Chocolate Oatmeal

In early February, I did an interview with Isabelle Gallant of CBC, talking about this project. I’m happy to say that it aired on Monday of last week, and you can have a listen here. (I start at the 9:02 mark.)
Chocolate Oatmeal

Chocolate Oatmeal, garnished with chocolate chips
Good Decadent and cheap

Today, Library Life Hack is proud to present the last of seven oatmeal recipes found in “Good and Cheap”. This one doesn’t actually appear in the PDF version of the cookbook (which is a free download at but you can find it on page 10 of the print edition.

Ingredient Notes
I used regular rolled oats instead of quick oats. Beyond that, the ingredients for this recipe are all basic kitchen staples: sugar, milk and cocoa powder.

How Did it Taste?
Pretty darn good. I wasn’t sure about the idea of chocolate for breakfast, but the ingredients work together really well
. The cocoa powder gives the oatmeal a dark chocolate flavour, but without any bitterness. And don’t worry about it being too sweet — I actually added some honey to mine. I wouldn’t be making this recipe every day, but it would be a lovely treat on the weekend with a big mug of fresh coffee.

Let’s Do the Math
This is very easy to make. You just whisk together the non-oatmeal ingredients, put everything together in a pan and turn on the heat. Poof! In about ten minutes, your breakfast is ready. And a cheap breakfast it is, weighing in at just 61 cents per serving.

Frugal Food Tip
This is a little story called “How I Fell In Love With Citrus Zest*”.

Last week, I cooked with citrus zest three times. I used orange zest twice as I test-drove the Baklava Oatmeal recipe, and lemon zest once making Creamy Zucchini Fettuccine (which you’ll find in the Dinner section of “Good and Cheap”: page 86 of the print version and page 89 of the PDF).

In the past, I’ve used zest in the odd recipe, but always considered it to be a fussy, pretentious add-on. However, my “Good and Cheap” cooking adventures have caused me to look at zest in a whole different light.

Lemon zest added a wonderful flavour to the savoury fettuccine dish, making it taste quite sophisticated (if that makes any sense). And the orange zest punched the Baklava Oatmeal into another class of breakfast food altogether.

Then it dawned on me that it’s essentially free! I mean, the oranges I zested last week are still completely intact, and wound up as part of my lunch this week. It’s like getting two uses out of the same piece of fruit. Now I want to see if I can find a way to sneak some lime and grapefruit zest into my meals. (If you have any suggestions, by all means, send me a note at librarylifehack [at]

*Just in case this is an unfamiliar term, zest is the thin colored layer of peel on citrus fruits.

And that’s all for today. Tune in near the end of the week for Breakfast Quinoa!


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