I have a confession. I LOVE the individually wrapped cherry cordial candies you see near cash registers at gas stations and convenience stores. They use to be a guilty pleasure. My eyes would likely spin if I ate one today – but their memory inspired this Quick Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal. The combination of chocolate and cherries is just so darn delicious!
The Merits of Microwaving
I don’t usually cook oatmeal. I enjoy the chewy texture of lightly soaked uncooked oats. However, the level of sweetness cooking brings out in bananas is hard to ignore. Bananas are used as a sweetener in this quick chocolate cherry oatmeal – so cooking is recommended.
The next logical question is, what kind of cooking is best? I know some folks avoid microwaves for various reasons. Some believe they destroy the nutrients in food, but science shows otherwise.
I’m of the ilk who believe you are more likely to eat healthy when it’s easy. A microwave makes things pretty easy. So I use a microwave.
Quick Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal
Taste is also important when it comes to eating healthy. You are more likely to eat something that tastes good, right? Granted, eating chocolate for breakfast may seem decadent. But research shows some chocolate is actually good for us. The key is to watch the fat and sugar.
This quick chocolate cherry oatmeal is full of nutrient dense ingredients – including unsweetened dark cocoa powder – without the eye-spinning gobs of sugar.
The cooked banana and warmed cherries add just the right amount of natural sweetness.
So enjoy and don’t feel guilty!
- ½ cup dry old fashioned oats*
- 1 cup water
- 1 small or medium banana
- 2-3 Tbsp. hemp seeds or wheat germ*
- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup plant milk (or more to taste)
- ¾ cup frozen cherries
- 2 Tbsp. chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds are nice)
- Place frozen cherries in a small microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 30 seconds. Stir and cook on high for another 30 seconds and then set aside.
- Mash banana with a fork in a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Add oats, water, hemp seeds (or wheat germ), cocoa powder and cinnamon to the bowl and stir to mix.
- Microwave bowl of oats on high for approximately 4 minutes. (Make sure bowl is large enough that oatmeal will not spill when it expands during cooking.)
- Remove cooked oats from microwave and stir in ¼ cup or more of plant milk (I use rice milk) to reach desired consistency.
- Spoon warmed cherries over the top - include some of the cherry juice if desired.
- Sprinkle with nuts and enjoy.
Hemps seeds add a slight crunch, while wheat germ keeps things creamy. Both provide additional nutrients.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.