It is a truth universally acknowledged that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But as we are all so different, with individual tastes, not to mention, various morning routines, how do we get the perfect power breakfast right?
As we move into colder climes, fuelling your body properly is more important than ever. Here, four industry experts – Julie Montagu, Rosie Saunt, Stephanie Johnson of Pollen + Grace and Lily Simpson of The Detox Kitchen – share their maximum-impact recipes and the reasons to try them. Whether you want to quickly blitz something together midweek or have the weekend's luxury of time, there are hearty porridges, fluffy savoury pancakes and craveable pots packed with immune-boosting ingredients to see you through the week.
Carrot Cake Bircher, by Stephanie Johnson, Pollen + Grace
“Our Carrot Cake Bircher is packed with antioxidants, including beta carotene from the carrots, which helps keep your immune system strong, essential as the weather gets colder. The addition of turmeric can also help to prevent skin inflammation, a problem more common throughout winter”.
Recipe (serves 2)
70g gluten-free oats
½ apple, peeled and finely grated
½ medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
70ml almond milk
1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
Pinch of ground ginger
Mix all of the ingredients together and leave to soak in the fridge overnight. Serving suggestion: top with coconut yogurt, cranberries, toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Quinoa Seeded Breakfast in a Jar, by Julie Montagu
“Including quinoa in your breakfast dish is great because of the high levels of complete proteins contained within. Not to mention the abundance of nutrients! Having a protein rich breakfast is a good way to ensure your body burns calories at an optimum level throughout the day, and also that you stay fuller for longer. Much of this is attributed to the fact that your body takes longer to metabolise protein than it does fat or carbohydrates.
With the winter closing in fast, a Quinoa Seeded Breakfast Jar is a secret weapon to keep your energy levels up and illness at bay. The large presence of various antioxidants within quinoa is the main reason for its illness-fighting potential, as they work to help keep your body free of disease by neutralising free radicals in the body!”
Recipe (serves 1)
½ grapefruit, peeled, segmented and roughly chopped
1 fresh fig, chopped
120ml (½ cup) coconut milk
1 very small handful of pecans
45g (¼ cup) cooked quinoa (follow the instructions on the packaging – it takes 15 minutes to cook)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground flaxseed (linseed)
1 tbsp honey
1 jam jar, cleaned and dried
Blend the grapefruit, fig, coconut milk and pecans in a blender, then add the cooked quinoa, seeds and honey and pour the mixture into a jar. Seal and leave overnight in the fridge. It will be ready to go in the morning.
Cardamom and Coconut Porridge, served with a Blackberry, Beetroot and Lime Compote, Fresh Apple and Honey Pecans, by Lily Simpson, The Detox Kitchen
“Porridge is a great option to keep you fuller for longer. Unlike most berry seasons, the blackberry season spans into autumn, meaning we get to enjoy them well into the colder months. They are perfect here paired with apple, and the cardamon in the porridge adds a delicious depth of flavour.”
Recipe (serves 2)
1 small cooked beetroot, peeled and cut into small cubes
Zest of ½ lime
1 tsp honey
Honey Pecan Ingredients
1 tsp honey
4 cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
160g jumbo porridge oats
100ml coconut milk
Pinch of sea salt
½ apple, finely sliced
2 tsps coconut yogurt to serve
Start by making the blackberry compote. Place the beetroot in 100ml water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes until the beetroot is very soft. Then add the lime, honey and blackberries, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Once cooked set aside the mixture to cool. (This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days).
To make the honey pecans, place the pecans in a small non-stick pan and dry fry for 2 minutes until lightly toasted. Add the honey and cook for a further 2 minutes until it has covered the pecans. Then tip the pecans onto some greaseproof paper and allow to cool. Roughly chop once cooled.
To make the porridge place the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick in a medium pan with the oats and half the water. On a medium heat, bring the water to a simmer and continue stirring for 10 minutes. Then add the rest of the water, the coconut milk and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer and continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and discard.
Once the porridge is cooked, divide it into two bowls. Top with some finely sliced apple, coconut yogurt, the blackberry compote and honey pecans.
Oatmeal Spinach Pancakes with Sumac Sour Cream Sauce, Smoked Salmon and Egg, by Rosie Saunt
“The oats in the pancakes are a good source of fibre, something we need to keep our bowels healthy. The addition of eggs and spinach help to balance the meal nutritionally. It's also a warm dish, so very satisfying on a cold winter morning.”
Recipe (serves 4)
Pancake dry ingredients
150g certified gluten-free oats (processed into a fine flour)
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 large handful of spinach leaves (finely chopped)
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Pancake wet ingredients
1 egg (whisked)
2 tbsp melted butter
Sumac sour cream sauce ingredients
50g sour cream
75g Greek yogurt
½ tsp grated lemon zest
½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp sumac (a tangy, lemony spice which you can buy in large Turkish, Arabic and Iranian supermarkets)
Pinch of salt and black pepper
4 tsp smoked paprika
4 slices of smoked salmon
4 tsp fresh coriander
Sift and whisk the flour and baking powder in a large bowl, then mix in the finely chopped spinach leaves. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and slowly add the wet ingredients, whisking well until you have a smooth batter. Leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes. This allows the baking powder to form bubbles in the batter, leading to light and fluffy pancakes.
Meanwhile you can make your sumac cream sauce, cook your egg and prepare your toppings. First make the sour cream sauce by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside. For the egg you’ll want a runny yolk so either poach for 2 minutes or boil for 5 minutes (and then remove the shell from the boiled egg under cold running water). Set the eggs aside while you quickly cook the pancakes.
Cook the 4 pancakes in a hot pan, turning when bubbles appear on the surface. Transfer them to a plate and cover with tinfoil to keep warm. Finally you can assemble your pancakes. Using a spoon, spread a swirl of sumac sour cream sauce around the top of the pancake and then pile on the egg, smoked salmon, coriander and smoked paprika. Enjoy!