Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Morning Bowl of Chocolate

Most mornings, I have a "bowl of chocolate" for breakfast. This is one of the few breakfasts that holds me until (or beyond) lunch time, and I like not having a strong urge to snack between breakfast and lunch. Sometimes I make the cinnamon variant and eat it with fruit, but my default is chocolate.

The original source that my mother sent to me has vanished, but this Cinnamon Breakfast Muffin recipe is very close. I have adapted this recipe, based on food sensitivities (sugar instead of Splenda to minimize gastrointestinal consequences), happy accidents (tripling the yogurt, and doubling the ground flax), and experiments. Since I eat this almost every morning, I make a large batch of the dry ingredients in advance to save time in the morning. I have also learned that I can mix this a day or two in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and cook it in the morning (less thinking and time required to get to breakfast).

Once I had a routine, I wanted to try additions to the basic recipe. My current variations are to add almond butter (more protein and healthy fats), psyllium husk (fiber and prebiotic), hemp seeds (complete protein with all essential amino acids, nutrients, and some essential fatty acids), and chia seeds (antioxidants, fiber, nutrients, and protein). I discovered that I enjoyed the additions, but could no longer eat a "single serving" in one sitting. Generally recipes with baking powder should be baked soon after mixing with wet ingredients, but this recipe stores fine when I've made it up to a week in advance. By splitting the result into two bowls (one lidded), I was able to keep my tasty recipe additions without overeating.

Chocolate Morning Mix Ingredients

  • 2 cups flax seeds, ground into flax meal
  • 2 Tbs up to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (or 2 Tbs ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds/hearts
  • 3 Tbs chia seeds
  • 2 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 Tbs psyllium husk (not ground - use less if ground)

Morning "Bowl of Chocolate" Directions

  1. Scramble 1 egg in a large microwave-safe bowl (recommended 3 cup capacity).
  2. Scoop in 2 Tbs (up to 1/4 cup) of yogurt. I generally use plain yogurt.
  3. Mix in 2 to 3 Tbs of almond butter. (When I tried peanut butter, it tasted burnt, so I stick with almond butter.) While this doesn't have to be thoroughly mixed, it does help to break up most of the "chunks" in the almond butter, and to mix the egg and yogurt thoroughly.
  4. Add 6 Tbs of morning mix, and combine. The mixture will thicken; once you're used to this recipe, you will be able to tell when it has thickened enough or when you need to add more mix.
  5. Scoop half of this into a bowl with a lid, and save that for tomorrow (or for your best friend, as I've done before).
  6. Microwave until done. The original recipe says 1 minute, but as I added more yogurt and other ingredients, I had to increase the time. In my 900-watt microwave, I cook a half-batch for 2 minutes (2:30 if it's not as thick as usual because I ran out of mix).
  7. Top with a thin layer of maple syrup. I found pancake syrup tasted odd with this.
  8. Top with semisweet chocolate chips. I found that milk chocolate chips were the wrong flavor contrast for my preferences.
  9. Enjoy while warm! It loses a lot of appeal when it cools. I find this is best when it's the first food I eat; later in the day, it tastes "too healthy" and isn't as enjoyable. In the morning, it's like chocolate cake; in the evening, I prefer "The One" Chocolate Mug Cake.

Almost every time I try something else for breakfast, I end up snacking before lunch and wishing I had stuck to my routine.

With both dairy (yogurt) and eggs, this is not allergy-friendly. I have not found this recipe to be adaptable to substitutions for either eggs or yogurt. It is, however, gluten free so long as the baking powder is GF.