This easy, nourishing, dark chocolate muesli with hazelnuts, and dried cherries and almonds, tastes like hot chocolate in a bowl! It’s gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
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.ย  The giveaway was hosted by Shulie Madnick over at Food Wanderings.ย  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.ย  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.ย  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.ย  And the winner was…

Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts, whichย  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???

To make it gluten-free like I used certified {purity protocol} gluten-free oats, such asย ย 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

This easy, nourishing, dark chocolate muesli with hazelnuts, and dried cherries and almonds, tastes like hot chocolate in a bowl! It's gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • 1/4 cup chopped dried dates {I used dried tart Montmorency Cherries instead}
  • 1 Tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats, not quick-cooking {I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oats}
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins
  • 2 1/2 ounce chocolate with 70 % cocoa content, cut into 1/2-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}


  • 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.
  • To heat: (Microwave) For each serving, combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 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.
  • To heat: (Stovetop) For each serving, heat 1/2 cup milk in a small heavy saucepan until small bubbles appear around the rim. Turn off the heat; add 1/2 cup of the muesli, cover, and let sit for not more than 1 minute so that the melted drops of chocolate remain.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 3.2mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Gluten Free, Mediterranean, MIND Diet, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword healthy muesli, muesli recipe
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Reprinted with permission from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck, copyright 2011.ย  Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

The verdict?

This dark chocolate muesli was absolutely 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!

You can purchase your own copy of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals on Amazon. I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I do!

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  1. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Can you direct me to the list of recipes that Maria and her publisher have approved to be reprinted by bloggers? Happy new year!

  2. oh heavenly days! where do you find nibs? I need some of this ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 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!

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

    Great post!

  4. Thanks everyone for all your wonderful comments! My kids and I have been loving this muesli every morning this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!


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

  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. 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.

  11. Yummy, yummy, yummy. That’s exactly how the idea of chocolate in a healthy breakfast sounds to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

    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)

  12. 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!

  13. Chocolate makes everything better ๐Ÿ˜€ congrats on winning the book and thanks for sharing this recipe! This muesli looks delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. Easton_Place says:

    This looks amazing! Must try it ๐Ÿ™‚