Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dark Chocolate Muesli... Ya, That's Right.

Every year our church puts on "Arts in the Kitchen" in the month of August. This translates into someone at Grace Church sharing tantalizing culinary goodies on a Thursday night in a kitchen somewhere in SLO. This year, I got to share some desserts with everyone!

The first recipe a served as a starter so tummies weren't grumbling too much during the evening. It can be enjoyed pretty much any hour of the day - hot, cold, warm, dry - and by any age... Who doesn't like chocolate?!

Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts
From: SpicyRD and “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” by Maria Speck, copyright 2011.  Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

1)   1/4 cup chopped dried dates
2)   1 Tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
3)   2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick-cooking
4)   1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
5)   1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins
6)   2 1/2 ounce chocolate with 70 % cocoa content, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
7)   2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process {or cacao nibs}
8)   1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
9)   Pinch of fine sea salt
10)   TO FINISH: 3 cups low fat 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.
MICROWAVE METHOD: 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. 
STOVETOP METHOD: 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.

Molly’s Notes:
* I used a dried berry medley from Trader Joe’s instead of the dates and blueberries/raisins. Use your favorite dried fruits.
* Instead of rolled oats I used a multigrain hot cereal mix (rye, barley, oats, wheat) from Country Choice Organic. Experiment with your favorite grains.
* Also, use any nuts you prefer. I used toasted pecans as hazelnuts are hard to find. Walnuts are highest in omega-3s.
* Packed with fiber, protein, flavonoids {i.e. good stuff from chocolate & berries}
* Great for keeping on-hand and enjoying the second a sweet craving hits you.

Eat up and let me know what you think.

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