Friday, 8 January 2016
My healthy breakfast storecupboard essentials
It is no secret that I live for breakfast. In fact, in a recent job application I was asked what gets me out of bed in the morning and gave them an honest answer - breakfast. (I did then provide a more serious answer but didn't get the job, can't think why...)
It's my fave meal of the day which anyone who follows me on Instagram will know given my almost daily snaps of how I'm breaking the fast. Here are a few recent examples:
And that's just the past week or so!
My fave things to have are porridge, overnight oats, chia pudding, smoothies, acai bowls, pancakes and sometimes just yogurt and fruit with granola or muesli.
And although I know I should probably be eating spinach omelettes and the like, I always have a sweet rather than savoury breakfast. I find that eating a healthy breakfast sets me up for the day and I love playing around with the presentation and making it look pretty too. After all, we eat with our eyes first, amiright?
My brother recently said to me, "Rach, I've never known anyone treat their breakfast quite so much like a work of art." All I could think was, well, he obviously doesn't follow the same people as me on Instagram then!
At the end of last year I did that #2015bestnine thing to find my most-liked Instagram snaps of 2015 and as you can see, they were predominantly breakfasts:
And one of my followers, Emily, recently asked if I'd do a blog post on my healthy breakfast storecupboard essentials, so Emily, this one's for you.
I have oats in some guise most mornings, whether that's porridge, overnight oats, pancakes or muffins.
I try and have my own sugar-free granola full of nuts and goodness to hand, but when I haven't had time to replenish my supplies, I like Rude Health's.
Flaxmeal is just ground-up flax seeds (which are the same as linseeds) and I add it to smoothies, porridge and overnight oats. It's a great thickener, fab for your digestion and can also be used to make flax eggs if you want to make vegan pancakes or muffins.
These nutritional little powerhouses have been touted as one of the superfoods of the last year or so. They swell to nine times their size when soaked and I use mine to make chia pudding - some people simply sprinkle them on top of other things without soaking but I personally think that's a waste of their magical expanding power.
Also full of goodness, I like adding these to smoothies as they have a slightly creamy flavour and texture.
Raw Cacao Powder
Whenever I want to make something chocolatey (eg. blended chocolate chia pudding or a chocolate-banana smoothie), I use raw cacao powder. My current packet was found in an independent food store in Bristol but it's becoming more and more mainstream (Lucy Bee, for example, has just brought out her own range.) On its own it's really bitter and a bit ming, but if you combine it with some sort of sweetener it's fab for creating a rich chocolate flavour and is super good for you. Speaking of sweetener...
Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup, Date Nectar and Honey
The above four are my sweeteners of choice. As they all have slightly different textures and flavours I use them for different things but they're all totally natural which I love.
I've been trying to keep my dairy levels to a minimum for the past year largely for the sake of my skin and almond milk is my milk of choice for most things. It's fab in porridge and smoothies!
Sticking to the dairy-free vibe, I actually prefer soya yogurt to coconut yogurt in most cases. Although I know it's not all-natural, Alpro is the brand I go for and I use it just like you would normal yogurt.
AKA my boyfriends. Oh, how I love nut butters. My latest obsession is Pip & Nut's coconut almond butter which I cannot recommend enough, however as you can see I'm also a Meridian fan. Peanut and almond butter are my staples, but I also love cashew and hazelnut butters. The wave of exciting all-natural nut butters coming out by new brands at the moment is most exciting to me. Whether drizzled over chia pudding, mixed into pancake batter or blended into a smoothie, I eat nut butter most mornings. Make sure you get all-natural stuff with no nasty additives!
Although my nut butter love knows no bounds, I do also sometimes find myself wanting a bit of crunch which is where whole nuts come in. Usually almonds.
Naturally gluten-free (but check the packaging actually as some do contain traces), buckwheat flour is my flour of choice for pancake-making. It's nutty and delish.
I nearly always have banana in my breakfast somehow, and often berries of some sort too. Particularly if I'm chez mes parents (ta, mum). Frozen over-ripe bananas are wonderful for making luscious, thick smoothies and grated apple in a porridge bake or to make bircher muesli is also pretty dreamy.
I add raisins and sultanas to porridge and overnight oats (I prefer them when they've plumped up you see) but you really can't beat medjool dates for awesomeness - they're squidgy, fudgy and a great way to sweeten smoothies and the like. Not the cheapest of dried fruits but totally worth it in my humble opinion.
My spice of choice. I add it to everything. Mostly. Goes down a treat with almond butter, peanut butter, apple and medjool dates. Also apparently speeds up your metabolism which is never a bad thing eh?
Great for sprinkling onto porridge or smoothies when you want some crunch and a little chocolate flavour. They're not sweet but they're v good for you. I use these ones from BodyMe.
Acai Berry Powder
Another supposed superfood for ya here, chums! This powder made from Brazilian berries has an almost perfumed flavour and isn't for everyone, but I love it. I went on about my love for acai bowls here and here so won't harp on now. Again, I use BodyMe.
Mix into your oats, sprinkle on top of a smoothie bowl, add to pancake batter... I love coconut and it's a great nutritional boost. Goes beautifully with Pip & Nut's coconut almond butter too.
So there you have it, folks! My breakfast essentials. OK, so maybe they're not all essential, but I hope it may give you some ideas or inspiration, or at least help you to know what I'm on about in my Instagram posts!
The other day this happened...
Mum: "What ARE you putting in the blender, Rachel?!"
Me: "Raw cacao powder, flaxmeal, acai berry powder..."
Mum: "I have no idea what any of those things are let alone that we had them in the house!"
So Mum, I hope this enlightens you too. Lol jk, mum never reads my blog. *cries into banana-peanut butter muffin*
What are YOUR breakfast essentials?
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