Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bake

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a wonderfully fun and delicious holiday season and are already off to a great start for 2019! It’s been a while since I’ve shared any recipes on here, and I thought I’d start the first Monday of the new year off on the right (productive) foot.

My first official recipe for 2019 contains one of my favorite ingredients- chocolate! As you can see, there are no crazy diets, detoxes, or Whole30 challenges going on in our house. Danny and I listened to our bodies’ need for lots of fiber in the form of vegetables, whole grains, and plant protein for the past week, and now we are hearing loud and clear the desire for something sweet again. You see, the longer you practice intuitive eating (and yes, it does take practice) the louder your voice for gentle nutrition becomes (aka prioritizing greens and lighter fare after a holiday, for example) and the more reasonable your desire for your favorite sweets become (aka those sweet cravings are not all consuming!).

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So, with the new year still comes lots of chocolate and I’m even including it in breakfast! This weekend I got back into the meal prep groove and decided to whip up this oatmeal bake inspired by The Crunchy Radish. I love a high fiber oat-based breakfast because it keep me feeling full for hours and gets my gut bugs back in order after the holiday. I used frozen cherries because they’re convenient, and chocolate and cherry is an unbeatable combination!

A note on the chocolate- I admit when I first made this recipe I was a little light-handed on the amount used, so trust me when I say the three tablespoons is necessary! I recommend to always have your pantry stocked with unsweetened cocoa powder to add to oats, smoothies, and baking projects. I really like FlavaNaturals as their flavanol-rich cocoa powder contains 40x more antioxidants than blueberries! I’m in no way sponsored to say this- I just really like their cocoa!

I hope you all enjoy this make-ahead, chocolate-y breakfast!

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bake- serves 4-6 portions

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup plain raw almonds, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • pinch of fine ground sea salt

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder- I like FlavaNaturals

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond or soy milk

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled

  • 1.5 cups frozen cherries, halved

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 8-inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil.

  2. In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, cinnamon, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.

  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and half the cherries.

  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in the baking dish. Use a spoon to gently stir together so the milk is evenly distributed and moves through the oats. Top with the remaining cherry halves.

  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is set. Watch closely as the dark chocolate color won’t allow you to see if the top layer is getting too browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes until serving. Serve with a spoonful of plain greek yogurt or maybe a drizzle of nut butter. Stores well in the covered baking dish for the week.

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