Thursday, March 7, 2013

cherry chocolate almond oatmeal

Spring is just around the corner, but no one told the weather. It's a cloudy, chilly, windy day. The kind of day that sends drafts through our abode and causes me to spend the day wrapped in three blankets while constantly sipping a cup of hot tea. Nothing satisfies my tummy on cold days like a warm, comforting bowl of steaming oatmeal.

Today, I got doubly creative by trying a new flavor combo and using steel cut oats...I know such a rebel! I recently discovered Trader Joe's Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats on a shopping expedition. We call it an expedition because the nearest store requires hopping the state line and driving a bit...nothing that isn't worth shopping at one of my favorite places! Anyway, TJ's oats cost $2.94 (cheaper than most other steel cut brands) and are a delicious change of pace and texture from the old fashioned oats I typically use. TJ's has also managed to drastically reduce the cooking time. Bundle all those reasons together and you'll understand why the little can found its way into our cart.
On the menu today: cherry chocolate almond oatmeal. Inspired by the flavors of this tart: mini chocolate chips, almonds, and frozen cherries from the summer's bounty mingled together in a bowl of hot goodness. If there are no cherries in your freezer, try raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries instead. A touch of summer flavors with the warmth needed for a windy lion-like March day. Oh and did I mention it's a healthier, but still decadent option for all of us chocoholics!

Cherry Chocolate Almond Oatmeal
1 serving of oatmeal (old fashioned or steel choose!)
1/4 roughly chopped thawed cherries (fresh works too!)
1 tbsp. almonds (by all means toast these if you'd like - I was simply too impatient)
1 tbsp. mini chocolate chips (regular size work too, but the minis melt and stir evenly into the oatmeal)
the smallest pinch of salt
drizzle of maple syrup (because everything is better with it!)
dash of cinnamon and ginger, to taste

Cook oatmeal according to package directions. Then mix in the other yummy ingredients and eat while still steaming! Enjoy and rejoice that spring is indeed coming...maybe even this weekend!

If you like experimenting with oatmeal flavors, here's are a few other fun flavor combos I found floating around the web: creamy pumpkin pie oatmealhoney crisp apple cinnamon oatmeal, and four steel cut oatmeal recipes (I promise I came up with the cherry and chocolate idea before I even saw the recipe on this site!).

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