5 Ways To Revitalise Your Breakfast
Sick of cereal?
Longing for a break from your cornflakes and shredded wheat?
Or are you one of those people who doesn’t eat breakfast at all? I was, for the longest time. I was firmly in the Bridget Jones camp, wondering why people didn’t understand how difficult it could be to make something as simple as a glass of water in the mornings. The idea of eating after clambering out of bed was enough to make me feel sick. Even a cup of tea made by someone else was often beyond me.
But there’s no getting around it, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and a lot of us should get over our tendency to become victims of boredom and time constraints. Your stomach and health will thank you in the short or long term if you can insert this meal into your day.
There are simple changes which can make the idea of breakfast more appealing. The first one I tried to ensure was a pleasant eating area. Nothing overly fancy – no lace tablecloths or suchlike – but just a clear table with none of last night’s dishes cluttering it up and some space to actually sit down and eat without balancing cups and bits of food on the sofa. Sitting upright to eat did have an impact on my stomach, stretching out made me more able to eat than sitting slumped on the sofa.
I also tried to fit breakfast in with my other routines. it’s the one meal of the day where I allow myself to check my phone and have my laptop open on the table next to me. I figured that I was finding time to do those things every morning, so why not multitask and see if breakfast would fit in alongside.
Finally, I realised that I was bored sick of the idea of cornflakes and needed something more interesting to perk up my gastric juices in the morning and make the idea of eating appealing. So based on my own experience, here’s some suggestions for jazzing up your breakfast menu without needing to move that alarm clock any further forward or ruining your budget.
Rethink Your Toaster Use
We all love the toaster, the classic kitchen gadget. Just set the heat to your desired level, pop in your bread product and off it goes to do the job for you while you hunt for your hairbrush, wrestle with your shoes or feed the pets. Toast itself has probably gotten more interesting since you probably last looked.
White and brown bread have been joined by 50/50 mix loaves, granary, seed loaves and fruit loaves, all of which can be toasted or even eaten fresh at breakfast.
Rethink what you’re putting on your toast too. Strawberry jam and marmalade are all very well, but they are done to death. Try peach jam, or honey. Or something like a sliced fresh tomato. A sprinkling of cheese. Maybe some ham or pate if you need to boost your protein intake.
You could also try looking a little further down the bread product isle for further inspiration. English muffins make a nice change and they are available in white, wholemeal and 50/50 varieties too. Or treat yourself to crumpets, slathered in (substitute) butter and perfect with a cup of tea. There are plenty of afternoon tea favourites which could make themselves right at home on your breakfast table. Plain scones, fruit bread, fruity muffins – now isn’t that a more attractive idea than just boring old toast?
Fork Out For A Foreman Grill
Guaranteed to squeeze the bad bits out of all your favourite meaty breakfast foods without needing more than a quick squirt of fry lite spray. Foreman Grills have gotten smaller and more affordable, you can pick up a mini one for as little as £15, which was how much mine cost. It’s big enough for me and my husband, which is all we need.
Bacon and sausage can be back on the breakfast menu, able to sizzle away in the grill without needing your constant attention, safely tucked away from tiny hands and curious pets. I pop fresh tomatoes into mine for the last minute or so as well for a change.
Make Friends With Eggs
Eggs are an excellent way of getting more protein into your diet and they will liven up almost any breakfast product. You can cook them in loads of different ways, some of which are fast and many of which are even low fat.
Try poaching them in silicone cups in a saucepan of water, or even go for the classic boiled egg – fat free and tasty as when you were five years old.
If leaving unattended pans of hot water isn’t viable in your house, try microwaving them instead. There are microwave egg poachers available in most discount outlets, or you could mix an egg with a bit of butter and splash of milk in a microwave safe cup and make yourself a quick and easy scrambled egg.
If you’ve got time to wield the frying pan, you could even make fried eggs or omlettes – just make the mix the night before and pop it in the fridge in an old jam jar to save yourself time. Eat it plain, add a dash of herbs to the mix, or even add in some mushrooms, tomatoes, ham or a grating of cheese – all of which you can chop and prep the night before.
You could also try the girl guiding holiday favourite, eggy bread. Use a fork or whisk to mix an egg with a small amount of milk, soak a piece of bread into the mixture and fry in a small amount of oil, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides. Your kids will love it.
Pancake Day Could Be Every Day
We make a big fuss about pancakes once a year, but they can be excellent breakfasts. The Americans have caught on to this, it’s time the British caught up. Making your own mix is healthy and cheap and far easier than the instant food industry would like you to think.
Just use a fork or whisk to mix about 200 mils of milk with an egg, add a sprinkle of salt and then mix it again with two heaped tablespoons of self raising flour (or bread flour if you want a thicker mix). This recipe will make enough mix for your breakfast and you can even make the mix the night before. With fry lite sprays now available, there’s no need to use fat in the cooking process at all.
Pancakes work well with so many fillings, not just the traditional lemon and sugar. Switch out the sugar completely and try spreading yours with fruit jam or nutella, or adding a handful of dried fruit to the mix while frying your pancake for a healthier alternative. If you prefer a savory taste, check out the suggested omlette fillings and see if any of those take your fancy.
Keep It Cool
Breakfast doesn’t have to be hot. In the summer months, even the idea of a bacon sandwich can be enough to make you wilt.
A bowl of fresh fruit could be just the job, whether it’s the sweet English mix of apples and strawberries or the more exotic mango, pineapple and kiwi fruits.
A slice of melon could be the low maintenance answer to a quick and healthy snack.
If your mornings are already filled to bursting with priorities, you can peel and dice the fruit the night before to save time in the morning. If you pop into the supermarket later in the day, you might even get lucky and find their pre packed selections being discounted for a quick sale.
In fact, there’s plenty of breakfast foods that you can eat which don’t need any prep or cooking at all. A bowl, or mug, filled with yoghurt, perhaps with a spoonful of jam or small amount of fresh or dried fruit to liven it up, is a great way to get more calcium into your diet.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring. There’s loads of ways to liven up your food intake for your first meal of the day. After a few days of these, you won’t want even to skip it any more.*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*