Catherine Jeans | www.thefamilynutritionexpert.com
Pimp up your porridge, says Norwich-based nutritional therapist Catherine Jeans as she recommends the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast
I love breakfast. It’s definitely my favourite meal of the day. After a good night’s rest and (hopefully) no food for 12 hours, I’m ready to break my fast and get ready for the day ahead. When you wake up this Valentine’s Day, pick one of my three favourite breakfast ideas to give your body and mind some love. You can share with loved ones, or just keep for yourself. You choose!
What makes a good breakfast?
For me, it’s all about starting with the protein. Protein helps us to feel full, it powers our brain and keeps our blood sugar balanced throughout the day. You can add protein at breakfast from savoury foods like eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds or beans. I also love to add veggies or fruit – to get in the goodness right from the first meal of the day.
Good food is self-love. It treats our body with the respect it deserves. And ensures we’re getting all the nutrients we need to be our best! So which of my Valentine’s Day breakfasts will you choose?
Pimped up porridge
Even if you eat porridge every day, you can make it more special with some delicious toppings. Here are my top 3 pimped up porridge toppings:
- Sliced banana, toasted coconut flakes, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a squeeze of honey or maple syrup.
- Purple lovely porridge: add a handful of frozen blueberries as you cook your porridge. It will turn bright pink – finish it off with some fresh berries on top, a drizzle of almond butter and some maple syrup.
- Nutty choccy porridge: mix a teaspoon of cocoa powder into your porridge, plus half teaspoon of cinnamon. To serve, grate over some dark chocolate, sprinkle with some dark brown sugar (just a little) and add a sprinkle of crushed hazelnuts (or any nuts you have).
Self-love smoothie bowl
I love this breakfast when I have a bit more time in the morning. It’s basically a thick smoothie, that feels like you’re eating ice cream for breakfast, with some yummy sprinkles on top. Here is my favourite smoothie bowl recipe:
Blend 1 avocado, with 1 cup of frozen blueberries, plus 1 frozen banana (you can freeze the night before – peel and chop into small pieces). Add a couple of tablespoons of plain Greek yoghurt and blend together. For vegans use ½ tin of coconut milk (especially the thick bit from the tin). For added protein, it’s also delicious with a heaped tablespoon of smooth peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter blended through, or a scoop of vanilla protein.
Top with your favourite sprinkles – create a heart shape of dessicated coconut and chia seeds, some dark chocolate drops and fresh berries. Perhaps even an edible flower on top or special fruit like passion fruit.
Pancakes all the way!
You can make delicious fluffy pancakes with a bit of time and effort. Make them thin like crepes, with a dollop of healthiness by adding in 20% buckwheat flour for added protein or some wholemeal flour. Or you can make them super fluffy American pancakes, with added ground nuts and seeds.
Top a stack of pancakes with fresh berries, passion fruit, mango or pineapple, drizzle with top quality local honey or maple syrup, and some delicious yoghurt. Sprinkle over some dark chocolate drops for an added treat, or make a fresh berry sauce by putting two big handfuls of fresh or frozen berries into a saucepan. Add half a cup of water, a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Allow to bubble gently for 8 minutes, then use a potato masher to puree.
If you’re more of a savoury person, go for some scrambled or poached eggs, smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms and slices of avocado. With a side of freshly made smoothie. My favourite is a zingy green smoothie. Blitz up a handful of organic spinach and kale, ½ avocado, a ripe pear, a few slices of fresh mango or pineapple, an inch of ginger, some mint leaves, 1/3 of a cucumber, ice cubes and a dash of milk. If you need extra sweetness, add in a medjool date. Blend and enjoy!