“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. It’s true you know. It gets our metabolisms started and provides us with the energy we need after our overnight fast. Studies have shown that having breakfast can improve cognitive function and mood. But, for me, breakfast is also the meal when I’m rushing most. I’ve not got the time nor desire to be cooking up a storm in the kitchen when I’ve just dragged myself out of bed. So I want something quick, simple and tasty. I always try to find inspiration for new ideas for breakfast, but nothing seems that appealing. This week, though, I’ve trawled the internet to find alternatives to my normal Marmite on toast! I’ve tried to stick to healthier options, with varying degrees of success. You see, it seems that we can’t even decide on what’s healthy anymore. Take eggs, for example. Many people think that they should be avoided because of the cholesterol content, and argue that you can get all the nutritional benefits that eggs give (which is a lot) from other sources but without the cholesterol hit. Having looked into it, I’m an egg supporter. Those oval balls are packed full of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, and they’re tasty too. Eggs are also one of the foods I don’t mind paying a little extra for to get them from happier and healthier chickens.
I started by typing ‘Healthy breakfasts’ into Google. A lot of ideas, to me, did’t seem that healthy. Like sugar-laden fruit smoothies, omelettes packed with cheese and bacon, or even chocolate chip muffins! It seems we can stick ‘healthy’ in front of anything. So, what can we eat at breakfast that’s not boring while trying to be healthy? Here’s a summary of my week:
Don’t go bananas!
Bananas are good for you, right? It’s one of your 5-a-day before 9 o’clock. You’re on a roll! Well…maybe not. If you have a banana on its own, you’re getting potassium and fibre, yes, but also lots and lots of sugar. A healthier option would be to slice it onto porridge or have it on toast with peanut butter (note: I did this once before a netball match – and never did it again!).
Ditch the caffeine
I’m sure a lot of people won’t want to hear this, but relying on caffeine to wake you up in the morning isn’t the healthiest choice. Rather than tea or coffee, how about trying parsley tea or lemon water? Both are great for detoxing the body. Simply pull off a bunch of parsley, wash it and stick it in a cup of boiling water, or squeeze lemon juice into a cup and add boiling water to that. You’ll soon have ditched the caffeine for this healthier alternative.
Quinoa, bacon and spinach breakfast muffins
A good thing about these is they last for a few days in the fridge so you can have them as a snack any time of day. I put bacon (but maybe you could use tofu or leftover chicken as a healthier alternative), eggs, cooked quinoa, spinach and grated cheese into a bowl and mixed. I put this into muffin tins and cooked for around 15 minutes.
Healthy: mix of good and bad: quinoa is great, cheese and eggs both give the combination of calcium and vitamin D, spinach has iron and antioxidants, but the cheese and bacon also provide fat and calories. Tasty: not really. Boring: not in terms of preparation, but my taste buds have had more excitement while brushing my teeth.
Quinoa and chai porridge
Why is quinoa so good for us yet tastes so bland?! This involved cooking the quinoa in rice milk, and adding chai seeds, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric. You could add honey too if you like things sweeter. I topped mine with slices of banana to add excitement and sweetness. Personally, I’d stick to rice-flake porridge (I’ve found that the best place to buy this in the UK is Morrisons).
Healthy: yes. Tasty: not particularly. Boring: afraid so.
I mixed oats, peanut butter, banana and olive oil together, stuck it in a tray lined with grease-proof paper and cooked for around 15 minutes. They turned out better than I expected!
Healthy: don’t assume that all fat is bad: the fat in the peanut butter here is actually the good sort! Tasty: not bad. Boring: they’d be more exciting covered in chocolate, but don’t do it!
Peanut butter on rice cakes
I know that some people find rice cakes to be the most boring food in the world, but I like them. For a quick and healthy breakfast on the go, smother them with organic peanut butter.
Healthy: yes. Tasty: depends on your taste but ok. Boring: slightly.
This is where you coat bread in egg (I also added a bit of milk and Marmite) and fry it in a saucepan. I used coconut oil to make it a bit healthier. Top off with homemade tomato sauce for a tasty and definitely-not-boring breakfast.
Healthy: ok if you use coconut oil. Tasty: I enjoyed it. Boring: no.
Quinoa chocolate muffins
In an attempt to make quinoa more exciting, I cooked it then added cocoa and egg. After mixing it all together, I divided it into muffin cases, put a piece of high-cocoa (so less sugar) on it then put more mixture on top and put it in the oven for about 15 mins.
Healthy: protein-packed quinoa and egg, with a bit of sugar. Tasty: the chocolate was the best bit, but I won’t be making these again! Boring: mediocre.
This definitely doesn’t fall into the healthy category, but I was away and when breakfast is included I tend to go all-out.
Healthy: I wish! Tasty: too right! Boring: not at all.
I’m still searching for my ultimate breakfast. I’ll keep persevering with quinoa and try to make those nutritious grains not only healthy but tasty too. Nothing’s impossible!