Choco-Cherry Baked Oatmeal… With a Surprise Ingredient!

Baked oatmeal is a luxury that only weekends give me the time for. After a long, and lately, cold, run in temperamental weather, all I want is warm food and a hot shower.
So, baked oatmeal is a wonderful connivence, because I can mix the batter, pop it in the oven, take a shower, and then eat. The walk down the stairs, when I can smell the oatmeal getting crispy and melty, is always one of bliss 🙂
Kroger this week has a fantastic sale on cherries. Sure, they were a bit bruised, but they still tasted heavenly. Cherries are one of my absolute favorite fruits. They are also, unfortunately, expensive. Whole Foods asks for $11 a pound, no joke. So I jumped with glee when I saw the $2 a pound sale.
This week has been filled with cherry-tastic oatmeal. This baked oatmeal was one I had to share though. It was so… perfect.
And a hidden ingredient, which was a total “i-really-hope-this-works-please-work” kind if idea, made the oatmeal moist without the addition of oil, butter, yogurt, etc. No, this vegetable replaced several ingredients at once.
Wait! Come back! I am not crazy, I swear! After I puréed the white wonderfulness with some cashew milk, it turned into a beautifully creamy baked oatmeal base. It was so simple too, something anybody with a blender could do. And the extra veggies? Talk about an added bonus!!
Anyway, onto the recipe!

Baked Choco-Cherry Suprise Oatmeal
1/2 cup cooked cauliflower
1/4 cup cashew or almond milk
1/2 cup raw rolled oatmeal
1 scoop Vega-One chocolate protein powder (any other chocolate protein powder can replace this, including a whey product. Or, use vanilla protein powder and some cocoa powder!)
3/4 cup pitted fresh cherries, plus some more for topping.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Optional Add-Ins
A small handful of pistachios
1 teaspoon of coconut sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Whip out a blender, and blend the cauliflower and cashew/almond milk together. I used a personal serving ninja thingy that I adore!
3. Next, transfer the purée to a bowl, and add the oatmeal. Let that sit while you chop the pits out of the cherries.
4. Add a scoop of protein powder, the cherries, the baking powder, the vanilla, and any optional add-ins.
5. Place in the oven for 35 minutes, remove, top with desired toppings, and then devour! (Careful, it will be hot!)

Ignore the hand mit- this baby was fresh from the oven and piping hot!

Ignore the hand mit- this baby was fresh from the oven and piping hot!