Toasted Berry Coconut Oatmeal
It's August. I'm currently in a rush to stuff every fun Summer thing into the grab bag of life before the season burns out. That means hikes, splashing in swimming holes, cabin-camping, sitting out by bonfires, sunny picnics in the shade of bushy oak trees, soaking in the rays at my gyms roof-top pool (heaven is REAL), eating popsicles, traveling far and wide, and fitting in some beach time. There's so much to do! Can I even fit all of this goodness in?! Summer has very much so been a reminder to keep it simple. Keep plans simple, pleasures simple, and meals simple. That's not to say I'm milling around in the same hum drum routine or anything. Every day is a unique, pretty rock in my collection of memories. I'm always discovering new inspirations, breaking up my day-to-day, discovering the lovely within thickets of the regular.
Logan and I have been doing tons of uprooting activities lately, shaking us out of our normal patterns. We worked Floyd Fest with Logan's side project, Coconauts. In other words, we slept in a tent in the woods for a week without showering (ok, to give him some credit Logan did shower. I, however, did my wet-wipe shower thang and stuck my hair in a bun and hoped for the best. FESTIVAL LIFE). We served people coconut water and talked to droves of people and met some good folk along the way. I ate buckwheat crepes on a mountain and watched monarch butterflies float around the festival site. We grooved to some great music and then went to sleep at old people times. It was sometimes stressful, sometimes chill, sometimes boring, sometimes exciting.
Going to festivals helps remind me that I'd much rather be swinging in a hammock in the woods, just the two of us, reading a book and eating s'mores while Logan plays guitar. Logan loves the energy of festivals. And I'm down with 'em. I mean, I can get friendly and chatty with just about anyone. And I LOVE dancing in a big field with sunlight pouring over us all. But then I go into my introverted shell and need to recover for a week.
Thus, the radio silence all last week. It was all I could do to piece together some routine things back into my life. I did some yoga, hung out with friends, planned blog posts. Oh and my computer kicked the bucket, too. All I can say is the forces-that-be conspired to take me offline for a while. And it was good. Try it sometime. It makes you feel more human less cyber-human. Go play with some butterflies by the river or ogle weird fungus in the woods. Maybe go for a trail run. Climb a tree. Get free.
Since I've been in travel-adventure-project mode for basically the last 2 weeks, I've been trying new breakfasts to find what feels really good to eat in the AM. My usual is avocado toast topped with a sunny side up egg (still my favorite). I've been doing lots of smoothies recently, and different versions of "quick" chia oats (soaking everything together for 30 minutes). Those are good in a pinch. And they feel pretty good to eat before going to work-out or do a yoga practice.
Every once in a while Logan requests oatmeal, and to avoid a boring oatmeal situation I toast the oats and cook them in lots of sexy good fats, with fruit and natural sweeteners and cardamom. Gotta get that FLAVOR y'all! Toasting the oats gives them a buttered popcorn aroma, which I think is a hell of a thing. It ain't flat flavor, I'll tell ya that! It adds a fullness and richness to the oatmeal, especially when cooked in coconut milk. I don't even make oatmeal without toasting anymore! The fats and carbohydrates and chia give me sustained energy all morning through the early afternoon. I like dat.
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, etc -- frozen is fine, too).
- 1 teaspoon ground black cardamom
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 5 dates, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut chips
- 2 tablespooons maple syrup
- banana, sliced (optional)
- Place a small sauce or soup pot over medium heat.
- Once the pot is hot, add the oats and toast until aromatic, stirring frequently -- about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the coconut oil or ghee and toast another minute or so.
- Add the coconut milk, sea salt, berries, cardamom, chia, about half of the chopped dates and half of the coconut chips, and the maple syrup. Stir everything together and cook until you've reached your desired oatmeal consistency, stirring occasionally. I like a sticky, porridge-consistency so I cook the oats for about 5-7 minutes.
- Spoon your oats out into two bowls and top with the other half of the chopped dates and coconut chips and sliced bananas. Serve piping hot. Enjoy!