This morning I’m putting two of my favorite flavors- coconut and coffee- into a big, steaming bowl of oatmeal.
Just to get this out of the way, so you don’t feel like I’ve been leading you on: I make this oatmeal with decaf.
Yes, decaf. The most underappreciated and overly stigmatized coffee out there. Trust me, if you buy a quality brand, preferably one that’s fair trade and organic, has been roasted locally, and is naturally decaffeinated (which it automatically will be if it’s an organic version, btw) decaf can be incredible.
Let me say that again: decaf can be incredible.
Is there crappy decaf out there? YES. A thousand times, yes. But I would like to point out that there is also a lot of underwhelming regular coffee out there too.
So please go buy yourself a bag of decaf and hold your judgement until further notice.
This is my favorite decaf, and it’s absolutely wonderful. Dark, bold, full-bodied, rich, beautiful, beautiful coffee. It’s also made by an incredible group of people who are dedicated to supporting small farmers and creating an alternate food supply chain to end the exploitation of the people who grow commodity crops.
Love caffeine? No prob- feel free to use your favorite caffeinated coffee, instead. I tend to get sweaty, jittery, and uncomfortable when I drink regular coffee, though, so I steer clear of the stuff.
Now that we’ve gotten the big decaf reveal out of the way, let’s move on to the part where I put coffee into my oatmeal and it was absolute bliss.
Last week, after walking my best friend’s dog down the aisle, dancing the night away, then waking up and helping host her morning-after brunch, I found myself with way too much leftover coffee in the fridge.
Being the frugal person I am, I knew I had to find ways to use it up instead of dumping it down the drain. People worked hard to plant, prune, harvest, dry, package, ship, roast, grind, and brew that coffee- you’d better believe I wasn’t about to waste it.
Most of the excess ended up in smoothies and protein shakes, but one person can only use up so much coffee, you know? So, one morning when I was feeling particularly melodramatic about this whole must-use-up-all-the-coffee situation, I ended up dumping the mug of coffee I would have had with breakfast straight into my breakfast bowl.
A few days in a row of making coffee-spiked oatmeal, and I had perfected my coffee oatmeal game. Coconut milk, finely diced dates, coffee, vanilla, and a teeeeeeeny pinch of salt turned regular old oatmeal into something entirely special. Like eating a latte, only less weird than that seems.
My current favorite toppings are banana, coconut butter, and cinnamon. Honorable mentions go out to cacao nibs, hemp seeds, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, and a dollop of whipped cream. A drizzle of honey or maple syrup never hurt anyone, either.
Clearly I have been subjecting myself to all sorts of scientific topping taste tests, just so I could report back to you. It’s not easy, but someone has to do it.
Whether you have leftover coffee in your fridge or not, you need this unusual-yet-delicious oatmeal in your life. It’s quick, easy, satisfying, and tastes like eating something special for breakfast, despite truly being a regular old bowl of oatmeal- albeit with coffee mixed into breakfast, instead of on the side.
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out! Leave a comment below, or take a picture and share it with me on Instagram! And don’t forget to check out my PANTRY STAPLES page to shop for ingredients for this recipe!
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats*
- 1 cup brewed coffee (I used decaf)
- 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped**
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- tiny pinch of salt
- Toppings: banana, coconut butter, cinnamon, peanut butter, maple syrup, honey, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, etc
- 1. Put all ingredients into a small pot, then place on the stove over high heat. Stir the oatmeal constantly to ensure it does't stick to the bottom of the pot. As soon as the oatmeal is bubbling, turn to medium-low, and let cook for 4-6 minutes, or until oatmeal is at your desired thickness. I like mine thick, but you can add an extra splash of coffee or coconut milk to thin it out.
- 2. Transfer to a bowl, add desired toppings, and eat immediately. If desired, a double or quadruple batch can be made, then stored in microwave-safe containers, and reheated in the microwave the morning you'd like to eat them.
- *Regular (aka 'old fashioned') rolled oats can be used instead of quick-cooking. Simply increase the cooking time by 2-3 minutes. Likewise, if you only have rolled oats and want the texture of quick oats, a quick pulse in the food processor or blender will break up the oats to the consistency of quick-cooking ones.
- **Dates add a subtle, caramel-like sweetness to this oatmeal, which is perfect for my taste buds. Feel free to taste and adjust, based on your preferences. An extra drizzle of maple syrup or honey on top would be great, too.
Coconut + Coffee + Oatmeal = Best Breakfast, EVER!