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.

VARIATIONS
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.

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video version of the recipe

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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.

Cheers
Jules x

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{ 72 comments }

Veronica February 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi Jules!
I am literally sitting and eating my breakfast and just got this email! So excited to give these recipes a try. Yesterday, I wrote on my blog that I am giving up vegetarian diet because of health issues… I am definitely going to be looking to your blog for guidance on following a paleo-ish diet. I love your blog! As a medical student, I need my meals to be simple and quick, and you certainly know how to do that!
Please do create a lentil granola recipe! I am an oatmeal and granola lover, so this would be a perfect alternative!
Best,
Veronica

kathy February 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

definitely interested in the coconut yogurt

Octavia February 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Hi Jules! I would love to hear your recipe for coconut yogurt so I can make some for my friend who is gluten free. Also, the granola recipe sounds interesting. Thanks!

Anna February 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Very interested in the lentil granola. Hope you perfect it soon. :)
Thanks

elm February 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Oooh, definitely interested in the coconut yogurt. I don’t eat dairy and the only thing I miss is natural yogurt and I adore coconut milk. The smoothie sounds intriguing. I may try it with matcha powder to make it even more green.

I’ve recently started eating chickpeas for breakfast. I still find it odd to eat things like that for breakfast though and can’t eat them until at least an hour after getting up…

Kirsten February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Very interested in those recipes. No food allergies here, I eat almost anything except pork and shellfish, but I love experimenting with grain-free recipes!

John February 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Thanks Jules. We live in Hong Kong and my wife has found this quirky little health cafe that has quinoa “porridge” and she loves it. Now I will be able to make her breakfast at home without having to go to this cafe which I am not so keen on.

Your breakfast ideas are just what I need to break out of the rut. My wife can enjoy her quinoa, and think I’m so smart! (I may have to hide your latest blog though).

Crystal February 22, 2012 at 12:03 am

I too would love the recipes for the lentil granola and coconut yogurt. Also, can you tell me the protein powder you like to use. I am looking for one that tastes good. Thanks!

Ashley February 22, 2012 at 12:15 am

Love the Lentil Granola idea! I have found your blog to be a HUGE help for this current season in my life. My husband and I are travelling for a year, and I don’t like eating out all the time. Your tips on meals with so few ingredients, and simple cooking tools has been a life saver—Keep it coming!

Gillian February 22, 2012 at 12:41 am

A great breakfast in the summer is gazpacho! If you are trying to avoid wheat or grains you can use cooked carrot instead of the bread. My gazpacho is around 150g cooked pureed carrot, 250g cucumber, 500g ripe tomato, 1 green or red pepper, 5 cloves garlic, 20ml olive oil, 10ml (or to taste) balsamic vinegar, but sherry vinegar is traditional. If using bread soak with just enough water to cover for around 10mins. If using carrots cook until soft and puree. Finely chop or blend everything together to desired texture. Serve well chilled or in a bowl with an ice cube. I think it tastes like summer. Don’t try with flavourless, out-of-season tomatoes.

Sandy February 22, 2012 at 1:13 am

Jules, I would love to know how you are making your own yogurt, regular and coconut milk types. Plus, the lentil granola idea is interesting. I am trying to be gluten free, so breakfasts are a challenge because I get tired of eggs and I have a hard time eating vegetables for breakfast. Will have to try a green smoothie with some fruit in it, though.

Thanks for your great blog.

Cielia February 22, 2012 at 1:31 am

Green Smoothies are so great! We’ve read “Greens for Life” which makes a good case for including them in your diet as much as possible. Our recipe is even simpler,

Greens
Bit of Lemon Juice
Water

It’s one of the only ways our son will get his greens. Thanks for posting a new variant!

Angy February 22, 2012 at 1:53 am

Oh yes please! Definitely interested in the lentil & yoghurt. How on earth do you incorporate the psyllium husk!? I would love to see some recipes including psyllium husks too! That would be fantastic! Thank you!!

Sarah February 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

I love lentils for breakfast in the morning. I often make what I call lentil hash. I brown ground beef, add in some onions and garlic to soften, a little oregano, salt/pepper and then add an equal amount (to the beef) of precooked lentils. I also like lentils as you mentioned, with some vinegar and other seasonings, and then I add a poached or fried egg on top. Looking forward to seeing some more ideas! We are eating “slow carb” most of the time, and breakfast is my toughest meal!

Diana February 22, 2012 at 3:48 am

Lentil granola sounds amazing! (As does coconut yogurt). I’d love to see how you work out the recipes. Meanwhile I’ll be trying a green smoothie in the morning! :)

Rena February 22, 2012 at 4:19 am

Hi Jules- Would love to know the recipe for coconut milk yogurt as well as this lentil granola you mentioned! Thank you!

Ophelia February 22, 2012 at 4:34 am

Bring on the lentil granola!

Green smoothies are wonderful, I need to get into making them again because I know how wonderful I feel when having more raw food and especially greens.

Coconut milk yogurt? YES PLEASE!!

Jen February 22, 2012 at 4:46 am

Hi Jules, I’m definitely interested in your coconut yoghurt recipe, please do post! The red lentil porridge sounds lovely as well :)

Nay February 22, 2012 at 6:22 am

Definitely keen on coconut yoghurt! My body doesn’t handle dairy like it used to and I miss yoghurt the most!

Kathy February 22, 2012 at 6:59 am

I would definitely be interested in the coconut yogurt! Over the last few months I have been giving up grains, just the gluten free steel cut oatmeal left at breakfast so looking for ideas for breakfast. I’ve been making my own green smoothies for the last few months too and love them! Also not eating milk products so would love the coconut yogurt.

Rachael February 22, 2012 at 7:08 am

My fave breakfast is CADA a mixture of almonds, green apple, dates and coconut. (not my invention). I process a handful of each for a few seconds and serve with strawberries and natural yoghurt with a drizzle of maple syrup.

A few pieces of cut fruit and raw nuts does the trick on busy mornings.

When I have more time my fave breakfast is a ‘bacon veggie bowl’. I slice up one rasher of short bacon and stir fry that with broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. Put in a bowl and add a few cubes of marinated feta. Heaven in a bowl and gets me through most of the day!

Kristina February 22, 2012 at 7:43 am

Hi Jules, I would love to see the lentil granola!

Sue T February 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

A high fiber green smoothie I got from a book about foods for cancer/chemotherapy (One Bite at a Time, by Rebecca Katz) uses 3-4 leaves of two different greens (e.g. kale and spinach), one each cored-but-not-peeled apple and pear, a bit of ginger and some lemon juice (each to taste), and water; blend til smooth. I think it would be OK with any kind of milk or yoghurt. Caution, if not used to high fiber start with small daily amounts (1-2 ounces). :-)

Anthea February 22, 2012 at 8:31 am

I’m going to be brave and try a green smoothie!! Any ideas for breakfasts I can make in ‘batch’ form, that will keep in the fridge for most of the week and/or easy, healthy things to make at work? Not so good in the mornings and always in a rush….!!

Margaret February 22, 2012 at 9:03 am

I love this post.
I adore eggs and could eat them every day for breakfast. However a couple of times a week I have a pea protein powder with fruit, and sometimes I have dinner leftovers for breakfast.
I’d love you to teach us how to make coconut milk yoghurt. I’ve read about some failures on other blogs, so I’d love to see a success story.
I love making quinoa porridge by cooking it in coconut milk but I have that for dessert, not breakfast.

Elaine February 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

I had a friend tell me recently that she adds avocado to her smoothie as it makes it very creamy and thick. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I think it sounds interesting.

Becky at Vintage Mixer February 22, 2012 at 10:06 am

Love your site! I just found it today and can’t wait to devour more of it. I am intrigued by the idea of adding lentils to breakfast meals. I hope you’ll post more about that!

Jacqueline February 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

Yes to lentil granola and coconut yoghurt!! I love to eat oat groats for breakfast. I also eat buckwheat groats, but for me they need maple syrup for better taste. I add nuts to both. I make oat groats in a batch of 4 servings…one cup groats, 2 c water, about a tsp butter or coconut oil and pinch of salt, bring to boil, simmer covered 1 hour. Yum!! Your can go crazy and add dried fruit, coconut flakes, maple syrup, etc. Bananas or strawberries go well. I put it in 4 glass containers, and in the morning I put the glass container in the toaster oven to warm while I am getting ready. It’s not as great as the first day when it’s fresh, but I do love it.

Kristen February 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hi Jules, thanks for this. I usually eat eggs for breaky but by the weekend I am looking for something different. The green smoothy may well be it! I need a bit of protein in my breakfast but have never tried protein powder – can you recommend a low fat, low carb one? Also, would be keen to hear about your yoghurt making adventures (regular yoghurt). I could eat lentils every meal and am dreaming of red lentil porridge once winter comes our way!

Kim February 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Love my green smoothies and need to get back into that habit. Would love to try your coconut yogurt recipe. My son has a life-threatening dairy allergy and he’s not always so fond of the soy yogurt! Please, please, please post it soon!

Jeremy @ JB Coach February 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I’ve never thought mixing my greens, although it can the best way for me to eat them… especially broccoli !
A good way to eat more of them !
Thank you Jules

Victoria February 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Coconut yoghurt, yes please!!!!!

Elvonee February 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Lentil granola! How interesting! Have you got those skates on yet? ;)

Kpneskl February 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Where do you get Kale in Sydney? I have been looking for it everywhere!

Jenny February 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

how do you make coconut yoghurt? Like “normal” yoghurt, or do you need some special yoghurt culture=

Jenny February 22, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Sorry = has to be an ?

Sarah LaChance February 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I learned about green drinks/smoothies last year and am just amazed by how easy it is to get the nutrition our bodies need in a tasty drink! Check out Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. It has lots of EASY recipes and explains just why greens will change your life forever. I’m also interested in hearing more about your coconut yogurt and lentil projects! Thanks for sharing and getting the word out there about green smoothies; it may seems strange to some at first, but compared to the SAD (Standard American Diet), it’s the best thing you can do for your body, if you wish to live a long and healthy life and avoid cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more (and who doesn’t want that?!)!

Clara February 23, 2012 at 1:52 am

I would love to see your recipes for lentil granola and coconut yogurt! I’ve been wanting to experiment with making my own granola and yogurt but haven’t taken the plunge yet, so these new recipes would give me a push in the right direction ;)

Monapily February 23, 2012 at 2:35 am

Definitely interested in the coconut yogurt!! Please post asap! :)

Jen February 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

Jules, Love this post and am interested in the coconut yogurt for sure. Question. Are you sure psyllium and oat bran are soluble fiber? The IBS sufferer in me thinks they are insoluble.

Tony February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Lentil granola, yes please!

Jenny February 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Yes, please, on the coconut yogurt!

Gill February 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Great ideas Jules. Can’t wait to see how to make coconut yoghurt (preferably without any expensive equipment). Will add this post to my next newsletter.

vanessa February 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Love the ideas for breakfast, can’t wait for the coconut yoghurt recipe. I always look forward to your emails and love the left field approach. So little left field left in life!

Rhonda February 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

My east European dad often made us a paprika-based soup for breakfast, so I’ve never had a problem with savoury breakfasts. I’d be keen to try the lentil porridge and granola.

Emilee February 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Not sure if it counts as unusual, but I like to cook up a big batch of lentils for breakfast too. I add garlic, shallotts (cooked), paprika, soy sauce, white pepper and then a dash of lemon or lime juice. It tastes brilliant on rye or a seedy, grainy bread with either tahini or avocado as a spread.

I tried a red lentil soup-style thing like what you mentioned and it turned out a little bland, so I’d be really interested to see how you do it.

Love your blog, it delivers exactly what you promise in the headline.

Andrea (@FrSeed2Stomach) February 24, 2012 at 2:22 am

I LOVE green smoothies! :-)

Alexandra February 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I use lentils and beans in “odd” ways so I’m definitely interested in a lentil granola recipe! Please perfect your recipe and share!

Alexandra February 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I use lentils and beans in “odd” ways so I’m definitely interested in a lentil granola recipe! Please perfect your recipe and share!

kelly February 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

The lentil recipes sound so innovative and awesome! Please share!

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