Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Buck up your breakfast

Just in case I haven't mentioned it enough in various places, I've been off poorly these last few days.  So, it's been super important that I focus on eating right.  By right I mean making sure I'm both  getting lots of lovely nutrients and vitamin C and what have you for my cold as well as avoiding things I know increase mucus production (sorry, not pretty) so I don't make things worse.  Dairy, for example, is a great snot producer and so is being avoided.  On the other hand to help speed recovery from sciatica, I also need to make sure I'm getting lots of foods with lovely clever anti-inflammatory properties and conversely avoid foods that tend to feed inflammation.  So, for example, foods high in sugar and fat are quite inflammatory but so is beef and dairy again.  Whereas whole grains and green leafy veg have anti-inflammatory properties. As do some spices like cumin, ginger and turmeric.

Add to that I'm feeling a bit fed up and my appetite is a bit all over the place thanks to feeling crummy, weird sleep patterns from coughing all night and various pills I'm taking... and suddenly deciding what to have for breakfast has become a major mission.

Normally I make a green smoothie, bottle it up and take it to work to drink while I set my room up ready for the children to arrive.

But this week the thought of a green smoothie couldn't be any less appetising for some reason.

I fancy something hot.  But it has to have greens in...I've now got a a bit obsessive about getting veg into my breakfast!

So, the first day I have poached eggs on some crumpets my mum's husband very kindly brought round the other day when I was totes incapacitated and house bound. (Don't worry, he bought other things too, a girl can't survive on crumpets alone, although I have tried on occasion.)  But these weren't just any eggy crumpets, they were eggy crumpets nestled on a mound of fresh spinach.

Excellent. (or should that be eggsellent!?).  That's protein and dark leafy greens nailed in one breakfast and it was warm so that's that box ticked.

Second day, I don't fancy that again and anyway while it was yummy, it could have been healthier.

What I really fancy is porridge but that would be disgusting with spinach added in. Plus I'm now refusing to eat porridge until I find some steel cut oats instead of rolled ones.  I bought some whole oat groats online but that turns out to have been an accident since they take an hour to cook which isn't massively convenient.

And! goes my email.  A post from the wonderful Ella of Deliciously Ella and once more she has come to my rescue with banana buckwheat porridge!

Woop Woop! As, not only do I have 15 sacks of oat groats I shan't be using, I also have some magnesium full buckwheat from the same online place.  Plus this recipe has manuka honey in it which is touted as being some super mega food fab at fighting infection and inflammation (although I may need to bathe in my porridge for that effect, not sure), and baobab fruit which has loads of vit C and and and and...

You can read Ella's full blog post and recipe, as well as all the fab healthful benefits of all the ingredients here.

Anyway, my quick round up of the recipe goes like this:

As it's for 2 I halved everything.  The smell wafting out from the pot as soon as I added the (potassium rich) banana and (mood and energy regulating) cinnamon was soooooooo scrummy. It smelt like a cross between autumn and Christmas!  Anyway, I followed the recipe all the way through and found that after about 20 mins cooking like the recipe said the buckwheat still had quite a bite to it and I fancied something a bit more stodgy.  So, I added some coconut milk at this point and cooked it some more just to see what would happen, and it did soften a bit more so it depends on the texture you're after as to how much you'd want to cook it for I reckon.

I also added the almond butter and the baobab as Ella suggests.  I've no idea if the baobab made any difference to taste, but I had some and it's supposed to be super good for you so there we go.  The almond butter on the other hand.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  That was a game changer.  What a gooey, unctuous, delicious, creamy, warming, bowl of happiness that made!

I added some fresh berries to the top of mine, raspberries as they're good for regulating appetite, blueberries as they're just the god of all berries (and are good brain food, my brain needs feeding right now), and strawberries which have one of the highest concentrations of vit C around.  I also added a few pecans just for a little crunch.

It was delish.  Absolutely, totally yummy.  Ella says it's like a hug in a bowl and she's not wrong! It was exactly what I was craving and it totally hit the spot.  What's more, I wasn't at all hungry again for a good 4 hours, I didn't feel stuffed or bloaty or anything. Just nice and warm :).

However,  I don't know if anybody else spotted it, but there is definitely a distinct lack of green veg going on here. But never, fear. I whipped out the old juicer and made myself the most yummy, refreshing and zingy juice from 2 apples, a handful of kale (which is a right bugger to get through the juicer but will go if you're persistent!), a handful of spinach and about a thumb sized lump of the wonderful ginger.

So, there it was, a healthful, wholefoods, superfood, warming breakfast complete with super cold busting green juice.  It was SO good, I made exactly the same thing the next day too!