Switching from children’s breakfast to “Grown-Up Food” with the Microwave Oatmeal Choc-Banana Mugcake

Guest post by Heather

mug-cakeThe 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??

Comments on Switching from children’s breakfast to “Grown-Up Food” with the Microwave Oatmeal Choc-Banana Mugcake

  1. Sounds tasty! If you wanted to speed it up even more, you could make up five batches of the dry mix at the weekend and just tip one in every morning. But it sounds like you’ve got it pretty down already.

    We make scrambled eggs in the morning, which being tasty, quick and good for you, works well for us.

  2. You can sub out lots of parts of this. I make a gluten/grain-free version with pumpkin (instead of banana, but banana or applesauce work well too) and almond butter (or almond meal or coconut flour or any other kind of nut butter). The nut butter or alternative flour substitute the oats. I also like to drizzle some honey or maple syrup in it for sweetness.

  3. Sounds great! My husband makes banana-oatmeal cookies that are somewhat similar to your recipe, actually (though minus the milk and the egg).

    I have always preferred my oatmeal to be more chewy and less gluey, so I always go for the old fashioned oats instead of the quick oats–just an idea if anyone is always bummed that their oatmeal turns out like glue, check what kind you have been buying.

    If I make oatmeal, I have two ways to do it: one uses oatmeal, almond/soy milk (or you could use regular milk, I guess), nuts (walnuts or pecans, usually), and a little bit of chocolate (to satisfy my sweet tooth and as a consolation for having to be up so early). Occasionally I add a splash of coffee. (Again, not a morning person.)

    The other way is to do oatmeal, apple juice (or applesauce, if I actually have some floating around), nuts, and dried fruit (usually dried cranberries). Both variations would be tasty with flaxseed, if I ever remembered to buy it, which I don’t.

    With either variation, I add the liquid just to a point where I can barely see it among the oatmeal, then microwave it for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Both are tasty (to me, anyway), satisfying (chewy oatmeal, nuts, chocolate OR fruit…), but aren’t as sickeningly sweet as the pre-packaged oatmeal (that I tend to accidentally make into glue anyway).

  4. Does anyone know how you would go about transforming this to put in the oven? I’m guessing in a ramekin?

  5. I’m a lover of the “plain, boring breakfast” during the weekdays. Give me a bowl of Cheerios/Shreddies/Special K/Rice Krispies and a little bit of skim milk and I’m good to go! I’ve never liked “kids” cereals because the sugar mixing with the milk always grossed me out (still does to this day). The only time I’ll eat “kids” cereal is if it’s Corn Pops or Captain Crunch, it has to be dry (just stick my hand into the box and munch)…and it can’t be the American stuff. For some reason Canadian cereal tastes much different than US cereal AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.

    But! On the weekends I want to have something that’s more special. That’s usually when I end up making my own cinnamon toast or my husband and I go for brunch. But this little cake seems perfect! Maybe it’ll get my husband on board with eating breakfast (he’ll only eat breakfast if it’s after 10am because he’s crazy). Now I just need a microwave!

    • Ha! My husband is the opposite. Once it hits 11 a.m., he absolutely refuses to eat breakfast and will only eat lunch foods. Even if we only got out of bed 10 minutes ago.

    • Canadian cereal tastes differently because Canada is much stricter than the US about the additives and food colors that go into food. This can effect taste as well as allergies and sensitivities. Essentially there is more crap in a box of US cereal than there is in Canadian cereal, even if it is from the same company (and a US company to boot)!

  6. Anyone else read “and I’ve been adding a teaspoon of LSA”
    as and I’ve been adding a teaspoon of LSD?

    Coz I did, and that would certainly make more some interesting breakfast choices?!

  7. Because I am definitely a child when it comes to breakfast/snacks, I added a spoonful of peanut butter, a tablespoon of sugar, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips. Dude. Awesome.

  8. This sounds rather beyond my first-thing-in-the-morning capacity, which doesn’t go much beyond “put something in the toaster. Maybe spread something on it” (Whole wheat toast with apple sauce is my go-to breakfast these days), but it sounds like a tasty afternoon snack.

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