DIY power breakfast
Some people find cooking relaxing. I, on the other hand, get stressed out as I agonise over every minute detail of a recipe. By the time the food is ready, I’m usually so frazzled that I’ve completely lost my appetite. Instead, I usually eat the same things every day. Some people find that boring. It’s the only way I cope.
However, I was inspired to make my breakfasts extra awesome while staying with my friends Hannah and Kaj in Sweden a couple of weeks ago. They’re a beautiful, outdoorsy, active, healthy couple. They embody sunshine. I suspect 20% of that is due to the killer breakfasts they eat every day, packed with seeds, nuts and fruit (both regular and the crinkly dried kind).
At first, I thought I could never do it. It seemed like so much stuff to have on hand. The whole thing seemed so daunting. This is why I suck at cooking. But after reading Born to Run and getting inspired about how crazy good all these seeds and whatnot are for you, and then signing up for a couple of ultra marathons, I realised it was time to raise my breakfast game. Plus, throwing some raw ingredients in a bowl hardly counts as cooking.
If you’d care to join me in making a DIY power breakfast, you’re going to need to make a stop at your local grocery shop. I’m really lucky to have a killer Turkish grocery store around the corner that is tiny but has everything inside. I guess you can get most of this at one of the big chains but a) you’ll probably pay through the nose for it, and b) it’s not punk rock.
- Muesli. This is your base. The foundation. Get a good one. No sweetened crap.
- Granola. Treat yourself! Adds texture and good vibes. Again: get a good one. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
- Pumpkin kernels. They’re nutritional powerhouses.
- Sunflower seeds. Contain essential fatty acids, whatever they are.
- Goji berries. These guys boost the immune system and brain activity, protect against heart disease and cancer, and improve your live expectancy. THEY LITERALLY INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN. Plus they are v. colourful.
- Dried apricots. Potassium, fibre, etc. They pack a rich, fruity punch.
- Yellow raisins.All the benefits of a regular raisin but more colourful (ergo, better for the Instagram pix of your DIY power breakfast).
- Flaxseed.One of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. Again, reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes. Increases the risk of fun.
- Chia seeds. This stuff is so good that people are saying it’s even better than flaxseed. And we know how good flaxseed is.
- Cashews (or other nuts). Minerals, good fatty acids, etc. I like cashews because they’re fancy and sweet but you could swap them out for your favourite nuts.
- Blueberries.The grandad of the superfood trend, apparently.
- Banana. At this stage, I guess any fruit will do. I happen to like bananas.
- Grapes. Recommended in this recipe because my friend Steph left some at my house after she came around for lunch this week and I thought it’d be wasteful not to use them.
- Almond milk / coconut milk. I’m trying to eat less animal stuff because it’s unnecessary and not as healthy as alternatives like these. I find both almond and coconut milk to be a bit lighter and tastier in the DIY power breakfast than regular cow milk.
- Get a decent-size bowl.
- Sprinkle a base layer of muesli.
- Add some granola.
- Throw in a teaspoon of each type of nut and seed.
- Grab a couple of dried apricots. Slice ‘em up nice and small. Throw them in.
- Chop up half a banana. Throw it in.
- Add a handful of blueberries.
- Slop in a load of your choice of milk.
- Eat and feel smug that you’ve consumed your recommended daily allowance of, like, pretty much everything, and extended your lifespan (probably) — and it’s not even lunchtime yet.
Do you have tips for how to make the DIY power breakfast even more powerful? LMK.