Oh gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve written. I’m sorry for being lax – work has been a bit crazy, with my dissertation deadline approaching (1 more month!) and the freelance work rolling in, as well as my weekly dose of the publishing house…so I have been relying a lot on eating on the go – usually at my desk at the publisher’s (*tries not to drip noodles on paperwork*). I decided that a post on my on the go breakfast inspiration would really chime into how I’ve been eating this last couple of months.
Life is great. Food is better. So I’ve noted down some meals I’ve been making at the moment – specifically, ones that taste great, are transportable, and are healthy and full of sustenance. I know we’re all busy, and want to put good and tasty stuff in our bodies…but we don’t always have an hour and a half when we get home from work to devote to cooking, nor an hour before we go to work spare to devote to breakfast and making a packed lunch. So, my next few posts will lay out ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the go.These meals should be really tasty, healthy, and easy to take with you on the move!
This first post is going to focus on breakfasts – my favourite meal, but the one I least often have time to eat at home. Let me know if you try any of these in the comments below, and if you have different suggestions for me to mix it up, or vary my on the go breakfast inspiration – let me know!
On The Go Breakfast Inspiration
– My muesli mix –
I use this mix in many of my on-the-go breakfasts. I fill my canister with fresh muesli about once a month – that means I have freshly mixed muesli ready to roll, all the time. Buying your ingredients separately can seem expensive (each bag is probably between £1-£4), but these bags will last you about 5 canister refills! Eating muesli mix about three days a week, the canister will easily last a month. So, £20 invested at the beginning could be enough to see you through almost half a year – that’s about 5 boxes of commercial muesli, which last about 1-2 weeks!
Vary proportions, and ingredients, depending on your tastes. Some omit fruit but I enjoy the chewiness it adds, plus that bit of sugar.
- 3 cups jumbo rolled/steel-cut oats
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup barley flakes
- 1 cup rye flakes
- 1 cup bran flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I vary between brazil, almond and hazelnut)
- 1/2 cup dried fruits (I vary between chopped apricots and chopped dates, and full sultanas and dried cranberries)
Make this up, and you have a ready-to-roll muesli mix ready for on the go breakfast inspiration!
– My fruit jollops –
“Compote” can be a misleading word, as so many think of compote as soft-set jam. My aunty uses the word
“jollop” which sounds pretty jolly and also intimates just how easy this is to make. So, jollop it is!
By jollop, I mean cooked fruit, but usually without (or with very little) added sugar. This is the perfect sweet and fruity addition to something sustaining (like muesli or porridge) for breakfast.
Whether you add any sugar (or sugar substitute, like agave nectar) depends on your tastes, and the fruit you’re using. I would suggest making your way down to no sugar, though, because you truly start to see that cooked fruit is nice and sweet on its own.
Simply add your fruits to a pan, add 1/2 cup of water and cook on medium until your fruits are soft. I often add an apple (even cooking apples are lovely here) to my fruits, as cooked apple adds a sweetness. If you need extra sweetness, a splash of elderflower cordial is a nice alternative to plain sugar.
Fruit combination ideas:
- apple and blackberry
- apple and rhubarb
- gooseberry and rhubarb (with a dash of elderflower cordial)
- rhubarb, ginger and plum
- apple and gooseberry
- apple and raspberry/loganberry
- apple and blackcurrant/redcurrant/whitecurrant
- peach/nectarine and raspberry
Really, the possibilities are endless. This is the perfect way to use up slightly old or damaged fruit; just cut away any damaged bits.
Cook your fruits down in a little water (top up if they seem to be drying out but aren’t at your required softness yet). I tend to cook mine for around 10 minutes, but you may like your fruit compote softer or firmer. Add one large, chopped apple and a large handful of berries, for example, to the pot, with 1/4 cup water, and when cooked down this should be plenty for two to eat, all week. I tend to divide mine into two pots – one for this week, and one to freeze.
1. Bircher Muesli
This may sound uninspiring (it certainly doesn’t look fantastic!) but this breakfast ticks my three breakfast “musts”: it tastes great, it’s healthy and it fills me, for longer. (The final, and crucial, goal – it is actually better if you make it the night before. More time to hit snooze…)
- 1-2tbsp High-quality oats, or muesli mix (add some extra, plain oats if you use muesli mix, otherwise it’s too chunky and doesn’t absorb so well)
- 1/2 an apple
- 1/2 tbsp jollop
- 1/2 tbsp yoghurt/creme fraiche/whole milk/almond milk
- handful frozen berries
- 2 tbsp+ water
Just grate your half an apple into a bowl. Add your muesli or high-quality oat mix. Combine. Add 1tbsp of your dairy (or dairy substitute). Go skimpy with this – if anything, less is more. Once you’ve tried it, maybe cut down your dairy to taste – I tend to add only 1 tsp of yoghurt to my bircher now.
Add your jollop, and handful of frozen berries (optional), which will make your bircher a lovely pink by morning. Now, add what seems an obscene amount of water. This sounds, and looks, like a gross thing to do. But the magic will happen overnight – the water breaks into, and breaks down, the starchiness of the oats, and the little bit of dairy or milk substitute lends a creamy richness. You should end up with a soft, yoghurt-like consistency full of slightly chewy oats and occasional bursts of fruit. Mix everything thoroughly, and put into a clickable tupperware for tomorrow (or a bowl with some clingfilm over, if you’re organised enough to be making this to eat at home!) and put in the fridge overnight. Soaking your oats overnight also makes them easier to digest. It’s the perfect ugly-but-satisfying breakfast!
2. Yoghurt pots
This simple breakfast keeps you full and, like bircher muesli, is easily transportable. It also is a much healthier version of those yoghurts you liked as a kid (…just me?Muller Corner me anyday…)
Take the tupperware (or dish) you want to eat from. Add a layer of Greek yoghurt (I use a small tupperware. For this size, add 1 tbsp of greek yoghurt).Then add a spoonful of jollop. Now shake a good tbsp of muesli mix on top, and put the lid on.
This is fine to make the night before too (I always do!) but if you use a thinner yoghurt your layers will mix up and look less pretty. Your muesli will also get more soggy.
3. Green Smoothie
Okay, I have to be honest – I have this in addition to one of the other on-the-go breakfasts listed above. But if I get a green smoothie on the go, I find I don’t have the urge to snack come 11, or 3pm, when that sneaky urge to eat a biscuit comes up to say hello. I make this in the morning and sip at it right through to lunchtime. And – green smoothies are not as scary as you think! If you’ve never tried making one before, there are only a couple of ground rules to bear in mind if you want to avoid making cold vegetable soup:
Remember your primary colours from school! Adding red to green makes…brown. That’s right. So if you’re adding berries, try to keep your percentages balanced so that green far outweighs red. Alternatively, use non-red/colourless/complementary coloured fruits and berries like banana, kiwi, whitecurrants, pineapple or mango. None of these
should turn your vibrant smoothie a smushy brown colour.
We all know that whizzed up fruit provides us with too much sugar (eating the same amount of whole fruit is different, as we don’t break it down so completely into its base sugars). That’s why adding vegetables to your smoothie is key. If you love the taste of cold veg, then do be my guest, and throw in as many veg as you can handle! If you’re new to green smoothies, or like me, you simply prefer your drink to taste sweet rather than savoury, be canny in your balancing. That means using small, strongly flavoured fruits, and big, not-so-strong tasting veg.
My classic green smoothies generally look something like this:
handful washed spinach, 1/3 cucumber, stick of celery, 1tsp chia seeds, handful of whitecurrants and blackcurrants, 1/2 banana
stick celery, 1/3 cucumber, handful lettuce, 1 carrot, 1tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 apple, handful red berries
apple, celery, 1/3 cucumber, nub of ginger, handful spinach, 1/3 mango
So, just think about your balance. If in doubt, try it out! If it’s too thick, add water. It’s unlikely you made it too thin.
I usually add about 2tbsp of water in the initial whizz, then more to thin.
FYI, my whizzer is great – I got it for £45, and it is called NutriPro. I’d highly recommend it – no problems at all whizzing hard vegetables like carrots into a juice. And if you’re thinking, “I could never afford to be blitzing that much fruit every morning”…you need to get down to your local market. I’m so lucky in Leeds to have a great one – the Kirkgate Market. I can easily get enough fruit and vegetables for two people, for 3 meals a day for a week, for £15. Choose foods that are in season and grown locally where possible for the best prices, and buy in bulk if there are offers on – you can always chop and freeze these bits of fruit and veg (makes your smoothie nice and cold too!)
What do you think? Any on the go breakfast inspiration you want to share with me? x