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Last year my cousin was advised to lose weight. She could not understand why she had a problem as she never ate a thing before 10:30am. And that was her problem. If she’d had a substantial breakfast she wouldn’t have craved that large double chocolate muffin with her mid-morning coffee — followed shortly after by a high carb lunch. Sweet things curb your appetite — but only briefly.

Eating breakfast can help you lose weight, improve your mood and even help ward off disease. Breakfast ‘breaks the fast’ from the hours you sleep and skipping this important meal can cause a chain of harmful reactions in the body.

Health professionals have found that generally, people who eat breakfast every day are thinner than those who don't. This could be because eating foods with protein and fibre in the morning keeps your appetite in check all day.

Studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, and lowering the chances of getting diabetes and heart disease.

Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and provides energy to get things done as well as helping you to focus. It’s the most important meal of the day.

CHEESY CROISSANT BAKE

Ideal for brunch, this tempting delight should be served with slices of fresh melon or kiwifruit, or with strawberries. It can be prepared and refrigerated overnight before baking.

5 (250g) croissants, split in half lengthwise
2 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped sage
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup each: cream, grated Swiss cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Place the split croissants on an oven tray. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden brown. Cool a little then tear into bite-size pieces. 

Sauté the shallots in the olive oil, until softened. Stir in the sage.

Whisk the eggs, milk, cream, half the cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Place the croissants and shallots in a lightly greased 20cm x 18cm baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over the top and press the croissants down to fully immerse them in the liquid. Cover with plastic film. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the croissant mixture with the remaining cheese. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until puffed, golden and set. Serves 6.

GRILLED PARMESAN TOMATOES

A taste treat for weekday breakfasts.

8 medium tomatoes, halved crosswise
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
sprigs thyme

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan-grill.

Place the tomatoes in a small oiled roasting dish, cut-side up. Season, sprinkle with parmesan and dot with thyme. Fan-grill until the tomatoes are hot and the parmesan melted and golden. Serve with whole-grain toast. Serves 2-4.

INDIAN EGGS IN PITA BREAD

If the tomatoes are very pulpy, squeeze out some of the juice. The pita pockets can be lined with lettuce.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
4 large tomatoes, chopped
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 small pita pockets, lightly toasted and halved

Heat the oil on medium in a non-stick frying pan. Sauté the onion, until softened. Add the garlic, curry powder and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft.

Whisk the eggs and seasonings then pour into the pan. Stir slowly — as with scrambling eggs — until set. Add the parsley. Spoon into the warm pita pockets. Serves 4.



 

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