7 secrets to a healthy breakfast

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day?

To be honest I think it’s a little unfair to show favouritism between my meals. But as someone who worked in product development for a multi-national cereal giant I’ve spent a serious amount of time thinking about breakfast.

This week I thought I’d share with you my 7 secrets to a healthy breakfast.

i. Make it yourself.
The benefit of making your own breakfast is that you can tweak things so they’re exactly how you’d like them to be. It also means you know what’s in it so there are no hidden nasties. It always surprises me the amount of extra fat added to commercial granola – I much prefer to keep it lean like my recipe below.

The other benefit is that it keeps costs down. This way you only pay for the ingredients and not for the profit margins that big companies command.

ii. Prepare in advance.
I make my museli every few months. This means that as long as I remember to buy yoghurt I always have a healthy breakfast standing by.

If I’m going to be particularly short on time in the morning, I pop my muesli and yoghurt in a container the night before. Then it only takes a second in the morning for a healthy breakfast on the go.

iii. Choose wholegrains.
Wholegrains have received a lot attention in recent years. If you’re new to the concept you can learn more HERE. It just makes sense that grains closer to their natural form, rather than highly processed, are better for us.

iv. Add extra fibre.
I’m a firm believer that fibre should be your friend. I like to spike my muesli with oat bran which is high in insoluble fibre which is important for digestive health. It is also one of the best sources of soluble fibre which has been linked to heart health by reducing cholesterol.

v. Have an avo’.
For those of you not familiar with Australian slang, I’m talking about avocado. One of my all time favourite breakfasts is sourdough toast spread thickly with avocado and sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

vi. Use fruit for natural sweetness.
Jam is one of my favourite things. Rather than have it with toast I’ve found it makes a lovely addition to my museli and yoghurt. But if all that sugar is too much for you, play around with fresh fruit. Banana and blueberries are some of my breakfast favourites.

vii. Yoghurt.
These days we are spoiled for choice when it comes to yoghurt – my Dad has even recently discovered a lactose free version which works with his allergies.

I like to go with a full fat natural yoghurt because it tastes better and keeps me feeling fuller for longer. Whatever you choose, yoghurt is a great way to get beneficial bacteria into your gut.

What are your favourite healthy breakfast options? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear.

home made granola

I like to be generous with the amount of nuts in my granola since I usually just use it as a sprinkle for the top of my yoghurt. Feel free to dial down the nuts.

Make sure you use real whole oats (not quick) so you get lovely whole grains of toasted oats. Double this recipe if you have an extra oven tray handy.

The trick to making granola is knowing when it’s done. Use the colour as a guide but be sure and taste some when it has cooled down to make sure it’s crunchy. Warm oats won’t be crunchy even if they’re completely cooked.

1C honey or golden syrup
7C (750g or 1 1/2lb) traditional or steel cut rolled oats.
2C (300g or 2oz) whole almonds

Preheat oven to 150C. Place honey or golden syrup in an oven tray and heat for about 5 minutes, or until it is nice and runny.

Stir through oats and almonds until everything is evenly coated in the honey. Bake for approximately 1 hour, stirring ever 15 minutes or so until the oats and almonds are golden brown.

Allow to cool and taste to ensure it is nice and crunchy – if not return to the oven for a while longer.

Will keep for a few months in an air tight container.

home made natural muesli

This is more of a list of ingredient than an actual recipe. Feel free to add in or subtract depending on personal preferences and availability.

There are two things that make the biggest impact on muesli shelf life. First are nuts – their high fat level means they are prone to rancidity.

The second watch out is moisture transfer from dried fruit to the oats. This means your fruit goes hard. Things with a skin like dried cranberries, sultanas or raisins tend to keep soft. As much as I love juicy prunes, they dry out in muesli.

rolled oats (steel cut or traditional)
oat bran
nuts (choose from macadamias, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds)
dried fruit (choose from cranberries, raisins, apricot, dates, paw paw)
sunflower seeds

Combine your chosen ingredients adding a little bit more of this and a little bit more of that until your mixture looks good.

Store in an airtight container for 3-6 months.

*Note. My Dad was telling me he was talking to a linseed farmer. Apparently they are very difficult to grow and require a whole swag of chemicals. Make sure you choose organic if you do decide to go down the linseed path.

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