Avocado-Topped Oats Will Power You Through The Day

June 14, 2018

We've partnered with California Avocados to share recipes that embrace the California approach to cooking fresh and local. For Jeanette Ogden, the woman behind Shut the Kale Up, that means using her favorite ingredients in unexpected ways. The following is an interview with Ogden, as told to Food52.

It doesn’t really matter if I go to the gym or not, I’m always hungry. At breakfast time especially, I feel like my body needs real, nutritious foods to give me energy throughout the day. For that reason, I’m a huge fan of oats, whether they are savory or sweet. People say it’s hard to come up with easy, on-the-go recipes, but this is one that always works for me. They’re so easy, so fast, yet so delicious—and you can make them look beautiful.

Avocado + nut butter—an unlikely but delicious combo. Photo by James Ransom

When making sweet oats, I normally cook them in cashew milk or coconut milk, sometimes with chia seeds and cinnamon stirred in, and then top them with nut butter and half an avocado—people find it super weird but I think it’s such a delicious combo. (I discovered this when I was breastfeeding and so trying to incorporate more healthy fats into my lifestyle; I’ll eat nut butter and avocado together on everything from toast to yogurt to sweet potatoes.)

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I started experimenting with savory oats more recently. I remember I saw it on a menu one day and thought, ‘that’s kind of odd,’ but it totally makes sense when you eat it. I played around with savory oat combinations at home and found I like adding coconut oil and ghee for that milky, buttery taste, plus a fried egg on top. You can add in so many flavors and toppings, from roasted beets or other roasted vegetables to kimchee, fresh herbs, greens, avocado, whatever you feel like.

Photo by James Ransom

I like to get creative in the kitchen, so for me, that’s what it’s all about. Having fun, being hands-on, adding color to your plate, bringing in the family, and maybe grocery shopping with them and picking out their favorite foods, then putting it all together in a meal.

We go to our local farmers market, where the California-grown avocados are so fresh and so delicious, especially Reed avocados when they are available in the summer and early fall. I’m always looking forward to California Avocado season because they’re so damn creamy. Me and my little guy also go to a local ecology center around the corner to pick fruit and veggies from their gardens. I feel like it’s important to teach young kids that we pick food from the ground or from trees, and then to show them how it comes together in the kitchen. I know that when I ask Elliot for help making his egg, he’s more inclined to try it and eat it. He wants to learn and cooking is a great form of teaching a little guy how to eat whole foods. He’s not a huge oats fan...but he does love avocados, I will say that.

more wholesome breakfasts

To bring you fresh, feel-good summer recipes, we've partnered with the California Avocado Commission in celebration of this versatile and oh-so delicious green fruit (yes, it's a fruit!). California Avocados spend over a year growing in the state's ideal climate (plenty of sunshine and cool ocean breezes). You'll know a California Avocado is ready to eat (or cook with!) when it yields to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. Just make sure not to poke it with your fingertips—nobody wants a bruised avocado on their plate!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mark Hartman
    Mark Hartman
  • Pamela_in_Tokyo
  • heather
hi, my name is jeannette ogden and i’m the founder of shutthekaleup. i started this project in january of 2015, not knowing what it would become. today, i’m proud of what shutthekaleup stands for and what it means to so many. my goal was, and still is, to create organic content through authenticity for my community.


Mark H. July 7, 2018
I love oatmeal with salsa and yogurt!
Pamela_in_Tokyo July 7, 2018
I have a recipe for savory oats that is to die for! I read about it in a George Ohsawa macrobiotic cookbook from my college days. It involves a number of steps.

-First toast the oats in a little bit of sesame oil. They should be really toasty-brown. You can do it in the oven or on the stove top. Don’t let them burn. This keeps the oats from going gummy...
-Next, make a really good Japanese Katsuo dashi/stock, a lot. I will make 3, 4 cups.
-Next you have to toast a small amount of miso. Don’t use too much or the dish will be too salty. I put a little bit on a fork and do that over an open flame or right in the pan I am going to use. If I am making just for me, I will use less than 1T. Again, don’t let it burn.
-Put the toasted oats and miso in the dashi/stock and cook.
-I like to cook mine for at least 15 minutes. It should be loose and soupy. Not thick like what you have for sweet oats. That is why you would need a couple of cups of the dashi/stock. It’s almost like miso soup with oats in it.

I prefer this to sweet oats any day! No topping is needed. If you cook it down too much, it will get salty from the miso, so be sure to NOT use too much miso.
heather June 25, 2018
When I looked for savory oatmeal ideas, my son told me about oatmeal with mangoes and salsa. I highly recommend it. In the microwave, I cook the oatmeal halfway (one minute on 70% power), add frozen diced mangoes, cook another minute at 70%, then stir in some salsa. Very satisfying. Sometimes I add yogurt.