Chef Ellen

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Spiced Chocolate Cherry Chia Oats

Chocolate and cherries are a wonderful combination but adding a bit of spice aids in boosting the health benefits of this dish. Turmeric is an ancient spice long praised for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. The addition of black pepper aids in enhancing its absorption.

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries or 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted, divided
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 cups plant-based chocolate milk, divided (I used Malk brand or you could add 1/3 cup cacao powder to milk)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • Garnishes (optional) hemp hearts, pomegranate seeds, thawed frozen cherries, or fresh, pitted

Instructions
 

  • In a small blender cup add 1 ½ cups of cherries, dates, 1 ½cups of milk, turmeric, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add oats, and chia seeds. Add the cherry/chocolate mixture and the remaining milk and whisk to incorporate all ingredients. Lets it for 5-10 minutes to absorb the liquid. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set.
  • Divide the mixture between 4 containers (I like using mason jars), and garnish with remaining cherries and optional garnishes.