Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
28 Nov

No Oat Oatmeal… It’s No-atmeal!

When you’re looking for a protein-packed breakfast, eggs and meat seem like the most obvious choice. But if you go for the most obvious choice every single morning, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. So on those mornings when meat and eggs aren’t what you’re craving and you wake up feeling less like a hunter and more like a gatherer, try Mark’s Daily Apple reader Doug Descant’s ingenious recipe for No-atmeal.

Pronounced “note-meal” (as in, no oatmeal) Doug’s recipe, that he submitted for the Primal Cookbook Challenge, is for all you ex-cereal lovers out there and for anyone who needs a warm bowl of comforting goodness on a cold winter morning. As Doug says, “it’s a hot meal full of essential proteins and fats, not to mention the necessary vitamins and minerals, in order to stay energized for the cold weeks ahead.”

In Doug’s recipe a blend of pecans, walnuts and a dash of flaxseed is warmed up with almond milk custard, mashed banana and almond butter to create a wholly satisfying hot cereal. The texture is rich and so is the flavor, especially when you add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and a topping of fresh berries and almond milk. Just thinking about eating No-atmeal for breakfast is guaranteed to coax you out of bed in the morning.


  • 1 small handful of walnuts
  • 1 small handful of pecans
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more if you prefer it a little runny)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of goji berries or fresh berries


Add walnuts, pecans, flax seed and spices to a food processor and pulse it down to a course grain, making sure to stop before it’s totally ground into a powder. Set aside.

Whisk together eggs and almond milk (Doug uses a Blender Bottle) until the consistency thickens a little bit into a loose custard. Thoroughly blend together the mashed banana and almond butter and add it to the custard, mixing well.

Stir in the nut mixture. Microwave or gently warm on the stove until the “no-atmeal” reaches your desired consistency; this should only take a few minutes. In both cases, stir the mixture frequently as it cooks.

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and berries on top. Add more almond milk if you want. Lick the bowl clean!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thanks for the comments Stephen and paleo_piper. You guys have awesome blogs. I’m looking forward to reading them.

    Doug wrote on December 4th, 2009
  2. I really like my protein in the morning! Thank you for this no-atmeal recipe, it is absolutely incredible!

    Sabrina wrote on December 4th, 2009
  3. Thank you for trying it.

    Doug wrote on December 4th, 2009
  4. I just made this and it was excellent. I ate only half of it so no problem with excessive carbs or calories. I put a few blueberries and raspberries on it and some whole milk, too. Next time I’ll try it with pumpkin instead of banana. Thanks for the tips, folks.

    Roadrogue wrote on December 5th, 2009
  5. Thanks for the comment, Roadrogue. Let me know how the pumpkin turns out. I’m gonna try it tomorrow.

    Doug wrote on December 5th, 2009
  6. just wanted to give you guys an update.

    i just made this, but substituted 1/2c pure pumpkin for the bananas and it was awesome!

    you may have to adjust the spices according to your taste, but i think this is a great low carb meal that would work for those of you who need to be a little strict about your carb intake.

    there are 11g of carbs in the 1/2c pumpkin that i used, which is drastically different than using a banana.

    give it a shot and let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions.

    Doug wrote on December 7th, 2009
    • I also did a pumpkin version. Pretty good :)

      Grok wrote on December 9th, 2009
  7. Really good! I made some this morning. I didn’t have time to finish it before I had to run out the door, so I’m eating the rest now as my post-workout snack/lunch (it’s 2:15 pm and my schedule’s a little “off”!). I didn’t use any berries and I made it with coconut milk. Pumpkin would be excellent!

    Jenny wrote on December 7th, 2009
  8. I’m glad you liked it Jenny. What kind of coconut milk did you use? I looked for some the other day, but wasn’t too interested in what I found.

    Doug wrote on December 7th, 2009
  9. I used something called “SO Delicious Coconut Milk.” It’s in the cooler in the health food section at our grocery store and comes in a carton rather than a can. I bought it because I had a coupon. Someone who knows more than I could tell you if it’s actually “primal” or even good for you! I think regular coconut milk would be too thick.

    Jenny wrote on December 7th, 2009
  10. it sounds primal enough. it really depends on what else is in it. better for you than milk i’d imagine.

    Doug wrote on December 7th, 2009
  11. A former oatmeal lover, this could be the ticket for fulfilling that craving. I am definitely trying it next weekend. As a disc golfer who goes out and plays for 5-6 hours straight without sitting down, I need some carbs to go with my protein & fat. If I don’t get plenty of liquids, potassium, and carbs, I’m prone to leg cramps after a day of disc golf.

    discgolfgeek wrote on December 7th, 2009
    • that’s awesome dude. let me know how you like it and how the disc golf went. gotta course by my house that i need to visit. do you have any good links to the rules and where to get the discs?

      Doug wrote on December 7th, 2009
  12. sure do. for starters.

    ebay has tons of discs. To start out, buy a BUZZZ or ROC — both are good all around discs. There are 100s of different discs, each with their own unique flight characteristics (obviously there is considerable overlap).

    the sport is essentially free (buy a disc, pay to enter some parks), it’s great walking exercise, and as you get better, you’ll be surprised at how many fast twitch muscles you need to deploy in order to propel the disc from your hand to a basket 350 or more feet away.

    discgolfgeek wrote on December 7th, 2009
    • um yeah i think i’m hooked. i used to play golf but wasn’t very good at it. it’s too damn expensive and a big stress on the heart (in regards to how pissed off on can get on a par 3)

      DG looks to be very relaxing and laid back. as soon as the weather clears up here in houston, i’m gonna jog to the course and give it a shot.

      thanks for the info.

      Doug wrote on December 8th, 2009
      • ok i have to ask. any tiger woods jokes floating around the disc golf community?

        Doug wrote on December 8th, 2009
        • of course but I think Tiger Woods jokes are floating around EveryWhere

          discgolfgeek wrote on December 9th, 2009
  13. I just started going Primal and made this for breakfast this morning. OMG, it’s AMAZING! I used two eggs instead of three, soy milk instead of almond (it’s all I got for now) and added a dash of coconut milk. I used a combo of almonds, pecans and walnuts, about .20 oz. I topped it off with some blueberries.

    I plugged it all into FitDay and came up with the following:

    413 calories
    24.6 grams of fat
    34.5 grams of carbs
    18.9 grams of protein

    This is way better than oatmeal! 😀

    pat wrote on December 9th, 2009
  14. Sorry, that’s .20oz each, not in total.

    pat wrote on December 9th, 2009
    • thanks for the awesome comment pat.

      Doug wrote on December 9th, 2009
  15. It’s me again!

    I found that making this over the stove, over low heat in a saucepan turns out better than in the microwave. It starts to resemble scrambled eggs at first, but don’t panic – keep whisking like crazy! It comes out smooth and creamy.

    This is seriously addictive Doug; I’ve been eating it almost every morning since my last post!

    pat wrote on December 17th, 2009
  16. I’ll have to give it a go on the stove. thanks pat

    Doug wrote on December 17th, 2009
  17. WOW…making it with pumpkin (and a little bit of honey) is like having pumpkin pie filling for breakfest! Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did! It also comes out thicker with pumpkin. YUM!

    pat wrote on December 18th, 2009
    • I like it better with pumpkin too Pat. Not that the banana version isn’t freak’n good, but I like the pumpkin for its heartiness.

      Doug wrote on December 18th, 2009
  18. I really wanted to like this and maybe if I had some berries on hand to throw in it, the taste might have been better. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly because I just didn’t have all the ingredients. I could ‘feel’ the eggs cooked in there, I just couldn’t taste them. Maybe next time I’ll throw some berries in it or something to give it more flavor.

    BNDR wrote on December 19th, 2009
  19. What’s wrong with oatmeal?

    Matt wrote on December 20th, 2009
    • Scroll up and see:
      About > Primal Blueprint 101

      Grok wrote on December 20th, 2009
    • Read Primal Blueprint

      doug wrote on December 20th, 2009
    • The ‘oat’ part.

      Icarus wrote on December 20th, 2009
  20. Really? Good luck with that. I had spam for lunch today.

    Matt wrote on December 20th, 2009
    • Really? Good luck with that. See you back here in a few years.

      For now, quit trolling. There’s plenty of sites out there advocating oatmeal and Spam. They’d love you to hang around and spam them.

      Grok wrote on December 20th, 2009
  21. i have to agree…no microwave, just a few extra minutes o the stove to make a healthy hearty meal. ~j

    jgirl wrote on December 24th, 2009
  22. Just made a 1/2 recipe for lunch. Surprisingly tasty – much better than oatmeal or oat bran in my opinion. With Primal the hardest thing for me is the psychological issue with eating so much fat (even though it’s good fat!). I’ll get over it I am sure, but it is difficult!

    Jenny from the Grok wrote on December 28th, 2009
    • Eat some farm-raised bacon, it’ll solve that problem!

      Will wrote on December 29th, 2009
  23. Wow—I just made this for breakfast, but I subbed some pumpkin puree instead of bananas (didn’t have any). It is divine!

    Marissa wrote on December 29th, 2009
  24. I’m really curious how adding chopped up hazelnuts and some cocoa powder would turn out? Like chocolate/hazelnut/pumpkin pie filling?!


    pat wrote on December 29th, 2009
  25. I just made a half recipe of this for lunch (using 2 eggs), substituting coconut milk for almond milk and pumpkin puree for banana, and it was pretty tasty. I resisted the temptation to add a bit of splenda, since I’m trying to re-train my sweet tooth and avoid artificial sweeteners. I also don’t know that I added quite enough of the spices – I didn’t measure them. But this is a great alternative to my traditional breakfast of fried or scrambled eggs, for the rare occasion I get sick of them, and it’s got a great nutrient balance (I don’t actually like banana, but I’m too sensitive to carbs to eat them, so pumpkin is a great sub).

    debmeg wrote on December 30th, 2009
  26. I made this the other day using pumpkin, with nuts I’d roasted myself, heavy cream, and coconut flakes on top. omg. Doug, this stuff is great!

    Heather Lackey wrote on January 4th, 2010
  27. Thanks for this great recipe. I needed it as it got cold in South FL this week.

    Dale Buchanan wrote on January 7th, 2010
    • I hear ya dale. Just had it w/ pumpkin this morning. we about to have a freeze here in houston.

      Doug wrote on January 7th, 2010
  28. Hey cave gals and guys,

    I want to give you an update on the no-atmeal.

    I just made it using 1/2cup of cubed butternut squash that I roasted last week for another primal recipe (coming soon hopefully)

    I prefer this version because it doesn’t involve anything that comes out of a can.

    Here are the changes:

    -1/2cup butternut squash cubbed and roasted with coconut oil and spices (mainly cinnamon, pinch of salt, all spice, and a touch of local honey)

    – I put it in a 400* over for about 30min

    – Let it cool down completely.
    – I used coconut milk instead of almond milk. better IMHO

    Everything else is pretty much the same. Try it and let me know what you think.

    Doug wrote on January 8th, 2010
    • oh yeah, 1/2c of butternut squash is about 8-9 carbs. says my blackberry

      Doug wrote on January 8th, 2010
  29. Doug, thanks for this brilliant idea!

    I eat pretty low carb in general (moving towards primal) but had never given up on a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I’d have a boiled egg, coconut oil and some whey protein as well, so figured that these would modulate the insulin spike, but even so I would generally be getting hungry a max of 3 hours later. Well, I made your Noatmeal this morning, with ground almonds, shredded coconut, whole milk and 1 banana and 4 eggs for two people – and it’s been 4 and a half hours and I’m still not really hungry. I’m just now starting to feel like I could eat something, but I wouldn’t starve if I didn’t.

    Thanks so much!! It’s delicious and I will be trying all the variations! I’ll be thinking about going grain free too.

    Lucy wrote on January 15th, 2010
    • Lucy, you just made my day. I’m glad you enjoyed the No-atmeal. Enjoy the new sense of life you get from going primal.

      Grok On!

      Doug wrote on January 18th, 2010
    • I, too, am like Lucy and ate pretty low carb before I started making the albeit slow transition over, but always had to have something that was filling in the morning or else I would be like that person that didn’t get their cup/pot of coffee. Even before, this was typically the only meal of the day that I had carbs and it was steel cut oats. I just made this, Doug, and it was amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe. I tend to workout a good bit and so I am not even afraid to try this every day *gasp*. I also did like Lucy and used 2 eggs, mainly due to cost reasons. I’m so full that I should be able to skip my typical “mid-am snack”.

      I agree with another poster above that if so many of you are so worried about a SINGLE banana, you really should take a step back and reevaluate. Thanks again, Doug! I look forward to more of your recipes.

      Brigette wrote on August 29th, 2010
      • Thanks for the kind words Brigette. I’m happy you liked it. Best of luck to you in your new PRIMAL life.

        Doug wrote on August 29th, 2010
  30. Wow, this looks amazing! I am not an oatmeal fan so trying this ‘no-atmeal’ will be nice. I actually went out and bought the ingredients yesterday so I know what I am having for breakfast. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    Can’t wait


    Patty wrote on March 17th, 2010
    • Thanks Patty.

      Let me know what you think.

      Grok On!

      Doug wrote on March 20th, 2010
  31. This recipe is awesome. I just made up a batch for tomorrow morning with the following additions: zest of 1 orange. about 1/2t salt. A drizzle of real maple syrup over the finished product. FANTASTIC. It should be noted that I’m not particularly fond of oatmeal and normally CAN’T STAND bananas. Also – there’s no way I’ll be able to eat this whole recipe in one sitting – I’ll just freeze the rest and save it for next week!

    Jeremy wrote on March 19th, 2010
    • Hey Jeremy,

      Thanks for trying it. If you’re not big on the bananas, try it w/ organic canned pumpkin. Lower carbs and pretty freak’n awesome too. A little dash of allspice kicks it up a few notches as well.

      Doug wrote on March 20th, 2010
  32. I love these ultra-sophisticated caveman recipes! This is just the kind of meal that makes me feel rubbish (anything with ground nuts/ seeds as a grain imitation seems to do that). I eat this kind of thing occasionally, and I try to justify it as primal, then regret it and realise that a bowl of raw oats (not so evil) with water/ milk and berries would probably be just as primal and make me feel a lot better.

    If it works for some people, go for it, but it seems like a big investment of time/ money for a relatively high carb, processed, not so primal meal.

    But, of course, it’s the removal of grains that is important to the primal diet and sometimes that kind of principle is the key to the PB working. But, I would recommend anything with mashed, cooked banana and ground nuts going into the ‘rare treat’ category.

    I’m not trying to be critical, just looking at the other side.

    Zhua Zi wrote on March 21st, 2010
  33. i started making this recipe in jan when i first went primal and LOVE it. in fact, this recipe was one of the things that helped me quickly transition into primal without feeling deprived of grains (i’m like a junkie). however, i was never a fan of cinnamon oatmeal, so i substitute the spices in the recipe for shredded coconut and cocoa powder and a dab of vanilla extract. when i make this it lasts for 3 breakfasts, its so filling i can’t imagine eating the entire thing in one sitting.

    tamizami wrote on April 11th, 2010
    • tamizami,

      glad you liked it and that it helped with your transition.

      Doug wrote on May 20th, 2010
  34. I was interested in making this until I saw how many calories were in it!! :-( I need to figure out how to make this without so many calories.

    Sandra wrote on May 11th, 2010
    • sandra,

      you can substitute organic pumpkin for the banana which will bring the calories and sugars down.

      you can also cut down the amount of nuts as well and still have it come out the same way. give it a shot and let me know.

      Doug wrote on May 20th, 2010
    • OK … I’m relatively new to this primal concept. Aren’t we more concerned about moderating our insulin production than counting calories??? Are we better off with a higher calorie low glycemic meal (like noatmeal) versus a lower calorie alternative that generates a more robust insulin response?

      I tried noatmeal for the 1st time this morning after a moderate workout (few dead lifts, pull ups, push ups, sit ups, body-weight squats) and LOVED IT! I may reserve noatmeal as a breakfast on days that I work out a little harder. Thoughts????

      Odie wrote on February 19th, 2011
  35. I made a similar recipe this morning:

    1 mashed banana
    1/4 cup of coconut milk
    About 16-20 chopped almonds (I soaked them overnight)
    1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
    2 tablespoons of coconut flour
    2 tablespoons of cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon of ginger
    1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

    Mix it all together and serve. :]

    Tarek wrote on June 9th, 2010
  36. I had this for breaky this morning – just like the real thing if not better!! And I didn’t find mine sweet at all – my banana wasn’t very ripe. I added blueberries and a generous splash of heavy cream yum!! :)

    Low Carb Princess wrote on August 11th, 2010
  37. glad you liked it Low Carb Princess. keep living life.


    you have decided my breakfast for me tomorrow

    Doug wrote on August 11th, 2010
  38. This tastes great, I recommend it for anyone

    Jeff wrote on November 10th, 2010
  39. okay I am a newbie here also, and I cannot see myself eating a delish pancake recipe WITHOUT SYRUP…help! how can i have syrup on my pancake without indulging in sugar?

    CherieThiers wrote on January 23rd, 2011
    • This thread is about Oatmeal replacement, not for pancakes, however we will indulge you 😉

      Cherie, I was fortunate as I was never one to like my pancakes swimming in syrup, as I never even used much syrup to start with, I sometimes would use honey, however since going primal, I discovered Coconut Milk, I suggest you give this a try to help you make this transition. I also suggest add a date or two or even honey to help you with the sweetness, eventually you will use just the coconut milk and maybe a touch of honey or one date. I make my own Coconut milk by mixing some coconut cream with some water. coconut cream is found at Tropical Traditions on the web. great stuff and is somewhat sweet. hope this helps … Baby steps ok? Eventually you will even cut out the traditional pancakes made with flour. You will be making pancakes with coconut flour,coconut cream, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla.

      Robert wrote on February 4th, 2011
  40. I hate oatmeal (too slimy) but I made this the other day for my husband who loves oatmeal – he liked this a lot and I did too. I modified the recipe to make it more low-carb (no banana) but the basic bones of this recipe really served me well. Great idea – yum!

    Delishix wrote on June 13th, 2011

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