Breakfast special

First post of 2014, so I’ll start at the beginning. Breakfast!

For a CLEW team breakfast, I took along fig bircher muesli, which is easily and – more importantly – quickly thrown together the night before, ready to be spooned into bowls the next morning. It was a big hit! I found that a raspberry and cranberry smoothie went really well with it (scroll down for recipes).

Fig muesli

When you want something special for the weekend, try this banana breakfast loaf (scroll down for recipe):

Banana loaf

Mine in the picture has a few chocolate drops which are clearly optional, you can decide depending on how good you were during the week!

Breakfast options

Rather than reaching into the bread bin every morning, try to vary your breakfasts from day to day, there are other quicker, healthier and tastier options. Make time to try something new once a week and it will quickly find it’s way into your breakfast routine.

Start the day with a bowl of porridge. If you keep a bag of frozen berries in the freezer, add them in right at the end of cooking and it transforms your porridge, adding an extra hit of vitamins and flavour. Oats help reduce your cholesterol levels, so good for those on a special diet. Porridge can be made with water or milk (or milk substitutes), or a mix of both, and it is quick to make in either a saucepan or microwave. I put a quarter of oats in a small juice glass, tip in a bowl, add twice the amount of liquid and simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.

And if you want something sweet, just slice a banana into your porridge and it is as easy as that. Bananas also contain resistant starch, which is actually a type of fibre. You can’t digest it, but it helps you feel fuller for longer. Or a teaspoon of honey with a few chopped hazelnuts and dried apricots. Again, experiment!

Eggs are a quick and healthy way to start the day, be it poached, boiled, scrambled or in an omelette. They are a relatively low calorie source of protein, which helps keep you feeling full for longer. Eggs are one of the rare food sources of vitamin D, so ideal for this time of the year. In a US study, women who ate eggs for breakfast ate less for the rest of the day than women who breakfasted on bagels!

A few of my favourites are: Scrambled eggs on crispbread with sliced tomato; red pepper and baby spinach leaf omelette, spring onion and smoked salmon omelette…  just see what is in your fridge.

Recipes

Fig Bircher Muesli, 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups natural muesli (you can make this yourself or use a ready made non sweetened mix)
  • 1 ½ cups apple juice
  • 1 cup low fat plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup low fat milk
  • ¾ cup dried figs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup slivered toasted almonds
  • 3 fresh figs quartered

Method:

  1. Combine the muesli, apple juice, yogurt, milk, dried figs and honey, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Spoon muesli into bowls, sprinkle with nuts and top with fresh figs.

Cranberry and raspberry smoothie, serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 200 ml cranberry juice
  • 175g frozen raspberries
  • 100 ml milk
  • 200 ml low fat natural yogurt

Place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.

Banana Breakfast Loaf, serves 8

Ingredients

  • 75g butter softened
  • 110g golden caster sugar (cassonade blonde)
  • 125g plain flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas mashed
  • 50g chopped walnuts or pecans
  • good handful of plain chocolate drops (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180°c/fan 170°c
  2. Beat together butter, sugar, flours, baking powder, eggs and bananas.
  3. Stir in the nuts and spoon into a lined and buttered 450g loaf tin.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Happy mornings! 

Text and photos by Alison Korter-Lacki, January 2014

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