stuck in a breakfast rut? 6 slightly unusual healthy breakfast ideas

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After mastering the art of poaching eggs last year, I’m ashamed to say I fell into a bit of a breakfast rut.

Discovering a super simple way to make hollandaise sauce when I was running my online class on cooking on a budget didn’t help things…Easy poached eggs and hollondaise.. definitely the breakfast of champions. But not every day.

When my Irishman and I were inspired to do a 10 day detox a few weeks ago, I realised that my little daily hollandaise habit would have to go.

So I made a promise to myself to have something different for breakfast from the day before. And to go ‘cold turkey’ on the hollondaise for a while.

It was lots of fun exploring new options.

I made my own yoghurt. First with regular milk and then a dairy-free yoghurt from coconut milk. I got back into making granola, but this time with a twist. And rekindled my love of soluble fibre in the form of oat bran and psyllium husks.

But the newest healthy breakfast horizon was the world of the ‘green smoothie’.

Now before you start thinking Jules must be losing it…hear me out…

I used to think the same thing whenever I saw the raw food crowd banging on about their ‘delicious’ green smoothies.

Then one morning during detox, I though why not give it a try? If it turned out hideously, I could always poach some eggs.

To cut a long story short… I really loved my green smoothie and have been having them a few days a week ever since.

If green smoothies are a bit to ‘out there’ for you, here are my current favourite healthy breakfast ideas – some more unusual than others.

If you have an unusual healthy breakfast in your repertoire, I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments. Now that I’ve broken out of my breakfast rut, I’m all for exploring new ideas.

6 slightly unusual healthy breakfast ideas

1. green smoothies
If you’re keen to get more veggies in your diet, one of the easiest ways is to pack them into your breakfast. Once you try it, you’ll be surprised just how delicious kale or broccoli can be when whizzed up with a little yoghurt and protein powder.

If you’re nervous about going straight to a smoothie made entirely from greens, you could ease you’re self into it by throwing a couple of baby spinach leaves in with your banana and blueberry smoothie.

2. yoghurt with lentil granola & psyllium husks
Lentil granola? I’m still perfecting my recipe. Basically the idea is to simmer lentils until tender then drain and use them instead of rolled oats in your favourite granola recipe. If you’d be interested in the recipe when I do prefect it, let me know in the comments and I’ll get my skates on. Same goes for the coconut yoghurt.

3. poached eggs with yoghurt, spinach & spices
My hollandaise habit has been replaced by a Turkish-inspired yoghurt with my own blend of spices. Ground cumin, coriander, paprika or even plain old black pepper are all lovely. Serve on top of a bed of baby spinach.

4. breakfast lentils with grated carrot.
This one is my Irishman’s idea. Sometimes I cook up a big batch of lentils (just boil in water until tender, like pasta) and season them with a little sherry vinegar and soy sauce and pop them in the fridge. Then for breakfast he just heats up some lentils and stirs in grated carrot. And this from a man who has very defined rules about what constitutes legitimate ‘breakfast’ food. (And if you’re wondering, No, I haven’t been able to convince him to try a green smoothie).

5. breakfast quinoa
Similar deal to the lentils. Rinse the quinoa well and simmer until tender. Drain, season and keep in the fridge to eat from as required. We tend to go for savoury accompaniments like a fried egg and some chilli oil.

There’s no reason you couldn’t take it in a sweet direction with some yoghurt and berries. If you’re new to quinoa, you might enjoy reading 12 things you should know about quinoa.

6. red lentil ‘porridge’
I haven’t tried this yet, waiting for winter to peek its head around the corner. But the idea would be to cook red lentils in milk and water, similar to rolled oats for making porridge. All the comfort of porridge with the extra protein from the lentils.

green smoothie

green smoothie
serves 1

Feel free to play around with your smoothie ingredients. If the whole green thing freaks you out, you might like to ease yourself into it by including some fruit as well. Pears, apples, peaches, banana or even berries.

Kale or cavolo nero and broccoli are my fav green veg. I did try bok choy once and wasn’t a big fan.

2-3 large leaves of kale or 1/2 head broccoli, chopped
2-3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1-2 tablespoons vanilla flavoured protein powder, optional
1 tablespoon psyllium husks or oat bran

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Whizz until the veg are finely chopped.

2. Add 1/2 to 1 cup cold water & whizz again until smooth.

3. Taste and adjust if needed.

fruit smoothie – replace veg with fruit such as pear, peaches, apples, banana and/or berries.

vegan / dairy-free – replace yoghurt with coconut milk or coconut yoghurt and make sure your protein powder is dairy-free

no protein powder? – if protein powders aren’t your thing you could use an egg or egg white powder instead. You’ll need something to sweeten a little so consider using some fruit, vanilla extract, or stevia or a combination of all 3.

different veg – use a mix of different green veg. Broccoli and kale are my favourites but spinach or baby spinach is lovely. Sometimes I mix in a stick of celery. And I just had the brilliant idea to use frozen peas which would act a little like frozen berries adding sweetness and chilling everything down.


video version of the recipe


recently on the stonesoup diaries

§ 5 ways to use one of the most under-rated vegetables
§ Do you like it chilli-hot?

lentil granola update!

Thanks for everyone who expressed their interest in my lentil granola. After a bit of trial and error the recipe is now available over here.

Jules x

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Kim February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I have been following you for over a year ever since my husband found your blog intrigued by the idea of 5 ingredient meals. I could easily be a veggie-saurus if I didn’t have two meat-a-saurus teenagers around here. But I do put my Vitamix to good use almost every morning by blending up some kale, parsley, fresh lemon juice, banana, rice or coconut milk, berries and a pear. Sometimes I omit the milk and some of the fruit and add in celery, cucumber and some romaine for more of a detox green smoothie.

I would LOVE to hear how you make coconut yogurt. We have talked about making our own and I have just been too scared to try it. I cannot tolerate too much dairy and I need to avoid soy when possible so I stick with rice, almond and coconut milk so there are difficult times finding tasty yogurt. Anxious to hear how the experiments go!

Sarah February 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Lentil granola and coconut yoghurt sound great! I’d love to see the final recipe.

Richelle February 25, 2012 at 3:21 am

HOW am I only NOW discovering this?!
I’ve been stalking you all morning. Great recipes.

jules February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

Thanks everyone for giving me the encouragement to continue with the experiments! Have a big weekend of yoghurt and granola making ahead of me so will report back soon.

Really appreciate everyone taking the time to share your thoughts!

Cat @ thesplitpindiary February 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Oooo coconut yoghurt? Yes please!

cindi kidd February 25, 2012 at 5:04 pm

thanks jules for the inspiration…especially when i need it the most, in the wee morning hours! i would love to hear more about lentil granola, but please no skating accidents!

Anna @ the shady pine February 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I often find I flounder finding new ideas for breakfast as I don’t like cereal. I imagine this smoothie would do me much more good than my morning coffee!

Kea February 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

How did i only discover your website NOW??? Love it!

Green smoothies are delicious but I haven’t indulged in a while… this post has rekindled my interest!

Just a suggestion: a friend of mine makes a smoothie with banana honey dates and… Avocado! (and milk too obviously…) The avo makes it delicious and creamy … would be a great addition to a green smoothie! I’m going to try it tomorrow. Yum… :)

Alex February 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Looking forward to Lentil granola! One of the food ruts we have in our house is that I had bought red and green lentils. My husband is happy to use the green ones but NEVER touches the red ones (just one of those things). Even it I am the one cooking with them ever second night, we have alot of red lentils to get through – and I don’t necessarily think that alternating green and red lentils night by night (and eating lentils every single night) is that fantastic. Granola – would be a great way of using them up in a not for dinner way. soups, curries, slad, lentil burgers, puree – done them all to death.

girlinafoodfrenzy March 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Your ideas are fabulous and the photos are stunning! Can’t wait to wake up and have breakfast now!!!

Hanna March 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Yes Jules, please, please share your perfected recipe for the lentil granola and the coconut yogurt! My goodness I can hardly wait :D

Lowongan Kerja March 16, 2012 at 12:45 am

Will definitely try the green smoothies… slurrrrp

Heather @ Stuffed Pepper March 23, 2012 at 3:54 am

I love all these ideas! I also like walnuts, banana and blueberries in almond milk as a nice way to start the day. Kale smoothies are a definite must, and I should be making mine more often. :)

Janice April 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

How is the lentil, psyllium husk granola coming? I am needing some breakfast help and I think something like this is what I need, so I don’t get too carby in the morning. I love your site, the recipes, the inspiration I get from it and your sense of humor!

Deborah May 11, 2012 at 10:16 am

I would be VERY interested in the lentil granola recipe!!

Grace May 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Hello Jules, I would love your lentil granola recipe.

jules May 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm

thanks Grace
recipe is over here:

Olivia July 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm

OK! Delicious!! My smoothie was one chopped up zucchini, one peeled kiwi fruit, some greek yoghurt and a scoop of my husband’s chocolate protein powder. Yum! I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks for the great idea Jules!

jules July 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

So glad you liked it Olivia!

Smoothie Girl October 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

These recipes sure are something!I would want to try the yoghurt with lentil granola & psyllium husks! I’m also an avid fan of green smoothie. Lately I’ve been trying a lot of different ingredients. But if you would want to have more idea on your green smoothie, you could also visit our site!

jules November 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thanks Smoothie Girl!

El February 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I am so excited someone is as excited about lentils as I! I didn’t think anyone else made them for breakfast. This is how I do it.

1/4 cup red lentils
1/4 cup chickpeas
one egg
curry spices/mustard/vinegar/salt/pepper
Soak the lentils and chickpeas for as long as possible (overnight, or at least a few hours), and then heat them in the microwave several time, changing the water in between (I change it about three times).
Then, pour out the water and then crack in the egg, and stir it all together. Then microwave until the egg is cooked, stirring ever 30 seconds or so. You can add more water and any spices/mustard/vinegar/salt or pepper to taste at this point.
I love this.

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