I’m sure there isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t know that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. I grew up with the slogan “go to work on an egg” and have read too many articles to count on why I should have a healthy breakfast to start me up right for the day.
There are so many benefits to breakfast. You are more likely to avoid certain health conditions, you are less likely to put on weight, and you are more likely to feel energised enough to make it through a day at work.
I have known all these things for a long time. Yet I still didn’t eat breakfast. Or, if I do, I eat something it is more likely to clog the arteries (white toast dripping in butter and jam anyone?) then help keep them clear.
Partly, my lack of breakfast eating is down to the fact that I am never really hungry on a morning. But also, it is because I find breakfast boring. At some point, cereal ceased to excite me and I can’t get my head round anything more than that (other than a fry up on a weekend – again, not doing the arteries any good!).
With my plan to get healthier, though, I have decided that something needs to change. Breakfast was back on the menu. Partly, I have been inspired by reading a wonderful recipe book, Healthyish, which aims to give you quick and easy recipes without worrying about having to fill your fridge with strange ingredients or count calories. Partly, I was inspired by the need to lose weight and, if breakfast can help, why not give it a go?
The problem then is I still didn’t fancy cereal and I know, even if I do, it isn’t going to give me the health benefits I needed. Cue mad panic, followed by deep breathing and a look through Healthyish for ideas. Lucky for me, there are lots, from smoothies to overnight oats to homemade museli (which I’ve still to try). And there’s Pinterest – the source of all knowledge!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried a bunch of breakfast recipes. Some have worked, some haven’t and some have been adapted because I’m not just making breakfast for me but for my husband and seven-year old daughter. As I know I’m not the only one out there that skips breakfast, or struggles to get motivated on a morning, I thought I would share some of them with the other non-breakfasters out there.
So, if you fancy something a bit different on the morning, give these a try, a Monday to Friday plan for a week’s worth of breakfast. All have been tried and tested by myself. All kept me full till lunch. And all have taken less than 10 minutes to make (that’s the porridge – everything else is 5 or less).
Monday – Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smoothie – adapted just a little bit from Healthyish by adding Nutella (no doubt reducing the healthiness but there you go!)
To make: Grab a blender and add 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup of ice, 2 tbsp. of peanut butter, 1 tbsp. of Nutella, and 1 cup of almond milk. Blend. Drink.
Tuesday – Porridge (the type made form scratch and not from a package you zap in the microwave or add boiling water to).
To make: Add 1/3 cup of oats to a pan and 2/3 cup of milk (you can cut this with almond milk if you would like). Put on a low heat and stir regularly as the milk is absorbed into the oats. My husband says I make porridge like I make risotto, which is a good description. Add more milk as you need to until it has the desired consistency / texture. It should take 5 – 10 minutes. Top with fruit and, if you need a sweeter kick, agave nectar or honey.
Wednesday – Fruit Toast with bananas (stolen from Healthyish)
To make: Slice the bread (or buy it pre-sliced), put in the toaster, spread with peanut butter (preferably the chunky kind) and top with bananas. If you have a 7-year old, swap the peanut butter for Nutella and you will be the coolest mom ever.
Thursday – eggs, of any description
To make: Fry them, soft-boil them, coddle them, but scrambling is one of the easiest for a weekday breakfast I find. I’m lazy when it comes to scrambled eggs, I don’t even whisk them first. I crack them into the pan with a bit of butter and start to stir. I find it gives you chunkier, drier eggs, which I prefer. The nice thing about scrambled eggs is you can add so many different things to them – spinach, peppers, mushrooms, cheese of any description. Serve them with whole wheat toast vs. white to be a bit healthier.
Friday – Smoked Salmon on Rye Bread (because it’s Friday and you should treat yourself)
To make: Toast dark rye bread (I like the German variety, which for those in the UK you can get from Lidl and Aldi and it’s brilliant). Spread with cream cheese. Top with salmon. (o.k. so not really a make it, but it is so good!)
And that’s it. A week’s worth of breakfast that will fill you up, keep you going, and make the Saturday muffin and latte and Sunday fry-up much less guilt-inducing.
I’d also like to add one more benefit too. Eating together. Before this, the whole family would eat at different times, usually staring at the TV. Now, we all get up and eat together at the table. Given how many things we have going on in an evening, when our meal is often rushed, this has been a wonderful advantage and a great way to start the day!
What do you think, do they appeal or do you have a preferred breakfast food?