Breakfast

We’re constantly being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet it is also the one I find most difficult to be inspired about (its just too early in the morning to be creative!) A few years ago Mr Foodie and I realised we had got stuck in a bit of a breakfast rut. We (like most people) tended to have the same thing every morning. It was getting pretty boring and then we were finding that an hour or two after eating we were both really hungry again. We embarked on a mission to make breakfast more interesting and more filling but also a meal that doesn’t take too long to prepare. A magazine article I read suggested that you should have food from 3 groups; protein to fill you up (eggs, yoghurt, cheese, milk, nuts, seeds, bacon, fish), high fibre carbs (wholegrain, fruit, veg) and essential fats (nuts, seeds). We applied some of these principles (well the essential fats bit is usually absent!) and together with some inspiration from The River Cottage we now eat a much wider variety of foods at breakfast, stay fuller for longer and enjoy it more. An unexpected advantage is that a lot of these combinations are also good for a light evening meal.

Below are some of the foods we have for breakfast. I’d be interested to hear yours as well.

Porridge – so many toppings go with it. Poached fruit (Bramley apple or rhubarb are particularly good), honey (and cinnamon or just alone), jam (works best with a strong flavoured jam such as raspberry), cinnamon and raisins, maple syrup, golden syrup.

Granola – great with yoghurt or milk. We get ours from our local Farmers Market so its not full of sugar like some shop bought ones. Or you may like to try Skint Foodie’s recipe.

Muesli – we don’t have this very often and until now its been shop bought. I’d like to try this recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall though .

You will have noticed the virtual absence of shop bought cereal. We don’t find it filling enough and I don’t like cereal with added sugar which rules out most of them.

I don’t find these particularly filling so would have at breakfast with some fruit and yoghurt as well.
These tend to be a holiday breakfast treat as they are full of fat.

With jam, marmalade, honey or Marmite (Mar Mar as jBug calls it)

We eat a fair amount of eggs – fried, scrambled, boiled.

Eggy bread / French toast – good alone or with some fried apple. We use this recipe. It really does work best with stale white bread.

Pancakes (its been a long time since these made an appearance at breakfast but they’re great in the evening as a light meal – fillings include grated cheddar cheese, cream cheese, ham, smoked salmon and cream cheese, chocolate spread and banana, chocolate spread and mascarpone, mixed berries, good old lemon and sugar or orange and sugar. I could go on and on here).

Drop scones (we use a variant of the River Cottage Everyday recipe) we’ve have made them with both wholemeal and white flour. You get a lovely nutty flavour with the wholemeal and they’re a bit more filling too). For a sweeter version made with orange try Mary Berry’s recipe (found in her book Mary Berry’s Baking Bible).

Batter recipes take longer so tend to be a weekend breakfast.

We buy the plain Greek style then add our own flavourings. This way you can use for both savoury or sweet dishes without having hundreds of tubs taking up room in your fridge. Goes well with poached fruit, fruit salad, honey, jam and granola/ muesli.

Fruit salad – tinned is good if time is short. You can use whatever is in your fruit bowl too. Chopped apple, banana and grapes with raspberry yoghurt is very good!

I’m not a huge fan of meat in the mornings but occasionally bacon, sausage or ham will make an appearance.

Hopefully that’s given you some ideas. Most of these are pretty quick to make – essential in the mornings when you are trying to get out of the door on time (who wants to get up even earlier??)

For further inspiration / recipes take a look at The Skint Foodie and BBC Good Food websites (the latter has 135 – if that doesn’t inspire you nothing will!!) I’m sure a quick internet search will throw up many more.

Once I’ve had a chance to look try some of these out this list may get a bit longer!

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