We’re in a breakfast rut! It’s either cereal or toast in our house and I imagine other busy families end up eating the same thing in the morning despite wanting to break out of the cycle. I asked my friend Helen of Cheltenham based Glo Food to share some ideas and recipes that we can all easily try out!
Helen believes the main focus at breakfast should be to offer something healthy but also fun and fast to make. Letting kids choose elements of the breakfast, such as the fruit or nut toppers on the porridge, will make breakfast more exciting and help your kids build a healthy attitude to food.
Here are four recipes written by Helen that I’ll definitely be trying out in the coming week. I hope you find them inspiring too:
1. Banana Pancakes
My daughters love pancakes but I just don’t have time on a weekday morning to make them so they are usually reserved as a weekend treat. This was until I discovered the miracle that is banana pancakes which are made with just bananas and eggs, no tricks! These pancakes are gluten-free and dairy-free. It seems like you’d just end up with scrambled banana-eggs (yuck), but the final product truly resembles a pancake. Piping hot and golden brown, with crispy edges. There are also dozens of ways to dress them up if you’re willing to add a few more ingredients. A pinch of baking powder will make them fluffier, and a bit of vanilla or honey helps round out the flavour and we love to top them with our favourite fruits. One of the keys to success is to keep them small — they will cook more quickly and be easier to flip. I use about two tablespoons of batter for each pancake, which makes a 3- to 4-inch pancake.
Ingredients (makes approx. 4 pancakes)
1 medium ripe banana
2 large eggs
1. Mash the banana thoroughly using a fork, until no large lumps remain.
2. Whisk the eggs together until the yolks and whites are completely combined and mix with the banana.
3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and melt a little butter or warm a little oil in the pan to prevent sticking.
4. Drop approximately 2 tablespoons of the batter on hot frying pan. It should sizzle immediately — if not, turn up the heat slightly.
5. Cook for 1 – 2 mins until the bottom looks brown and golden. The edges should also be starting to look set.
6. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so until golden brown.
7. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and continue cooking the rest of the batter.
8. Serve warm: These pancakes are best when eaten fresh off the pan and still warm. Serve with maple syrup, honey, fruit, nuts, or any extra toppings you’d like.
The first meal that my little girl Isla (now 7) was able to make herself was scrambled eggs – made in a cup and cooked in the microwave! She was fascinated with cracking the eggs in a bowl, whisking them and seeing them cook before her eyes, like magic, in the microwave. We now encourage her to throw in some extras such as chopped up tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, ham or a little grated cheese.
When served on a slice of toast this makes an amazing breakfast for kids— it’s got the carbs for energy, protein to keep you feeling full, loads of micronutrients and super quick and tasty.
1 tbsp milk
Optional extras (peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, cheese)
1 slice of toast (sourdough bread is our favourite)
Whisk the eggs, milk and seasoning together in a large mug and stir in the optional extras. Microwave for 1½-2 minutes in 30-second bursts, stirring after each or until scrambled to your liking. Serve on top of the toast.
3. Homemade Granola & Porridge
We practically live off porridge for breakfast during the winter. To stop the kids getting bored, we add different fruit and nut toppings so that they can make smiley faces or one time we mashed raspberries into it so they could have pink porridge. Also works with blueberries if you would like blue porridge!
During the warmer months we prefer homemade granola which is leaps and bounds tastier than the sugar heavy shop bought granola. It is also far healthier since it is made with whole grains, unrefined oils and naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup.
This super simple recipe takes less than 30 minutes and tastes amazing. The kids can also get involved by picking their favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruits to add.
Ingredients (approximately 16 servings)
360g hearty oats (I use a gluten free variety)
80g unrefined coconut oil (you can use alternatives such as olive oil)
160g nuts / seeds (I have used a mix of pumpkin seeds, pecans and almonds but the choices are limitless. This is the where the kids can get involved by picking their favourite combinations)
120g maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
80g dried fruit (I have used cranberries as these are a firm favourite with my kids)
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a large deep rimmed baking tray with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts/seeds, cinnamon and stir.
3. Pour in the oil, maple syrup and mix well until every oat and nut/seed is lightly coated.
4. Pout the granola onto the prepared tray and spread it to an even layer.
5. Bake until golden (approx. 21-23 minutes). The granola will further crisp as it cools.
6. Let the granola cool completely and the stir in the dried fruit.
7. Store the granola in an airtight container for a month. It can also be frozen.
4. Breakfast Cookies
When we need to have breakfast on the go (if we oversleep and need to eat it on the way to school for example) I usually have a supply of my breakfast cookies to hand. I call them breakfast cookies but they can be eaten anytime of the day. They only need 5 ingredients and are vegan. Forget the butter, sugar, eggs and flour. All you need is dates, a banana, oats, ground almonds and a nut butter. They taste amazing and you’ll be able to get some goodness into the kids without them even realising it!
1 ripe banana
150g dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
80g ground almonds
80g oats (I use a gluten free variety)
40g / 2tbsp cashew or almond butter
Optional extras (raisons, nuts, cranberries, cinnamon, etc.)
1. Heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Blitz the dates in a blender, add the banana and nut butter and blend together.
3. Add the oats and ground almonds and blend until combined.
4. Add optional extras. My girls love cinnamon and raisin so I add 1 tsp of cinnamon and 50g raisins.
5. Chill the dough for 10-15 mins in the fridge.
6. Take 1 tbsp balls and form into cookie shape discs. They will not spread when cooked so they can be placed close together on the baking tray.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Glo Food specialise in dairy, gluten and refined sugar free breakfast and snack foods. Their focus is great taste and instead of artificial sugars they use a touch of honey or maple syrup and have also swapped refined grains for plant-based proteins such as quinoa and buckwheat, adding extra seeds, nuts and berries.