Cocoa Coconut Oat Parfait

by Marla on January 19, 2010 · 19 comments

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Big news folks! It is National Oatmeal Month. Wow, who knew??

Around here it might as well be Oatmeal Month everyday! We heart our oats.

I speak of the oat often. Oats are whole grain complex carbs that taste great and have loads of health benefits (see my post Oatmeal: The Basics for more on that.) Oats work well for breakfast, they perform strongly in a Mini Meal and kid’s love ’em. OK, now onto a more significant agenda:

Sure I live my life with a lot of rules, especially when it comes to food. As long as I have healthy, yummy ingredient combinations at the right times all is good, really good. I like my meals six times a day and I like each bite to be well worth my time. In this recipe we have some of my favorite whole food ingredients…..Oats, Coconut Milk, Chocolate, Toasted Almonds, Cacao Nibs & Thick Yogurt. These high energy ingredients are all layered on top of each other to create a rich, creamy, sweet, full bodied meal. Remember even though this tastes rich, there is nothing here that will talk junk to your hips.

So let’s break it down, we have oats (complex carbs,) cocoa powder & cacao (antioxidants,) almonds (healthy fat,) and thick greek yogurt (lean protein.) That is quite the balanced & tasty way to kick start the day. Don’t you think?

Each day we get to know each other better. That is a really cool thing. I share my recipes and daily inspiration. You guys lurk, browse and some even leave loving comments. Have I ever told you how much I love getting comments? It’s like waking up Christmas morning and seeing loads of shiny, colorful presents under the tree. I mean that, I really do.

I love working on each and every post. Each one is unique to itself. Each a culinary, creative puzzle that I can’t wait to figure out. When I finally hit the “Publish” button I cringe a bit. I think to my self: Is my spelling and grammar correct? Are my photos lookin’ good? Are the recipes inspirational and awe inspiring? Will I encourage someone today to think outside the box? Will their kids eat it?? (I won’t let that worry me so much, ’cause mine are getting pickier by the day!)

Will my readers agree that my recipes are indeed “Clean, Healthy, Yummy, High Energy Foods?” I hope so.

That said, let’s have chocolate for breakfast!

Cocoa Coconut Oat Parfait

Makes a Big Batch(about 9 one cup servings of oats)

  • 3 cups Coach’s Oats (you can use these or use your favorite oat)
  • 9 cups of water
  • 14 ounce can Light Coconut Milk
  • a dash of Salt
  • optional: Cinnamon
  • For each serving:
  • 8 oz of the above cooked oats mixture
  • 6 oz Thick Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (if you use sweetened cocoa powder you might want to OMIT the sweetener choice below)
  • Sweetener: I love my Vanilla Stevia Drops, you can use Maple, Agave, Honey etc.
  • sprinkle Roasted Cacao Nibs
  • sprinkle toasted Almonds



  • Cook oats according to directions, add a dash of salt while cooking. Stir well. If you use Coach’s Oats you will be thrilled with how quickly they cook. Watch carefully because they will be done in 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and cinnamon if desired. Combine well.
  • Now your Big Batch is done. Let’s work on our parfaits!


  • Combine cocoa power, sweetener (if using) and 8 oz coconut oats, stir together thoroughly.
  • You can sweeten the yogurt too if you wish. I did not. The sweetness from the oats blends well with the tart, creamy yogurt.
  • Layer your parfait in a glass, alternating between layers of yogurt and cocoa coconut oats.
  • Sprinkle the top of your parfait with nuts, cacao nibs and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Enjoy!


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F
  • Lay almonds on baking sheet in a single layer
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until fragrant and slightly browned

Print This Recipe...

Fresh Variations

We know each other well enough by now to realize that there is always loads of room for interpretation of FFC recipes. Cooking is all about suiting your own taste buds. If you want something sweeter, go sweeter. I would use stevia for that ’cause I don’t need to be wearing my sweetness on my hips. There are so many ways you can individualize this parfait, here are a few ideas:

  • Use any nut you love- or-
  • Use your favorite nut butter. Simply stir 1 or 2 tbs into your oats or yogurt before layering.
  • Not in the mood for nuts? Use some ground flaxseed instead.
  • Add some fresh or frozen fruit. Berries would be delicious, so would sliced bananas or mango.
  • Stir in or top with some dried fruit. Raisins, dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries or crushed dried bananas……yum!
  • Spice variation: Go with ginger or cardamom instead of or in addition to cinnamon.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria January 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I love oats! I eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I think I will have to indulge with this chocolate recipe soon:)


2 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Definitely saved this one… I keep saving all your recipes… Time to start making them :)


3 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Great recipe, great food pics, Marla!!!! YUMMMY!
Got your msg, I was out with another blogger. Yes, I just sit around all day eating bon bons and hanging out with other bloggers….kidding :) Will def call you sometime soon! Loved hearing your upbeat voice, your pep in your step, and of course, the fact that you were walking in L.B. was kinda cool. ALOT cool :) I miss SoCal!!!!!!


4 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather January 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Chocolate and oats!!! Such a tasty meal that can be made healthy and clean – just the way I like it too:) Now breakfast can look like dessert.

Glad you got to try out the leg circles and lift. They’re killer!


5 Faith January 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Marla, you are a girl after my own heart…I also adore oats (in any form)! This is a gorgeous parfait and I really love the look of that creamy yogurt layer. And when chocolate is this good and good for you, there’s no reason not to have it for breakfast! :)


6 Jessica@Healthy Exposures January 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm

oh. my. god.
this looks heavenly! remembering this one for an upcoming morning :)
beautiful blog, btw. enjoying reading through!


7 Jess January 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm

that sounds amazing!! I love oats! Best fuel for running for me :)


8 Andrea DiGeronimo January 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm

That looks awesome. Your beautiful pictures and culinary masterpieces and lifestyle are ALL awe inspiring, and inspirational. Your life and your blog are clearly full of vivaciousness and energy, no doubt due to your healthy, yummy, satisfying, meals and great recipes. You give so much of yourself into each posting and it really shows! Thanks for making my kitchen a better place, and my cooking (and eating) a better experience. Love it, keep it coming!


9 Trail (of Oven Aversion) January 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Wow, your pictures are gorgeous and it looks so delicious!

I can definitely relate to your last second thoughts before hitting publish. Did I catch the grammar mistakes or awkward wording? Did I relay something that was interesting to anyone but me? I think it’s natural, but nothing to actually worry about!

I’ll add you on my twitter and RT to help Haiti relief. What a great idea!


10 Nicole January 20, 2010 at 4:13 am

Is there ever a reason to not start your day with chocolate? Noooo! : ) I love all the coconut recipes in Blogland…makes me so happy and wanting to cook and bake up a storm! Looks delicious! And national oatmeal month? I’d have never known!

And Marla, it is my DREAM, GOAL, and ASPIRATION to write a book! If you ever get the chance and considered me to be a partner in crime, I would JUMP on that opportunity in a heartbeat : ) Thank you!


11 Fran January 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Oooohhh…chocolate, nature’s most perfect food. I thought the peanut/almond butter cookie oatmeal (nut butter, egg, stevia, vanilla mixed with oatmeal) was to live for, but this is to inspire symphonies.


12 Kristi Rimkus January 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Terrific dessert, and great picture. Caveman at Caution:Caveman Cooking gave me an Honest Award recently. Part of accepting the award is to pass it along to your favorite blogs. I’m passing it along to your blog. :)



13 Kristi Rimkus January 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm
14 Nicole January 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Hey Marla! I posted my Q&A last night and your Stevia question is up! Just wanted to be sure you saw it :) Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!!!


15 grace January 25, 2010 at 3:09 am

masterful–a combination of some of my favorite dessert flavors used in a feasible and healthful breakfast! i love it, marla, well done!


16 Lindsey G January 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I have COACHS OATS everyday – thankful they have the HUGE bags @Costco! I love the parfait idea – I’m down with anything chocolate with my oatmeal ANYtime of the day!

I’m a new FAN on your FB Fan page!


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