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Chocolate Chai Tea Oatmeal

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I made the mistake of walking outside yesterday.

Chocolate Breakfast Oatmeal

And then immediately turned right back around.

washington dc weather


Just… no.

Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

I love how they feel the need to write “very cold” under the temperature. As if seeing –12 didn’t already make that abundantly clear.

There’s something about abysmally-cold weather that screams comfort food. And this healthy breakfast recipe, which combines spicy chai tea, dark chocolate, and creamy oatmeal is pure comfort food in a bowl. Feel free to triple up on the chocolate by adding chocolate chips and Healthy Chocolate Sauce.

Chocolate Breakfast Oatmeal

Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

(serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (40g)
  • 1 cup water or milk of choice (240g)
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (120g)
  • 2 chai tea bags (decaf or regular)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder (4g)
  • sweetener of choice, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (2g)
  • 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil or peanut butter (optional, but much richer if added)
  • mini chocolate chips, optional

If using the microwave: heat the water and milk, then add the teabags and let sit for no less than 15 minutes. Right before removing the teabags, smush the tea bags a little with a fork so more of the flavor goes into the milk. Combine the liquid with the oats and salt, then microwave 3 minutes. (If it starts to boil over, you may stop the microwave and keep heating in ten-second increments until the time is up. But don’t open the microwave door.) Let oatmeal sit in the closed microwave 5 minutes, then transfer–uncovered—to the refrigerator. It gets thicker as it sits, but if you want to eat it immediately simply use a little less water and cook longer. Right before eating, add all remaining ingredients and stir well.

If you wish to use the stovetop: after soaking the tea bags in warm liquid, simply heat the oats, salt, and tea soaking liquid until oatmeal is thick and fluffy. Then stir in all remaining ingredients.

Click for: Oatmeal Nutrition Facts

Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

Question of the Day:

Was it freezing cold yesterday for you too?

Apparently every single state—even Hawaii!—dipped below freezing at some point during the day. However, maybe I shouldn’t complain about our weather here in Washington… To people in Minnesota and Chicago, it probably sounds like a tropical vacation.

zucchini fries
……..Crispy Zucchini Fries

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. becauseHeloves! says:

    Yum! I might have to make that tomorrow. I think it was -1 where my mom was yesterday, and wind chill made it feel like -20! So ridiculous

  2. This looks great Katie! I have come across a few recipes for chai bread and porridges recently, I might try my hand on this in the near future! 😀

    Wishing you all the best for 2014 :)
    x J

  3. Amanda says:

    Hi – I noticed the same thing in the sugar cookie oatmeal recipe – what is the theory/reason behind not opening the microwave door? Thanks!

    1. D says:

      I’ve never tried it, but I believe that opening the microwave door immediately after cooking the oats could cause a small explosion? I could be wrong though.

    2. EVA says:

      It’s the same with making a baked potato. You keep the microwave door closed and it traps the heat. So, using the baked potato as an example, if you don’t open the door after it’s finished heating up, the heat from the cooking is trapped and keeps the potato warm and moistens it.

      For oatmeal, if you keep the door closed, it’ll absorb the liquid more and puff up, allowing all the contents to soak in. No explosions! If you see an explosion, you probably just microwaved it for too long and it happen during the heating process. Been dere done dat.

    3. Amanda says:

      Follow up : I’m eating this now for lunch and it is delicious! I made it exactly as stated, including the 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil. Yum!!!

    4. Juli Smith says:

      Skip the microwave! Microwaves, though convenient, ruin the quality of our food. I once read about a science fair experiment that used different types of water to see if there were any different effects on plant growth (bottled, tap, cooled microwaved waters, for example.) The plant that received the microwaved water sort of grew, but it looked so sickly and failed to thrive! And that is just water! I can only imagine what microwaving does to the rest of our food. My family of 6 is moving slowly away from microwave use. Honestly, it really isn’t taking much longer to cook and re-heat in the oven or on the stove top – it’s more a new habit to develop and get used to. :)

      1. Marquess says:

        I really appreciate your dedication to eating healthily Juli, but microwaves are (when used responsibly!) one of the healthiest ways to cook food. It heats food evenly, and so doesn’t expose any part of the meal to high, protein-denaturing temperatures.

        Happy cooking!

  4. I love the idea of adding tea to flavor oatmeal, I tried an overnight oats recipe a couple years ago with chai tea, guess I should do it again!

  5. D says:

    Another oatmeal recipe! Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!

  6. Yum! This looks super good.
    It was definitely cold for us yesterday. -12 with a windchilll of -28. Brrr!

  7. EVA says:

    YES I was going to make the reliable banana oatmeal tonight, but thank god the timing was just right and you posted a new oatmeal flavor. I don’t like tea, but I’m sure the chocolate drowns it out enough to where it’ll barely phase me.

    As for the temps, I live in Kenosha, Wisconsin (45 minutes north of Chicago), and with windchill, it’s been -42 degrees for two days straight now. AND THAT DIDN’T EVEN BREAK A TEMPERATURE RECORD! Good ol’ upper Midwest.

    1. Sophie Bolich says:

      Honestly!! School in my state of Wisconsin was cancelled for two days because the temp hit -45. Nice and chilly here in the Midwest! P.s. I almost yelled put loud when I saw this post because chocolate and chai are my absolute favorite ever I the world flavors. I couldn’t be happier right now!

  8. Kathy says:

    The temperature was Minus 11 when I left for work yesterday in Central PA. When I left work to come home in the afternoon, it was a high of ZERO!! Way too cold for any normal human to be out!!! Can’t wait to try the oatmeal recipe. Everything tastes better with chocolate added!!

  9. Cindy says:

    I’ve never tried chai tea (nor do I have teabags for that), but I do have decaf green tea individual bags, and rooibos individual tea bags. Would one of those work ok? Does the chai flavor come out really strong in this? I’m not a strong-tea flavor sort of gal… Or maybe I could just leave that out entirely?

    1. chocolate covered katie says:

      You can definitely use rooibos tea bags instead :).

  10. Hollie says:

    I agree about wanting comfort food in this cold weather. That is seriously is all I want right now. -12 is about what we had with wind chill yesterday. The coldest I’ve ever witnessed was -30 when I was in college in Upstate, NY. I was visiting Lake Placid with my parents and I have truly never been that cold ever.

  11. Marguerite says:

    I am going to make this recipe this morning. Sounds Soooooo good. Compared to you guys it is tropical out west- 48 degrees right now. But we need rain. Please do a rain dance for us.

  12. We had wind chills of -40 the other day. Needless to say, I stayed inside like you! Moving to a colder climate, did you have to buy a bunch of new clothes? Sounds like a great excuse for a shopping trip to me 😉

    1. chocolate covered katie says:

      It’s actually not much different here than in Texas. Dallas does get cold in the winter, so sadly no excuse for a new wardrobe ;).

      1. Ayaka says:

        Hahaha. That is being very good! I would make any excuse to buy new clothing 😉

  13. Pamela says:

    It was 7 but “feels like 4” … the really motivated runners in the office still ran. Perhaps the free gloves and hat were great motivators but, I only had capri pants to run in so… no. I ran in 30 degree weather last week. It was nice after 5 minutes and for the following 15. Then my skin began to feel like burning. Oatmeal wins!

  14. Allison says:

    Oooh, this looks delicious! I’m definitely going to have to try this. In the Detroit-ish area, it got down to -35° with the windchill. Way too cold.

  15. Karen w says:

    You are very right that positive 6 sounds like tropical vacation to those of us in Chicago. I only went outside once yesterday for about one second just to feel how cold it was, but I’m pretty sure it was below 0 most of yesterday and all of they day before. As my dad pointed out, it was probably the first time ever that the city was shut down because of cold rather than snow. I certainly did enjoy having two extra days of winter break!

  16. I’ve been craving warm drinks, oatmeal and Italian food ALL week. Cold weather definitely sparks the cravings for comfort food! I adore the spicy taste of Chai – never thought of adding it to my oats! Thanks for the idea 😀

  17. Eryn Cha says:

    -20 c is a norm for me in north british columbia. Everyday for our 6 onmonths of winter we reach below zero. Its reaches -40 occasionaly too. Love your site tjou! Keep up the good wor

  18. Kayla Marie says:

    If it makes you feel any better, it was LITERALLY -21 here the other day – not including wind chill. Brrrrrrrrr!

  19. Rachel says:

    I have some instant chai latte mix. You think I could simply make the appropriate amount of chai and then proceed with the recipe?

  20. Kathryn says:

    Just finished eating this for breakfast. My husband, who doesn’t normally like chai, loved it, and my picky 3yr old enjoyed it. Thanks for the great recipe Katie! :)

  21. Winter says:

    I live in Los Angeles and yesterday was warm! I feel my city has been spoiling me with this great weather after going to Texas a week ago and seeing the numbing temperatures Texas has to offer…

  22. Laura says:

    Hello! Love your blog!
    Welcome to a typical Alberta, Canada winter. Just last night we were talking about how -14C was practically bikini weather compared to what we typically have. But it is hard to get used to. Remember layers!

  23. Callin says:

    I just made this! (And ate it!) I didn’t have any chai tea but I did have a bag of vanilla caramel tea so I used that with a dash of cinnamon instead. ^_^

    I like my oatmeal more oat-y so I halved the water/almond milk portion of the recipe and used only 1 tea bag. After allowing the tea to seep for 15 mins I returned the mixture to the microwave for another minute to bring it to boil then poured it over my oats. Mixed all ingredients together, returned to microwave for 30 seconds then finished with chocolate chips. The result is now in my tummy.

    1. Emilylovesraisins says:

      Ooo did you use the bigelow brand tea? I don’t have any chai so i’m probably going to try your idea- there’s a big box sitting in the cabinet!

      1. Callin says:

        Yep, I used Bigelow with a few shakes of cinnamon. ^_^

  24. Bethanny says:

    God, it’s cold here in Virginia, isn’t it? I live in Williamsburg and it was super cold in the morning. I had to wear like five pairs of pants just to walk myself to work, and I was still freezing.

    Alas, no snow. The cold weather feels like such a waste without it.

  25. I wish it was snowing here! And I wish I had a bowl of this oatmeal, it looks wonderful.

  26. Jacqueline says:

    In Canada we were in the -30 to -40 range !
    We’ve had wind chill warnings all week lol

  27. anything with chocolate and oatmeal and I am in! I know what you mean about the cold – it was -40 with the windchill in the Toronto area yesterday …. :O Time to stay in and sip warm hot chocolate if you ask me!

  28. Katy says:

    It’s been freezing cold here for a while now, they call our city Winnipeg “winter-peg” for a reason! This oatmeal looks like a great way to warm up and I love all the spices in chai tea so it’s very creative to try something new!

  29. Marilyn says:

    I love the idea of chai-seasoned oatmeal! I’ve been eating so much oatmeal lately (with the polar vortex and whatnot) that I could use a new version. Thanks!

  30. doralice says:

    Hi Katie:) Thank you so much for this idea, I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to try this! I looove oatmeal so much at the moment (I generally do but right now I’m craving for it!)

    Here in France it’s not cold AT ALL, very weird for january and I’m afraid that we won’t have any spring this year either… but for now I have to say that I enjoy the sun and mild weather:)

    1. Elena says:

      Me as well! I live in Geneva, and the weather is sooo warm now! I’m really enjoying it!

  31. Tammela says:

    It’s not that cold in London, but when I lived in Ukraine the winters were quite cold. I went on a few runs at “7 degrees feels like minus-something.”

  32. Becky says:

    I live in Alaska, and we’ve actually been having ABOVE freezing temps (which is not normal for this time of year AT ALL). I would be happy to switch back, warmer temps here just mean that snow and ice melt and cause the nastiest, most dangerous road conditions, which no one is happy about! Here’s a good article for some quick tips. And thanks for the comfort food ideas, keep em coming! We could all use them in the cold, dark months. 😉

    1. Kayla says:

      Same with Northern British Columbia, Canada. It’s usually like -30°C right now but it was at least 0°C yesterday! Soo warm! Really bad roads though!

  33. Emilylovesraisins says:

    Yum chocolate chai oatmeal! Sounds amazing!
    To the qotd: when I woke up this morning it was -15. The high yesterday was 2 degrees! But I live near Chicago so it was to be expected, I guess. 😛

  34. Carroll says:

    Yesterday was sooo cold! Monday was worse, it doesn’t get very cold here and the high for Monday was 8 degrees. With windchill it felt like -10 and it hasn’t gotten to like agile digits in a long time.

  35. Yup, I feel ya girl! I’m not too familiar with degrees F, but it has been as low was -28 CELCIUS here! Yikes!!

  36. Chai Tea + Oatmeal + Cold Day = Very Satisfied Treat! :)

  37. Gloria says:

    Could I use mint tea to make them mint chocolate oatmeal? :)

  38. Nicole says:

    I live in Hawaii and right now it’s 77 degrees, but I’m FREEZING. If it ever goes below 80 here we all complain of the cold haha. I’d never make it on the mainland!

  39. Cindy says:

    So if you put it in the fridge after cooking – how long do you leave it in there? I don’t want it to get cold so that I can’t eat it. If you leave it in there very long, then take it out, add the other ingredients – how long do you reheat in the microwave again?

  40. KK says:

    It was 3 yesterday, wind chill in the negatives. We had an evacuation drill at my school, and it was FREEZING! I didn’t even have my coat with me! :( Of course it was in the middle of my lunch period.

  41. Melissa says:

    It was -20c here with a wind chill of -40c… Could have definitely used this! Going to try it for breakfast tomorrow… Looks wonderful! :-)

  42. Emma says:

    Oh this does sound perfect! I made banana soft serve yesterday morning and used a splash of liquorice tea to give it a bit of a twist. But this is warm!
    Yesterday was ok. The day before was SO COLD! I don’t know precisely how cold but… cold enough. I went for a little run and had to be on the lookout for invisible black ice 😉
    Thanks, Katie =)

  43. Kayt says:

    Making this tomorrow! On Monday, it got to -20, without windshield! Sooooo cold!!!

  44. Michelle says:

    Hi Katie! I have a recipe request for you that I *think* should be pretty simple. Have you seen the chocolate covered donuts that entenmanns makes? They are horrible for you and certainly not vegan, but I used to eat them as a kid. It’s basically a plain donut with a hard chocolate shell type of coating. I always loved the texture. Maybe it would work to use your plain donut recipe with melted chocolate mixed with coconut oil? Then just dip the donuts in the chocolate coating. I might have to try it myself, but I hope you will too :-)

  45. Tammy says:

    I have those same white bowls<3

  46. You speak to my heart. These are my favorite things wrapped up into one delicious and decadent breakfast bowl. I made chai overnight oats once, but will definitely have to try this soon!

  47. I am glad I am not the only one just avoiding going outside. I literally stayed home, even canceled social plans, this past weekend because it was too cold!

  48. Jennifer says:

    This looks yummy! I never would have thought to put peanut butter in it. I can’t wait for the rest of your breakfast recipes! :)

  49. Stefanie says:

    Oh my gosh, I have to make this for breakfast tomorrow! I usually put cinnamon and cardamom in my oatmeal, but I never thought about combining chai with chocolate… genius!

  50. Elena says:

    I’ll definitely try it! Here in Europe the weather is incredibly warm, in contrast to the US. Now I’m in Geneva, and the temperature is 10 degrees (Celsius)! Imagine, this is one of the coldest cities in Europe!

  51. TWO of my favourite things ever!! What a great combo! Love the pictures too…simple but so elegant! Do you use lights or only the ISO on your camera?

  52. Steph says:

    Reminds me of your sugar cookie tea oatmeal! I’ve been looking for that tea ever since 😉

    1. amanda says:

      I ordered it off of Amazon. If you have Prime, it was free shipping but I did have to order 4 boxes. Totally worth it :) Search for “sugar cookie tea” at Amazon.

      1. Steph says:

        Thank you!

  53. Katie, I totally feel you on this one! I moved to NYC in August from California… O M G I have never experienced such coldness in my life! And I laughed too when my phone felt the need to display “Very cold” underneath the polar vortex weather the other day. Inside is definitely best for now, and comfort food is even better! Looking forward to trying this oatmeal recipe when I am off of my cleanse at the end of the week :) happy 2014!

  54. Courtney says:

    I actually have a box of vanilla chai tea and chocolate chai tea sitting in the cabinet. Can’t wait to make this!

  55. Ellie says:

    Chocolate and Chai! What an amazing combination – I will definitely need to try. Thanks for this creative recipe!

  56. Ayana says:

    Love your blog! I was curious if you had an estimate of the nutritional content for thus recipe? Please check out my blog it is centered around faith from a modern woman’s perspective

    1. ann says:

      Its listed in the post.

  57. Alice says:

    Alright, where I live it’s not that cold, but still, a cozy meal is just great now :) I hope you are fine and don’t catch a cold.
    I made this recipe today and it’s really, really delicious and warming :)

  58. Stephanie says:

    This recipe is delicious but WAAAAY too much salt. I had to add a lot of stevia to kill the taste. I think 1/8tsp would do :)

  59. juli says:

    so I’m a bit late to the party, but here in Australia, its over 100 and looking to go up 110 and stay for the whole week. its a ‘bit’ warm!

  60. Kate says:

    I was wondering how you calculate the calories for your recipes? This one says it’s 178 cals for the whole thing, but 1/2 cup of uncooked oats alone is 300

  61. Laura Miller says:

    Tropical vacation, indeed. We suntanned when it hit 20 degrees. When you first posted this, we had a temp of -27 degrees with a wind chill of -63 degrees and a “feels like” of -75 degrees. The governor shut down the entire state for two days.

    1. Laura Miller says:

      I’m in Minnesota, for reference.

  62. Nicole says:

    Do you think it would be a good idea to use the melted banana trick here?

  63. Rachel D. says:

    I made this for lunch today, using the Celestial Seasonings “gingerbread” tea bags. It was JUST what I needed. Thanks. 😀

  64. Andrea says:

    Tried this recipe out yesterday, and I have to say that it’s delicious! Will be making it again today for breakfast. 😉

  65. S. Valentina says:

    This was the perfect breakfast for braving the cold this morning.

    Don’t live in Canada if you hate the cold. It was -35 celcius (-45 with windchill). I think that’s like -31 F / -49 F.

    I think I live on hot chocolate and warm chocolate-y things during the winter. :)

  66. YY says:

    Hi Katie! (: May I ask what brand of oatmeal you use and whether it’s the steel cut ones or instant ones? Thank you!!

  67. Stacey says:

    Yum! Never tried chai oatmeal before, I’ll have to try this tomorrow!

  68. Juli Smith says:

    Going to try this recipe without the cocoa this morning. Will post how it turns out. :)

    1. Juli Smith says:

      Okay – not too bad, but next time I will NOT use the salt! Had to add extra sweetener to reduce the saltiness. Next time I will try a different brand of chai tea bag, too. This time I use Lipton Spiced Chai Tea bags.

      Also, I entered the recipe, sans cocoa and other chocolate, into MyFitnessPal and it came out to 224 calories for the serving, without the sweetener.

      Any recommendations for brands of chai tea bags?

  69. Alex says:

    So yesterday I saw your recipe for oatmeal breakfast cookies and, after drooling at my screen for a minute, I bookmarked the page. Today, a thought popped into my head: “mint tea oatmeal”. Checked to see if anyone had worked out a recipe along the same lines, and here you are again!

    Love the addition of cocoa powder in your recipe too. I’m going to try this tomorrow morning, but I’ll use peppermint tea instead.

    Keep up the great work!

  70. Dab says:

    I had this for breakfast this morning, and it was delicious! Honestly made my morning a little bright, thank you!

  71. Celestina says:

    Made this one morning before my run and I was BLOWN AWAY! This tasted ah-mazing. I had my doubts about soaking the teabags for a whole 15 minutes, thinking it might turn out too strong and be bitter, but that was certainly not the case. I only had raspberry spice chai on hand, which actually went amazing with the cocoa, and I used dark chocolate almond butter for my nut butter, which gave it more chocolate-y goodness <3 I'm really happy with this oatmeal recipe, and it will definitely be a repeat. It actually inspired me to try spicing my oatmeal with Earl Grey tea, which turned out great. Thanks for the delish breakfast and the inspiration! Here's the final outcome: :)

  72. Noreen says:

    I made this on the stovetop and it turned out great! I added some sliced bananas for a different texture and added sweetness. I wasn’t able to finish it all so I stashed it in the fridge and heated it up in the microwave for about a minute and it was even better! The bananas caramelized and oozed a little – – mixing perfectly with the other ingredients. I was worried those along with the chocolate would make things too sweet, but the chai balanced everything else out perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing!

  73. Jenn C says:

    Must make this VERY soon! Oh my!!

  74. Juliet Tye says:

    Hey, Katie! I love the recipe for “overflowing oatmeal”. However, I realised the oatmeal tend to be a whole big clump (moulded to the bowl) after being left overnight in the fridge. May I ask, have you tried testing, usually how long does it take for the oatmeal to reach the right texture, without being too runny and not leaving it overnight in the fridge? Would say, 10min be sufficient?
    Also, any idea how long does it take for frozen fruits to be thawed? I was just told that microwaving frozen fruits isn’t advisable as the nutrient contents would be lost.

    Hope to hear from you!

    Cheers! xx

  75. Caitlyn says:

    Hey, Katie!!
    I am an eleven-year-old health nut. One of my best friends has Type 1 diabetes AND Celiac. Luckily, I found you!! Whenever I go over to her house, we coordinate so that we each bring some ingredients so we can make a recipe of yours. (She hasn’t been able to come over yet, because Diabetes is hard to manage at another persons house, but we’ll get there) : ) Our first was sugar-free cookie dough dip. YUM!! We just dug in with spoons! Our next is chocolate strawberry truffle pie. I can’t wait. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be because I found out that my friend has a Vita-Mix! I just wanted to thank you for having such a great blog AND that you can handle how people act these days. I’ve seen some rude comments that you reply to with grace. I would’ve been rude right back. Sigh. I’ll work on it. Also, you handled the rumors about you like a lady. It makes me so happy when I see people like that, changing the world, one tiny little inch at a time. A bonus to you: The meanest comments go unanswered. Thanks Katie! I feel better letting you know how I feel. Gotta go! School supplies needs packing! Middle school!

    1. Caitlyn says:

      Not that there were rude comments on this post. Other posts! Sorry if I confused some other commenters and you, Katie!

    2. This made me smile! Thank you for trying the recipes :)