Next up: most awesome dessert-for-breakfast ever! I have a huge sweet tooth, and I love sweet breakfasts. This baked oatmeal feels rich and decadent with cherries, chocolate chips, and coconut. But, it's also got whole grains, fruit, protein, and fiber, so it's way more satisfying than a donut. I definitely wouldn't call it a health food, but if you're going to go sweet in the morning, I do think it's a better option than pastries! Right out of the oven, the baked oatmeal is a little custard-y and surprisingly light. Leftovers are also very tasty -- either heated up in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or just eaten cold as a breakfast "bar." So, this is a great item to make on the weekend and then stash in the fridge for breakfast throughout the week.
Note: I used whipping cream because it's what I had on hand, but you could certainly substitute the cream + water for low fat milk. This oatmeal is also very sweet, which I liked...but, if you have less of a sweet tooth, you might want to cut the maple syrup down to 1/4 cup.
Chocolate-Cherry-Coconut Baked Oatmeal
2 cups rolled oats
Generous pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 T melted coconut oil, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cherries, chopped (frozen + thawed works well)
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1. Spray an 8x8 pan with oil. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Stir together the oats, salt, and about half the chocolate chips. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the cream, water, egg, maple syrup, half the coconut oil, and the vanilla. Set aside the remaining coconut oil.
4. Pour the oat mixture into the prepared pan and pour the cream mixture on top. Push any floating oats under the cream with a spoon and tap the pan on the counter a few times to make sure everything is nicely distributed.
5. Scatter the reserved chocolate chips on top, followed by the cherries. Top with a generous sprinkle of coconut flakes.
6. Bake about 35 minutes, until the oats are set and the coconut is toasted. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved coconut oil (remelt if needed).
7. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.