Easy advance prep and the protein of a whole egg make this portable, customizable meal a winner.
There’s something so satisfying about these lightly sweet, hearty muffins. Without a doubt, this meal-in-a-cup has become my go-to travel fare, and I keep a stash of these handy cups in my pantry for all the times someone needs to dine and dash…or dine while dashing!
Since last Christmas, I’ve traveled by plane more than I usually do. Of course, there’s never much to eat on a plane these days, and one can never be too sure there will be time between connections. So I’ve gotten in the habit of covering my bases. After experimenting with this recipe for completely different reasons, I realized it was, in fact, ideal for packing. The prep can be done quickly in advance so you can grab and go, plus it cooks in AND travels in its own package. (Which is recyclable, by the way!)
As an added bonus, there are several flavor choices, and each cup can be customized according to personal preference and what you have on hand. I find that the complex carbs of the chewy oats create a satisfying yum factor, while a whole egg delivers protein and keeps me full for hours.
My husband and kids love these portable cups as much as I do, so we often enjoy them on the days that offer a more leisurely start. I often eat these muffins with a piece of fruit on the side and find myself full after eating half the muffin. So I store the leftover portion in the convenient packaging, and when hunger strikes, a welcome snack is ready and waiting.
Locally, I find the oatmeal cups at Giant. For online purchase and additional information, you may visit Bob’s Red Mill.
When time allows, I like to cook the oatmeal the night before, as the flavor of the muffin improves overnight. If preferred, the ingredients may be mixed the night before and cooked in the morning. Either way, this makes a fabulous portable meal.
- 1 Bob’s Red Red Mill oatmeal cup (flavor of choice; see favorite combos below)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) mashed very ripe banana, applesauce, apple butter or pumpkin butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk of choice
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure maple syrup (may substitute sweetener of choice to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Optional mix-ins: 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, raisins or other dried fruit bits, and/or nuts
Mix all of the ingredients together. You can do this directly in the oatmeal cup, although it’s a little easier to do it this way: If using banana, mash it with a fork against the side of a small bowl (alternatively, add chosen fruit puree), and then mix in the egg until combined. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the oatmeal cup. (If you wish, sprinkle the top with a pinch or two of oats, some shredded coconut, etc.—this is primarily for a pretty look.) Let sit on the counter for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours. You may also put the lid back on and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (The mixture must rest for at least 1 hour to prevent the oatmeal from cooking over the top of the cup. When time allows, I like to cook the oatmeal the night before, as the flavor of the muffin improves overnight.)
When ready to cook, remove the lid and microwave on full power for approximately 2 minutes (or about 2 1/2 minutes when cold from the fridge) or until the muffin is no longer moist on top and the center is cooked through. (There is no need to stir the contents prior to cooking. Until you know how long this will take in your microwave, check the muffin a little early and add additional cooking time in 15-20 second intervals, as needed. If you want to be certain the muffin is cooked through, use a quick read thermometer; the internal temperature should read approximately 200 to 205 degrees F.)
Gently pry the muffin out of the cup with a butter knife. Be careful; it will be very hot. The edges will be very moist at first from the steam in the cup, but this will quickly evaporate as the muffin cools for a minute or two. Optionally, allow the muffin to cool completely (in or out of the cup), replace the lid, and store in the refrigerator.
- Favorite flavor combinations:
- *Blueberry-hazelnut oatmeal cup/mashed banana/shredded coconut
- *Brown sugar-maple oatmeal cup/pumpkin butter/pecan/dried cranberries
- *Apple-cinnamon oatmeal cup/applesauce/walnuts/raisins