Wake up to this seductive chocolate steel cut oatmeal. While it’s entirely vegan, the creaminess is out of this world, and you’ll swoon over every chocolaty bite.
It’s interesting to observe how much of our self-worth is tied up in factors that we have no control over. For instance, over the past couple of days, I’ve seen a marked drop in my blog traffic. Having been buoyed and motivated by a steady increase in traffic over the month of November, it’s been challenging not to fall into negative thoughts related to my success as a food blogger and recipe developer. When I started the blog in 2018, my traffic was very low, and grew slowly for the first year. But since the summer, I my traffic started to increase. Recently, I’ve wanted this blog to gain a wider audience, and I feel as though I’ve been doing everything I can to make that happen: submitting to Food Gawker and Taste Spotting; joining and contributing to Pinterest group boards, trying to elevate my food photography game, and using keywords that will increase my organic search traffic. And yet the online landscape is always changing: I read recently that Google undergoes 600 algorithmic updates per year. That’s almost two per day. And it’s frustrating to think that much of our great work just isn’t being discovered because an all-powerful search engine largely controls what ranks highly in search results.
Another factor that I think is challenging in the food blogging landscape of 2019 is that a) there are so very many food blogs already, many of which started 10 years and gained huge audiences right from the get-go because the industry was so new and exciting and there were so few food blogs; and b) I get the sense that fewer and fewer people are actually taking the time to search for recipes and prepare meals from scratch. With the popularity of meal subscription services like Hello Fresh and Good Food Box, where the ingredients arrive in tidy little packages inside of a cardboard box, and the customer needs only to throw everything into a pan and cook it, as well as takeout services like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes, I sense that fewer people are interested in looking at recipes. And if they are, it might only be for the pretty pictures, and not to actually make the recipe.
I could be all wrong, but I just get the sense that as a collective, people are convinced that they are too busy to cook, when the truth could be that their priorities are elsewhere. There are a lot of distractions these days: social media and the myriad TV streaming services that now exist take up a lot of time. I wish there could be a return to the days when there was just simple internet. No Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook. When there was just TV, not Netflix, Amazon Prime TV, and Disney Plus. When takeout was a once in a blue moon experience, not a weekly or even daily occurrence. When the notion of a meal subscription box hadn’t even been conceived of. What a simpler world it was, just 10 years ago.
So where does this leave me, Allison, the human being behind this blog? I’m going to continue creating and sharing recipes, musings, and food photography with the world, because this is my creative outlet and it’s what I love to do in my spare time. But I am under no illusion that I will profit directly from this blog anytime soon. The online world is beyond saturated with talented food writers and photographers, and I was, unfortunately, a young teenager during the “golden age” of blogging 10 years ago. In other words, timing is everything!
I have goals and ambitions outside of the fickle digital world. I am going to be spending more time on self improvement, moving to a new town, expanding my horizons, training for the Boston Marathon, and nurturing old and new relationships in the coming year. It’s all too easy to get tunnel vision when you are putting your heart and soul into something creative like a food blog, but I really need to take a step back and see the bigger picture and ask myself some important questions: Do I enjoy creating recipes and sharing my art? Do I really care if hundreds of thousands of people are looking at my work right now? Do I require validation from strangers that I’ll never meet? Yes, no, and no. I still want to get creative with some potential revenue streams for this blog, such as writing an ebook, affiliate marketing, and trying to grow my email list, but I refuse to define my success as a blogger by traffic statistics.
Also, I appreciate all of my readers so much. My intention is not to sound unappreciative. I just wish that I could reach even more people and to share my love of whole foods cooking with a wider audience.
I apologize if I bored you with that rant! I try not to be negative, but I wanted to get that off of my chest. I would love to know if any fellow bloggers reading this feel the same way. I could be way off, but I get the sense that I’m not the only one experiencing this frustration.
Let’s talk oatmeal!
And now, on to a cheerier topic! Steel cut oatmeal is one of my favourite fall/winter breakfasts, and this chocolate version veers into indulgent territory in the best way possible. Sometimes, chocolate is the only thing that lulls me out from under the covers early in the morning. If I can put it into something as healthy as steel cut oatmeal, even better!
Now, I totally understand how frenzied weekday mornings can be, and that’s why I use a tried and true 15-minute method for cooking steel cut oats. If you’ve made my apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal, you’ll remember this method! All that you do is soak the steel cut oatmeal in water overnight. In the morning, you drain the oats and cook them according to the recipe instructions. Soaking the oats overnight reduces the cooking time substantially, yet they somehow manage to retain that toothsome texture that we all love.
I hope that you enjoy these creamy chocolate steel cut oats. They’re the stuff of healthy indulgent breakfast dreams. If the promise of this for breakfast has the power to rouse even myself–who is the antithesis to a morning person–out of a deep sleep, then I know it’s a recipe worth sharing. 🙂
I also hope that you are all easing into a relaxing weekend. I’ll be back very soon with a butternut squash and lentil burrito recipe!Print
Creamy Chocolate Steel Cut Oatmeal
An indulgent yet healthy vegan breakfast of chocolate steel cut oatmeal spells out comfort on cold morning.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2–3 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- 1 cup steel cut oats, soaked in a bowl of water overnight and drained
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or 2–3 pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Nut butter
- Dark chocolate
- Fruit (such as pomegranate, berries, and banana)
- Warm the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the soaked and drained oats. Toast the oats in the oil for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the non-dairy milk, cocoa, maple syrup/dates, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Then turn down heat to medium-low and cook until the porridge thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and remove from heat.
- Divide the porridge between 2 or 3 bowls and top with nut butter, dark chocolate, and fruit.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat as needed.
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