Whether you’re an extreme commuter, a busy parent, or just someone who likes to get as much sleep as possible, mornings are invariably a flurry of manic activity. In the midst of this chaos and stress it’s easy to forget about breakfast.
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This is a shame, because even if you’re on the skeptical side of the ‘most important meal of the day’ debate, it’s hard to deny that the right breakfast provides enough of an energy boost to help you power through until lunchtime.
So what’s the right breakfast? It’s one which is not too big, is packed with nutrients and can be eaten on the go if necessary. But here’s the real must-have: preparing it has to be easier and quicker than falling off a slippery log. Therefore, in the spirit of health, speed and simplicity, here are five delicious suggestions which fulfill this breakfast brief to a T.
Even if you think the terms ‘green’ and ‘smoothie’ don’t belong in the same sentence, you’ll be converted once you taste these sweet and lovely concoctions. All you need to do is blitz a couple of handfuls of greens (spinach is ideal), some frozen berries or tropical fruit and a banana with water in a blender, and you have your delicious, ready-to-drink green smoothie. For a protein and micro nutrient boost add in some carbohydrate-free protein powder, nuts or seeds before you blend.
For maximum efficiency, I recommend any blender similar to the Nutribullet, which makes single servings of smoothie in a vessel you can drink from.
Easy Peasy Oatmeal
The oatmeal fans among you will be delighted to hear that there’s a third way between the processed paste of microwaved oatmeal and the endless stirring usually demanded by the steel-cut variety. If you’ve got a thermos flask and the ability to plan slightly ahead, you can enjoy quality oats in transit, in your office, or even in your own kitchen, and all with a minimum of attention. You just combine the oatmeal with boiling water in a pre-warmed thermos and leave it to cook itself for at least 40 minutes.
For savory mornings when sweet foods just won’t hit the spot, these vegetable frittatas baked in muffin cases are just the thing. Because of the small yet significant amount of preparation required to make these, whip up your batch in the evening and keep them in the fridge until breakfast time. If you live on your own and can’t face the same breakfast several mornings in a row, note that the finished muffins are eminently freezable.
Seedy Breakfast Loaf Cake
This recipe demands forward planning because, like any other cake, it has to cool before you can slice it and eat it. But your organisation will be amply rewarded by deliciousness, and the individual portions freeze well, too. But if you really can’t get it together to make the loaf cake in advance, why not start your day with a flax seed muffin-in-a-minute mug, in your microwave…in a minute!
Vegan-Friendly Bircher Muesli
Say what you like about their approach to banking, but in Bircher muesli the Swiss have given the world a great breakfast. It’s tasty, healthy and is probably one of the pinkest meals you’ll ever eat. This version uses almond milk and provides a delicious introduction to the vegan way of life, but you can use cow’s milk if you prefer. Make a big batch in a Kilner jar and keep it in your fridge so the family can help themselves in the mornings: children love sprinkling on extra seeds and decorating the pinkness with blueberries.
Why not go ahead and try a different breakfast from this little list every weekday morning? They’re all simple, and you can make preparation easier still with a little forward thinking such as bagging individual portions of fruit and greens for your smoothies in advance. Not everybody agrees that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there’s no need to miss out just because you’re rushed off your feet.