If you've been keeping chocolate firmly in the dessert category, you're missing out. It's also a delicious breakfast idea.
Turns out, chocolate is good for us – especially as a day-starter. And more and more scientists are singing its praises as a breakfast idea. Chocolate boosts brain power, says a recent Syracuse University Study. Another study found that regularly drinking hot cocoa (such a hardship!) increased memory, thinking abilities, and even blood flow to the brain.
Who doesn't want to kick off the day just a bit smarter? So, ditch the guilt and dive in to these chocolate-powered breakfasts.
1) Supercharge Those Smoothies
Whether you lean toward green smoothies or protein-packed ones, breakfast shakes are a popular and healthy way to start the day. Slip a scoop of cocoa powder or even a dollop of good chocolate sauce into your favorite smoothie. Try chocolate, peanut butter, and frozen banana. Sip a chocolate-covered mixed-berry smoothie (toss in some spinach or kale for good measure). Or blend up a rich Superfood Chocolate Pudding Smoothie with avocado for healthy fat.
2) Add Chocolate to Breakfast Breads
Start the day with carbs – and chocolate – by folding chips, cocoa, or even chocolate spread into your favorite breakfast bread or muffin. Chocolate chip-studded banana bread is an old-school classic. It takes a bit of prep time, but it's hard to go wrong with chocolate-filled babka. Take your chocolate in portable form with chocolate muffins featuring anything from pumpkin to nuts to zucchini.
3) Make Your Oats Outstanding
There are few more-comforting breakfast ideas than a steamy bowl of oatmeal on a chilly day. Amp up the oatmeal experience by mixing in a handful of chocolate chips. Or, do some advance prep with a bowl of stick-to-your-ribs chocolate overnight oats. Feeding a crowd? Baked oatmeal's your breakfast buddy. Mix some chocolate chips or cocoa into your favorite baked oatmeal recipe, pop it in a casserole and get ready for breakfast perfection.
4) Sip That Chocolate
We've already established that hot cocoa is basically a health food. Swap out your morning coffee now and then with a jolt of drinkable chocolate. Or, get the best of both worlds with a breakfast mocha, hot or iced. And don't forget: Studies have called chocolate milk the perfect after-workout beverage.
5) Build Your Own Breakfast Bar
Spending too much money on grocery store breakfast bars? Good news: It's easy and economical to make your own. They're infinitely customizable and super-portable. Plus, they're the perfect vehicle for chocolate. Make them cakey like these Chocolate Chip Energy Bars. Or opt for crispy ones like these chocolate-topped Granola Energy Bars.
6) Get Bowled Over with Breakfast Bowls
Breakfast bowls are a super-trend breakfast idea right now. And they're just begging for a chocolate infusion. Stir some cocoa into a day-starting quinoa bowl before topping it with fresh berries. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips into this protein-powered Creamy Blueberry Coconut Ricotta Bowl. Mix cocoa powder into your favorite smoothie bowl.