Ahh breakfast. Petit déjeuner. Frühstück. Whether you prefer a British fry-up, French viennoiseries or German-style bread, cheese and ham, you can’t deny that breakfast is great. I’m not going to harp on about how important it is, as we all know that, don’t we? Don’t we, breakfast skippers? Hmm? *raises eyebrows*
Seemingly every nutritionist on the planet will tell you eating breakfast is crucial in maintaining a healthy weight, and it just makes sense, doesn’t it? You haven’t eaten all night, you need to set yourself up for the day ahead – why wouldn’t you eat breakfast? And quite frankly, it’s just blimmin’ delicious. Most of the time when I can’t get to sleep at night, I’m thinking about what to have for breakfast. Don’t judge. A lot of people seem to eat the same breakfast every single day, but I don’t understand why. You wouldn’t eat the same dinner every day, would you? Sure, sometimes convenience and need for speed plays a role, but a lot of the time you can quite easily and quickly whip up something far more interesting.
I LOVE breakfast, and far from eating the same thing day-in day-out, I usually find myself spoilt for choice. I generally try to choose something relatively healthy to start the day, but I will not compensate on deliciousness, that’s for sure. I like to mix it up, and have actually been complimented on the interestingness of my breakfasts by past housemates. For real I’m not going to tell you how to make a bowl of cereal or spread jam on a bagel, as much as I enjoy both those breakfasts (particularly cereal topped with loads of chopped fruit ooh yeah.) But, if you’re stuck in a breakfast rut and could do with a spot of inspiration, I hope you will enjoy perusing my top 10 favourite healthy breakfasts:
1. Yoghurt, berry and granola parfait
I’m convinced half the yum factor of this parfait comes from how it looks. Of course, you can just toss all the ingredients into a bowl, but if you’ve got a bit of time I recommend concocting yours in a glass. Simply layer upberries, yoghurt of your choice (I prefer natural or vanilla) and granola and away you go. Add a squirt of honey if you’re feeling extra adventurous. Super duper tasty. Best eaten ASAP though, as otherwise the granola will go a bit soggy. No-one wants that.
2. Banana and peanut butter smoothie shake
Oooh this is a goodie! I often make it as a bit of an energy-boosting, refreshing snack too. I call it a smoothie shake as the thickness really depends on your preference – if you like yours thicker and more smoothie-esque, use less (or no) milk, but if you’d prefer a milky shake just add more (and you can skip the yoghurt if you like.)Simply whack half a glass of milk, a chopped banana (best if it can be frozen already chopped over night as it will make the shake thicker and more refreshing), a couple of ice cubes, a spoonful of smooth peanut butter, a squirt of runny honey (add more to taste – it may depend on the ripeness and thus sweetness of your banana) and 100-125g natural or vanilla yoghurt into a blender, whizz it all together (the longer you blend for the thicker it’ll be), et voilà.
In a rush? Make like I did and pour your smoothie into a travel cup and take that shake to work with you. Your colleagues will be jealous, trust me.
3. Nutella and banana toastie
Ooh this is a winner. Such a good combo, and tastes extra good when you’ve got really ripe bananas. The banana takes on a whole new flavour when cooked (it’s amazing), and it reminds me of these barbecued chocolate praline bananas. Preheat your toastie machine, and mash half a banana. Spread one slice of bread generously with nutella and place it on the toastie machine. Carefully top with the mashed banana, spreading not all the way to the edge of the bread. Top with a second slice of bread and close that toastie machine. Leave until golden brown. once made something similar using sliced banana and a Warburton’s Brown Squareish wrap. It was also delish.
4. Banana and peanut butter muffins with chocolate chips and hazelnuts
I’ve made a lot of muffins in my time, the best of which you can find on my recipes tab, but I think these babies are my faves for brekkie. (Are you noticing a chocolate/peanut butter/banana recurring theme?) When I was younger, mum would give us freshly-baked muffins and home-made banana milkshakes for the odd treat breakfast. It was fabulous, and certainly made school mornings more enjoyable
5. Soaked oats
This takes a smidge of forward-planning, but it sure is worth it. I originally wrote this recipe in a blog about healthy post-Christmas meals back in January. Soaking the oats overnight gives them a super duper texture the next morning, and stirring in the yoghurt in the morning makes them extra creamy. Realistically, you can add whatever you please: nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, cinnamon, honey… GO WILD!
6. Healthy peanut butter banana pancakes
Seriously, they’re healthy, and such a delicious, energising breakfast. Super fluffy in texture and super tasty. Drizzle with golden syrup, sprinkle with cinnamon or maybe even spread with nutella. The possibilities are endless.
This is a fab breakfast for when you’ve over-done it the night before – maybe there was a buffet involved, I’m not judging – and want something light.
a) Simple chopped fruit with yoghurt of your choice. Add some muesli or granola for extra energy.
b) Fruit compote with natural or vanilla yoghurt – my fave is this Bonne Maman peach. My own bonne maman occasionally treats me to it from Waitrose. So very scrummy. It’s hard not to eat the whole jar by itself in one go.
c) Mashed banana, natural yoghurt and honey. This is divine. I love the texture when it’s all mixed together, and if you fancy pushing the boat out, it’s best with Greek yoghurt. Heck, if you’re in a rush you could even buy a tub of pre-mixed Greek yoghurt and honey and save approximately 30 seconds.
8. EXCITING porridge
HOLD ON, PEOPLE! Don’t skim over this section! Porridge needn’t be boring. Here’s how I like to make mine interesting: stir in a spoonful of nutella or peanut butter, add a mashed banana (great as well as the nutella), add cinnamon, honey, desiccated coconut, dried fruits, fruit compote, golden syrup, or – most excitingly – frozen berries. They will defreeze and once stirred in, they’ll turn your porridge the most fabulous pink colour. Try it.
9. Sweet pitta pockets