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Chocolate Oatmeal with Cherry Sauce

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    It’s chocolatey oatmeal adorned with a luscious cherry sauce. Is there a better way to start the day? Soaking steel-cut oats overnight cuts down significantly on their cooking time come morning. The cherry sauce can also be prepared in advance and reheated as needed. It’s also delicious served over yogurt.

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    Oatmeal

    1 1/4 cups (310 mL) steel-cut oats
    1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon, divided 
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
    Pinch of sea salt

    Sauce

    2 cups (500 mL) pitted and halved sweet or tart cherries
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
    1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract
    1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water

    Garnishes

    1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped walnuts
    2 oz (57 g) dark chocolate, about 70% cocoa, chopped 
    1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened dried coconut flakes

    Place oats, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium saucepan. Add 3 1/2 cups (850 mL) water. Bring to a boil, immediately turn off heat, and let oats soak overnight covered. (Alternatively, bring oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grains are tender, about 20 minutes.)

    To make cherry sauce, in small saucepan, bring cherries, honey, remaining cinnamon, lemon zest, and 3/4 cup (180 mL) water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cherries start to break down, about 5 minutes. Purée half of cherry mixture in blender and return to pan. Stir in almond extract and cornstarch mixture and simmer for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

    Before serving, reheat oats in saucepan, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and adding additional water if needed, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts and chocolate until chocolate has just melted. Serve topped with warm cherry sauce and coconut.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 453 calories; 12 g protein; 17 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 65 g total carbohydrates (22 g sugars, 10 g fibre); 77 mg sodium

    Tip

    No cherry pitter? Press the narrow end of a chopstick into the stem side of a cherry to push the pit out the other side.

    source: "Stone Fruits", alive #369, July 2013

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    Chocolate Oatmeal with Cherry Sauce

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