As a herbivore, I have to be selective about my chocolate obsession. Luckily, I have a strong preference for dark chocolate (my motto is “higher than 70% or GTFO”), and many brands of dark chocolate are accidentally vegan. For example, Lindt’s dark chocolate (75% and higher) are all dairy-free.
However, if you want a different variety, such as one with almonds or espresso beans, you’re often out of luck. That’s why I love the Chocolove brand. In addition to their sustainability and social responsibility efforts, they offer several unique dark chocolate varieties that are completely dairy-free!
My favorite of these is–you guessed it–Chilies & Cherries & Dark Chocolate bar. Obviously this bar uses dried cherries, but since it’s prime cherry season, I used the real deal for this oatmeal.
In honor of Chocolove, I topped my oatmeal with a little bit of their 65% bar instead of just using chocolate chips. Heavenly!
Have you noticed an improvement in my photos the past couple of weeks? Since I can’t afford a new camera (alas), I finally purchased something I could afford: a reflector. Having a tiny collapsable reflector has made a huge difference in my photos, despite the fact that my apartment has poor lighting and there are no great spots for me to take a quality shot.
- [eats] Happy Herbivore’s Cheater Pad Thai made with zucchini noodles <3
- [tunes] “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear
- [reads] “How To Massage Kale: Why A Rubdown Helps This Leafy Green” by the Huffington Post
What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 - 1 cup halved and pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp finely diced chipotle or poblano pepper* (or a mix of both)
- chocolate chips for topping (optional)
How to make it:
- Bring milk and water to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you’d like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Add cherries immediately. This will help flavor and sweeten the oatmeal as it's cooking.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add optional maple syrup, vanilla bean paste (or extract), cocoa powder, and salt. Stir. Add additional sweetener if you think it's necessary.
- When you’re pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, add the diced pepper and stir.
- Transfer to a bowl. Top with optional chocolate, another splash of your milk of choice, more cherries, and any other additional toppings (chocolate PB2, nuts, fruit, etc.)
Just an FYI:
*Chipotle peppers are spicier than poblano (AKA ancho) peppers. Chocolove uses a mixture of both. You could also cheat and use dried chipotle peppers, chipotle powder, crushed red pepper, or chipotle tabasco sauce.