#ThanksgivingSeries: Cranberry Oats

Cranberry sauce is a staple side dish of the traditional Thanksgiving meal; whether you believe it's not Thanksgiving without it or you just think it's unnecessary. The cranberry sauce (whether canned or homemade) always finds its way to the table and there's at least one person eating it.

Well, I've turned this simple Thanksgiving feast side dish into a delicious breakfast meal that you eat to fuel your Black Friday.

First step to making your cranberry oats is making the cranberry sauce. This is pretty easy and if nothing else just "Google" 'How to make cranberry sauce' and it'll come up right up. But for the sake of you not having to go to a second website here's what I did.

1. Bring 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in your pot.

2. Then add your cranberries and turn down heat to let the cranberries simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally until cranberries burst and it thickens a bit into a sauce.

(The amounts for this part can vary based on how much oatmeal you wish to make)

While the cranberry sauce simmers on the stove, you can slice your hazelnuts in half and cut up a square or two of dark chocolate. Split your hazelnuts into two parts (one for the topping and the other part will cook in the oats). I used about a 1/4 cup of hazelnuts in total and I kept the nuts that cooked in the oats whole and only sliced the part for the topping.

Begin to heat up a small frying pan and add the cut hazelnuts along with unsweetened coconut flakes to the pan to toast.

While the nuts are toasting, remove about a tablespoon of cranberry sauce from your pot. Then begin to cook the oats. (see below)

1. Add 1/2 cup of Quaker Oats to pot with the cranberry sauce

2. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to taste and a dash of salt.

3. Add your whole hazelnuts

4. Add 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, don't forget about your hazelnuts and coconut flakes toasting on the other burner! Stir them around occasionally to prevent them from burning and once they look nice and toasted based on your preference remove from heat.

Cranberry Oats topped with toasted hazelnuts and coconut

Once oat mixture is boiling turn down heat to 2 or 3 and simmer for a few minutes until desired consistency is reached. Stir occasionally (based on how creamy or not creamy you'd like your oats). Finally, turn off the burner and pour your oats into your favorite bowl top with the tablespoon of cranberry sauce you kept aside earlier, and pour your toasted nuts and coconut over top. If you prefer your oats a bit sweeter you may sprinkle a bit more sugar on top as well.