A Month of Oatmeal: 31 Ways to Enjoy

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Who knew January was National Oatmeal Month? And does anyone actually care? Normally, I just wouldn't give a damn - because really, what does National Oatmeal Month even mean? But since its a new year and one of my resolutions is to stop being a cynical bitch, I thought having some oatmeal in my life couldn't hurt.

From a local hot spot serving up delicious Pear & Oatmeal Crisp to a recipe for a relaxing, oatmeal infused bath, check out this list for 31 Days of Oatmeal (even if we're a few days late):

Sun. Jan 1 - Happy New Year! Start the year off right with a heart-healthy bowl of steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast. Mon. Jan 2 - Fuel your workouts by making oatmeal peanut butter energy bars for the week ahead. Tues. Jan 3 - Back to work! Grab an instant-oatmeal in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast. Wed. Jan 4 - De-stress with a mid-week facial. Mix ½ cup hot (not boiling) water and 1/3 cup oatmeal. Let sit for a few minutes before mixing in one egg white. Apply to skin for 15 minutes and rinse. Your skin will feel rejuvenated and you will feel refreshed. Thurs. Jan 5 - Make a healthy dinner by mixing quick-cooking oats and milk into your favorite turkey meatloaf recipe. Fri. Jan 6 - Check out local hot spot Anvil Bar & Refuge for a couple classic cocktails and a tasty Pear & Oatmeal Crisp. Sat. Jan 7 - Enjoy a Saturday night in with an elegant Roast Chicken with Whole-Oat Stuffing. Sun. Jan 8 - Try breakfast at Pondicheri in West Ave. The Morning Thali is a traditional Indian variety plate, including delights like beef keema, steel cut oats, potato curry, house made saffron yogurt, fruit, paratha and a fried egg. Mon. Jan 9 - Boost your workout by eating oats three hours before exercise. Oats will fuel the muscles by triggering the body to burn fat more quickly. Tues. Jan 10 - Pamper your dog with oatmeal shampoo. Use pet-friendly oatmeal shampoo to relieve itchy skin. Wed. Jan 11 - Enjoy a mid-week spaghetti and meatball dinner. Mix oats into homemade meatballs to help hold the shape. Thurs. Jan 12 - Use leftover oat-filled meatballs and sauce to create homemade pizzas. Fri. Jan 13 - Friday the 13! Have a scary-movie night in and munch on a healthy oatmeal snack mix instead of popcorn. Sat. Jan 14 - Big night out? Make an amazing at-home pore-refining mask. In a food processor, mix ½ cup of oatmeal, ½ cup of hot water, and ¼ cup honey. Let cool and apply to face for 10 minutes. Rinse and be ready to impress. Sun. Jan 15 - Relax and moisturize winter skin with a hot oatmeal bath. Grind a cup of oatmeal in a food processor, tie in a stocking or cheesecloth, and hang the pouch over the faucet. Run the hot water over the pouch to infuse the bath tub with this silky dry skin reliever. Mon. Jan 16 - Celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with thick, chewy, oatmeal raisin cookies. Freeze some of the uncooked dough. Tues. Jan 17 - Check out Trivia Night at The Flying Saucer and enjoy a bottle of Samuel Smith's dark, smooth Oatmeal Stout. Wed. Jan 18 - No time to wash your hair? Make a dry shampoo by mixing 1 cup of plain oatmeal with 1 cup of baking soda. Very lightly dust roots with mixture and let it sit a few minutes to absorb excess oil before brushing out. Thurs. Jan 19 - Make homemade chili and add oatmeal to thicken it for a hearty, healthy meal. Fri. Jan 20 - Treat yourself with some sweets. Top rum-raisin ice-cream with crumbles of leftover oatmeal raisin cookie dough. Sat. Jan 21 - Go for a hike and make sure to pack a natural rash or bite reliever. Place dry oatmeal in a clean sock and soak in water before applying to skin. Sun. Jan 22 - Make a delicious and unique pie crust by replacing half the flour with rolled oats. Mon. Jan 23 - Try serving skirlie, a Scottish dish made from fried oatmeal and seasonings, as a side instead of stuffing or potatoes. Tues. Jan 24 - Sprinkle brown sugar on top of homemade oatmeal for a light and sweet topping. Two tsp has only 23 calories, 0 g fat, 6 g sugar and 0 g fiber. Wed. Jan 25 - For a mid-week pick-me up, bring home a tasty bottle (or 6) of a rich, chocolaty oatmeal stout. Try Breckenridge Brewery's Oatmeal Stout, usually available at Spec's. Thurs. Jan 26 - Have breakfast for dinner. Make homemade Whole Wheat Oatmeal Waffles and serve w/ breakfast sausage and caramelized apples. Fri. Jan 27 - Have some friends over for spiked cider and the most delectable homemade Apple Crisp Topped with Oats. Sat. Jan 28 - Pop into Empire Café to energize with a bowl of McCann's True Irish Oatmeal served with fresh bananas and strawberries. Sun. Jan 29 - Make family and friends an Oatmeal Pancake Breakfast. Replace flour with homemade oat flour by grinding oats in a food processor. Top with fresh fruit, nuts, and maple syrup. Mon. Jan 30 - Visit British Isles near the Rice Campus to check out the store's selection of oatmeal and Haggis flavored oatcakes. Tues. Jan 31 - Try the Muesli, a popular breakfast cereal based on uncooked rolled oats, fruits, and nuts at La Madeleine. It comes topped with fresh strawberries.

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