Beth Flaherty shares her easy-to-make and healthy breakfast recipes
Whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s definitely my favourite. However, it’s easy to get stuck in the same routine of bland and boring options because they seem convenient. Often, these aren’t nutritious and will leave you feeling hungry within a couple of hours. With that in mind, I’ve come up with some healthy (yet delicious) breakfasts that will provide some inspiration to brighten your mornings and get the day off to a perfect start!
All of these recipes can be easily adapted to individual diets, such as gluten-free and/or vegan. For example: various types of milk will work, be that semi-skimmed, almond, soya. So, choose whatever suits you. However, there is one important point to note when using oats. Although they are naturally gluten-free, they can easily be contaminated, so coeliacs should always buy those that are specifically gluten-free. For others choosing to avoid or limit gluten in their diet, ordinary ones are perfectly suitable, as they only contain traces.
The ingredients are measured in terms of cups, which is a standard coffee mug size. This is much less hassle than weighing everything out on the scales.
The granola craze has been gathering momentum in recent years yet, shop bought ones can often be expensive, processed and full of sugar. Although buying granola may seem to be the easiest route, making your own can be equally as simple and even more delicious. Better still, you can choose the flavours and ingredients according to personal tastes. So, be creative and make your perfect granola!
- 1 cup Oats
- 4 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil (Butter works here too)
- 1/2 cup Dried Fruit (choose 1): sultanas / raisins / dried cranberries / chopped dates
- 1/3 cup each of Nuts and Seeds (choose 2): sunflower seeds / pumpkin seeds / almonds / walnuts / pecan nuts.
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Best served with Yogurt (plain greek, natural, soya or coconut)
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
- Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together on low heat.
- In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts (roughly chopped), seeds, fruit and cinnamon together, then pour the maple syrup and coconut oil mixture over. Mix together, ensuring that everything is coated.
- Transfer the mixture onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Allow time to cool, then store in an airtight container.
Avocado on Toast
A bland piece of toast in the morning is never satisfying, so why not upgrade it? Now commonly referred to as “smashed avocado” by trendy foodies, it’s not hard to see why so many people are obsessing over this ingredient. Avocado is also a good place to start if you don’t have such a sweet tooth at breakfast. Use whichever bread you prefer, although I think rye* gives the best combination, and top with a poached egg or some wild rocket for the perfect finishing touch.
- 1 slice of toasted Bread
- 1 Baby Avocado
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 4 Cherry Tomatoes
- Scoop out the flesh of the avocado, then mash. It’s nice to leave a few chunks for some texture.
- Finely chop the cherry tomatoes.
- Juice the lime over the avocado flesh and mix in the cherry tomatoes.
- Place onto the toast and tuck in.
*Rye bread is wheat free, but not gluten-free, yet many health foodies recommend it.
This is the perfect breakfast if you are always running late in the morning. It only requires taking from the fridge to eat, as it can be prepared in five minutes the night before. Originally developed in the 1900s by the physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, for hospital patients, Bircher muesli also provides an extremely nutritious start to the day. This is a more up-to-date recipe, which makes two portions.
- 1 Banana
- 2 handfuls Raspberries
- 1 cup of Rolled Oats
- 3/4 cup Milk
- Handful of Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
- 1 tbsp Chia Seeds (As these are hydrophilic, they really help to thicken the muesli)
- Peel the banana and mash together with the berries.
- Pour over the almond milk and stir in the oats.
- Sprinkle the seeds over the mixture and combine.
- Leave in the fridge overnight, or four at least four hours.
The weekend (or days starting with afternoon lectures!) allow for a more leisurely breakfast, that you can enjoy both preparing and eating. Pancakes are always a hit, and these ones are guilt-free! Best served warm, and with a dollop of yogurt and some fresh berries.
- 1 Cup Flour (e.g. wholemeal or buckwheat)
- 1 Cup Milk
- 2 tbsp melted Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, milk and maple syrup, then pour over the dry ingredients, stirring until well combined.
- Turn on the hob to a high heat and lightly oil a frying pan.
- Pour servings of the batter onto the hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and repeat on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately with your favourite toppings and enjoy.
Give these recipes a go, and your mornings will be transformed from dull and monotonous to nourishing and inspiring!
Image credits: thanyapura.com and Beth Flaherty