Author Notes: I developed this recipe as a way to get more excited about oatmeal. It deserves a more regular spot in my morning routine, especially to stave off my tendency to have a second breakfast of cookies or cake. But I also wanted a version that’s more exciting than the typical dried fruit and nut versions that I’m used to making. Having just bought a canister of cocoa nibs, I decided to sprinkle some on top of my oatmeal. I was instantly hooked. I then decided to play around with spices to complement the cocoa nibs and landed on a combination of star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Instead of using ground spices, I decided to steep the milk with whole spices before cooking the oatmeal. It only takes 5 extra minutes, and it’s so well worth it. The combination of the creamy, spiced oatmeal with the crunchy cocoa nibs is downright addictive. - EmilyC
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 star anise (whole)
- 4 cloves (whole)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- sea salt, to taste
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- 1 T cocoa nibs (or to taste)
- Optional toppings: more milk, dark brown sugar, fresh fruit
- Combine whole milk, spices, and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender. Discard the whole spices.
- Remove from heat and stir in any additional toppings. Transfer to bowl, and sprinkle generously with cocoa nibs. Serve immediately.