Melissa Clark, in her “A Good Appetite” column in this morning’s NY Times Food section, writes about making chocolate oatmeal for breakfast. Since I eat oatmeal for breakfast a few times a week, and since even for someone like me who actually likes his morning porridge it can be pretty boring, I decided to give chocolate oatmeal a try.
Ms. Clark’s recipe calls for browning the oats in butter and then cooking them in a saucepan, but I usually make mine in the microwave (easier cleanup), so I stuck with my method, skipping the butter step – and it worked out just fine. By the way, a tablespoon of 100% cocoa powder is only 10 calories and 0.5g of fat, and it provides 2g of fiber and 2% of the RDA of iron.
For the oatmeal, I put a pinch of kosher salt, 1/3 c cup of organic thick-cut rolled oats from the bulk section at WholeFoods, and 2 teaspoons of Hershey’s 100% Cocoa Powder in a bowl and added 1 cup of water. I use a relatively shallow soup bowl and run the microwave on low power to avoid having the oatmeal boil over. In my old microwave that means 10 minutes or so on 60% power. YMMV. About half way through the cooking time, I paused the microwave and gave the cereal a stir. I was afraid that the cocoa powder wouldn’t dissolve evenly, but in fact, it did so perfectly.
So, the oatmeal came out looking like this (actually, I cleaned up the edges of bowl for the photo):
The taste, at this stage of things, was not interesting: less bitter than I expected, but not particularly appetizing. It tasted about like it looked and definitely needed sweetening. I’m not a big fan of adding sugars of any kind to my food, so I started by adding some berries – blueberries and cut up strawberries.
The dish certainly looked better, and the taste was improved, but still not great. Adding a quarter cup of Fage nonfat greek yogurt moved the taste in the right direction, but I finally had to break down and add a half-teaspoon of Pacifica raw sage honey to get the right balance of bitter and sweet. With a cup of coffee (coffee and chocolate – how could it be bad?), this made a tasty, satisfying breakfast at right around 200 calories. Maybe tomorrow I’ll see if browning the oats in brown butter is worth the extra 30 or 40 calories or so. I’ll bet it is.