Ready, steady … go! Most mornings many of us are dashing out the door, grabbing a quick piece of toast and a coffee to go. I know you all are smart enough to know that a good meal at the start of the day takes you further, keeping your energy levels balanced. For me a good breakfast also keeps any mood swings or headaches at bay and I realized a long time ago that a good regular breakfast kept me focused by improving my concentration levels.
We all know that scenario – you are getting a late start to the day and when compared to the consequences of arriving late for work or school, pausing for a bite to eat in the kitchen just does not seem as important. So – you skip breakfast again. “Breakfast is the main meal of the day!” We have heard that so many times from our mothers, from the health gurus, from fitness magazines – but when routine takes over many of us fall back into the old habit.
Breakfast for me is a major meal as there are often days that I know it will be the main meal replenishing me for several hours ahead. A few savvy plan-ahead breakfast ideas helps me get my busy days in order … I even have time to make coffee!
Portable breakfasts are my answer. Whether an office day or a shoot on-location, I am able to transport my breakfast easily and whenever I get a few minutes to pause I am able to enjoy my homemade breakfast at my desk or on-site. The other massive benefit of such portable breakfasts is that they are a lot less expensive than buying a quick muffin or a granola bar on the way to work.
The main criteria for these breakfasts-on-the-go for me are that they need to be made ahead of time and if possible in larger quantities two to three times a week. My favorite kinds of breakfast is porridge, granola or muesli. All make great portable breakfasts and easy to make the previous night.
Dr. Bircher-Benner, a Swiss nutritionist developed the Bircher muesli for patients at his Zurich sanatorium towards the end of the nineteenth century basically to get them to eat more raw fruit. This is such a great way to start the day, keeping off those mid-morning snack attacks away. Bircher muesli relies on the fruit – mainly apples – to sweeten the dish. Although Bircher-Benner’s original recipe uses rolled oats, I like adding a mix of grains like spelt or rye flakes with the rolled oats. I also like varying with different seeds like I have used here. Chia, flax, sesame, sunflower seeds all add a great texture to the muesli so go ahead and play around to find your favorite crunch.
Soaking the oats is probably one of the most important factors in the recipe. As Dr. Bircher-Benner I really like soaking my oats overnight- not only because it is the easiest way to plan ahead but I find the consistency to be just right. Some recipes will call for 10 or 15 minutes of soaking, if you like your oats a little chewier then there is nothing wrong with a short soak. While I used almond milk here, you can use regular milk, plain water or apple juice to soak the oats in. I also love some creamy yogurt mixed into my Bircher and anything from Greek yogurt to Skyr or quark works well. Here I use some almond milk yogurt as it balances the flavors well.
Apples are the main attraction so it cannot be missed! I love the crisp and pleasantly tart granny smith coarsely grated with the skin on. But feel free to use your favorite variety. Although dried fruit is not part of the original recipe, they have become popular. Golden raisins and goji berries highlight this recipe, but I also love dried sour cherries, apricots, blueberries or cranberries – soaked overnight to plump them up. Another must are the nuts – the original recipe uses hazelnuts but I find the aromas of toasted almonds so delightful with the oats and apples. It is a matter of personal taste and walnuts, pistachios or pecan nuts all work – slightly toast them to release their aromas. Half a vanilla bean and some cinnamon works incredibly well with the apples – keep away from vanilla essence as it tends to be fairly strong and overpowers the other delicate flavors. Finally a small drizzle of raw honey tops off the perfect Bircher Muesli. You can also use seasonal fruit – right now strawberries, and rhubarb are a great treat and gives the breakfast another dimension, but keep the topping amounts small as this is mainly about the oats and the apples.
This Bircher makes a great breakfast to make in a jar and bring along to work. I actually mix everything needed in the jar itself, topping off with the necessary in the morning. Cover with the lid and – ready to go!
Recipe: Overnight 5 Grain Bircher Muesli With Goji berries and Green AppleMeeta K. Wolff
Makes: 2 jars
- 150g mixed oats and flakes, like rolled oats and rolled spelt flakes
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 300ml almond milk, plus extra for serving
- pinch of fleur de sell
- 1/2 vanila bean, seeds scraped
- small handful yellow raisins
- small handful goji berries
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons almonds, toasted
- 1 green apple, grated
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 50g almond milk yogurt
- In a jar add the mixed oats, flakes and soak with milk. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean, add cinnamon and pinch of fleur de sel. Add the chia and flax seeds, saving a small amount of each for the final topping. Finally add the goji berries and raisins. Mix well with a spoon, cover then refrigerate overnight to allow the oats to soak through and the dried fruit to plump up overnight.
- The next morning toast your almonds, grate your apple, then dollop the yogurt to the top of your bircher. Top off with the grated apple, almonds, the rest of the chia and flax seeds and finally drizzle the honey over the top.
No excuses for skipping breakfast anymore, with this ready-in-minutes option. This recipe can be made in larger quantities as it will keep for at least 2 days in the fridge without the addition of the yogurt. You will have to add some more liquid after 24 hours to keep it moist. There are many options and variations to this recipe and I encourage you to play around with your favorite ingredients for new flavors every time!
Looking for more breakfast ideas? Don’t miss my Breakfast of Champions – The Big Breakfast post for an incredible range of ideas of breakfast options from me and from many of my friends across the social network platforms. Hope you enjoy it!
From breakfast to fiery hot – next week we will paint this blog red! Stay tuned!
More portable breakfast ideas from What’s for lunch, Honey?:
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