I generally refer to mornings in our house as a military operation! Time is precious and to get everyone clothed, cleaned, fed and out of the house on time, it requires a Sargent Major- me! Cereal is therefore the obvious breakfast choice for speed and ease but, it doesn’t help that lately, I’ve become a bit obsessed with our general sugar intake and been quite shocked at the amount of it in cereal, that I had assumed to be low in sugar. I have only ever bought ‘pops’ (Rice Krispies), cornflakes, Weetabix (the plain one) and Ready Brek, with hoops (Cherrios) sneaking in more recently- the multigrains must be healthy!! Well, since comparing the labels, the hoops have now been deemed a weekend only brekkie and with pops and flakes leaving them hungry and wanting a second bowl (equalling too much sugar), we only have Weetabix and Ready Brek left! Boring!!!! So I’ve been on a mission to discover quick, tasty, filling breakfast alternatives using only natural sugars.
Pimp my Porridge!
I’ve just discovered frozen fruit! It’s cheap, quick to use and keeps (in the freezer!) well. You can just use a little at a time without wasting with large fruits like pineapple, melon and mango, which are generally quite expensive when bought fresh. Also, frozen berries are much cheaper too and again, if you only shop once a week, these keep much longer than fresh:
Put 1/2 cup of porridge oats in a microwaveable breakfast bowl
Add 3/4 cup of milk or water (water for me and milk for the kids)
Add a handful of frozen fruit – mixed berries are my favourite!
Microwave on full power for 2 minutes (time may vary)
Serve with a swirl of honey to taste
If using fresh fruit, add at the end of cooking, except banana which is delicious added to the bowl first (it can go a bit dry during cooking if it’s on the top). Dry fruits also work with this brekkie, the Boy’s favourite is raisin and honey but we’ve also tried apricots and figs that do need chopping up a bit. Stewed apples (I stew without sugar and add honey to taste, if necessary) or pears are also a great topping for porridge, when the kids were younger, I was stewing fruit all the time- it doesn’t just have to be for the baby! All of these toppings go well with Weetabix too, but we like ours plain! If you want to use Readybrek instead of porridge oats, it requires little cooking time so you may need to defrost frozen fruit in the microwave first, then add the Ready Brek and milk before heating for 30 seconds- 1 minute.
Natural Yogurt Muesli Mix
A favourite of Lou’s, this is really simple and a little more summery. Simply break/ cut up a banana in a bowl, add 2-3 dollops of natural, unsweetened yogurt, top with a desert spoon each of oats, seeds/ nuts and dried fruit and finally a swirl of honey or maple syrup. We sometimes flavour the yogurt with stewed fruit or defrosted berries (if they have been frozen, they are oozing juice which goes really well with the yogurt), K substitutes banana for apple/ pear or omits it altogether (I think I overdosed her on banana as a baby!!).
When they insist on eating a bowl of pops or flakes and then complain they are still hungry, we go with a smoothie top-up! Our best buy of 2015 was a NutriBullet, it’s fab because you can add oats, nuts and seeds which are filling and full of ‘good stuff’! Plus, I usually add spinach or kale to them, which are two of the few veg that are harder to get the kids (and the husband) to eat.
The Boy: Mum, why are smoothies always green?
Me: Well…….. It’s the new special blender…….it goes so fast, it makes everything turn green………(mentioning green leafy veg would be detrimental to the consumption of smoothie in question!)
The Boy: I love green things, if I run fast, will I turn green too?
Me: Urrrrr………no but if you drink your smoothie, it will help you run really fast (great comeback to bring the conversation back on track- I feel!)
The Boy: Ok (and drank the lot!)
Our typical NutriBullet smoothie recipes:
- Handful of spinach, banana, apple, pear, tablespoon of oats, milk (cows/ almond/ hazelnut/ any!). Add a desert spoon of cacao powder for a chocolate version!
- Handful of kale, frozen mango (no need to defrost), tablespoon of oats, tablespoon mixed seeds, milk (any) or water.
- Handful of spinach, banana, frozen blueberries, tablespoon of oats, tablespoon of almonds, milk (any) or part milk/water.
These make a large-sized smoothie to share between three. You really can try any combination, though I have found that berries with small seeds don’t work as well as other fruit as it leaves the smoothie a bit grainy.
Home Made Granola
J and I started eating shop bought granola which tastes great but the sugar content is huge. It’s so simple to make your own, it keeps really well in a sealed container and can be added to any of the above breakfasts as well as being one on its own. Simply place 5 parts oats to one part nuts (chopped roughly) and seeds on a baking tray and roast at 180C for 15 mins (stir a couple of times during cooking). Once cooked and cooled, add one part dried fruit and mix thoroughly.
What do you feed your crowd for breakfast? Is it ‘the most important meal of the day’ or do you often skip it? Have you got a quick, healthy breakfast idea that I could add to my repertoire?
28 thoughts on “Healthy in a Hurry- Breakfast”
Thanks so much for sharing this. I too am in a cereal rut and have been very conscious lately of what I give my kids. We are on weetabix and mashed banana right now which they like but it’s boring every day. You’ve inspired me to try porridge, thank you!
My pleasure! It’s so quick and easy in the microwave. Much more convenient than on the hob, which I think is what puts people off porridge. Hope they like it! xx
I have one who likes porridge, one who likes toast and one who likes eggs (the bigger one of the three!)… and never the twain shall meet. Sometimes J makes home made pancakes and his home made granola is ace! X
I know the feeling- mine always choose different things too- thank heavens for the microwave! If pancakes are an option, they will all have those though- usually a weekend treat! I’ll have to get that granola recipe off you! xx
I always look at frozen fruit in the supermarket and wonder how I could use it – thanks for these ideas! Breakfast is manic here too – I have 4 little ones to get ready for the nursery run at 8am.
It does get easier as they get older! Four pre-schoolers must be a handful!! Hope some of these ideas go down well with them! xx
My two love porridge thankfully. When I’m organised enough I do it in the slow cooker the night before and then its ready when we wake up. That is *only* when i’m organised enough, though haha xx
Mine would change their minds by the morning and I’d end up eating porridge for breakfast, lunch and tea so it didn’t go to waste! Lol xx
Fab idea to add berries to your porridge! I have started to take berries and yoghurt alongside my porridge every morning too 🙂 x
Thanks! Enjoy! xx
I’m ashamed to say that breakfast is normally the one meal of the day i skip, which is awful given its mean to be the most important one. Loving these healthy breakfast ideas though, will definitely have to give some a go xx
You naughty girl!! 😉 Hope I’ve inspired you to try some xx
Haha your boy is hilarious. Green smoothies always turn me off. They probably taste nice though. I don’t like porridge but a mix with other things in it it might actually be nice.
Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! 😉 xx
All brilliant ideas and I love the smoothie conversation, that made me giggle!xx
Thanks Hannah! Xx
I’ve always always always wanted to make my own granola. Must try it this weekend now.
Let me know how you get on! Xx
I never thought of putting frozen fruit in my porridge, what a great idea x
What can you recommend for someone who has real issues eating within the first 3 to 4 hours of the day?i just can’t get my head around eating till about 1,2 or 3 pm! And when im performing it’s terrible because I don’t eat for 3 hours before a show, and can’t really eat in between shows! Grrrr
Any suggestions please? 🙂 xxx
Try drinking fresh ginger tea when you wake- a few slices of root ginger squidged (technical term!) around a bit in hot (just off the boil) water and sweetened with honey if necessary. Ginger is really good for your digestive system and calms an upset tummy. Avoid citrus and dairy. Try plain porridge made with water and a drizzle of honey, but only a small amount, with a second mug of ginger tea. Let me know how you get on! xx
Thank you so much for the advice. I actually love porrage a lot. I wonder if there is something as good as ginger but not actually ginger as I have a very severe allergy to ginger. Causes anaphylaxis!
Peppermint or camomile are also good. Use fresh mint leaves if you can rather than dried xx
That porridge looks tasty. I have tried my hand at homemade granola in the past and I loved it. I topped fruit and yogurt with granola and honey x
Yes, nice combo! xx
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