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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. glad you liked it Low Carb Princess. keep living life.


    you have decided my breakfast for me tomorrow

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

    Jeff wrote on November 10th, 2010
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. I was skeptical, but this is really tasty and satisfying. I subbed blanched almonds for the pecans – I had them on hand and I loathe pecans. I also added some pumpkin seeds to the meal. Excellent! For those concerned about the egg getting cooked, just pop a candy thermometer in there to check your temps.

    Kristine wrote on July 12th, 2011
  13. The the next occasion I read a weblog, I truly hope so it doesnt disappoint me around brussels. Come on, man, Yes, it was my option to read, but I just thought youd have some thing intriguing to state. All I hear can be lots of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.

    Tyson Rizer wrote on September 1st, 2011
  14. I’m a newbie to pb, and like Mark said, I adore recipes that point me in the right direction and get me used to eating pb. I referee youth soccer, so during the playing season I’m not such a fiend about my carb intake, especially with weekends that have 12-13 games on my schedule at a tournament. Thank you so much for taking the time to post a yummy alternative to oatmeal (which I’m not a big fan of, I love Cream of Wheat, LOL) and for those of you who are worried about the whole banana, maybe use half of a banana? I’m definintely going to try the pumpkin version, I love pumpkin!! Thanks again!

    Alicia wrote on September 15th, 2011
  15. My toddler was a HUGE hot cereal fan before we started Paleo. It’s only been 12 days, but she LOVES this. I haven’t had access to the Almond milk so we’ve used Coconut milk, but none the less she eats two servings of this when I make it. I don’t care what people’s motivations for making it are, I got this when I asked a friend for something other than eggs and something filling for the toddler and this is the website she sent and I’m so glad she did! Thanks for the recipe!!!

    Wendeth wrote on November 11th, 2011
  16. Wow, just made that for my 6-year-old daughter and she loved it. Me too. Sometimes a bowl of hot cereal really hits the spot.

    Bob Connors wrote on December 14th, 2011
  17. OMG!! I have been jones-ing for some oatmeal the past couple weeks (since the weather is cooler) but refusing to give into the grain pull, and just making due with my hard boiled eggs. So then I stumbled upon this recipe!!! This is the BEST!!! It’s warm and gooey and just a nice comfort food!! That’s the part of the oatmeal, I figured out, that I was craving — the warm gooey goodness of a hot bowl of oatmeal. So now, it’s a warm gooey bowl of noatmeal!! So much better than traditional oatmeal!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

    CaliCaveMomma wrote on January 3rd, 2012

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