Whether you eat 15 minutes or several hours after waking, the quality of food you choose to eat for breakfast is important. Why?
And poor breakfast choices day in and day out can contribute to an overall decline in health.
Our bodies need appropriate fuel to get through and recover from the stresses of each day. Equipping the body to do this starts with a nourishing breakfast.
What, then, constitutes a good brekkie?
For years we’ve been led to believe an ultra-processed meal laden with added sugars and heavily processed flours is healthy. (Looking at you, ready-made cereal!) Damon’s first breakfast was full with the sweet stuff.
Yet to set yourself up for the day, we need a nutrient-dense, whole food breakfast that offers fibre, protein, and healthy fats, and ideally some fruit or veg.
Most of us are too pressed for time in the morning to concoct anything elaborate in the kitchen. So, here are ideas for quick-fix, whole food breakfasts, with something to please all dietary tastes and preferences (without a trace of added sugar).
Quick-fix breakfasts to fuel your day!
Old mate avocado
For a quick, nourishing toast topping, forget jam and other sweetened spreads!
Enjoy avocado on a slice of seed and nut loaf, good quality wholegrain sourdough, or sweet potato toast (trust us – it’s a thing) with a squeeze of lemon, a little salt and pepper and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.
Build your own porridge
Leave the pre-flavoured sachet of quick oats behind.
Instead enjoy a porridge made from plain whole oats, buckwheat, quinoa or a low GI rice, cooked with a little warming spice, such as cinnamon, clove, and ground ginger.
Stir through your choice of unsweetened milk – such as dairy, coconut or oat – and serve with some seeds, chopped nuts, coconut chips, plain yoghurt, and fresh, seasonal fruit.
This is easy to prepare in advance for busy mornings!
- Stir chia seeds with some spices such as cinnamon and vanilla, along with your milk of choice in a large jar (or similar lidded container). The chia to liquid ratio is approximately 2 tablespoons for 1/2 cup of milk – increase accordingly to make big batches in advance for multiple brekkies.
- After 10 minutes, you will get an idea if you have an okay ratio. Otherwise, add more chia to thicken or liquid to loosen.
- Let the pudding set in the fridge overnight, and serve with fresh or frozen fruit.
- Pop individual serves into smaller jars for brekkie-on-the-go!
Tip: if you don’t like the texture of chia pudding, blend it to make a creamy mousse!
Yoghurt with yummies
Be savvy to the health halo around flavoured yoghurts. Disguised as a health food, they are often loaded with added sugars.
Replace fruit flavoured yoghurt with plain dairy or coconut yoghurt and take one minute to flavour it yourself!
Try cinnamon, vanilla, nuts, seeds, and/or fresh fruit for a delicious and nutritious start to the day.
Eggs are super versatile, perfect for a quick cook up, or for a brekkie you can make in advance to grab and go.
Quick cook up:
- Scramble some eggs with pesto, fresh chopped tomato, and dark leafy greens.
- Poach and serve with leafy greens, sliced avocado, and some fresh herbs. Add smoked salmon, or a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of seeds or dukkah.
Make in advance:
Last night’s leftovers
Who says you can’t have dinner for breakfast? (By the way, we aren’t talking about the final slice of meat lovers pizza here!)
If you don’t feel like ‘typical’ breakfast foods, enjoy leftovers from last night’s healthy meal.
Be prepared and make breakfast in advance
If you run short on time in the morning, put aside a little food prep time either the night before or on a Sunday afternoon, so you can enjoy the next day or throughout the week.
Create breakfasts that you can grab and go, or prepare the base ingredients for a quick-to-assemble meal. Think:
- Pancakes or blinis made with buckwheat, almond or coconut flour
Serve gently re-warmed or chilled, with fresh fruit, seeds, 100% nut butter, and/or plain yoghurt for a sweet take.
For savoury, think with smoked fish, berries & ricotta, or (if you have an extra 10 minutes) leafy greens, asparagus, edamame, and poached eggs.
- Quinoa, chia and coconut bircher
Serve with seasonal fresh or frozen fruit, seeds, and plain yoghurt.
- Buckwheat and coconut granola
Our gluten and added sugar-free granola can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack, and simply sweetened by serving with some fresh fruit.
- Zucchini, pumpkin or nut and seed loaf
Serve with 100% nut butter, cream cheese, or avocado. Ensure the recipe you follow does not use refined white flours.
- Frittata, fritters or egg muffins
Either pack up to have on the go, or serve gently re-warmed or chilled with fresh leafy greens, such as rocket or spinach.
- Homemade baked beans
From a batch made in advance, take a serving and enjoy re-warmed before you head out the door.
Start your day well!
Go on, do your body and brain a favour. To sustain energy and health, start the day prepared and opt for nutrient-dense, whole and minimally processed foods.
By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut Med)