Vanilla Cherry Coconut Breakfast Risotto

I've always been a risotto fan. Butternut Squash Sage Almond Risotto is a favorite savory entree - and mushroom risotto closely follows. But what about using creamy-sweet arborio rice as the base for a breakfast risotto? I got the idea from a Joe Bastianich recipe - I tried it and was hooked. Breakfast risotto was added to my AM eats rotation.

I love a cozy warm bowl of cereal for breakfast, but I think we can all agree that oatmeal fatigue is no fun. So I started experimenting with breakfast risotto recipes - and this Vanilla Cherry Coconut Breakfast Risotto is a flavor combination that's a keeper. Get my recipe and more hot cereal breakfast ideas...

Hot Cereal Breakfast. My favorite vegan recipes include:

Fig Citrus Almond Breakfast Risotto
Pumpkin Spice Cream of Wheat
Fuyu Spice Oatmeal
Kiwi Cherry Oatmeal
Blueberry Oatmeal - includes reasons to eat breakfast!
Farro Porridge (I don't have a recipe for this - though it's a fave of mine from Le Pain Q - when they have it on the menu)

Today's Recipe..

Vanilla Cherry Coconut Breakfast Risotto
vegan, makes 6 cups - freeze or fridge leftovers

1 1/2 cups dry arborio rice
3 cups water
1 cup almond or soy milk
3/4 cup light coconut milk (set extra coconut milk aside for drizzling over top hot cereal)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup cherries
* I used Trader Joe's Morello Cherries, drained - but you can also use fresh or frozen
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp coconut flakes (plus extra for garnish)
dash salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Add the water, salt, vanilla extract and rice to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

3. After the rice has absorbed most of the water you can add in the soy or almond milk and coconut milk. Continue stirring over medium heat and allow risotto to thicken.

4. Fold in half of your cherries, the cashews, coconut flakes, sweetener and cinnamon. Do a taste test of your risotto. If it is tender and creamy - you may be ready to serve. You can always add in more liquid if you want an even more tender textured risotto. This cereal will be much softer than a dinner risotto.

5. To serve, add the risotto to a bowl and top with coconut flakes, a few more cherries and a drizzle of coconut milk - or soy milk. Serve warm. Store the leftovers in the freezer or fridge and reheat in microwave or stove top.

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