Valentine’s Day is coming up. I was contacted recently by the Brilliant Earth Create a Little Love Campaign to join them in…well…creating a little love. 🙂 Brilliant Earth specializes in “honest, ethical” jewelry. It’s a perfect option for those of you who are looking into an upcoming engagement (while I simultaneously binge on peanut butter and Buzzfeed quizzes, of course). When I first thought about making a V-Day themed recipe, I had a moment of anxiety. How would I write a post about Valentine’s Day? Oh, the horror!
Those who know me personally know that Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday. I don’t feel like getting into the reasons now, but I’ve always loathed it. In high school, people criticized me for being a cynic and a “hater of love,” and–to prove that they were wrong–I began celebrating my own holiday: Hug’s Day. When people wished me a “Happy Valentine’s Day!”, I would respond, “Happy Hug’s Day!” I gave out “Happy Hug’s Day!” cards and celebrated “Happy Hug’s Day!” with my boyfriend at the time. Sadly, it didn’t catch on.
I may despise Valetine’s Day in practice, but I do appreciate the concept of Valentine’s Day, which is why I chose to celebrate it in my own special way. I love the idea of taking the time to celebrate all the loved ones in my life. I dislike how Valentine’s Day is so focused on romantic partners, which makes the whole day sickening, stressful, and isolating. But telling your friends you love them and giving them a hug? Beautiful.
Hence, this oatmeal recipe represents what I appreciate about Valentine’s Day: hugs and (sometimes) kisses for the loved ones in my life! If you couldn’t tell from my made-up holiday, I’m a hugger; I love a good hug.
To celebrate Hug’s Day this week, I created this Strawberry White Hot Chocolate Oatmeal. I had the idea for simply a White Hot Chocolate Oatmeal, but it just sounded so terribly unhealthy. 🙂 By adding strawberries, it became not only healthier, but also more flavorful. The recipe calls for 1-3 tablespoons of white chocolate chips. For a touch of white chocolate flavor, one is enough, but for more intensity, go for two or three tablespoons.
What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats
- 5 strawberries, hulled
- 1-3 tbsp white chocolate chips (I used King David, which is vegan)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Bring milk (I actually used all water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries, chocolate chips, and a splash of milk or water. Blend until mostly smooth (the chocolate chips will probably remain in little pebble sizes).
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add strawberry mixture, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).