Yeah. Basil + chocolate. I went there.
Okay, sure. This isn’t for everyone. But I love basil. I have a passionate love for all fresh herbs, but basil is easily my favorite. It’s been proven by the food blog community that basil pairs perfectly with sweet fruits, so why not chocolate?
As my regular readers know, every year around this time I attempt to grow my own herbs. It never goes well. Thus, I made sure to make this recipe the moment I brought home my new basil plant (my fifth one, if I’m being honest). I was not going to give it a chance to die before I made this recipe. My heart was set on some basil and dark chocolate goodness.
The base of this beauty is plumped up by grated zucchini (the yellow variety) and infused with fresh basil. I made sure to add the basil right from the get-go so the porridge would have abundant basil flavor throughout.
As for the chocolate, I used 75% dark chocolate bars, but you could sub in your favorite kind (or chocolate chips). I cannot stress just how good this was. If you want to be extra crazy, take inspiration from my Strawberry Basil Oatmeal and top with some fresh strawberries. Basil, strawberry, AND chocolate? Sounds perfect.
And don’t forget to participate in the contest to become December’s Oatmeal Enthusiast!
All you have to do is leave comments. See details here.
- [reads] Here’s another shameless plug for my latest ThoughtCatalog piece: “When ‘Minnesota Nice’ Isn’t Actually that Nice“
- [vids] Do you like movie scores? Hans Zimmer? The movie Pearl Harbor? Musical talent? If you said yes to any of those, you must watch this incredible YouTube video of one guy playing a “trio” of piano, violin, and cello to “Tennessee” from the Pearl Harbor soundtrack.
- [stuff] If you have a cat, you should probably buy one of these collars from PurrfectCollars on Etsy. I have purchased a few for my own kitteh:
- [eats] Here’s a super easy meal: Avocado Toast with Spicy Skillet Chickpeas by Happy. Healthy. Life. (aka Kathy Patalsky)
What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel cut oats
- 1/2 cup grated zucchini or yellow squash*
- 7 or more fresh basil leaves**
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste OR extract
- maple syrup to taste
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp chopped dark chocolate
How to make it:
- Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/4 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Add grated zucchini and stir.
- Using the chiffonade method, cut FIVE of the basil leaves into ribbons (save the rest for later). This will infuse the entire porridge with peppery basil flavor!
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed in the oatmeal, add vanilla bean paste and salt. Add maple syrup a few drops at a time until it tastes sweet enough for you. You may feel that you don't need any!
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, you have two options. You could either stir in the remaining basil leaves (chiffonaded), or transfer to a bowl and just drop the chiffonaded basil on top.*** Add another splash of your milk of choice, chopped chocolate, and any other additional toppings (more basil ribbons, nuts, etc.).
Just an FYI:
*I use yellow squash instead of zucchini so it doesn't have green streaks. They taste the same. **Since this is a bold flavor combination and many are not used to putting herbs in their porridge, I played it safe and used just enough basil to make an impact. If you love basil or oatmeal with herbs, feel free to use more than what the recipe states! ***If you're sensitive to the robust flavors of fresh herbs, I suggest going with the first option. Stirring the basil in at the end will soften the basil and make it less pronounced than if you simply sprinkled the ribbons on top.