Oatmeal Two Ways

Oatmeal used to be “grandma” food to me.

(NOT that there is anything wrong with grandmothers; they are the coolest!)

Until 4 years ago. I came across a blog called Kath Eats, and her “tribute to oatmeal” page. I had never seen anyone make oatmeal look so sexy in my life.

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[from Kath Eats]

Ever since that day, I have been loving on oatmeal like it’s the only grain grown in America. It was her “whipped banana oatmeal” technique that really changed the game.

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Gina’s cookie dough oatmeal cereal is also a big favorite

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And then there was this idea of “overnight oats.” Oats soaked in dairy products overnight sounded ludicrous, but someone thought to soak bread in eggs to make French toast, so..

I posted my overnight oats recipe (based off Kath Eats’ recipe) when I first started this blog.

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But I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. The main change is no Greek yogurt (inspired by my dairy dilemma, which btw is no longer an issue) + more chia seeds. Check it out.

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Overnight Oats (based on Kath Eats’ recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 very rude (← real autocorrect) ripe banana, sliced
  • ~1/4 c. other fruit, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. nut butter

Step 1: For that “end of the jar” vibe (if you don’t have an almost-empty jar of nut butter, which would be ideal), scoop that nut butter into the bottom of your container (bowl-mug preferable, but anything will do).

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Add your dry ingredients (oats, spices, and chia seeds) and mix ’em together (don’t touch the nut butter).

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Add your milk and fruit, mix it all together (only scraping some of that nut butter from the bottom to mix with the rest).

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Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and wake up the next morning with excitement, knowing that a BOMB breakfast is already made and ready to eat.

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optional: top with granola for crunch

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special day when it’s overnight oats in a jar

Onto the hot oats.

I’ve been loving this oatmeal that is a hybrid of Kath’s whipped banana oatmeal + Jen’s egg white banana oatmeal. I made a video!

  • 1/2 c. rolled oats (or quick)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 egg white
  • any other fruits and/or toppings (*cough* nut butter)!

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It’s 11:00 pm, and I would like some oatmeal now.

So tell me:

What is your favorite way to eat oatmeal?

What is your favorite oatmeal recipe?

Did you always like oatmeal? I used to only eat those sickeningly sweet Quaker oatmeal packets, but now those taste like dessert to me!

Favorite Dorm Foods

It’s not time for me to head back to school quite yet, but I know that some college students are already packing up to hit campus again. Bless your souls.

In honor of the start of a new semester/quarter, I thought it would be cool to share some of the foods that kept me alive in the dorms (since you all know that I’m so darn spoiled in the dining halls) and maybe give my fellow college students some ideas!

fave dorm foods

Peanut Butter

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Obviously. I finished SEVEN jars after all. Accompaniments of choice include bananas, apples, crackers, tortillas, and straight up spoons (I don’t eat the spoon).

Oatmeal + Protein Powder + Banana + Peanut Butter

I had a couple 8 AM classes, so a quick dorm breakfast was necessary on days when I wanted to get out of bed at the last possible minute. My go-to breakfast was 1/2 c. rolled oats cooked with water in the microwave, a whole sliced banana, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, and a big spoonful of peanut butter.

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Sometimes I would actually make this concoction the night before, let it cool, and then put it in the fridge to eat cold the next morning (to avoid waking up my roomie!). Sounds strange, but it was sort of like overnight oats. Bonus points if you put them in an almost empty pb jar.

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Popcorn

Some nice, light microwave popcorn smells great, tastes great, and lures friends into your buttery-smelling dorm room. That being said, I was uber lazy and just bought a huge bag of white cheddar popcorn for myself. Finger-lickin’ good.

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Roasted Chickpeas

Any sort of roasted beans are like CRACK to me. I bought a bag of these roasted chickpeas from TJMaxx over Thanksgiving. I felt bad that these were so loud when I ate them in the dorm…but not bad enough to not eat them. 😀

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I also love Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans and roasted edamame. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Bars

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Oatmeal bars, KIND bars, granola bars, Larabars… I’m not super picky.

Mixed Roasted Nuts/Trail Mix

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Essentially, nut butter in its original form, sometimes with other dried fruits. This photo also happens to include Wheat Thins, which are also a fabulous snack choice.

Apple Chips

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Especially with almond butter!

Greek Yogurt {Sweet}

I love oats, but when I wanted to mix it up, Greek yogurt did the trick. Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds, cinnamon, banana, peanut butter, and Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins (fave cereal).

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Puffins by themselves were also a convenient and sweet snack.

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also extremely crunchy and loud

Greek Yogurt {Savory}

The generous folks at ADF Foods Lmtd. sent me two bags of Nate’s Mediterranean Bites — one Southwestern flavor and one Garlic and Pesto flavor. They’re freezer falafel bites, and the packages even come with a container of tzatziki sauce that you can thaw/microwave.

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I liked the Southwestern ones better than the Garlic and Pesto, probably because the Southwestern ones had a spicy kick 🙂 They also have a Kale flavor and Sweet Potato flavor!

These made for an easy and tasty lunch or dinner in the dorms if I was running short on time or if the dining halls were already closed for the night. For a light meal I would warm up four of these in the microwave (although an oven would have been ideal!) and eat them dipped in plain Greek yogurt.

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I tried the tzatziki the first time (pictured above), but warming up frozen tzatziki in the microwave made the sauce separate. A little stir helped it out a bit, but I still preferred dipping the bites in thick and creamy Greek yogurt. Also, thawing the tzatziki in the fridge would have probably been a wiser decision.

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Overall, I’m a fan of the falafel bites. For someone with limited time during school and a desire to eat as healthfully as possible, these Mediterranean bites delivered. These babies have 5 grams of protein per two falafels, and they’re made with wholesome ingredients. I dig. They’re delicious too!

Freezer Burritos

^^^Those two words can sound sketchy. However, ADF Foods reassured me that good freezer burritos exist. Enter: PJ’s Organics. This company makes both classic burritos and breakfast burritos that are frozen and microwaveable.

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These are GREAT! Perfect for a quick snack, very tasty, and also made with wholesome ingredients. They sent me the Turkey & Eggs Breakfast Burrito, Traditional Chicken Burrito, and the Steak and Cheese Burrito. I can’t tell you which one was my favorite, but know that they were all mighty delicious.

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turkey and cheese breakfast burrito

Again, this is no Chipotle-level burrito, but it’s definitely a step up from other freezer convenience foods I’ve eaten (scary flashbacks to Marie Callendar’s chicken pot pie). One of the best things about PJ’s burritos is that they’re not too salty. HALLELUJAH for less water retention!

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steak and cheese burrito

Honestly, I was sad when I finished the last one. So do not fear the freezer food! These ones at least.

*Disclaimer: ADF Foods Limited sent me Nate’s Mediterranean Bites and PJ’s Organics Burritos for free. All opinions are my own.

So tell me:

If you’re in college, what are your favorite dorm/apartment snacks?

Do you have any favorite freezer foods? I would love to hear about them! 

Mango Banana Chia Pudding

Some of your comments on yesterday’s post about taking advantage of silence made me laugh out loud.

For one, you guys are actually hilarious. But also, I got the sense that some of you thought I was in.sane. I said that I strangely enjoyed silence in the car while sitting in traffic, but I should have mentioned that I definitely do still listen to the music in the car— for a majority of the time actually. I just try to devote some time to silence.

My attention span is only slightly longer than that of Dug from Up.

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Moving on from that matter…

I am quite surprised with myself, because I’m actually crossing a decent number of items off my summer bucket list! If I can get 50% of it done, I will feel like a champion. If I get 90% done, I will call it a miracle. If I get 100% done, I’m lying.

One of my list items was to make at least two new recipes. I made energy balls last week, and this week I have pudding for YOU. Pudding made out of chia seeds.

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Salba Chia was kind enough to send me a bag of their whole chia seeds to try. They call their chia seeds “smarter than your average chia.” I thought a chia was a chia, but apparently not! What makes Salba seeds smarter compared to others?

  • higher in omega-3s
  • higher in protein
  • consistent color that makes recipes more aesthetically appealing
  • non-GMO project verified
  • standardized and nutritionally consistent

Alas, these chia seeds do not necessarily make you smarter. Nevertheless, they are little  powerhouses!

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Y’all might have seen how I love chia seeds in my hot oatmeal, overnight oats, yogurt bowls, and smoothies. But I thought it was time to step out of my box and try chia pudding.

I was very skeptical of chia seed pudding for a long time, because: a) pudding recipes can turn out weird; b) chia seeds are a little creepy if you just look at them; c) will it really taste good?

a) This is easy. I mean, I made it, so you know it’s dummy proof.

b) The neutral color of Salba chia helps a little.

c) It most certainly can taste fabulous! And this one does, if I do say so myself.

You can eat this pudding straight up, in a parfait with some Greek yogurt and granola, on top of ice cream, with more fresh mango and banana, or with a couple peanut butter cookies like I did (as inspired by Kylie’s recipe).

Whichever way you enjoy this, make sure you share it with others and tell them how this luscious pudding required classic French techniques. Then smirk on the inside because it actually took about 10% effort. Then tell them the truth because honesty is the best policy.

Mango Banana Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • half of a very ripe medium banana, sliced
  • half of a ripe medium mango, roughly chopped
  • 5 small or 3 large dates, pitted and roughly chopped

* I used 1% milk, but unsweetened nut milk or even light coconut milk would work!

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.

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Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is best!).

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After refrigerating, the mixture will be very thick and gelatinous (It passes the upside-down DQ Blizzard test.) Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend. You may have to add a splash of milk to get things going.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Feel fancy.

Honesty is the best policy: Salba Chia sent me their seeds to try for free. All content and opinions are all my own.

Wishing you all a kick-butt day!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried chia seed pudding before?

What are your favorite ways to use chia seeds?

What is your favorite easy dessert recipe? Amanda’s banana bread mug cake forever.

15 Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas

Can ya just imagine it now? You open your eyes on Christmas morning. Excitement, contentment, and joy immediately fill your body. You throw off the covers to head downstairs and meet the rest of your family in your pajamas.

Perhaps you go straight to the gift unwrapping, or you exchange “Merry Christmas” greetings to everyone. But soon enough, after you’ve spent a little energy just being excited that it’s Christmas, you might notice that your stomach starts asking for a treat to match the warmth, comfort, and sweetness of the season as well.

So here I have for you a roundup of some delicious recipes from other bloggers that you may want to make on Christmas morning! If you want to just spend time with your family and friends without worrying about cooking, there are some make-ahead recipes included too. I, for one, kind of want to make all of these. But that would sort of detract from the family time and whole moderation thing, right?

15 Christmas breakfast ideas

Enjoy!

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Overnight Mini Baked Egg Casseroles via Yummy Mummy Kitchen

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Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce on Toast via White On Rice Couple

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Easy Sausage Breakfast Strata via Weelicious

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Baked French Toast Casserole with Cranberry & Pistachio Streusel via Cookin’ Canuck

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Apple French Toast Bake via Minimalist Baker

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Bobby Flay’s Peanut Butter French Toast “Waffles” with Mixed Berry Sauce via Cooking Channel

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Breakfast Bake via Healthful Pursuit

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Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls via Chocolate and Carrots

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Cornbread Waffles with Cinnamon Apple Compote via 84th and 3rd

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Eggnog Baked Oatmeal with Caramelized Bananas and Vanilla Bean Brown Butter via How Sweet It Is

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Easy Sweet Potatoes and Eggs via Edible Perspective

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Ham & Potato Frittata via Budget Bytes

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Overnight Eggnog Coffee Cake via Recipe Girl

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Christmas Breakfast Cookies via Yeah…Imma Eat That

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Cranberry Ginger Pull Apart Bread via Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

Drooling yet? 😉

So tell me: What are you thinking of making on Christmas morning or as a special holiday breakfast?