"I was inspired by the news that chocolate can be good for you," wrote reader Jennifer Sanders of Cambridge, Ontario. "Why not eat it for breakfast?" She shared her recipe for this heart-warming chocolaty hot cereal. If you are looking for a way to get your kids to start their day with a bowl of oatmeal, this is it. The microwave is convenient, but you can also cook the oatmeal on the stovetop following package directions. Top the cereal with milk or soymilk and sweeten with brown sugar or no-calorie sweetener, if desired.

Jennifer Sanders
Advertisement

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine dates, oats, cocoa and salt in a 1-quart microwavable container. Slowly stir in the water. Partially cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on Medium for 4 or 5 minutes, then stir. Microwave on Medium again for 3 or 4 minutes, then stir. Continue cooking and stirring until the cereal is creamy.

    Advertisement

Tips

Note: The cooking times will vary considerably depending on the power of your microwave. New microwaves tend to cook much faster than older models.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use oats that are labeled “gluten-free,” as oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat and barley.

Nutrition Facts

261 calories; 3.6 g total fat; 0.9 g saturated fat; 83 mg sodium. 460 mg potassium; 57 g carbohydrates; 8.6 g fiber; 23 g sugar; 7.4 g protein; 4 IU vitamin a iu; 21 mcg folate; 47 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 152 mg magnesium;

Reviews (25)

Read More Reviews
25 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 24
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
07/10/2017
I made this exactly like the recipe using Hershey's cocoa and found it too bitter for my taste. So I added almond milk more oatmeal vanilla and sugar to taste. Topped it with sliced bananas and more almond milk. Delicious! Tastes like hot cocoa. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
06/22/2017
If you like to make oatmeal the alternate way by letting it soak in the fridge overnight in the liquid instead of cooking it the liquid to oatmeal ratio is closer to 1:1 so you will want to reduce the amount of water called for int his recipe. Soaking the oats and dates in water or the alternate milk overnight does just as well and the "cold" version is a nice change for summertime breakfast. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/15/2017
The dates make the oatmeal sweet but the oatmeal didn't taste like dates so use a sweetener of choice. Still with the cocoa it tasted great (and I added milk) so I'll be making it again. Good recipe! Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
11/21/2012
It is very easy to make oatmeal on the stove top and it doesn't take a lot longer than the microwave but you must stir it a lot and be careful not to let the mixture burn at the bottom of the pan use a thick based pan and keep the heat about medium. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I have added 1/4 cup of blueberries to my oatmeal and am loving it...but in looking for something more I added 1/4 cup of Vanilla Coffee Creamer found in the dairy case sweetened with Splenda and its just great. Added just enough sweetener and sweet taste to make it great! Lynn Kernersville NC Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe was very good and I have been eating oatmeal for years now. Adding dates was something new. Using an "unprocessed" cocoa powder is the healthiest product to use as its important health beneficial nutrients are not comprmised. I also stir in 1 tbls. fresh ground organic golden flax seed into my oatmeal AFTER it has cooked. This adds a very good amount of Omega 3 and gives it a little nutty flavor. A little brown sugar will help if you still need it to be sweeter. Tepstill CA Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I stopped using a microwave oven about 5 years ago and do not miss it at all. I did not like the way food tasted after being cooked in one since then I found many interesting articles about why some people may choose not to use one. here is a link to just one. www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm Louise Auckland NZ Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Take a pill Debbie from Topeka KS. This is a recipe-sharing site and people can give other suggestions if they want to. Nancy Dallas TX Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Great recipe but one cautionary note: NEVER use plastic wrap (or any type of plastic container) in your microwave. The heat leeches out toxins that end up in your food! Use a microwave safe cover or wax paper to cover your food. Stephanie New York NY Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Yeah please make a stove top version joe Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
microwaves do change the structure of your food and destroy the nutrients. Please read this article: http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm I never use microwaves anymore. bb NY NJ Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
A microwave does not destroy the nutrients any more than it cooks from the inside out. Assuming it's used properly. That is nuts if you think about it. If you're still worried tho you can cook it on the stovetop about the same way. Make the oatmeal according to package directions for stovetop and add dates and cocoa. Cocoa=unsweetened powdered baking cocoa. The sweetened stuff is called something else. Cleveland OH please! You're oh-so- creative aren't you? Everyone knows there are a million different ways to make oatmeal but if you leave out the cocoa and the dates then it's no longer cocoa-date oatmeal is it? We all know you can add cinnamon blueberries raspberries peaches bananas and they will make the oatmeal different each time and tastes great. The point is did you make THIS recipe using cocoa and dates and how was it? There's always one and one like me too.:) Debbie Topeka KS Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Excuse me....BUT Microwaving indeed DOES detroy many of the Nutrients in foods! Check it out youself... Google Microwave and read the reports! I threw mine out several years ago and now only use small Convection/Toaster oven or Stovetop for cooking. Microwave ovens are actually BANNED in several countries. Check it out!!! Jack Arno Burlington CA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Try cooking it in the milk leave off the cocoa & dates add a little cinnamon cook 2-3 mins in microwave also try Quick oats add frozen blueberries raspb. peaches bannas. A different one each time. Tastes great. Anonymous Cleveland OH Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This is made with unsweetened cocoa powder but I found that the dates made it sweet enough. This was really good and packed with nutrients from the dates oatmeal and cocoa! Jess Knoxville TN Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This was very good. It was like eating warm pudding. It would be a great snack in the afternoons if you want something chocolate. Summer L. Beaumont TX Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
try this in the slow cooker on low for 5 hours - excellent for those of us who don't have time to make breakfast in the morning. Thelma Brandon MB Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I tried this and found it very good. I like oatmeal and it can get boring with just milk and sugar--I like brown sugar. So I'm very eager to try this and the dates are a change from raisins. YumO LaRue Charleston WV Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Where did you hear that microwaves destroy the nutrients in foods??? Anonymous Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I have not made this recipe but I want to know if it is made with unsweetened or sweetened cocoa powder. Anonymous Sebstopol CA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I did not use this recipe. A study was done that says microwaves destroy a food's nutrients. Is there a recipe for stovetop? Anonymous Temple Hills MD Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Well reading the reviews of this recipe...some of you tried it some couldn't think outside of the box due to their hangups over how it was cooked. As in cook it on top of the stove or in your tiny toaster oven or how about that crock pot or slow cooker. I've even heard people cook oatmeal and steel oats in rice cookers. Every kind of cooking changes the structure of food to some extent. I'm not worried but then I can think for myself and don't need the faux scientists feeding on anxiety prone people that spread rumors and urban legends. Meantime dates are sooooo good. Chocolate by the powdered form or the baking chocolate bars that are semi-sweet dark or all dark bitters you might want to cut it down a wee bit depending on which you use. Right you don't want to use the hot cocoa mixes that contain sweeteners most often sugar and sometimes milk products artificial and real too for this cereal. The flax seed sounds like a nice addition I'll have to try that. I've made this in one person size bowls in my microwave so cut it in about 4th's and my bowl uses 1/3 cup of raw oats and 3/4 cup of water. I pour milk over it while still hot because I love that. However never cinnamon. I'm allergic to it and my dentist just told me they have at least 4 other patients in our small town that also can't tolerate cinnamon. So what is often good for one is not good for the other. If you are allergic to flax seed or linseed oil you may not want to use those either. But I like this recipe with Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We are used to eating things sweetened without sugar. This tasted wonderful to us and is something we enjoy having for breakfast on a regular basis! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Really intersesting wow who would of thought Coco and dates?! Maybe a new favorate for my date loving sister and coco loving baby brother!!! Thank you! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
So glad to see it is not only us in South Africa that tend to get a bit hectic with each other on forums like these......Patrick Holford says that if you make oatmeal and then let it cool down and heat it up again and cool it down again the GI of the oatmeal drops with every time it cools down..I dont have time in the mornings to make something like this I usually make my oatmeal in the evenings so I will be trying it with this one as well. Wondering if it will work with the cocoa and dates. Al G South Africa Read More