Cocoa-Date Oatmeal

Cocoa-Date Oatmeal

25 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

"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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted dates, (10-12 dates)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups water


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. 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.
  • 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 information

  • Per serving: 261 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 9 g fiber; 57 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 21 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 23 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 4 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 83 mg sodium; 460 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch ½ fruit

Reviews 25

July 10, 2017
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By: tdono4
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.
June 22, 2017
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By: kimberlyrwerner
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.
May 15, 2017
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By: Ced1106
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!
November 21, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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.
August 11, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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
June 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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!
May 21, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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!
April 20, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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
September 25, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
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
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