Big news folks! It is National Oatmeal Month. Wow, who knew??
Around here it might as well be Oatmeal Month every day! 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
- Source Organic ingredients when available
- 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 powder, 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 layers of yogurt and cocoa coconut oats.
- Sprinkle the top of your parfait with nuts, cacao nibs and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
OPTIONAL TOASTED ALMONDS
- 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
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.