That grouch that sits beside you in the office every morning probably didn’t have any breakfast. As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. It replenishes your energy levels and helps put you in the right frame of mind for the day.
The term ‘breakfast’ didn’t exist before the 15th century and the concept of specific breakfast foods is even more recent than that — sometime after the late 1800s.
Cultures throughout history have had widely differing approaches to the morning meal. Labourers in ancient Egypt ate a breakfast of bread washed down with beer before beginning their workday. Grain was a staple crop, making both bread and beer affordable.
In Taiwan, soy milk is served hot or cold at breakfast and traditionally paired with spring onion pancakes, fritters and dumplings which are dipped in the soy milk as they’re eaten.
A typical Japanese breakfast consists of rice, miso soup, fermented soybeans, grilled fish, some pickled vegetables and a small salad.
Weekday breakfasts can be a bit rushed but even if you grab a smoothie and some fruit on the run, this will keep you more alert and agreeable than if you have an empty rumbling stomach.
Fruit and veg in porridge — it’s yum.
1 small apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup (50g), grated carrot
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups milk
Toppings: yoghurt, cream, milk, dried cranberries, pumpkin kernels, chopped fresh fruit, nuts
Combine the apple, carrot, rolled oats, cinnamon and salt in a large microwave jug or bowl. Mix well. Stir in the milk.
Microwave for 3 minutes, stir well then continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until thickened and the oats are softened.
Pour into two bowls. Top with your selection of goodies. Enjoy! Serves 2.
1 tablespoon butter
1/2-1 teaspoon curry powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk
2 small naan breads
4 tablespoons each: cream cheese, fruit chutney
1 small avocado, sliced or mashed
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the curry powder. Add the combined eggs and milk. Stir gently on low heat until scrambled.
Meanwhile, lightly toast or grill the naans. Spread with the cream cheese. Top with the chutney, scrambled egg and avocado.
Excellent garnished with sliced fresh chilli, coriander and lime juice. Serves 2.
FRENCH TOAST CRUMPETS
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil or butter
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
fresh fruits eg sliced mandarins, kiwifruit, or berries
Beat the eggs, milk and seasonings together in a shallow dish. Place the crumpets in the dish to soak up the mixture. Turn them over so they absorb the mixture evenly.
Preheat the grill.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Pan-fry the crumpets until golden on both sides. Sprinkle with the cheese and melt under the grill.
Serve with a generous serving of fresh fruit. Serve 1 or 2 crumpets per person.