It is almost hard to believe that just a few days ago I was singing the sweet praises of warm(er) weather. Now it is most certainly not getting hot in here.
It must just be the circle of life that once all the snow melts, another big snow storm has to come to take its place. I suppose if it is going to be cold outside, it might as well be pretty, right? There has to be a bright side to this somewhere, though it is probably covered in snow, too ;).
Snow or not, I was lucky enough to have today off from school thanks to President’s Day. Happy (early) birthday, President Washington!
In true birthday fashion, as we speak I am currently baking cookies. Washington may not be able to enjoy my vegan peanut butter cookies, but I know one nutty girl who hopefully will.
Having the day off also meant that I had time to prepare a special treat for myself, rich dark chocolate oat bran. You see, ever since I started SAT prep class, my weekends have been so busy that I have not had enough time to make stovetop oats. Since the promise of delicious, pipping hot oats on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning usually gets me through the week, lately I have felt that something is missing.
I am glad to report that hole has now been filled thanks to a new twist on my go-to recipe for chocolate brownie oats. A dash of espresso powder brings the dark chocolate to a whole new level, deepening the flavor and making it oh so rich. Even cinnamon gives the oats that extra pop that has kept me coming back for more (3 days in a row, actually).
Rich Dark Chocolate Oat Bran
- 1/2 cup oat bran (40 grams), oatmeal, or grain of choice
- 1-1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk
- 1 (heaping) TBS cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 packet stevia (I prefer NuNaturals)
- 1/4 tsp espresso powder (instant coffee powder may work, too)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring water or non-dairy milk to a boil on the stove top. Once boiling, slowly whisk in oat bran. Lower heat to a simmer, stirring often to create a creamy texture. Once the oat bran has started to thicken, add cocoa powder, stevia, espresso powder, cinnamon, and vanilla of choice. Whisk the mixture vigorously to avoid clumps of cocoa powder. Remove oats from heat and place in a bowl (or jar!) a little before they have thickened to your desired consitency (they will thicken more as they sit).
- I use a little bit different cooking method to make my stove-top oats because I like them really voluminous and creamy. It takes a bit more time but is definitely worth it. I will hopefully share this method soon.
- Even though the secret to these oats is the espresso powder, they do not end up tasting like coffee. If you would like a mocha flavor, add more espresso (or instant coffee) powder to taste.
- NuNaturals stevia is hands down my favorite sweetener. I have heard that some people find the taste of stevia to be bitter, but NuNaturals certainly is not*. Give it a try! I am sure maple syrup, agave, or even raw sugar would work just as well. Just experiment to see what works well for you.
Questions: Are you getting tired of snow yet? I love how pretty it is, but I am not a fan of the cold that comes with it. Do you have any Saturaday or Sunday rituals? I always look forward to a challenging vinyasa class followed by a warm bowl of oats. After I am properly fueled, I love taking a leisurely trip to the grocery store (we all know how I feel about produce!)
Have a lovely day!
*disclaimer: this opinion is my own; I was not paid to give a review