Breakfast, so they say, is the most important meal of the day.
Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I really can’t face eating first thing in the morning. For more years than I can remember, I’ve been getting up at 6am to undertake my daily commute into London to work. I didn’t have the time, let alone the inclination, to eat breakfast before I left the house – by 8.30, I’d be starving. London is full of independent cafes and food chains but it can get pretty expensive buying breakfast every day, especially if you also pick up a takeaway lunch to eat ‘al desko’.
I wanted to eat something simple, healthy, portable and made exactly how I like it. So, I came up with this Bircher-style muesli based breakfast – my healthy ‘superfoods’ choice for when I get to my desk in the morning; it usually keeps me going until lunchtime without the need to snack. Bonus! I make up a big batch and store it in an airtight plastic container and it lasts me about a fortnight. I call it superfoods because collectively the mix is high in fibre and because oats, having a high glycemic index, release their energy over a longer period, dried apricots provide natural sweetness and high levels of vitamin A, pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E and almonds are not only good for bones and teeth because of their phosphorus content, but are also said to reduce cholesterol and alkalise the body. When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.
I usually make this the night before and put it in the fridge so it’s ready to put in my bag on my way to work, and the oats have turned lovely and creamy. To be honest, I like it so much, I eat it even if I’m not going to work.
- 520g Jumbo oats
- 100g ready-chopped dried apricots, dates or prunes
- 100g pumpkin seeds.
- 150g chopped nuts – I mostly use almonds although hazelnuts and pecans are a good addition too.
You can really add in any leftover nuts and dried fruit you may have bought for other recipes, especially useful at Christmas time. Ring the changes and add other dried fruit that you may like such as dried sour cherries or sultanas. Just remember that you don’t need to add any sugar at all.
Weigh out the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix them up so the nuts and dried fruit are evenly distributed. Pour into an airtight container and use as required.
To serve: Add 3 tablespoons of muesli (about 50g = 230 calories) to a cereal bowl or a Lock & Lock spill-proof plastic container if you’re eating on the go. Then, add as much of your favourite fruit juice as you need (I like apple or orange, about 100ml is 50 calories or coconut water) to the mix to moisten and plump out the dried fruit and grains. Top it off with a tablespoon of Greek, Activia or Alpro pouring yoghurt (about 60 calories) and your favourite fresh fruit or compote. If I have time, I add freshly grated apple. If not, a handful of fresh berries – blueberries, strawberries or raspberries are my ‘fast favourites’ and an average of about 50 to 60 calories.
Healthy, fast, filling, delicious!