Cherries, Almonds, and Oats

I came upon this fabulous breakfast dish quite by accident. It all started with a leftover bowl of oatmeal in the refrigerator. I love leftovers and I thoroughly dislike throwing perfectly good food away. Now, I’m sure there are some that would argue that a bowl of cold oatmeal is not a “perfectly good food”, but I am here to prove that hypothetical “some” wrong.
This recipe is great cold as a snack,  but this morning I made it fresh just for you.
2/3 c. water
1/3 c. oats
one tiny pinch of sea salt
one drop almond extract
The most important step is making the perfect bowl of oats. See, I like my oats to look like oats even when they are done cooking. There’s nothing better than a slimy bowl of mush to make one walk right out the door without breakfast. And we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? So let’s not do that!

Bring the water to a full boil in a small sauce pan. Add oats and stir occasionally until the oats have absorbed the water.

 Stir in salt and almond extract and spoon into a breakfast bowl.

I bet you can’t guess what that is on top! No, it’s not ice cream. (Though I’d be tempted to do that if it was homemade vanilla.:D )

I think I’ll take you on a little detour down Coconut Lane.

I bought two coconuts at the store on a whim. The last time I cracked open a coconut I made a mess, so Dad showed me how to do it. First he poked all three eyes out and drained the coconut milk into a glass. It was cold and ever so slightly sweet and just delicious. Each coconut gave about 1 1/2 cups of milk,  so I bottled some away to take to work with me the next day.
Just in case you don’t know, coconut water is nature’s perfect energy drink. It’s packed with all the essential electrolytes plus other vitamins and minerals.
Did you know that a coconut is not a nut at all, but a drupe?
drupe [droop] -noun : (scientific definition) A simple fruit derived from a single carpel. A drupe usually contains a single seed enclosed by a hardened endocarp, which often adheres closely to the seed within. In peaches, plums, cherries, and olives, a fleshy edible mesocarp surrounds the endocarp (the pit or stone). In the coconut, a fibrous mesocarp (the husk) surrounds the endocarp (the shell), while the white edible portion is the endosperm.
Beautiful, isn’t it? This would make a perfect bowl for my oatmeal. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one on hand.
As you can see, there is quite a lot of meat inside. It took a while to pick all the coconut out, but it was way worth it. Two coconuts yielded about 4 cups of fresh coconut meat.
I ran all the meat through our Champion Juicer to make coconut cream.
And that, my friends, is what you saw on my oatmeal.

The remainder of the coconut left over from the juicing was about 3 cups of raw coconut flakes. I froze a cup or so for a later use and blended the rest with dates, orange peel and vanilla for a snack.
 Okay, the detour is over and we’re back to our bowl of oatmeal. It’s looking pretty bleak at the moment, but just wait for the grand finale.
I know the whole coconut thing looks like a lot of work, but I highly recommend the experience. It will take you right to tropical beaches – sea breeze,  pineapples, white sand between your toes, sunshine on your face… Just stick a straw in your coconut, close your eyes and dream!
Now where were we? Oh right, what to put on a bowl of oats….(Thankfully oatmeal stays perpetually hot in pictures.)  If you don’t have coconut cream on hand, you can substitute regular cream or a bit of butter.
Top with dried cherries and sliced almonds and drizzle with maple syrup.
 Enjoy one beautiful bite at a time. It seriously tastes like Europe.
Gee, can you tell I’ve got the travel bug terribly?!! One year ago, on this very day,  Anna and I were walking down the mountain path that separates Murren from Gimmelwald after being atop the famed Schilthorn, breathing in the Swiss Alp air, trying to find alpen cheese to buy, and eating fondue for dinner in Interlaken. Happy sigh…wonderful memories…
In honor of this momentous anniversary, I present you the best ever bowl of scrumptious deliciousness –
Cherry Almond Oatmeal with Coconut Cream.

So tell me…
What is your favorite breakfast food?

5 thoughts on “Cherries, Almonds, and Oats

  1. Pingback: The Versatility of Oats | Stir It Up!

  2. You make me feel so lazy (: I love the taste of coconut… But I know feel really ashamed to say (because I’ve only just realised!) I’ve never bought a coconut! Only milk and pre-shredded. I think your blog’s great too, my favourite breakfast has to be crumpets topped with mashed banana (:
    From Emily xxx

    • Thanks so much for coming by Emily! Crumpets with banana? I’m ashamed to say I’m not completely sure what a crumpet is. I’ll have to find a recipe and try it. Sounds good! :)

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