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On breakfast, part deux.

Because I apparently can’t shut up on this topic.

BADASS breakfast

Right, here’s how to have breakfast, folks, and to have it fast. If I had a degree in marketing, I’d probably say something like “Here’s how to have break-fast!!” and that’s why we’re all glad I have no marketing-related qualifications. Moving on. In my last breakfast-related post, I gave a recipe for BADASS Loaf (Banana And Date Arse-kicking Super Start-the-day Loaf): pictured above with fresh figs, stewed plums and homemade yoghurt. Yuh-huh, I’m pretty awesome. There are two reasons that this is a fantastic breakfast loaf. (1) Loads of oats and fruit. Instead of heaps of flour, I’ve used cooked oats to add chewiness, moistness and protein. (2) Can be made on the weekend and feed you all week long, baby.

I think a lot of people overlook how easily breakfast can be amazing. Including you. Frankly I don’t think you’re doing it right. I think the biggest thing to overcome is the time issue. It’s morning, you’re starving, and you haven’t got time to dick around making a breakfast. No wonder people turn to shit like Cheerios. Stop crying: breakfast gets the awesome foods, and most of them you can prepare in advance. So when you’ve tumbled out of bed and picked your way through the morning debris and found yourself, starving, alone and a little itchy in the kitchen, your breakfast is ready and waiting to love you. Just the way you are.

Here’s breakfast, spoonfully-style.

Muesli

Goddamn, muesli is awesome. A mix of rolled oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit, mixed however you want. You can take it to the next level and toast the oats, seeds and nuts, thereby making it crispylicious, but it’s mighty fine untoasted as well. Eat it with yoghurt or chocolate milk or soy milk or juice or stewed fruit or dry. There are zillions of make-it-yourself recipes online, and I swear homemade beats boxed any morning of the week. Make a big batch and it’ll keep you good for weeks. Wanna be a bit fancy? The night before, mix that jazz with some grated apple and fruit juice, leave it in the fridge overnight, and you’ve got yoself some Bircher muesli, all smooth and creamy and cold. Do it. I said DO IT!

Oats in general

Yesindeedy, eat your oats. They’re fantastic for you. Cook them into oatmeal or porridge, and then you’ve got a tasty, chewy palette on which to paint a FLAVOUR PICTURE. Grated apple and dates! Chopped almonds, sultanas and honey! Pear and glacé ginger! Go nuts.

The other option is to bake with them. Work them into some muffins or a breakfast bread in place of flour. To use oats in baking, you can either process the uncooked oats into a flour (as per this recipe for Oat Soda Bread, care of 101cookbooks.com), or you can cook the oats until tender and add them that way (as I did in the BADASS Loaf).

Fruit

Breakfast and fruit go together like salami and rutile. A tub full of stewed fruit in the fridge makes for a happy bethini. Write that down. I know, I know, you’re saying “But where do I get stewed fruit from?” and I say unto you, “Cook it yourself, twit”. Trust me, you know how. Stewed fruit: chop up all the bits of raw fruit you’d normally eat, add some spices of choice (cinnamon and allspice are always a great start) and a bit of water and simmer that canary until it sings. You want it soft and thick and sweet. (The way I like my…oh, forget it. Too easy.) I usually just nuke it in the microwave, but you may want to keep a closer eye on it and cook it over the stovetop. Stonefruits, berries, apples and pears are all awesome when stewed: bananas, not so much.

Yoghurt

Remember when I was having trouble making my own yoghurt? So many jars of questionable warm milk thrown away: crazy times. Now I go through nearly two litres a week. Love it. I keep three jars on rotation, and as soon as they get empty, I make another batch and refill them. An absence of yoghurt in my fridge would make me cry. It’s good at breakfast because it’s cool, creamy and a good source of protein. Chopped nuts, fresh fruit and yoghurt is fantastic.

Toasties!

The iconic toasted sandwich goes by many faces: jaffle, Breville, toastie, panini, croque monsieur. (I think there’s a linguistic study waiting to be done there, about regional variation or something.) You know the sort of thing: bread on the outside, filling in the middle, hot all over and serve crunchy. Easy as anything to make, and if you’re really having trouble getting yourself in order in the morning, you can make it the night before and just sling it in the grill/frypan/jaffle iron/toasted sandwich press when you’re ready for brekkers. Too easy: a good way of getting a serve of vegetables, too, if you like. Tomato, mushroom, capsicum and cheese of choice (provolone, cheddar, mozzarella or gtfo); or rocket, pear and blue cheese; or…look, I’m not doing this for you. Figure it out yourself. Bread. Filling. Bread. Hot. Go.

The best thing about breakfast is that you can pre-prepare so much of it. Set aside a bit of time on your Sunday afternoon — or a weeknight or something, I don’t care — and do some groundwork so that you’ve got a few options. Most breakfast things you can get ready in advance and keep them in the fridge:
– Chop heaps of fruit into a fruit salad and live off it for days.
– Cook/stew fruit and store it in a big vat and live off it for days.
– Stockpile quantities of yoghurt on the weekend: a dollop a day’ll do yer.
– Put everything you want in your smoothie in a sealed tub, chopped and ready: in the morning, milk + that + blender = instant breakfast.
– Steep oats in water overnight and then you just have to heat them through and you’ve got yourself almost-instant porridge.
– Quiche! Make it the day before and have wedges for breakfast. Can’t believe I nearly forgot to mention this.
– Make a sandwich the night before and toast in the morning — try to avoid having the tomato right against the bread, though, cos it’ll get soggy.

Man, breakfast rocks. Don’t skip it: breakfast gets all the best foods. You don’t, do you? DO YOU? That’s what I thought.

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