a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
As much as I love food, I’ve never been a breakfast person. My ideal breakfast is more like brunch, really—something around 10 a.m. that involves poached eggs, hearty greens, crispy hash browns, some part of a pig and a hunk of well-buttered toast. Eating something early on a weekday morning between showering and leaving for work, however, is near impossible for me. Honestly, I’d rather sleep 10 more minutes than spend that time making myself something to eat. That’s why I love the concept of this baked oatmeal—something I can (quickly and easily) make over the weekend that gives me a delicious grab-n-go morning snack.
I gave a tea foodie twist to the various baked oatmeal recipes that have made their way around the food blogs. This one is an adaptation of my friend Allison’s recipe, where she uses coconut milk to lend a unique and rich flavor to the dish. I infused the coconut milk in this recipe with The Liberator, a dark chocolate infused tea blend from Java Tea Co. If you love tea AND coffee, you need to check these guys out. They make coffee-inspired tea blends, each with a strong bold flavor that emulates the taste of premium coffee beverages. Think mocha, caramel macchiato and vanilla latte…but as tea.
Warning: My baked oatmeal is not super-healthy like other recipes you may have run across. I add a hefty dose of brown sugar and chocolate chips to mine instead of, say, agave, fresh berries and chia seeds. Let’s face it, the fact that this dish tastes like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies is what helps inspire me to reach in the fridge and have some breakfast.
P.S. Many thanks to Java Tea Co. for sending me a sample of The Liberator to play around with in my tea foodie kitchen. It’s as heavenly to sip as it is to cook with.
(Adapted from a recipe sent to me by my fabulous foodie friend, Allison.)
Makes about 9 oatmeal bars
2 ½ cups coconut milk*
2 cups regular rolled oats (not quick or instant)
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
½ cup coconut flakes
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ cup chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional
*I used the So Delicious brand coconut milk beverage. If you use canned coconut milk, use a whole can of full-fat coconut milk (about 1 ¾ cups) and top it up with water to make 2 ½ cups of liquid.
1. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the loose leaf tea, remove from heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and discard the tea leaves.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Mix the dry ingredients with just ¼ cup of the chocolate chips together in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Whisk egg, melted butter and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
5. Drizzle the wet ingredients into the baking dish so that you cover all of the dry ingredients. No need to stir. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips evenly over the top of the mixture. Then sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar, if using.
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden and set.
6. Cut into bars and serve warm, or refrigerate and enjoy cold for breakfast or as an afternoon tea snack.