Ah, breakfast, the most important meal of the day and yet its often the most missed. In this modern day of long commutes and busy timetables we often don't even have time to think about breakfast, never mind cook it.
Graeme Pallister, chef patron of 63 Tay Street in Perth, believes cooking a healthier breakfast shouldn’t be a chore: “In Scotland we sometimes feel the need for a breakfast to be a little more substantial than a bowl of muesli , whether it’s a ‘morning after’ requirement or just because of our dark cold mornings for most of the year.
“A good fry up is often on top of our list. These days you really have to have your head buried in the sand not to realise having a full Scottish every morning isn’t going to do your health much good in the long term. However a good full cooked breakfast is a great way to start the day.”
So here are five quick and simple recipes to offer a little inspiration for that early morning meal.
Ah, the old Scottish staple. Often written about as a superfood with its near mythical ability to keep you full well into the afternoon, porridge can also provide you the energy to get you through the day.
This super simple recipe by health food blogger Kezia Hall for Coconut Chia Porridge, is the perfect way to start the day.
• 100g gluten free oats
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• 200ml coconut milk (or other milk)
• 1/8 tsp vanilla powder
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• a pinch salt
• topped with almond or peanut butter and berries/banana slices
Optional – the night before soak the oats and chia seeds in about 3-500ml water with a pinch of salt in it, drain water before cooking, this makes it more digestible and the nutrient more available.
When ready to eat place all the ingredients in a pan and heat up on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.
Add more water or milk for a runnier porridge or things like honey to make it sweeter.
Let's face it, eggs are the versatile journeymen of most breakfasts and many people wouldn't feel like they were having a proper breakfast if this ovoid super food wasn't included.
Here is a delicious recipe for a chorizo and red pepper omelette, perfect served on its own or with some grilled bacon if you're feeling particularly peckish.
• 4 chorizo sausages, chopped (for this recipe you will need the nice plump fresh ones - do not use the dried salami-like variety. IJ Mellis stocks a good one - stores in Victoria Street, Bruntsfield and Stockbridge)
• 2 red or green peppers, chopped
• 8 eggs
• Salt and pepper to season
In a large frying pan, heat a little oil and add the sausage and red pepper. Fry until both are cooked. (Alternatively grill if you feel you want to be healthier)
In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Add a little water or milk if you like your omelette fluffy. Season the egg mixture then pour into the pan. As the eggs are frying, pull the sides of the omelette away from the pan with a spatula and let the liquid mixture cover the bottom.
Heat the grill and place the pan under the grill for a minute to cook the top. Cut the omelette into four and serve immediately.
Fruit for breakfast is something that not many of us consider but it is not only nutritious, its also a big hit of flavour and natural sugars that will really give you a boost at a time of the day when we definitely need one. Many fruits also contain fibre and this helps to slow down the digestive process and keep you feeling full longer.
Prepare ready made packs of mixed fruit (any combo you like) in zip lock bags and freeze them ready to be quickly blended into an appetising smoothie in the morning.
Here is an easy to prepare and deliciously tasty for soaked fruits with yoghurt and almonds
• 12 oz dried mixed fruits (apricots, dates, figs, ginger, prunes and sultanas all work well)
• 2 pints Ceylon tea
• Juice and rind of one orange and one lemon
• 4 small tubs Greek yoghurt
• 4 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted
Place all the fruit in a large bowl then pour over the hot tea, and stir in the fruit juice and rind. Cover and leave to stand overnight.
The next day the fruit should be moist and juicy. Place some fruit in each bowl and top with yoghurt. Sprinkle some flaked almonds on the top. (If you like to have corn-flakes or muesli for breakfast, some of this fruit added to the cereal bowl can also be delicious.)
North Americans have been blazing the trail when it comes to sweet breakfasts for generations and maybe it's time we take a leaf out of their book.
Instead of just plumping for pancakes why not try this fun recipe for Banana, honey and oatmeal muffins
Makes ten large muffins
• 8 oz plain flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• Pinch of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
• 2 oz oatmeal
• 2 oz butter
• 8 oz Greek yoghurt
• 4 fl oz milk
• 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
• 1 egg
• 4 tablespoons clear honey
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and the salt and spice into a bowl. Stir in the oatmeal. Melt the butter. Mix the yoghurt, milk, banana, egg, butter and honey until combined.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix quickly until the two are just combined. Do not over-mix as the mixture is supposed to be lumpy. Divide between muffin cases and bake for 15- 20 minutes until they are risen and firm to the touch.
Though we recommend against eating bacon daily (even though most of us would love to) as a treat at the weekend or once a week it's perfectly acceptable.
So here is a tantalising recipe for a Bacon frittata panini
This is easiest to make in a small blini pan or frying pan.
• 3 slices Ayrshire or other local dry-cured back bacon
• 2 free range eggs
• sea salt and black pepper
• unsalted butter
• wholemeal panini
Whisk the eggs together. Chop the bacon into slices and add to the eggs, then season with a little salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Warm a little butter in the pan to stop the frittata from sticking. Add the egg mixture and cook slowly on a low heat until the frittata looks almost cooked through.
Put a plate over the pan and tip the frittata on to it, then slip it back into the pan the other way up. Finish cooking for another few minutes and then serve in a warm buttered wholemeal panini.