Those little guys sure are expensive, but as soon as I get home and crack open the container, I never regret my decision.
A common choice for me – PB&J oats! By the time you read this, I’ll be moved out of my dorm and be back with my parents for the summer. Thus, while writing this, I’m keeping my fridge as minimal as possible. One of the casualties of my pact not to buy anything I wouldn’t finish was jam. Not to be without PB&J oats, I whipped up a worthy substitute! Frozen raspberries microwaved until liquid, then mixed with some finely chopped strawberries & a little cornstarch make a convincing alternative. The PB you see is my favourite PB of all time, Peanut Butter & Co’s White Chocolate Wonderful. Be aware – once you buy a jar of this stuff, you may find your thoughts consumed with dangerous thoughts of lust, and wake in a cold sweat with the sudden need to consume it at 3 am. You have been warned.
This is one of my more adventurous recipes! But oh, it’s so good. White chocolate matcha oats. Here, I subbed my usual cashew milk for brewed green tea & added matcha powder. Topped with white chocolate chips, fresh raspberries, and a drizzle of honey, this was a refreshing change from my usual dark chocolate/peanut butter routine.
Cranberries were the first ever thing I added to oatmeal, back when I made quick oats in the microwave instead of putting in the effort to make creamy old fashioned oats on the stovetop. I discovered that adding them at the same time as the oatmeal makes them absorb lots of liquid and become deliciously juicy. These chocolate-swirled cranberry oats have lots of craisins cooked into them, as well as a few on top for variety of texture.
Another new thing for me – almond butter! I tried it for the first time in early April, and the gorgeous dollop of it you see here came from that very first jar. Needless to say, it will not be the last. These apple pie oats have most of a cubed apple cooked into them, and they’re topped with the rest of the apple, some strawberries, raspberries, apple-pecan granola (for that crust-like crunch), and, of course, almond butter. I do usually prefer PB, but I have to admit that apples and almond butter are a match made in heaven!
Happy Fri-yay!! Such a day of happiness calls for a special creation. Surprisingly, as I so rarely dip into it (…), I found myself with a near-empty jar of White Chocolate Wonderful. Thus, oats in a jar became a thing. I absolutely love filling up empty jars of nut butter with oats; the heat of them melts the last traces of PB into the mix and makes a lovely addition to the flavour. I chose classic peanut butter & banana oats to grace this jar of goodness. I like making peanut butter flavoured oatmeal with PB2 & then topping it with normal PB to cut down on calories while still retaining that nutty flavour. In this case, I also put aside half of my banana and chopped it up to stir in at the end as well as to put a little on top.
In honour of the week ending (despite classes being over and me sitting in the library no matter the day of the week), I made my highly requested oatmeal raisin cookies (recipe from Smitten Kitchen). These are my boyfriend’s favourite; in fact, I made them in cat-face form with cheesy cat-related puns written on them in white chocolate for him on Valentine’s Day (spoiler – he also likes cats). Anyhow, these cookies are so very tasty, and though they are not at all healthy (do not be deceived! Oatmeal raisin cookies are rarely actually healthy, despite their enticing appearances) they are oatmeal-licious. I always soak any raisins called for in the things that I bake in hot water for 15+ minutes, so they become plump and tender and amazing. These babies were devoured by my roommates, who left very complimentary reviews on the note I set out saying that they could eat them.
On this last day of recording my oatmeal consumption, I decided to go big (despite already being home). I achieved this by making my favourite Starbucks drink in oatmeal form. It is my pleasure to present to you, for the first time ever, hazelnut mocha oats! This is the only recipe of the week that I’d never tried before, but I knew I had to do it. I toasted the hazelnuts myself, something I do often as people are always asking me to make them hazelnut ice cream or hazelnut chocolate chip cookies. Hot, freshly toasted hazelnuts are SO GOOD – seriously, try it, it will change your life. I made these mouth-watering oats by adding lots of instant espresso and cocoa powder to the hot milk & stirring in as well as topping them with toasted hazelnuts. I threw a few chocolate-covered coffee beans on top too. Delicious AND caffeinated!! Perfect!
I hope you enjoyed my week of oatmeal and maybe even got inspired to try out one of my favourites yourself! Trust me – they’re worth every minute. 😉