What makes a breakfast of champions? With the weather getting colder and the days getting darker, we’re on the hunt for a hearty but healthy alternative to our bowls of porridge to give us a much-needed incentive to get out from under our duvets.
To help us in our quests, we asked seven food and nutrition experts what their favourite winter breakfast recipes were to give our kitchen cupboards the perfect seasonal shake up to see us through to spring. Delicious, appetising and filling, they’ve suddenly made our weekly food shops all the more appealing.
Blackberry and almond compote by Henrietta Norton, nutritional therapist
½ tbsp honey
2 tbs ground almonds
Put the berries into a saucepan with a tablespoon of water and the honey.
Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries have become soft and stewed in appearance. Add more water as it cooks if necessary.
Add the ground almonds, mix together and serve with live goat’s or sheep’s yoghurt.
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Paleo Sweet Potato Bread by Madeleine Shaw, nutritional health coach and food blogger
"My food philosophy dabbles in Paleo ideas; lots of meat, veggies and nuts. For a lot of people a Paleo diet works really well. For me, it’s too restrictive - I love quinoa and the odd bit of organic dairy too much!
However, this recipe can be enjoyed by all. We use the sweet potato as the main body of this bread, making it lusciously moist and sweet. This bread can be served with a side of homemade nutella for a sweet treat or with some eggs and smoked salmon for a more savoury dish. It’s a versatile beauty.
I have used ground almonds instead of flour to boost your vitamin E levels and to give the bread a nutty richness. The eggs act as a binder, holding this golden loaf in place. Free range eggs are the most complete food with such a variety of healthy fats, protein and nutrients tucked in them.
To achieve the traditional loaf shape, bake this mixture in a bread tin. It bakes slightly low and slow so be patient. The recipe calls for steamed and puréed sweet potato, so grab two large sweet potatoes, peel, chop and steam them for 20 or 30 minutes until cooked through. Then drain and mash these up into a purée and leave to cool. This can be done in advance and left in the fridge."
400g steamed and puréed sweet potato
4 free range eggs
1 pinch of salt
50g coconut oil or butter
1 tsp baking powder
300g ground almonds
Preheat your oven to 150C (fan).
In a food processor, mix the eggs, oil and sweet potato. Spoon this mixture into a bowl and add the ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Pour into a paper lined baking tray and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Leave this to cool for an hour before slicing it with a sharp knife to serve.
Buckwheat and ginger granola by Deliciously Ella, food blogger
"I love granola, it’s one of my go-to foods – partly because I secretly love eating breakfast three times a day and partly because handfuls of granola make one of the best, easy snacks. I’ve been obsessively making and loving my cinnamon pecan granola for the last three years and I honestly never thought I could stray away from it, but I’ve been totally converted by this buckwheat and ginger granola, so much so that I have to admit I think it’s my new favourite. The texture is much more interesting as the buckwheat grouts add a really nice crunch, there are still oats in the mix, but there’s just a little more going on in between them."
Makes one big container:
2 cups of oats (220g)
1 cup of buckwheat (280g)
1 cup of sunflower seeds (200g)
1 cup of pumpkin seeds (200g)
1 and a ½ cups of pitted dates (300g)
1 cup of apple purée/sauce (about the size of a 360g jar)
6 tbs coconut oil
4 tbs raw cacao powder
A piece of ginger (20g)
Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C.
Then place the oats, buckwheat and seeds into a large mixing bowl and stir well.
Next add the dates, coconut oil and apple purée into a saucepan and allow them to simmer for five minutes, until the dates are nice and soft.
While the dates cook peel the ginger and grate it onto a plate, once it’s grated mix it into the date pan.
When the dates are soft, place them (including the melted coconut oil, grated ginger and apple purée) into a blender with the raw cacao powder and blend until the mix is totally smooth. Then pour the mix over the buckwheat, oat and seed mix and stir well so that everything is coated.
Grease one large or two medium baking trays with coconut oil before spreading the granola out over them. Place the baking trays in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the trays from the oven and stir everything well so that the top doesn’t burn, then keep doing this every five to ten minutes for the rest of the time it’s in the oven.
Once it’s nice and crispy, but not burnt, take the granola out of the oven and allow it to cool before placing it in an airtight container to store. In an airtight container it will stay delicious for about a month or so.
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Mushrooms on toast with goat’s curd, by Jennifer Irvine, founder of Pure Package
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Wheat free, gluten free, vegetarian
"This dish is a childhood favourite, reminding me always of damp afternoons spent picking mushrooms in the woods near my family home. As a special treat, a steaming plate of sautéed mushrooms was sometimes topped off with a luxurious dollop of goat’s curd, and that’s how I love to eat them today, with toast to mop up all the delicious juices."
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small shallot, finely chopped
300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp water
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
50g goat’s curd or goat’s roule
2 slices of spelt or rye bread
In a non-stick frying pan, heat the butter and the oil over a medium heat until the butter is foaming.
Add the garlic and shallot, and stir well to cover in butter, then leave to sauté for 1 minute.
Add the sliced mushrooms and stir well, then leave to fry for 2 minutes.
Add the water and stir while it bubbles, then leave for another 2 minutes, to allow the mushrooms to reduce and release their juices.
Add the parsley and half the goat’s curd, stirring well, until the mixture starts to bubble.
Toast the bread, and when ready, place on individual plates.
Divide the mushroom mix between the plates, piling it onto the toast, and top with the remainder of the goat’s curd.
Jennifer’s Tip: If you can’t find goat’s curd, softened goat’s cheese or cream cheese are good alternatives.
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Cacao and spirulina sugar-free smoothie by Jenna Zoe, nutritionist and food blogger
"Here is my favourite sugar-free smoothie: cacao and spirulina! I have it most mornings as it tastes indulgent yet delivers that ideal combination of protein and fat, which primes our fat-burning hormones for the rest of the day."
1 cup (250ml) of coconut water (you can use regular water or almond milk if you like, but the coconut water is what gives it its sweetness)
1/4 cup of frozen spinach or 1/3 cup tightly packed fresh kale
1 cup of ice
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I LOVE Warrior Blend by Sunwarrior)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2-1 tsp spirulina
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional, for improved texture)
1 heaped tbsp almond butter
Cacao nibs for garnish
Blend the coconut water with the spinach or kale first until it's completely smooth (pre-blending greens is the best way to ensure a non-grassy texture in a shake).
Add the ice, protein powder, cacao, spirulina and xanthan gum if using, and pulse until fully incorporated.
Pour into a glass and drizzle on almond butter.
Throw on some cacao nibs for garnish.
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Tuscan kale, sweet potato and mushroom omelette by Karen Cummings-Palmer, health, beauty and nutrition consultant
"This is my favourite breakfast. It is both wonderfully comforting and deliciously nutritious.
Seasoned with Himalayan sea salt, wild thyme and cracked pepper this protein rich breakfast is packed with skin boosting A, C and K vitamins and keeps me going for hours. Leave the mushrooms in the sun for 30 minutes - like our skin they will turn UV light into vitamin D, the nutrient won't be destroyed by heating and you'll get a great bone and immunity boosting dose with your breakfast!"
2 organic eggs - a protein rich 'superfood' packed with essential nutrients
1 small organic sweet potato - rich in skin-enhancing vitamin A and beta carotenes
Organic mushrooms - vitamin D boosting
Wild dried thyme - antioxidant rich
Kale - a great source of vitamin K
Himalayan sea salt - rich in amino acids
Slice and boil the sweet potato for 10 minutes.
Sautée the mushrooms using a low heat in a little olive oil and butter. Add thyme, and salt.
Drain the potatoes and add to the mushrooms.
Add the whisked eggs and kale and cook on a low heat for a further 5 minutes or until lightly golden and then sprinkle with cracked pepper.
Buckwheat pancakes by Angela Walker, nutritionist at Thirty Eight Degrees North (Ibiza, UK and USA)
This makes about 6 pancakes:
1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup of milk (or almond or rice or soya milk)
A dash of water
A squeeze of lemon and (optional) grated lemon rinds
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Olive oil or coconut oil
Yogurt, berries, banana or apple and flaxseeds for topping
Blend all the ingredients (except the oil) together with a hand-held blender.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan and pour in a small amount to cook each pancake individually.
Once a side is cooked (slightly browned and the pancake will be easy to move around if you shake the pan), turn over and cook the other side. You might need to tease the edge of the pancake with a spatula to stop it sticking. You can keep the batter in the fridge for up to three days.
Serve pancakes with avocado or nut butter and warm fresh berries (heat in a pan for 1 minute), chopped banana or apple and a tablespoon of flaxseeds.