7 Days of Delicious Healthy Breakfasts
Whether or not you buy into breakfast being the most important meal of the day, having something delicious to drag you out of bed sounds like the best brand of morning motivation to me.
While so many of us are working from home, the days of trying to grab something on the way out the door and hurriedly inhaling breakfast al desko are on hold.
Spending a little extra time in the kitchen preparing something delectable is a great way to start the day, so banish the boring porridge, skip the cereal and indulge in the below healthy-ish recipes to brighten up every morning of the week.
Monday – Breakfast Cake
Completely contradicting the above advice (because post-weekend blues are real), I encourage you to embrace a make-ahead Monday breakfast. And what better way to start the week than with cake?
This Breakfast Cake is a baked oats/carrot cake/banana bread hybrid, stealing the best parts of each to create something as sweet and satisfying as possible while still packing a nutritious punch.
This is a simple blender job, so start by milling 150g of oats and 50g walnuts (in a Nutribullet or similar) until you have a coarse flour and then add a tsp of baking powder. I use walnuts instead of ground almonds as they impart far more flavour, especially when freshly milled along with the oats.
In a large bowl, mash 3 ripe bananas (300g or so) and grate in 100g of carrots. Whisk together 2 tbsp oil (I use rapeseed), 3 tbsp of honey (or for extra fibre and less sugar, Homespun Chicory Root Syrup is fantastic in this) and 2 eggs, then add into the banana/carrot batter and mix in the flour mixture.
Throw in a handful of chopped walnuts and pour the batter into a lined loaf tin to bake at 180C for 45-55 minutes. Leave to cool before slicing, if you can.
Whip up a loaf on Sunday and cut into fat slices to be served with a topping of vanilla bean paste-spiked greek yoghurt and berries, or better yet, pop a few slices into the toaster and then slather with almond butter. Monday morning done right.
Tuesday – Truffle Scrambled Eggs
You’ve heard of meat-free Monday and wine Wednesday, but how about truffle Tuesday? Adding a little luxury to your breakfast for a Tuesday treat is a good idea to keep motivation high, and a little of what you fancy is *good for you* making this Truffle Scrambled Eggs dish pretty much healthy…
The key to this dish is a liberal dollop of butter gently melted in the pan, before adding 3 eggs with 20g of grated truffle pecorino beaten in, simultaneously seasoning and imparting the most irresistible earthy truffle flavour. This beauty of a cheese is much easier to get your hands on now that it has been added to the excellent Simply Better at Dunnes range.
This cheesy truffle scramble is best served oozy and runny, so no more than 2 minutes in the pan and you should be ready to pile it on to some hot, buttered toast.
I like to finish this, and indeed most savoury brekkie dishes, with crispy prosciutto. Trust me, this is far superior to bacon in the crispiness and flavour stakes, and is definitely a lighter choice. All it takes is 15 minutes on a sheet pan in the oven at 180c. Flaccid rashers be gone.
Wednesday – Green Tropical Smoothie Bowl
It may well be cold and grey outside, but this is a ray of sunshine kind of breakfast that you can throw together in mere minutes with frozen bananas (pop them peeled and chopped in a ziplock and into the freezer once they start to go brown), frozen pineapple, a handful from that giant bag of spinach you thought you’d never get through and some creamy avocado.
Top with granola, nuts, seeds, maybe some almond butter…but most importantly, enjoy with green smoothie smugness.
Thursday – Sausage, Kale and Squash Hash
This Squash, Sausage and Kale Hash came about when I was trying to pack more veggies into what was essentially a fry up, which is in itself admirable, and surprisingly resulted in something I now like even more than a full Irish.
You can still get your sausage and bacon fix, but first pop some chopped pumpkin or butternut squash into a bowl of water and blast in the microwave until soft, about 6-7 minutes.
Squeeze the juice of a lime over thinly sliced red onion half moons (I’ve kept these in the fridge since Nigella’s nod to them in Forever Summer many moons ago) and leave to steep in bowl.
While the squash is softening, add chopped streaky bacon and sausages into a hot pan and cook for a couple of minutes before adding mushrooms to soak up the flavour. Add your tender squash chunks and cook for a further couple of minutes to brown slightly. Finally add a couple of handfuls of kale and cook until wilted.
Finish this with a fried egg on top and a scattering of your pink pickled onions.
Friday – Roasted Squash, Whipped Goats Cheese and Pickled Onion Rye Toast
Friday has finally arrived, and with it, the knowledge that it is *almost* cheese and wine time. Get in the spirit with this delectable whipped goats cheese and squash number: a crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty party-in-your-mouth brekkie.
I first tried a variation of this in Babel, Belfast and raced home to recreate it. You can use leftover squash/pumpkin from yesterday’s brekkie if you have it, if not, simply chop into slim slices and stick in a hot oven with a slick of oil for half an hour while you enjoy your morning coffee.
Whisk soft goats cheese with a little yogurt to loosen it and add a nice tang, then smear the whipped cheese on malty rye toast and add the sweet roasted pumpkin on top, followed by more lovely pickled onions.
I absolutely endorse topping this with a poached egg and peanut rayu if you are feeling a bit extra of a Friday morning, but the dish can definitely still shine without these additions.
This Rayu Recipe from Mikey Ryan’s will come in handy if you can’t find any in the shops, make a big jar and drizzle liberally on all egg dishes, and everything in general.
Saturday – Mexican Chaffles
Did you impulse buy a waffle iron convincing yourself it wouldn’t just gather dust in the cupboard just like I did? Were you wrong just like I was? Before I discovered “chaffles” my cheap and cheerful iron rarely saw the light of day.
Chaffles have the keto/high fat low carb brigade to thank for their existence, but don’t let that stop you from trying them. They are flourless, grain free and not unlike the irresistible nugget of cheese that seeps out of your toastie and goes crisp in the pan, only scaled up in waffle form.
The best part however, is probably the fact that all you need is 50g finely grated cheese (I’ve had best success with 35g mozzarella and 15g parmesan) and one egg per waffle. You probably have the ingredients on hand, and simply beat together and pour into the heated iron for 3 minutes.
I like to top my chaffles with a very quick salsa of chopped tomatoes, red onion, coriander and lime, some sliced avocado and a runny fried egg. If you have some chorizo to hand (this is a handy dish for the morning after aforementioned cheese and charcuterie board time), crisp that in the oven for a couple of minutes and scatter on top too. Finally, as above, pickled pink onions and rayu make every brunch dish infinitely better.
Sunday – Three Ingredient Banana Pancake Stack
It wouldn’t really be easy like Sunday morning without a big old stack of pancakes and my Three Ingredient Banana Pancakes are a slightly healthy but still deliciously indulgent weekend staple.
The addition of milled chia to this recipe ensures you don’t end up with banana studded scrambled egg, and I think with a base this light and nutritious, you have a carte blanche to pile on some rich and delicious toppings.
When I’m feeling fancy, my toppings are chopped salted pistachios, dark chocolate chunks and cherries, but other days it is all about lashings of Biscoff spread, caramelised bananas (butter and banana fried up in the pan until golden – simple) and chopped pecans.
For more tempting breakfast and brunch dish inspiration, visit TheTaste Breakfast Recipe Collection.
WRITTEN BY DARINA COFFEY