Choco Cherry Orange Oats

By Shannon Franz, #GoGetItLIFE Contributing Writer

This is one of my favorite breakfasts; the combo of chocolate, cherries and oranges make it so delish… almost tastes like a guilty pleasure, but it’s actually a really filling and healthy way to start your day (as long as you don’t put the entire bar of chocolate on it. 😉). Store bought almond milk would work great too – I just really like to try to use homemade when I can to avoid additives.

Choco Cherry Orange Oats

Makes one serving for a medium appetite

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk (recipe for homemade follows)
  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 of a small orange, cut into small peicesP1150483
  • 1Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice (about one orange section, squeezed)
  • small handful of walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chocolate (about a 1/4 of an ounce – or to taste)
  • sprinkle of cinnamon and/or cardamom (whatever suits your tastes)

Instructions:

Place the 1 cup of almond milk in a small pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Add in the 1/4 cup of oats, lower the heat as low as you can and cook uncovered for about 15-17 minutes, stirring occasionally (keep an eye on the level of milk – you may need to add a touch more to prevent burning/sticking to the bottom). While the oats are cooking, squeeze the fresh oj into a separate small pot with 1/2 of the orange zest. Add in the cherries and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the oats are done cooking and soft, place in a cereal bowl and top with the warmed cherry/orange mixture. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the top. Top with the orange pieces and walnuts/pecans and the remaining orange zest. Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or cardamom. Top with a small amount of almond milk, if desired.

Sprouted Almond Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic almonds
  • 3.5 to 4 cups filtered water (plus filtered soaking water)

Instructions:

Before heading to bed, put 1 cup of almonds in a bowl, pour filtered water over them until they are submerged. Place a cover over the bowl and let soak for about 8 hours. Drain and rinse the almonds in a colander. At this point, you can definitely make almond milk, however, I will let mine set in the colander over the sink for another 6 to 8 hours to fully drain and continue sprouting.

Place the almonds in a bender (preferably high powered, but the not-so-high powered blenders also work well) with as much of the 4 cups of water you can fit in with the almonds (I usually can fit 3 cups in). Blend on high. Depending on your blender, this could take anywhere from 1 minute (high powered) to 3 minutes (not-so-high powered). This may take some trial and error, just depending on the individual blender. You are looking for the soaked almonds to be pulverized in the water, but not so pulverized that the pieces slip through the strainer into the milk. Take a nut milk bag (I actually use a jelly strainer – has a tighter weave than a nut milk bag) and pour the milk through that into a large bowl or pitcher. Squeeze the bag (I twist the top of the bag so the pulp doesn’t squish out the top) until you get all of the milk out of the pulverized nuts. The result will be a beautiful creamy milk. If you strained into a bowl, pour into a pitcher. The milk should last for up to 5 days in the fridge.

You will have leftover pulp from the almonds in the strainer bag – there are some recipes out ‘there’ that incorporate the pulp, or you could compost it. I usually feed mine to our chickens – they LOVE it.

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