If a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast has you dreading another tasteless meal, it’s time to meet Lauren Smith, a.k.a. The Oatmeal Artist. Just a few clicks on her website will have you salivating and vowing to try every decadent creation. From Brownie Baked Oats to Strawberry Mojito Oatmeal you’ll never think of oats as old-fashioned again.
This week we’re teaming up with Lauren who is sharing 30 of her most deliciously slimming recipes.
It’s hard to believe, but these bowls don’t just taste good--they do your body good as well. So go ahead and indulge!
Get the recipe: Nutty Nanna Berry Oatmeal
This recipe is one of my favorites. As a lover of the classic PB&J sandwich, I sought to make something that replaced sugary jam with fresh, naturally-sweet fruit. The base of the oatmeal is made sweet and creamy by mashed banana, and the berries liven up the classic peanut butter-and-banana combo. Any berry works, but strawberries are my favorite on this one.
Get the recipe: Peach Almond Butter Oatmeal
Forget peaches and cream! Almond butter adds a creamy, vanilla-like richness, tasting more naturally sweet and toasty than peanut butter, and it complements juicy peaches beautifully. Because almond butter feels so decadent and peaches are so flavorful, this recipe is easy and simple to make without needing extra sweeteners or special ingredients.
Get the recipe: Salted Maple Apple and Pecan Oatmeal
If the idea of topping your oatmeal with coarse salt freaks you out, this recipe tastes just as good without it! Since this porridge is already flavored by the diced apple, you can go easy on the maple syrup to keep the added sugar to a minimum; just a modest drizzle on top will add the depth of flavor you’re looking for! Walnuts also work, but I like pecans because they tend to be cheaper, especially if you buy “pecan pieces” instead of full pecan halves.
Get the recipe: Fudgy Banana And Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Banana, chocolate, and peanut butter is the ultimate flavor melody! This recipe is very popular on my blog, as well as in my own kitchen. I would not be exaggerating if I claimed to eat this 3-5 times a week! Although it may appear indulgent, the “fudge” aspect is created from unsweetened cocoa powder. The porridge is instead sweetened by mashed banana. This is sweet enough for me, but some readers add maple syrup or chopped dates if they find it too bitter on its own.
Get the recipe: Spiced Persimmon Oatmeal
Persimmons are sweet but have a neutral flavor, so this recipe is flavored by pumpkin pie spice. If you have a small spice collection, this is a great one to add because it is so versatile--it’s not just for pumpkin pie! I have added it to many different oatmeal recipes using banana, apple, sweet potatoes, and even oranges! Consider it the “Italian seasoning” of sweet dishes.
Get the recipe: Hummingbird Cake Batter Oatmeal
This oatmeal combines bananas and pineapple to create a naturally sweet breakfast that mimics the classic hummingbird cake. Frozen pineapple makes this recipe quick, cheap, and convenient!
Get the recipe: Blood Orange Toasted Coconut Oatmeal
This recipe tastes best with coconut milk, and you can use either the original, unsweetened cartons of coconut milk, or the “light” variety of canned coconut milk; however, any milk will work. Blood oranges can be hard to find in some places, so any orange could be subbed in! Zesting the orange into the oats is a great way to add more depth of flavor without resorting to added sweeteners.
Get the recipe: Murica Overnight Oatmeal Parfait
This oatmeal is great if you’re feeling patriotic, or if you just love berries. The porridge itself prepares itself by soaking up liquid overnight in the fridge, and in the morning you create the parfait by layering the oatmeal with fresh berries. Because of all the berries in this parfait, the oatmeal needs little--if any--sweetener.
Get the recipe: Peach and Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal
I believe peaches and blueberries are an underrated fruit combination! You can either puree or dice the peaches. Pureeing will give you a creamier end result, but dicing makes for easier clean-up. Either way, this is a healthy and flavorful optional if you are trying to avoid chocolate, added sweeteners, and nut butter butters!
Get the recipe: Peach Poppy Seed Overnight Oatmeal
This easy recipe is creamy, sweet, and simple enough to top with all your favorite toppings. The chia seeds are optional, but they make your final product creamier and higher in fiber and protein!
Get the recipe: Cherry Garcia Oatmeal
While it may seem intimidating to add chocolate chips to your oatmeal when you’re concerned about added sugars and staying healthy, a little bit goes a long way. Just a small handful of chocolate chips are all you need to make this feel like dessert, because the chocolate melts and swirls itself into almost every bite. Fresh or frozen cherries work, but you can save time and money by using frozen cherries that have already been pitted!
Get the recipe: Strawberry Mojito Oatmeal
Mojitos? For breakfast? Yes! And unlike an actual mojito, this recipe doesn’t contain two tablespoons of sugar (or rum, of course). This oatmeal is secretly sweetened by mashed banana, but you won’t taste it! The mint and lime flavors hide the banana flavor, but you still get the creaminess and nutritional content of the banana. I call it the “hidden banana” trick.
Get the recipe: Mango Pineapple and Kiwi Oatmeal
I love this recipe because I always keep mango and pineapple in the freezer, so I can enjoy tropical oatmeal at any time of the year. Tropical fruits actually go great in oatmeal because they are incredibly sweet and flavorful, so you do not need to add extra ingredients or sweeteners. This is perfect for “clean eating” because it’s basically fruit and oats!
Get the recipe: Coconut Kiwi Overnight Oatmeal Parfait
This parfait calls for lemon curd, but if you’re egg-free, I show how you can make a pseudo lemon curd using nondairy yogurt. You could also use lemon-flavored yogurt. If lemon curd isn’t your thing, you could simply enjoy the coconut-kiwi overnight oatmeal on its own. It takes just five ingredients, or four if you skip the chia seeds.
Get the recipe: Berry and Fig Oatmeal
One aspect of experimenting with new oatmeal recipes is expanding your fruit repertoire. I had never had figs until I used them in oatmeal a couple of years ago! I used fresh figs in this recipe, but dried figs work just as well. If you live in a more rural location with limited fruit options, you might have better luck finding the dried version. Fear not--I might like dried figs better than fresh!
Get the recipe: Snickerdoodle Cookie Baked Oatmeal
While snickerdoodle cookies tend to conjure images of butter and sugar, I managed to create an oatmeal version that makes the cookie more appropriate for breakfast. I always use pureed fruits or vegetables to replace the eggs commonly found in baked oatmeal, and this recipe uses pureed zucchini, which has a neutral flavor and allows the final product to truly taste like a snickerdoodle cookie. How does it get its signature buttery taste? With a drop of butter extract. If that’s too hard for you to get your hands on, you could omit it and it will be just as delicious!
Get the recipe: Mocha Baked Oatmeal with Almond Butter Center
I highly recommend stocking your kitchen with instant coffee granules. Not only can you make several mocha- and latte-flavored oatmeals, but it can flavor homemade ice cream, makes unique glazes or sauces, brings out the chocolate flavor in hot cocoa, and adds depth to stews like chili. Combined with unsweetened cocoa powder, the instant coffee gives this oatmeal its mocha flavor, and it is sweetened using the “hidden banana” trick. Sneaking almond butter in the center is a fun and easy way to add more flavor, protein, and healthy fats. If almond butter is out of your budget, any nut butter will do!
Get the recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Baked Oatmeal
This baked oatmeal ends up with a similar taste and texture as a plain scone, thanks to the zucchini that makes the final product fluffier and neutral-flavored. The oatmeal is then topped with fresh strawberries--not berries in a sweet syrup--and your choice of plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt. My favorite is plain greek-style yogurt made from coconut milk, but other popular choices are vanilla (dairy) yogurt or plain Greek yogurt.
Get the recipe: Brownie Baked Oatmeal with Mint Avocado Frosting
Did you know you can make pudding out of avocado? I used to use up almost-too-ripe avocado by mixing it with banana, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract for a delicious pudding (now I just use my avocados on toast). I took the same concept and used the avocado to make a frosting-like topping for baked oatmeal. Like several of my other baked oatmeals, this brownie uses pureed zucchini. It really helps the baked oatmeal become fluffy instead of dense and chewy. The “frosting” can be made while the oatmeal is baking. If mint isn’t your thing, you could use any extract to flavor it, such as vanilla or almond. Alternatively, you could flavor it with instant coffee granules for an easy mocha variation!
Get the recipe: Cranberry Brownie Baked Oatmeal
Before I discovered pureed zucchini, I used avocado. While zucchini makes a fluffy and light brownie baked oatmeal, avocado makes a rich and buttery one. Cranberries burst when heated, so the final product has little pockets of tart and juicy cranberry flavor, making the “brownie” a little more interesting.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Berry Baked Oatmeal
This oatmeal is similar to a PB&J, but without the use of sugary jams. While any berry works for this, raspberry is my personal favorite. The intense flavor of raspberries leaves the whole bowl sweet and delicious without the use of any other sweeteners--not even banana!
Get the recipe: Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal
This brownie also uses avocado, so the final product feels quite indulgent even though it doesn’t use an ounce of butter or oil. This is my basic baked brownie recipe, but with a sprinkle of coarse salt on top. If desired, you could sub in a 1/4 cup of pureed zucchini for a fluffier and lighter oatmeal.
Get the recipe: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
Strawberries and chocolate chips combine tart and sweet for a delightful start to the day. This recipe is the perfect example of how you can adapt oatmeal to fit your dietary needs: it only takes a small handful of chocolate chips to make this fabulous, but you can add as many as you want to make it irresistible!
Get the recipe: Pear Almond Baked Oatmeal
Almond extract is a powerful dose of flavor, and combined with pears, it creates a surprisingly easy and cozy oatmeal. Whenever I want big flavor without sacrificing nutrition, I always turn to extracts.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Baked Oatmeal
This oatmeal genuinely tastes like a cookie. This (along with my peanut butter cookie baked oatmeal) is an excellent recipe to start with if you’re new to oatmeal or consider yourself a picky eater!
Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Pie Baked Oatmeal
If you’re not into banana, sweet potatoes are an excellent alternative. They give a similar creaminess and volume, but without that banana flavor that turns some people off. The first time I tried sweet potato pie, I was blown away by the depth of flavor. The baker revealed their secret to me: a drop of lemon extract. I incorporated that secret into this oatmeal!
Get the recipe: Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
Is there any combination more loved than strawberries and bananas? This recipe also includes instructions for making a large batch, with about four servings. This means you can bake it once on a Sunday and eat the leftovers throughout the week to save you time during busy mornings.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Cookie Baked Oatmeal
This baked oatmeal tastes exactly like the cookie. It’s perfect for pleasing picky children, converting others to the world of oatmeal, and learning to love it yourself! Your house will smell exactly like peanut butter cookies.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
This “pumpkin pie” has been one of my most popular recipes since I posted it several years ago. If you’re already stocked with pumpkin pie spice, this recipe is easy to throw together and will satisfy those random Thanksgiving cravings in May or August.
Get the recipe: Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
Unlike the other “pies” and “cookies,” this recipe doesn’t need added sweeteners. If you’re avoiding added sugar, apple pie is the way to go because the apple sweetens the oats better than pumpkin or sweet potato.
Get the recipe: Blueberry Muffin Baked Oatmeal
This muffin contains half a banana to sweeten it, but surprisingly, it tastes like an actual blueberry muffin. To make this recipe super easy and convenient, try using frozen wild blueberries.
Oatmeal is the perfect introduction to healthy eating. For me, it was also my introduction to cooking itself! My skills prior to oatmeal consisted solely of microwaving and reheating, but as I expanded my oatmeal repertoire, I slowly developed the ability to dice, mince, roast, broil, season, and--yes--even save a recipe-gone-awry. Oatmeal is great for kitchen newbies because it is an easy dish to adjust as you cook it. Keep tasting as you go, and adjust it to please your palette. I am constantly adding an extra dash of cinnamon, another pinch of salt, or a few more drops of vanilla extract. I love to cook now, and my ability to prepare elaborate pasta dishes and from-scratch casseroles came directly from my practice with oatmeal.
– Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith is an ex-teacher and current graduate student in New York City. After an entire lifetime of horrible dietary decisions, she vowed to make some changes to manage her IBS. Looking for fiber, she turned to oats. Although she immediately became smitten with the instant, flavored packages of oatmeal, she eventually switched to making her own porridge from scratch to save money and avoid unnecessary additives. She started the blog The Oatmeal Artist in 2012 to share her newfound love of plant-based, innovative porridge recipes, and she continues to eat oatmeal every single morning!