The biggest problem with breakfast is that it happens in the morning, where my top priority is getting every last second of snoozing in a warm-bed time, and condensing the necessary elements of morning routine into about 15 minutes from bed to out the door to work.
Add to that that the standard breakfast options tend to be boring, tasteless cereals, or toast, or the horrible mushy wet glue stuff my mother called porridge, and I was definitely a regular breakfast skipper. Which led to cranky tired morning me.
Apparently my answer to THAT problem, for pretty much my entire working life, has been children’s cereal — it tasted good, was quick, and better than nothing right? So a family size box of CocoPops in the shopping trolley every couple of weeks, just for me, justified as “I’m an adult so I can do whatever I want! Yeah!” Sadly, at 31 years old, neither my waistline nor my ego are accepting this logic anymore.
I felt like it was time for a change, to grow up and have a food I could eat without shame in front of others. Porridge still disgusts me, but all the advertised health benefits of oats had me interested — after all, my standard morning tea snack is a baked oat bar — maybe some sort of baked oats would be okay? But baking in my already rushed mornings… maybe not.
Which brings me to… Microwave Oatmeal Choc-Banana Mugcake!
Easy, filling, lots of healthy ingredients, and tasty enough to get me out of bed 10 minutes earlier for a chocolatey morning treat. Most of it could even be prepared the night before, but I fear discoloured banana so I do it in the morning – takes me about 5 minutes from reaching the kitchen to eating time.
This recipe is very flexible, add, subtract or substitute flavours at will. Quantities are early-morning approximates – precise measurements not needed. If approximating, you want about equal parts dry stuff to wet stuff.
1. WET STUFF: Get a nice big mug. With a fork, mash up about half a banana to a very wet pureed texture (give the other half to your bunnies, or save it to slice up on top). Crack in an egg, a good splash of your preferred milk, and if you like it, a few drops of vanilla essence. Mix well with your fork.
2. DRY STUFF: In a small measuring jug/cup, combine about a third of a cup of oats (like you could use to make porridge/oatmeal), a quarter teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt, a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder (like you use in baking, not the sweetened drinking chocolate powder), and I’ve been adding a teaspoon of LSA (ground-up linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds), but it works okay without this, just a little wetter. You might like to add other favourite flavours here, like cinnamon, or coconut flakes.
3. MIX THE STUFF: Add half the dry mix to the wet mug, stir well, then add the rest and stir again. To appease my sweet tooth, I add some liquid Stevia drops here, but you could add a normal or brown sugar with the dry ingredients, or go without sweetener if you have lovely sweet over-ripe bananas. Think cake batter, not cookie mix – if it looks too thick, add another splash of milk.
4. COOK THE STUFF: Zap it in the microwave. In mine, it takes 90 seconds to go from a cup of goopy ingredients, to a Cup-of-Awesome, slightly chewy on top, soft and cake-y through the middle, and soft and fudge-y on the bottom.
I’ve kept this breakfast routine going for about 3 weeks of almost every workday, and haven’t even been tempted by the remaining box of CocoPops in the cupboard. Guess I’ll have to turn the leftovers into Chocolate Crackles – that’s totally a grown-up food, right??