It is often said that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. The energy derived from eating breakfast is not only important to kickstart the body’s metabolism after the ‘fast’ of sleep and improves concentration, but studies also suggest it helps cut down the risk of various diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. But many of us are in too much of a morning rush to bother with what constitutes a healthy breakfast, such as cereal, toast, eggs etc.
Instead of leaping out of bed the second the alarm clock rings, we like to begin the day at a more leisurely pace which, often and inevitably, means falling back to sleep only to wake a short while later to the horrific realisation that we are running late.
Then it’s a mad dash of getting ready and out of the door as fast as possible with just enough time to grab a banana as we race past the fruit bowl on the way out. Or maybe miss out on the banana and snack on an ordered-in doughnut or similar, half way through the office morning, when hunger pangs strike.
It makes better sense to stock up on something healthy, tasty and seriously ‘grabbable’ at home. Ideally, when you make a kitchen detour to grab it, this take-away breakfast should delay exiting the house by just a couple of seconds.
Make ahead and stock up on these simple and healthy grab-and-go breakfasts for those busy days
The following ‘grabbable’ breakfast delights are simple, quick to make and packed with healthy goodness, and lots of slow-release energy to power you up until lunchtime and beyond.
OATY FRUIT LOAF
350g plain flour
150g porridge oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g raw sugar or brown sugar
250g mixed dried fruit such as apricots (cut into small pieces), dates (chopped into chunks), sultanas, raisins
Half teaspoon mixed cake spice or cinnamon powder
500 ml milk
Mix together the flour, porridge oats, baking powder and sugar. Stir in the dried fruit and cake spice/cinnamon powder. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring the mixture thoroughly until everything is well mixed and moist without being sloppy. If the mixture seems a little too wet, add a little additional flour. Line a 1kg loaf tin with aluminum foil, spoon all of the mixture into this and bake in a medium oven (approximately 160C-175C) for 45-50 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned on top.
Serve warm or cold, cut into slices and spread, thickly, with butter.
GINGERED BREAKFAST BARS
100g brown sugar
1 egg – beaten
200g self-raising flour
250g dried fruit and nuts, chopped in to small pieces. A mix of dates, raisins, apricots, walnuts and peanuts is great
2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200 ml milk
Put butter and sugar in a saucepan and, over a low heat, as the butter melts, beat it to a smooth paste with the sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool before stirring in the beaten egg. Add the flour, a bit at a time, mixing thoroughly as you go. Then mix in the chopped dried fruit, nuts and the bicarbonate of soda. Finally, stir in the milk, a little at a time and mix the dough until everything is well blended together. The dough should be soft and a little sticky. Add more milk if necessary.
Line a 20 cm square cake tin with aluminum foil. Spoon the dough mixture in to the cake tin and bake at approximately 180C for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. When cool, turn out on to a wooden board or wire cake rack and cut into 12 or so bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
50g chopped peanuts
25g chopped walnuts
1 large carrot, grated
100g strong cheese, grated
150g porridge oats
Half teaspoon mixed dried herbs
1 egg, beaten
Melt the butter in a saucepan on very low heat. Stir in all of the other ingredients, one at a time, leaving the egg until last. Line a 28cmx18cm baking tray with aluminium foil. Spoon in the mixture, pressing it down firmly and equally. Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool. Turn out on to a wooden board and cut into 12 squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, July 18th, 2021