Healthy Chocolate Overnight Oats
Yield: 2 servings
An overripe banana and a couple of dates are the sole (healthy!) sweeteners in this decadent-tasting breakfast with make-ahead convenience.


  • ¾ cup (72g) old-fashioned oats (certified GF if necessary)
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk of choice
  • 2 large Medjool dates, pitted (30g once pitted; see notes for option)
  • 1 large (120g) overripe banana (may use frozen and thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) chia seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Optional toppings: peanut or nut butter of choice, berries, sliced banana, flaked coconut, nuts/seeds, granola, etc.


  1. Place the oats in a medium bowl (I use my quart-size Pyrex measure); set aside.

    Place the milk, dates, banana (I break it into a few pieces), cocoa powder, chia seeds and salt in a high-speed blender. Stir to mix in the cocoa powder (this prevents it from poofing up all over the blender lid) and blend until the mixture is smooth.

    Pour the milk mixture into the oats, scraping the blender well, and stir to combine. At this point, I cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight and then portion between two bowls or jars. You could portion immediately, but I find it easier to evenly dole out when the mixture has thickened a bit. When ready to eat, add toppings of choice and enjoy!


For a deeper, darker chocolate flavor, you may increase the cocoa powder by up to one tablespoon.
If using a different variety of dates, they will likely be smaller and more dates will be needed to provide desired level of sweetness. I like to taste the chocolate milk mixture after blending, at which point you may add more dates-or cocoa powder for more of a dark chocolate flavor-to taste.
If you prefer the texture of the whole chia seeds, you may stir them into the blended milk mixture along with the oats.

If you prefer a blender-free method or a date substitute: You may instead mash the banana until smooth and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Maple syrup, honey, or a sweetener of choice may be used in place of the dates, which require a blender to pulverize and provide even sweetness.

For those who don’t enjoy the flavor of bananas: A really ripe banana provides natural sweetness without making the final product taste of banana. The cocoa powder masks the flavor quite well.

Adding nut butters: An easy way is to smear a spoonful along the perimeter of the bowl so you can scoop a little into each bite of the oats. If you prefer to drizzle over top, place a spoonful or two of the nut butter in a small, microwaveable bowl and heat on high power for 20 seconds. Stir and heat for 20 seconds more or until a drizzle consistency is achieved.

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