They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and “they” are probably right. But I sometimes wonder how much time “they” have in the mornings. I mean, there are very few people I know who, with the best will in the world, are not in a massive rush in the morning. What with getting dressed for work, getting children up and dressed, getting packed lunches made, finding shoes, school books and other mislaid items, it is hard to find the time for anything other than bread or cereal.
Nicola from Simply Homemade recently gave us a great run down on her family’s breakfast favourites and started a little linky. So I’m joining in. Breakfast in our house is a real German-Irish mix. Like most people, during the week it is all a bit of a rush and at the weekend we tend to take our time, sit down together and have a bit more of a feast.
In our house sliced pan is known as “toast bread” (I still call it sliced pan but I am the only one) because Germans don’t believe in eating “raw toast”. It is only for toasting. We are not big toast eaters but we do go through phases. The toaster lives in the press and comes out for a few days at a time, either to make proper toast, to toast the cut side of bagels or to brown the inside of burger buns in the summer.
My husband and children love to eat what I call raw porridge – rolled oats with milk and a little sugar. That is their standard weekday breakfast. I am not a fan, much preferring the cooked variety with cream and brown sugar. Not exactly healthy, but better than scoffing a danish in the office at 10am, right?
Fruit / Yogurt with Fruit
All three of my boys are fruit lovers. About half my grocery shop each week is fruit. Some mornings it is all they want. I know it is not all that filling, but as long as they eat, I’m happy. Often they will have natural yogurt or vanilla yogurt with it. Greek yogurt with honey and banana is one of Number Two’s favourite combinations.
A combination of the above two breaksfasts, this is a recent addition to our breakfast table. So far it has only found favour with me and Number Three. We share a jar in the mornings. I find he eats more when he is eating the same as someone else. Number Three may be only 9 months old, but he does not want to be treated like a baby!
I make my overnight oats as follows:
Take a jam jar and 1/2 fill it with oats. Add a few spoonfuls of natural yogurt and mix. Pour a few spoonfuls of pureed berries over it and then slice in some banana and top with a spponful of yogurt or puree to stop the banana going brown. Put the lid on and refridgerate overnight. (If you have time) take it out of the fridge about ten minutes before eating so that it is not icy cold.
Sweet Yeast Plait
Another favourite in our house is plaited yeast bread. I make it for special occasions and sometimes for Sundays. The trick to having this ready for breakfast is to make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge to prove overnight. You just mix everything together really well, pop it into an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and place it in the fridge. The next morning you just need to divide the dough into three pieces, plait it and bake it. The recipe is the same as this one for Easter Nests. Eaten with homemade jam this is a delicious breakfast. Given that it is all homemade and the sugar content of the bread is much lower than cake, it is not as unhealthy as many a processed breakfast.
When I was growing up, my mother often made us dropscones for breakfast (they are small, fat pancakes and are not at all scone-like, to clarify for the non-Irish readers). Even though she left for a full day’s work as soon as we went off to school, she made the time to throw a batch of these together. I love them and have often mase them for my own children, more at the weekend though. Unfortunately my children prefer proper pancakes – thin and flat, for rolling up. I like pancakes too, but they aresuch a chore to fry ad the fryer (me) either has to eat while she fries or wait till the batter is all used up and sit to eat as everyone else is finishing up.
We invested in a waffle maker about 4 years ago and we just love it. Waffles are reasonably quick to cook, the mixture being along the lines of pancake or muffin batter. Our machine cooks two at a time. You can find my recipe here. While I prefer to make them seldom so they remain a treat, you can make wholewheat, low fat variations of waffles. We top them with whatever is going – blueberries, greek yogurt, honey, homemade jam, cinnamon sugar,… They are always a hit in our house.
Fresh Rolls, Brezel and Croissants
Here in Germany there are bakeries on every corner. Within three minutes walk of our house there are three bakeries in three different directions. They sell delicious fresh bread rolls, croissants, danishes and traybakes of breakfast cakes (light sponge with almonds or crumble on top). At the weekend we very often pop round the corner and buy ourselves a selection. After 12 years here, the novelty has still not worn off. Even on a school morning I will sometimes pop round the corner to the bakery for brezels for us all. I’m there and back in 6 or 7 minutes. The kids don’t even notice I’m gone.
As you can see, we are not the healthiest breakfast eaters but you won’t find a pack of fruit loops, a Rice Crispies Bar or a jar of Nutella on our table. Homemade and fruity sums up our taste in breakfasts, and when we go home to Ireland we binge on fry ups.