Sunday, 14 April 2013

Back to Black

Fiocchi d'Avena e Coco al Forno con Mora, Kiwi & Mandorla
Baked Coconut & Almont Oatmeal with Blackberry & Kiwi

It's that time of the week folks- Sunday morning and time to take time and make a nice, indulgent breakfast :-) I think that is a fine idea! And you know that if it is one of my breakfasts, it is going to be a healthy and guilt-free one! So let's get in the kitchen and get started!

So it was to be oatmeal again- and I never ever get fed-up of oatmeal! There are so many things you can do with it- so many ways to prepare it and so many combinations of flavors that it's a real good friend to have in the kitchen. This morning I had some lovely fresh blackberries and kiwi's... a colorful and tangy combination! Together with some fluffy coconut and crunchy almonds, it made for a totally delicious breakfast! And this is how I made it...

I started off by toasting the 2 cups of oatmeal, together with 1 cup of coconut in a dry frying pan- just until it began to color slightly. I then added enough milk to cover the base of the pan and just 2-3 of the blackberries, some cinnamon and Stevia (or sugar) to taste. Oh- and not to forget that pinch of sugar!

The oatmeal soon absorbed all of the milk and at this point, I added enough milk again until it became smooth and creamy and a further 1 more cup of fresh oatmeal to the mix... and turned off the heat. That was about all of the work that was involved... good, eh?

Whilst the oatmeal was sitting there, soaking up the milk and becoming fluffier and firmer by the minute, I prepared a kiwi to add to the mix. The first thing to do was to peel it- and you all know the easy way to do that, right? No? Ok- you do it like this: cut off about 1/3rd of the kiwi- the tough stalk end makes most sense, and then take a teaspoon and slide it in, just under the skin on one outer edge. Now, ease the spoon around the kiwi so that you separate it from the skin- after that, you can simply scoop it out- simple! And a lot less work and mess than using a knife or peeler!

By the time I had peeled and chopped the kiwi, the oatmeal had cooled down and become rather firm again, but was not quite cooked- which was just the way I wanted it- as it was to finish cooking in the oven. I spooned it into a baking dish and then added the kiwi and some fresh blackberries... the blackberries that had partially cooked were soft and would give off their juice into the oatmeal and the new ones would remain intact after baking, so this gave me the best of both worlds! I added a final sprinkle of chopped almonds and then kissed it goodbye and popped it into the oven!

I baked it in a preheated oven at 300°F until it came up to temperature and began to bubble, then added a drizzle of honey and turned on the broiler and crisp it up nicely for a further 2-3 minutes. Once it was nicely browned off, I let it rest for 5-6 minutes before serving... it was dangerously hot! But by the time it was eating temperature, it was lovely and fluffy inside and chewy and golden on top- pretty delicious! Hope you try it out and hope you agree!

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