Years ago I stumbled across a recipe for what has become one of our family's very favourite breakfasts. The recipe was called "Swiss Porridge" and is essentially fruit, oats, and yogurt tumbled together. Over the years it morphed into our own version and is one of the very first recipes I posted on this blog. Nobody could ever call it a complicated or time consuming recipe but this idea for summer oatmeal is even easier and is basically just a pared down, healthier-but-still-yummy version.
Fast and easy, this breakfast is brilliant - it is the kind of thing that you can easily conscript your kids to help with or make yourself in just a few minutes. It is yummy and healthy and the best part is a breakfast all ready to grab - no fuss, no muss - first thing in the morning. Made in mason jars it is perfect for the days when you need to get out the door fast - or when you are going to eat after the gym on your way to work (Jonathon). I have discovered that it keeps very well for several days so line some jars up, add the ingredients, shake, refrigerate and you are good for a week's worth of healthy breakfast.
There are recipes for lots of different combinations of fruit and flavour online (just google summer oats or oatmeal). We have tried several variations and haven't hit a bad one yet. This combination of chocolate and cherries is my contribution to the long list.
Unless you want a gummy, mushy porridge (and really who does?!) do not use quick cooking oats. I wondered about it, tried it and don't recommend it. Stick to the slow cooking, large flake, old fashioned variety. The recipe is written for a single serving - it is super easy that way to line the jars up and dump the ingredients in as you go down the line (something little ones could have a lot of fun with), making as many or as few servings as you like. Alternately you can multiply by the number of servings you need and make a large batch in a single bowl. Gotta say it isn't nearly as much fun that way though. Or as cute.
Note: if I am making for myself I use a 250 ml (1 cup approx.) mason jar. David likes a bit more for breakfast so for him I use a larger jar (500 ml) with more of each ingredient. The increased amounts are in brackets.
chocolate-cherry summer oatmeal
1/4 (1/3) cup large flake rolled oats
1/3 (1/2) cup coconut milk
1/4 (1/3) cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp chia seed
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp honey (+ a tiny bit more for David)
1/2 (2/3) cup pitted fresh sweet cherries*
Add ingredients(excepting cherries) to the jar in the order listed. Cover jar securely with the lid and give it a good shake. Remove lid, add the cherries and recover. That's it. Store the jars in the fridge. This should be made at least several hours before serving.
Sometimes chocolate for breakfast really appeals and other times not. For those days skip the cocoa powder, swap the honey for a little maple syrup and fill the jar up with fresh or frozen blueberries. Or mango. Or add a tablespoon of shredded coconut and some sliced banana. You get the idea. For flavours your imagination (and what is on offer at the market) is the limit.
* if cherries are not in season, raspberries or strawberries are awfully good as well.
If you want more guidance flavour-wise, check some other yummy variations here.