Decadent {but healthy} Dark Chocolate Muesli

This decadent dark chocolate muesli tastes like heaven in a bowl!Dark Chocolate Muesli #glutenfre

A few weeks ago, I was the lucky winner of a beautiful cookbook entitled “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” by food writer and cooking instructor, Maria Speck.  The giveaway was hosted by Shulie Madnick over at Food Wanderings.  If you’ve never visited Shulie’s lovely blog where she shares both her favorite Mediterranean and Indian inspired recipes, along with mouth watering photographs to boot, I urge you to do so!

Back to the book…


Lots of recipes tabbed already!

Immediately after the UPS delivery woman left the book on my doorstep, I opened it right away, and quickly found myself in “whole grain heaven” looking at all the mouth watering pictures and recipes.  For a brief moment, I felt a twinge of pity for myself {sob}, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to partake of any of the {gluten containing} recipes made with spelt, kamut, farro, barley and wheat berries.

But I quickly cheered up because there are so many gluten-free grain recipes as well, {amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, and wild rice} that I didn’t need to feel deprived.  Plus, I figured I could easily substitute any of the gluten containing recipes with gluten-free ones as well.

It was hard to know which recipe to start with, so I decided it would be fun to begin with one recipe from each category and share the delicious results with you here. So, last week I posted a survey on my Spicy RD Facebook page asking what recipe to make from the “Breakfast, Brunch, and Breads” category.  The choices were: Orange Polentina with Honey-Mascarpone Topping; Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts; Honey-Nut Granola with Olive Oil, and Chewy Almond Butter Bars.  And the winner was…

Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts, which  edged out Orange Polentina with Honey-Mascarpone topping by ONE vote.

All the recipes sounded fabulous to me, but I have to say this muesli recipe speaks to everything an antioxidant and fiber loving, gluten-free eating dietitian could wish for…whole grain oats, dried fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate.

Really, what more could you ask for in a breakfast cereal???

Here’s the recipe.  To make it gluten-free like I did, simply use certified gluten-free oats, such as those from Bob’s Red Mill.  Also, I didn’t have/couldn’t find a couple of the ingredients in the original recipe, so my substitutions are in parentheses.

Dark Chocolate Muesli
Cook time
Total time
Tastes like hot chocolate breakfast cereal...So good, and so healthy too!
Serves: 6 servings
  • Muesli
  • ¼ cup chopped dried dates {I used dried tart Montmorency Cherries instead}
  • 1 Tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick-cooking {I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oats}
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts {I always seem to have a hard time locating hazelnuts, so I used toasted pecans instead.}
  • ¼ cup dried blueberries or raisins
  • 2½ ounce chocolate with 70 % cocoa content, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process (or cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • For serving
  • 3 cups low fat milk {Or use nondairy alternative such as almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk}
  1. To prepare the muesli, place the dates and brown sugar in a small bowl and stir to coat the pieces. Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl, and stir in the sugared dates.
  2. To heat: (Microwave) For each serving, combine ½ cup milk and ½ cup muesli in a small bowl. Heat on high power for 45 seconds, or until it is warmed throughout but melted drops of chocolate remain.
  3. To heat: (Stovetop) For each serving, heat ½ cup milk in a small heavy saucepan until small bubbles appear around the rim. Turn off the heat; add ½ cup of the muesli, cover, and let sit for not more than 1 minute so that the melted drops of chocolate remain.
Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts {Makes 

“Reprinted with permission from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck, copyright 2011.  Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”

The verdict?

It was delicious!

Kind of like granola mixed in to hot cocoa…

I used the microwave method to cook mine and 45 seconds was perfect.

Each bite was a little different…

A combo of melted chocolate and chewy blueberries one bite, then crunchy nuts and cacao nibs in the next.


Here’s the proof…

Oh, and if you have kids and are wondering if they will like it, my guess is, YES.

My daughter, SiSi, declared it “cocoa oatmeal” and happily helped herself to my {2nd} bowl!

Before I go, I want to let you in on a fun giveaway that I’m doing…

There are 7 chapters in “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” cookbook, so, over the next 6 weeks, I will be posting a recipe here from each chapter, and you get to vote on which recipe I make.

Spicy RD Update 6.8.11: This morning I had the opportunity to speak with Maria Speck, the author of “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals”.  In speaking with her, she truly seems as lovely as her book is!  I found out from Maria that her publishing company is asking that bloggers may publish up to 3 recipes total from the book from a predetermined list of recipes.  SO, I want to update you on how the contest and future  posts will go from here on out.  Basically the rules are the same as I mentioned above, however, I will only be posting the ACTUAL RECIPES two more times.  I will still make something from each chapter and ask you to vote on it, however, 4 of my 6 remaining posts will show PICTURES of the recipes only.  It is my hope the photos  will entice you to go out and buy a copy of Maria’s book if you don’t win a copy of it here on July 25:-)

Every time you leave a comment here on an “Ancient Grain” post over the next 6 weeks, OR participate in the survey on Facebook {You must first like the Spicy RD on Facebook to participate so I know who’s commenting}, you will be entered in to a random drawing to win a copy of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals.  The winner will be announced on Monday July 25.

In the meantime, if you just can’t wait to try experimenting with the recipes yourself, you can click here to purchase the book through my Amazon store.

I also highly recommend you follow the lovely Maria on Twitter @MariaSpeck !

Good luck, and happy ancient whole grain eating!

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  1. Easton_Place says:

    This looks amazing! Must try it 🙂

  2. This looks great. I just made muesli for the first time last week and loved it. My hubby wasn’t so much into it, but I think the addition of cocoa and chocolate will change his mind. I kind of like it cold. I know the oats won’t be cooked but with fruits and nuts, it’s really good. I just liked you on facebook, can’t wait to see more recipes!

  3. I clicked on the twitter link to see what you came up with not putting two and two together as I didn’t remember the recipe and surprise surprise! I was delighted to find out the recipe was from Maria’s book and thanks for the lovely mention, you are very kind! I know the right person won when I see the colorful bookmarks peeping through. You are right you can substitute gluten free grains I do it all the time due to different allergy and dietary restriction!

  4. Chocolate makes everything better 😀 congrats on winning the book and thanks for sharing this recipe! This muesli looks delicious 🙂

  5. You KNOW you’ve got my attention when you say chocolate and I LOVE the nibs in there! Just googling Montmorency Cherries because now I want to get them for myself! Gorgeous pictures E, and I love your colorful tabs in the book!

  6. Yummy, yummy, yummy. That’s exactly how the idea of chocolate in a healthy breakfast sounds to me 😉

    Couple of thoughts… I forget now what the coating was, but I would swear that Gretchen of Kumquat told me that chopped dates had an ingredient listed in that white coating that was a gluten-containing ingredient. Maybe good that you used cherries, rather than the pre-chopped dates.

    Also, where did you get your cacoa nibs (and if you say Trader Joe’s, I may tear up… the part of the world that we now call home is TJ-less. #Sniff #Sigh)

  7. you rock EA your blog gets better and better 🙂

  8. Oh man, lucky you! I was hoping to win that book when Shulie had the contest, lol. Well I’m glad you’re doing one too. Maybe I’ll win this one, the book looks really interesting.

  9. I vote Polenta (ah too late but that sounded great to me), though this has to be good too. I will check out the blog you mentioned (love a first hand tip).

  10. Yah, chocolate for breakfast is pretty much down my alley. You know the way to my foodie’s heart.

  11. I am with Charissa… chocolate for breakfast cannot be bad! I am anxious to try this recipe and look forward to seeing more. I will definitely check out this book!


  12. Mmmmm chocolate! Love this recipe!

  13. Hello to EA for creating such an inspiring post of my dark chocolate muesli.

    The enthusiasm and joy you bring to preparing recipes from my new cookbook “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” is heart-warming, a real gift for the author. Thank you!

  14. The cookbook sounds wonderful. I wish I had some dark chocolate muesli for breakfast! Looking forward to the other recipes you’ll make from the cookbook.

  15. Thanks everyone for all your wonderful comments! My kids and I have been loving this muesli every morning this week 🙂

  16. What a beautiful book, so full of happiness!!! Love this recipe, especially because my husband would totally eat this! He is not a fan of oatmeal, or other grains for breakfast. BUT if you add peanut butter, or chocolate he is so interested! I will be reading your blog anyways, because I adore your recipes you share, but look forward to being a part of the contest too!

  17. this looks AMAZING!!!!!!! love the addition of hazelnuts. this is like nutella in a muesli form…

  18. This looks fantastic! I’ve been trying to muster some motivation to make my own muesli and you just brought me some!

    Great post!

  19. oh heavenly days! where do you find nibs? I need some of this 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment Jen! I got my cocoa nibs on a trip to costa Rica last summer, but if you are near a store such as Whole Foods, I’m sure you could find them there. Hope you make the muesli- it’s delicious!

  20. Hey EA – I just got a copy of Ancient Grains and my cookbook looks like yours with sticky notes on several pages!! I made the Orange Polentina this morning and it was absolutely heavenly – I loved the combo of orange zest, grits, mascarpone and tarragon (I can honestly say I’ve never eaten tarragon for breakfast 🙂 Can you direct me to the list of recipes that Maria and her publisher have approved to be reprinted by bloggers? Happy new year!

  21. Great write-up, I’m regular visitor of one’s website, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  22. 私は知っている多数人独特良い様々な時計の専門家の主張彼らは着用と、ターゲットの設定服。達成特定見つける時計靴の時折パーティーのため理由エクササイズ別名スポーツまたは旅行または標準と正規使用。

  23. したがって、個人だけがあります従事1つを購入します。社会が変更隠れてから何我々がで下に表示それをオフ。Mascaradesだった非常にも気に入ったこの時点でいたこの強い影響力の上香水瓶。–chanel


  1. […] case you missed my earlier Ancient Grains Giveaway posts, simply leave a comment here to enter the giveaway {Remember you are entered each time you […]

  2. […] by Maria Speck. {If this is your first time reading an “Ancient Grains” post, click here for more […]

  3. […] 2011: Decadent Dark Chocolate Muesli {A healthy way to start the day, and I promise not to tell anyone if you drink the “cocoa […]

  4. […] FYI:  In case you missed my last two Ancient Grains Posts, click here for details about my giveaway to win a copy of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals.  And, remember, […]

  5. […] Decadent {But Healthy} Dark Chocolate Museli – EA @ The Spicy RD From Maria Speck’s fabulous Ancient Grains for Modern Meals cookbook, a super delish granola. […]

  6. […] when it comes to making müsli at home, seeing as just about anything can be added in (yes, even chocolate).  Aschwanden said his version of the cereal consists of oats, chopped walnuts, dried dates, […]

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