I twisted the top off my blender, poured the smoothie into a jam jar (like you do), and took a (reluctant) first sip.
To my surprise, my very first smoothie full of oats (?!) was absolutely perfect—smooth, creamy, and still packed full of good-for-you ingredients—the ultimate health food masquerading as dessert.
On my list of ways to up your smoothie game, adding rolled oats has earned a spot at the top. Oats might not be as flashy as, say, stevia drops, whipped coconut cream, or açai powder (sooo trendy right now), but they are my go-to when I want an indulgent but still healthy smoothie.
Here’s what makes them so magical: When you blend rolled oats, they purée into a smooth texture that can still do the heavy lifting in terms of thickening up your smoothie. And to my everlasting awe, blended oats give your smoothie a cake-y, half-baked flavor I can’t get over. Pair that with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla, and you’ve got a breakfast game changer you don’t have to feel guilty about.
And rolled oats save the day if, like me and Colore’ Grace, you’re dealing with allergies to common smoothie ingredients. Oats can make a smoothie creamy and indulgent without any of your standards, like milk, cream, coconut milk, or even bananas.
I met Colore’ at a camp designed just for bloggers, Texas Style Council. It was a magical weekend of storytelling and actual bonding (so, the opposite of your average conference!) with other women on the blog scene. One of the best parts about it was meeting Colore’, a calligrapher and generally awesome woman who welcomed me into her social ciricle of bloggers and creators like an old friend.
When we found out we were both dealing with dietary restrictions, we knew we had to collaborate.
I talked with Colore’, the creator of all this beautiful lettering, so y’all can get the opportunity to meet her too.
Psst: I also answered a few questions about how I ended up on this plant-based diet over on Colore’ Grace.
[RB]: What’s a day in the life of Colore’ look like?
[CG]: A day always begins with coffee, and lately some vitamins. I’ve recently started doing B-12 drops, and I notice I feel much more prepared for the day. After checking instagram and twitter, I open Omnifocus (a program I use to track tasks and projects) to see what actions need are due that day. Then I get to work which could be practicing calligraphy for an upcoming project, finalizing a design for a client, writing a blog post, running to the art store for supplies, or maybe doing some research about starting a business. Throughout the day I like listening to podcast (current favorite is Back to Work). My boyfriend, B, gets home around 6 and we either go to the gym for 30 minutes or start preparing dinner together. It’s a nice break in my day to get away from the computer, plus I always love talking with him about our day or an idea for a project. After dinner, we either work together to create the photos for my blog, we work separately on our blogs, or we practice calligraphy and lettering together. I do a nightly review on Omnifocus. We meditate and get to sleep.
[RB]: What work/project are you the most proud of?
[RB]: Who are your calligraphy idols?
[CG]: Gosh, there are so many. I will always look up to Lauren Essl (Blue Eye Brown Eye); she was my teacher and now continues to be my mentor. I also love Rachel Jacobson (@racheljacobson), Alissa Mazzenga (@feasting), and Fozzy Castro-Dayrit (@thefozzybook). All so talented and have a wide range of beautiful styles.
[RB]: Tell me about moving to Austin.
[CG]: B and I will be celebrating a year in Austin this July! Shortly after B and I started dating, he found a job in Austin and bravely asked me to move with him. I was a month away from graduating college and I knew it was the perfect time to move on to a new adventure, so I said yes. Even though it seemed a little sudden and crazy to most, I don’t regret the decision one bit. Austin is a lovely, weird city to call my new home, and even better with B.
[RB]: Where are your favorite places to eat?
[CG]: Ohh, this question is tough. We are still exploring all of the good eats in Austin. So far we love East Side King, Hillside Pharmacy, VeraCruz all natural, and Sway for a fancier dinner.
[RB]: What’s on your breakfast rotation?
[CG]: Smoothies after coffee. B and I try to prep them at night so all we have to do is blend and go. It’s usually a switch between green smoothies (spinach, mango, pineapple, lemon juice, and spirulina is my current favorite mix) or berry smoothies (acai juice, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries if we have them, with flax and chia seeds). If it’s a more hectic morning, just the coffee.
[RB]: What would you eat if you knew it was your last meal?
[CG]: A big breakfast. waffles, eggs, bacon.. you name it.
[RB]: What are your food allergies?
[CG]: I was born allergic to milk and cheese. Now I have allergic reactions to bananas, avocados, pecans, and most recently soy products as well. The list has started growing so I’m very cautious. I’m planning on going in for an allergy test soon.
[RB]: How do you deal with it when ordering at restaurants?
[CG]: I always make sure I ask for no cheese. Most salads, pastas, burgers, and many other dishes include cheese so I make sure I get mine without. I have to stay aways from anything with a creamy sauce, because it likely contains milk. I’ve always had to order my food to be fairly simple, but I’m trying to branch out with veggies or by ordering something I may not typically order. I do my best to order confidently without making a fuss over my allergies. No need to be negative or rude, it’s just simply how you have to have your food.
[RB]: What’s your favorite weeknight meal? Give the recipe if you can!
[CG]: B and I have been experimenting with a bunch of recipes we’ve found online or have been given to us. Our absolute favorite thing to make is what we call ‘Sweet Potato Tacos’. The recipes makes a lot so we always have tons of leftovers to eat throughout the week, they’re incredibly filling, plus they’re vegan!
[RB]: And finally, as someone with a name that prompts a lot of questions, what’s the story behind your name?
[CG]: The doctors thought I was going to be a boy, so my parents planned to name me Jasper Laverne Patrick. (They even thought about calling me “Jas” as a nickname… horrible!) My dad’s two older sisters teased my dad by saying it was a good thing I was going to be a boy, because he wouldn’t know what to name a girl. He responded, “Sure I would. Her name would be Colore’”. When I was born my parents decided on the spelling, and gave me the middle name Grace, after a very dear and important friend of my mom’s. Now I have a new name and an old name, Colore’ Grace.
PS, if you haven’t yet, you’ve GOT to go follow Colore’ on Instagram. I love her pretty, inspiring pics.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- In a powerful blender, combine rolled oats, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup, and blend until the oats are completely smooth and not grainy.
- Add the blackberries and blend until smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Once you go rolled oats, you won’t go back. Just remember, the key is really blitzing them up with the almond milk—so they’re completely smooth and puréed—before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Taste the blackberries beforehand to see how sweet they are. Adjust the amount of maple syrup accordingly.
If the smoothie is too thin, add ice and blend again. If it’s too thick, add water or almond milk and blend again.
Swap in any in-season berry.
The Waco Vegan is no longer updated. You can find me over at RandleBrowning.com instead.