Happy Recipe Friday!
Today we are featuring Lauren Smith, the brains and oatmeal guru behind The Oatmeal Artist!
Hi, my name’s Lauren Smith! I’m an herbivore and connoisseur of oats. After spending my entire life on a “meat and potatoes” diet of the Midwest, I converted to vegetarian—and eventually vegan—to improve my health and the environment. I now live in New York City, where I cook innovative oatmeal recipes every single morning before heading to work before sunrise to teach middle school writing. My hobbies include testing the plant-based restaurants around the City, cooking from my Happy Herbivore cookbooks, and reading nonfiction.
HOW I #LIVEMYHEALTH
As a nonfiction nerd and a documentary junkie, I consumed all sorts of information about factory farming, heart disease, the dairy industry, and the benefits of a plant-based diet. Every day I happily munch on my vegan noms with no regrets—I love food that loves me back! I push myself to drink ample amounts of water every day, and I can feel my body slow down when I slack off. On weekends, I walk as much as I can instead of taking the subway. I love the feeling of a brisk walk through the lively streets of Manhattan! Finally, I make sure to be in bed by 10 every night; it sounds early, but it’s necessary for waking up at 5:30 and spending 10 hours with middle schoolers!
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE OATMEAL ARTIST!
After decades of dealing with a sensitive stomach and having to give up most sweets and treats, I began making homemade oatmeal every morning in flavors that replicated my favorite desserts, like banana bread and carrot cake. I noticed that many people simply ate their oatmeal with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a handful of raisins, and even more people simply thought of oatmeal as flavorless goo! I wanted to challenge both of these ideas, so in the spring of 2012, I started sharing these recipes on my blog, The Oatmeal Artist. My recipes are plant-based and use minimally processed ingredients. They are typically only sweetened by fruit and experiment with a variety of flavor combinations.
APPLE PIE STEEL-CUT OATMEAL
2 cups milk of choice (almond, coconut, soy)
2 cups water (or more milk)
1 cup steel cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
2 or 3 apples
1 tbsp flax meal or seeds (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp apple pie spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon with two pinches each of nutmeg, allspice, and ginger)
1/2 tsp molasses (I use Blackstrap)
1/8 tsp salt
1. Add milk and water to a large pot over medium heat.
2. While you wait, prepare your apples. Dice them into as small of pieces as possible (the smaller the chunks, the more evenly distributed the flavor will be!).
3. Once the liquid comes to a boil, add oats, diced apple, and flax. Reduce heat to medium.
4. Stir occasionally. After about ten or fifteen minutes, add vanilla extract, apple pie spice, molasses, and salt. Stir.
5. When you’re pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to four or five serving bowls. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (pecans or walnuts and maple syrup are wonderful).