Summer is for quick and cold breakfasts and for eating as much summer fruit as you can while it’s at its delicious peak. So with cherry season in full swing, I love to start the day with one of my favourite quick and cold breakfasts starring this gorgeous summer fruit: chocolate overnight oats with cherry compote, toasted almonds, almond yogurt and of course lots of fresh cherries.
Overnight oats or Bircher muesli is convenience food at its best and quickest. Spend a few minutes to mix rolled oats with cold plant milk, water or fruit juice, keep the bowl covered in the fridge overnight and you’ll have a healthy breakfast standing ready for you the following morning – and, depending on how much you made, the next few days to come. Starting from this base you can add flavours and ingredients to your liking.
For this chocolate version I combine the oats with hemp hearts and cooked quinoa before stirring in the plant milk. Quinoa and hemp hearts are both rich sources of complete protein. Adding them to the oats turns this into a more substantial, protein-rich breakfast that will keep you satisfied longer than the oats would on their own. I sweeten the oats with mashed banana and flavour them with vanilla and a generous dose of cocoa powder. The cocoa pairs wonderfully with the slight nuttiness of the hemp and quinoa and, needless to say, like any chocolate treat, the resulting gooey, chocolate-flavoured porridge is in its turn amazing with cherries.
I serve the oats with a combination of fresh cherries and a quick cherry compote. The compote is made by simply cooking a batch of pitted cherries for a few minutes with only a splash of water, until the cherries are soft and the released juices are reduced to a thin syrup. For convenience, even in summer I usually make this compote using frozen cherries that you can simply tip into the pan straight from the freezer. This saves the trouble of having to pit your cherries. Apart from that, while fresh cherries can differ considerably in sweetness, frozen cherries are almost always very sweet, which will yield a wonderfully sweet compote without the need to add extra sugar or syrup.
In fact, depending on your taste, you can make this porridge without any added sugar or sweetener. The mashed banana is enough to sweeten the oats by itself and the cherry compote adds sweetness with every bite. I did add a tablespoon of agave syrup to bring out the chocolate flavour even more, but you can leave it out if you prefer to keep your breakfast naturally sweetened by fruits alone.
Now simply top your chocolate oats with a dollop of creamy plant yogurt or quark (almond quark is my personal favourite combination here), crisp toasted flaked almonds, a generous spoonful of the compote and as many fresh cherries as you can eat for breakfast and get set for a delicious start to the day.
And…. if you like this summer fruit bowl for breakfast, you may also like these:
- apple Bircher muesli with blueberry compote and lime
- quinoa breakfast bowl with cinnamon, coconut and fresh fruits
- lemon and cherry granola with sour cherry compote
- fluffy aquafaba pancakes with maple and vanilla plums
Happy summer days!
Chocolate overnight oats with cherry compote – serves 4
for the chocolate overnight oats
- 120 g rolled oats (choose a certified gluten free brand if you’re gluten sensitive)
- 160 g cooked quinoa *)
- 40 g hemp hearts
- 4 tsp. (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp maple or agave syrup (optional)
- 360 ml unsweetened almond milk or other plant milk
*) I use a cup of leftover cooked quinoa to make the oats. If you cook the quinoa especially for this purpose, start with 75 g uncooked quinoa.
for the cherry compote
- 250 g pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
- 40 g sliced almonds
- almond quark or coconut yogurt, to serve
- fresh cherries
In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats with the cooked quinoa, hemp hearts, cocoa powder, mashed banana, vanilla extract and sweetener, if using. Stir in the plant milk, then cover the bowl. Leave the oats to infuse in the fridge overnight.
Put a dry frying pan over a moderate heat. Toast the sliced almonds until golden, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Transfer the toasted almonds to a bowl and leave to cool.
To make the compote, put the pitted cherries in a small pan over a medium heat. Add a splash of water, cover the pan and cook the cherries until they start to release their juices. Now take the lid off the pan and continue cooking the cherries until they turn soft and jammy and the cooking liquid begins to thicken to a runny syrup. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
Divide the chocolate overnight oats over four bowls. Top with the almond quark, cherry compote and toasted flaked almonds and enjoy with fresh cherries.