I’ve been promising on Instagram to start doing some recipes and food posts and I figured breakfast was a pretty appropriate way to get the ball rolling… You definitely can’t call most of these ‘recipes’ per se (looking at you boiled eggs), more of a breakdown of favourite ways to start the day. And as a clinical night owl, mornings are not my forte so anything that encourages me to get out of the duvet den is a winner.
Saying that, I’m a huge advocate of the age-old ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ motto… I was renowned at university for having a boiled egg every morning and took this habit down to London with me when I first stated working. After a year or so though I slipped into the inevitable cereal bar/croissant/vanilla latte black hole, or occasionally getting ‘breakfast’ at about 11 A.M, by which time I was exhausted and running on empty. Energy, appetite, mood, skin and immune system – just a few things I now know improve ten fold if I eat a good, filling breakfast every morning. Beware to anyone around a hangry me in the morning….
These are the breakfasts that get me going from Monday to Friday (weekends in my eyes are strictly for fry-ups, pancakes and anything bacon-based) and take into account goodness, energy and effort involved (preferably minimum), all key when you’re trying to get out of the door in the morning.
1. Mashed avocado on oatcakes. I used to get a few strange look as work when I’d have this at my desk, but it’s definitely worth it. Beats cardboard cereal handsdown and is really easy to make in your office kitchen. Mashed one small avocado up with rapeseed oil, chilli flakes and some salt and smear over as many rough cut oatcakes as it will fill. I like mine with a side of strawberries (when in season) and ginger tea.
2. Almond Berry Breakfast Smoothie. One of my favourite things to whip up in my Nutri-bullet (apologies if I sound like the shopping channel but I get asked quite a bit what blender I use). Personally, I always need carbs in the morning so I throw oats and chia seeds into this to make it more filling. I don’t really use a recipe and kind of worked it out through trial and error but to give you an idea, it goes something like this…
Handful of berries (blackberries, bluebrries, raspberries – whatever you prefer or have in the fridge)
Teaspoon on almond butter
Heaped spoonful of jumbo rolled oats
Heaped spoonful of milled chia seeds
Sprinkling of cinnamon
Teaspoon of vanilla essence or paste
Cover with unsweetened almond milk and blitz….
3. Boiled eggs and soldiers (my staple). If you can start the day with an egg or two, do. They’re so good for you and contrary to popular belief, they won’t make your cholesterol sky rocket. It’s not always possible time-wise I know, but unlike other types of eggs, at least you can be getting ready for the 5 minutes your egg takes to boil. For my toast, I like soda bread or some sort of spelt/oat-based wholegrain with proper butter.
4. Quinoa fig granola. After a winter of eating like I’m going into hibernation, I always find myself getting back into granola and cereal in the spring. This is my personal favourite combination… Greek, natural or coconut yoghut (whichever you prefer), quinoa flakes and grapenuts, all mixed up topped off with figs. Some cinnamon or honey works wonders for the sweet-toothed among us too. I’m not much of a nut eater (can just about stretch to an almond) but I imagine pistachios, walnuts or almonds would all be delicious in this.
5. Scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes. This is the kind of hearty breakfast I’d try and have if I had a big day ahead or knew I wouldn’t be eating lunch for a while… Before heading to the airport for a flight for example (although I’ll let you off if you’re up at 4 to get to Stanstead). I just throw some raw baby spinach into the eggs when they’re still liquid in the pan and let them cook through together. Mix this up as much as you want – maybe add some chilli or feta to your eggs or sub out the toast for an extra egg if you’re not as much of a carb monster in the morning.
And of course, no morning is complete without a big cup of tea….
Ph. by myself and James Wright