It’s Christmas soon and I have been inspired to make dishes with either some holiday theme or that which uses holiday flavors and colors. Of course, when Christmas is just around the corner – the prominent fruit you’ll always see are red cranberries so I thought I ought to use some cranberries for a breakfast dish.
Of course, there are dried cranberries in store-bought granolas but that’s cheating ’cause it’s already made for you. The only effort you expend is opening the cereal box and pouring some milk on a bowl. I want to do something a bit more challenging than that. Make a breakfast that’s easy to whip up for when I am in a hurry (especially with the holiday rush and all) and yet something that tastes great too (despite exerting less effort – though a little more than opening a cereal box!).
Then I remembered one of our friends from Facebook mentioning that she puts some cocoa powder on her oatmeal to give it that yummy choco taste. And of course, there’s my chocolate rice porridge – if I can use cocoa powder to flavor my rice – why not oatmeal? After all, oatmeal soaks up flavor so well and definitely cooks faster than rice (especially the quick cooking variety). But, I didn’t want a baked oatmeal this time though (I want something quicker and been there, done that) – so it has to be something that can be done on the stove top but will still achieve great flavor as if it was baked!
So using pretty much the same ingredients as my baked oatmeal (milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg except butter and eggs), plus some cocoa powder, I tried cooking the oatmeal with all the other ingredients on the stove top. It took literally just minutes and yet I came out with a beautiful chocolate flavored oatmeal which almost rival the champorado (chocolate rice porridge). I then added some dried cranberries to the cooked porridge (oh yum!) and it was heavenly already. To make it over the top delish – I included some granola to the mix (the store bought kind!) to add more texture and flavor. And voila! The result is a delicious, I’d dare say – even fancy – breakfast treat that looks like you fussed over it but actually did not! Try it and am pretty sure you’ll love it. My hubby (the taster) love it even without the granola but as usual I like it with the granola so follow your instincts (and palate too)! Have a great breakfast!
3 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons, vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons, unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups oats (quick cooking or old-fashioned)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup granola or muesli (homemade or store-bought – optional)
In a saucepan (big enough to accomodate about 4 cups of liquid) over medium heat, combine milk, vanilla extract, cocoa, the spices and brown sugar. Blend the ingredients by using a whisk. Bring to a simmer. Add the oats and cook, stirring constantly until tender (slightly mushy). Quick cooking oats will probably just need about 2-3 minutes while the old-fashioned ones will take a few minutes longer. It all depends on the kind of consistestency you want the oats to have.
When the oatmeal is cooked, stir in the cranberries or raisins and the granola/muesli until well-mixed.
Pour in more milk as needed.
Serve immediately in individual bowls. Serves between 4-6 people.
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