Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chocolate oats anyone?

For those of you thinking "how gross!"  Don't.  It's seriously not gross, and kind of fun to eat chocolate for breakfast in the morning. :)  For those of you wondering just how sugary and unhealthy this cereal is - Don't you know me better than that by now?!  This breakfast totally not gross, it's fun to eat, very tasty AND pretty healthy too.  Not green smoothie healthy, but really not much can compare to that.  In the realm of oats, we're talking pretty tasty and good for you.

The ingredients are fairly basic too.  All you need is oats, water, non-dairy milk (like almond or soy - or regular milk works too), cinnamon, vanilla, unsweetened cocoa powder, banana and stevia (or other healthy sweetener, or sugar if you are willing to go that route).  Since bananas are naturally so sweet, they help prevent the need for oodles of sweetener to be added, plus they give this oatmeal a super creamy texture that is amazing.  I will probably never make another batch of oats again without adding a banana to it, FYI.

Chocolate Oats  ~  Serves 2

1 cups rolled oats (not instant), covered in water in a glass jar and soaked over night
1/2c water
1/2c non-dairy milk
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, to taste
1 banana, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp stevia powder, or other sweetener to taste*

Soak oats in a jar covered with water, overnight.  (This cuts down on cooking time the following morning.)  Drain excess water from oats in strainer and place in pot.  Add 1/2c water and bring to a boil and let simmer (stirring occasionally) till most of the water has been absorbed and it is just beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Whisk in non-dairy milk, cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa and banana slices.  Whisk until rest of liquid has been absorbed and the banana has broken down, forming a really creamy oatmeal.  Remove from stove and stir in stevia or any additional sweetener of choice.

*Note that this recipe is not a super sweet chocolate recipe.  It's just enough sweetness to combat the bitterness from the chocolate, making it a very mellow, and creamy chocolate taste - not a super sweet chocolate dessert.  Also, what sweetener you use and how much of it you use dictates how healthy or unhealthy this becomes.  One of the nice things about stevia is it's a highly concentrated, but healthy herbal sweetener, so using a 1/4tsp does the trick for me and I'm not adding a bunch of calories from processed sugar.  If you decide to stir in like 2 Tbsp of white sugar, then the healthy factor of this recipe has decreased some.

I love this a lot.  Even though it's not a really sweet chocolate flavor, it's just sweet enough to feel indulgent about eating chocolate for breakfast, while still staying healthy.  I enjoy this breakfast a lot, although not as much as the Pumpkin Overnight Oats that I've been making now that pumpkin is back in season.  I'll share that recipe soon too.  In all fairness though, hubbs does not like this recipe.  So while I enjoy chocolate oats immensely for breakfast, it was not a home run for both of us.  Take that for what you will.

But DO let me know if you try this breakfast and like, so I'll know I'm not alone in the chocolate oat love. :)

P.S.  The weirdest bit of all, this tastes good as cold leftovers.  Seriously not kidding!  Usually cold oatmeal texture skeeves me out, so in the past if my bowl of oats got cold, I couldn't finish it.  I think the addition of the banana making the texture super creamy is what makes this eatable as cold leftovers.  It becomes almost like a cold rice pudding in texture.  You may not like it, but I love it.  Bonus for me - I don't have to make breakfast the next day!

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