The Savvy Kitchenista

Oats, Quinoa, and More Oats!

So I have a confession to make – I’m obsessed with oatmeal. I used to have a pretty bad addiction to Quaker’s Maple & Brown Sugar flavor in particular. When I realized how much I was spending on pre-packaged oatmeal, I decided to take a break and try to make my own. My mom used to do it all the time and I loved her recipe. But when she sent it to me, I realized that it had dried milk in it! As much as I loved the recipe, it wasn’t worth my lactose-intolerance flaring up on a daily basis.
So, I set out to find my own recipes. And where else to look than Pinterest?! Now, keep in mind that I began this research just recently when I was already on the 21 Day Fix. This meant I had some guidelines that I was looking to stay within. If you’re not familiar with the 21 Day Fix, here’s the short version. You have so many containers per food group throughout the day. Yellow containers are very precious because they are your carbs and they measure 1/2 cup. Soy and almond milk count as yellows, so I opt to make my dishes with water. I actually am not a huge fan of milk in oatmeal, so it works out for the best! By choosing water, I only had to “spend” one of my yellows on this meal. I also wanted to keep it to a minimum on fruits, so only 1 cup for this particular mix-in. This is for two reasons; one being that I only get 3 fruits (“purples”) each day and two because fruit has natural sugar so I don’t need to overdo it in one meal. Speaking of sugar, you limit your fat and sugar intake on the 21 Day Fix, so I am big on using spices and keeping syrups/honey to minimum.
Surprisingly, I was able to find a number of recipes that met my requirements. Below are just a few of the recipes that I have tried, along with my photos and feedback. I’ve tried a few different varieties of oatmeal, using both rolled oats and steel cut oats. I’ve also tried quinoa versions and overnight oats. As the quirky cook that I am, I’ve modified almost every recipe that I’ve tried, so the recipes included are my versions.


Morning Glory Oatmeal


1 cup water (you could use coconut milk)
1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
3/4 cup diced apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canned crushed pineapple in 100% juice
1 /4 cup grated carrots
1 T raisins
2 T chopped pecans or walnuts


  1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan on the stove heated to medium. Let it come to a boil, then add carrots, raisins, and nuts.
  2. Once heated through, remove from heat. Pour into serving dish and mix in pineapple.



Oh my goodness – this has to be one of my favorites! The recipe is for overnight oats, but I accidentally forgot to make them the night before so I modified! I heated the oats on the stove and mixed in all fruits except for the pineapple. I also didn’t have carrots at the time, so I omitted these. Again, this was definitely one of my favorites and I think it was because of the variety of flavors with the fruits. I will definitely be making this again.


Blackberry Pie Oatmeal


½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup water
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup blackberries
1 T chopped walnuts (topping)
Additional blackberries for topping


  1. In a small pot over medium heat, combine oats, water, and salt. Stir occasionally, until oats are thick, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in blackberries until just heated through – careful, they will pop!
  3. Pour carefully into a bowl, add toppings, and enjoy!



This was another one of my favorites. I never buy blackberries, but my husband picked them up one day for fruit salad so I decided to use them as a treat! The recipe was super simple and one the blackberries burst, they were incredible! I will definitely be trying again.


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


1 cup water
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 banana, mashed
1 T chia seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 T vegan chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Heat water and oats on the stovetop.
  2. Meanwhile, mash the banana and pumpkin puree in a separate bowl. Add in pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup.
  3. Once the oats are cooked, remove from heat and stir in the pumpkin mixture. Mix until well combined. Add in optional chia seeds.
  4. Top with vegan chocolate chips!



I am a HUGE pumpkin fan. Anything pumpkin I absolutely adore and it doesn’t have to be fall for me to partake. I also may have overbought pumpkin pie filling last fall and wound up about 6 cans in the pantry! So, to avoid them expiring on me, I’ve found some unique ways to include them in my meals. Pumpkin pie filling, mixed with cinnamon, chia seeds, and cinnamon were a simple and quick pick me up for plain cooked oats.


Blueberry & Peach Oatmeal

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh peaches, diced
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 T flax seed
additional blueberries for topping


  1. Heat oatmeal, water, peaches, blueberries, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until oatmeal is cooked to your liking.
  3. Remove from heat and spoon into a serving bowl. Top with flax seed and any additional blueberries.



Peaches come and go with the seasons and tend to be expensive, so I don’t have them often. But when they are on sale, I find all sorts of ways to mix them. This was one of my first times trying peaches in oatmeal and I wasn’t disappointed. They mixed really well with blueberries!


Overnight Oats

Lemon Blueberry Overnight Oats

1/2 cup oats
1/2 scoop Vanilla Shakeology powder
1 T chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1 T maple syrup or agave nectar


  1. Combine oats, Shakeology powder, and chia seeds in a mason jar.
  2. Stir in yogurt, lemon extract, and maple syrup.
  3. Finally, mix in blueberries. Seal with lid and chill overnight in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy the next morning!



This was the first overnight oats recipe that I tried. As I mentioned, I don’t want to use almond milk or Greek yogurt because then I would run low on my containers! So, I used very little almond milk in my recipe and I fear that may have tampered with the consistency. The lemon and blueberry went really well together, but I think what was missing was a heated bowl of oatmeal. Maybe that’s my hangup with overnight oats – they’re just not hot!


Pina Colada Overnight Oats

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup coconut milk or the milk of your choice
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple (crushed pineapple may be substituted)
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Mix the oats, chia seeds, maple syrup and milk in a container (I used a mason jar). Cover/seal and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Before eating, stir in Greek yogurt, pineapple, and coconut. You can top with more coconut and pineapple. Enjoy!



This was the third recipe I tried with overnight oats and it is delicious! I truly believe third time was the charm for this item. Now, I may be a bit biased considering that pina coladas are one of my top 3 favorite drinks. But let’s ignore that for now! The balance between pineapple and coconut is impeccable – one doesn’t overpower the other. It reminds me of a day on the beach, drenched in sunshine and hearing waves lap against the sand. All in all – this is a new favorite!!!



Strawberry Chia & Quinoa


1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup quartered strawberries
2/3 cup your favorite non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
2 T chia seeds
4 to 6 quartered strawberries (topping)
1 T pecans (topping – optional)
2 T unsweetened shredded coconut  (topping – optional)


  1. To prepare strawberry chia, place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a jar or a glass container and add chia seeds. Mix well until all chia seeds are covered with the liquid.
  3. Cover with a tight lid and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, pour the mixture into a bowl. Top with additional strawberries, pecans, and shredded coconut.



This was unfortunately not one of my favorites. This was one of the overnight oats that I tried and I have to admit I wasn’t a fan. I think it may have been something with the consistently and also with the fact that I used coconut milk instead of almond milk. For whatever reason, I’m not a fan of coconut milk.Anyways, as much as I tried to spice this dish up, I felt it was hopeless. Maybe I’ll have better luck with another quinoa recipe.


Steel Cut Oats

Almond Butter Steel Cut Oats with Banana


1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 cup water
1/2 smashed ripe banana
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Heat water and steel cut oats on the stovetop over medium heat. Be sure to read instructions of how long it will take for oats to cook. Mine take 30 minutes.
  2. Once oats are cooked through, remove from heat. Mix in smashed banana, almond butter, and cinnamon. Enjoy!



This was the first recipe I tried with steel cut oats. I was a bit annoyed at first because it took SO long for these to cook on the stovetop. I also may have over-heated and boiled over, making a delightful mess on my stovetop. Once I cleaned it up and the oats were actually cooked through (30 minutes later), I was able to mix in the almond butter and cinnamon. The first time i tried this, I mashed my banana up in the oats. The second time, I sliced the banana up. Either which way, it was a delectable experience.


I hope you were able to find something that you like! Keep checking back for more oatmeal recipes, as well as many more breakfast recipes.

I will be hosting a 21-Day Breakfast Challenge during the month of September. There’s still time to join us and learn new recipes that are quick, healthy, and easy! See link below:


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