Healthy, hot breakfasts – Porridge 5 ways

I’ve had a few people say to me recently that they’re not eating healthily because it’s cold.  Now I totally get that the cold makes you crave hot, comforting recipes… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy! Health isn’t an ice-cold salad and limp lettuce leaf.

black ceramic bowl filled with cereal
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Porridge is a super old-school breakfast that in recent years, thanks to instagram and health influencers, has made a comeback but in a variety of jazzier ways.

It’s my go-to every morning at my desk because it’s so quick… and if you’re having it regularly, it’s worth experimenting and messing around with different ingredients, as variety in your diet is good for your gut micro biome! So I’m going to share with you a few of my fave recipes that you can mix and match and play with.

I’ve kept them friendly to all diets – carnivore, omnivore, veggie and vegan – just check the labels of things like jam or pesto if you’re plant-based, naturally 🙂

NB: I make my porridge the Scottish way – oats and water. Feel free to substitute whatever plant milk or dairy you usually use.

Indulgent chocolate orange porridge

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • 1 – 2 satsumas
  • 1 pack of Pret a Manger dark chocolate sea-salt coated almonds

This is the simplest, and probably most indulgent of my regular porridge recipes. I love it for the occasional Friday morning treat.

I make my porridge literally by microwaving my oats with enough water to cover them for approx 2 minutes.

Then you literally stir in your dark chocolate coated almonds, peel your fruit and top with satsuma segments.

Banana & blueberry porridge

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • Sprinkling of chopped almonds
  • 1 small – medium banana
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Optional teaspoon of desiccated coconut
  • Optional tablespoon of protein power (I’d pick a plant-based vanilla for this recipe like the one by MissFits nutrition)

Again, make your porridge oat base via your preferred method – 2 mins in the microwave or on the hob.

If you’re adding in the protein powder, I like to stir it in part way through. Chop your banana while it cooks, and then chuck on your toppings – banana, blueberries, nuts and coconut if you’re using it.

Green Machine Italiana savoury pesto porridge

I LOVE savoury porridge – it’s basically like a breakfast risotto, so if you’re hesitating I’d really encourage you not to knock it till you’ve tried it.

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • 1 – 2 tsps green pesto
  • Chopped sundried tomato
  • 6-10 almonds
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • Optional: either finely chop 4-5 black olives, or add 20g cheese (be it dairy, plant based – but if vegan cheese go for one that melts!)

Make your oat base (see above) and while hot, stir in your pesto. If you’re using cheese, stir it in now too. Ditto the spirulina (this is just for extra greens more than anything!)

Top with your sundried tomato, almonds, olives (if using) and voila!

Chia, pear and cinnamon porridge

This one requires that you pre-grill your pear if you’re making it at work, just fyi…!

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • Grilled pear with a drizzle of maple syrup (or honey for non-vegans)
  • 1-2 tsps chia seeds
  • Cinnamon to taste – probably 1/2 – 1 tsp

If you’re at home, grill your pear with a light drizzling of maple (you need to judge this by eye and personal preference as to how you like it. I only go for 8 mins or so).

You’re getting the hang of making porridge now, right? Do that. Stir in the cinnamon and chia seeds and leave to soak a moment.

And if you’re at work and you’ve pre-grilled the pear, you’ll want to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until warm.

Top with a pinch more chia seeds and the rest of your pear. This is also really nice if you chuck a handful of raspberries on too.

Porridge a la Lemsip

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk – if you have a cold I’d recommend not having dairy as this creates mucus in the body)
  • 1 – 3 tsp lemon juice (depending how sour you like to go!)
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple for vegans)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1-2 tsp desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of poppyseed to top

This is a nice comforting one if you have a cold. All you do is stir all the ingredients into your porridge. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s good. ❤

Let me know if you try any of these, or if you’d like more as I have a tonne of porridge recipes I use, derived from years of experimentation and my obsessing about reading about nutrition in recent years 🙂 

B xoxo

Zucchini Pizza Party Boats!

10522089_10154074095539571_742486296110860964_nThese little bruschetta inspired babies are more filling than you’d think (I guess zucchini or courgette is basically all water!) and they’re a super fast option for a healthy, pizza craving busting supper after a long day at work.

All you need is:

❤ 1 courgette/zucchini

❤ Some crumbled / chunky chopped goats’ cheese

❤ Chopped plum tomatoes

❤ Black pepper and mixed herbs to taste.

It is this simple:

  1. Preheat your oven to around 180.
  2. Halve your courgettes then halve them again (so you get 4 ‘party boats’ – see picture above!)
  3. Top them with your goats cheese and chopped plum tomatoes. You could also add a little red onion or tuna to vary it.
  4. Place on a baking tray and leave in the oven for around 8 minutes (but it really depends on the power of your oven – check back regularly and some of it will be down to taste – how melty you want the cheese and how soft the courgette!)

You can have these with a mixed salad, I like mine with raw spinach, but you could also have veggies, or kale, or a little quinoa or sweet potato.

They make a nice entree too if you have guests, and they never need know how clean you’re keeping the eating for the evening 😉

Cacao-coconut oatmeal

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It doesn’t get much more indulgent (and still clean!) than this!!

All you have to do is serve yourself the same sized portion of oats you would for porridge… about 1/4 of a cup.

(Make sure your oats aren’t flavoured or anything! All natural here please darlings!)

Stir a heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder (or sugar free cocoa powder) in to your oats. Fill the bowl with water (you can use almond milk if you prefer but water’s my preference) and stir until oats and powder have now made a chocolate shake looking mix.

Stir in a little honey or agave nectar to taste.

Top your cacao-oatmeal smoothie bowl with a sprinkling of coconut, and think about adding almonds, walnuts, pistachios, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or mint – whatever’s to hand! – to sex it up a little.

Chocolate for breakfast? Who wouldn’t?! And this way it’s totally guilt free!

Egg-free oven oat hotcakes & cinnamon-grilled pear

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I love these for something quick and a bit different in the morning.

To make the hot oatcakes, you will need…

1/2 cup of oats

1/2 scoop protein powder

1/4 cup of water.

Mix until a thick batter. Add a little more water if needed.

 

Stir in as much or as little cinnamon as you’d like and add a pinch of baking powder.

Pop onto a greaseproof paper-lined tray and bake in the oven at around 180 C (or maybe 200 if not a fan oven) for 7 – 2 minutes.

Your sliced pear can go in to, sprinkled with cinnamon, to warm.

Voila. Sooooo crazy easy. Serve with some berries, a drizzle of pure organic maple syrup or honey, and you’re good to go.

Bootylicious Berry Smoothie

12963794_10154141186774571_2117300014501066370_nThe Bootylicious Berry Smoothie, otherwise known as ‘Peanut butter & I-don’t-think-you’re-ready-for-this-jelly’ is an amazing breakfast option, but also works as a post workout shake, or an afternoon pick me up!

Bootylicious_CD_Cover

It’s so simple to make too. You can do it with or without protein powder, whatever your preference.

You need: a blender, and then…

2 tbsps organic natural peanut butter, honey, 1/2 banana, frozen raspberries, approx 3 tbsps oats (and 1/2 scoop natural soya protein powder, optional).

Along with maybe 1/4 cup of water, blend your peanut butter half banana, 1 handful of frozen raspberries, oats and optional protein powder until smooth. Take of the lid and check consistency – you can add more water at this stage if needed. You could even use almond milk if you really want, but that’s not my jam.

Add a little liquid if needed, and a teaspoon of honey to taste. Blend, and serve!

You can add chopped nuts, a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut or raw cacao, or a couple of fresh raspberries and some mint to garnish ❤

This is a new favourite for me, and a happy blending accident. Some of the best recipes come from improvisation!

‘Fake it’ fish curry

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Curry can be a difficult one, because while it tastes great, the creamy sauces can be a bit of an issue for a clean, lean regime. Here’s a quick, easy supper recipe to help you enjoy a curry-style dish, while staying totally on track.

You will need (for 1 serving)

A little less than 1/4 cup brown rice

1 cod fillet

Turmeric

1 fresh red chilli

Cayenne pepper

Paprika

Approx 2 tsp organic, bio-live natural yoghurt (e.g. geo valley)

Mixed herbs

1 handful spinach

3 or 4 asparagus stalks

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

1 chopped spring onion

  1. Cook your rice (boiling water, approx 20 minutes). With 10 minutes to go, make a start on the rest…
  2. Warm your frying pan and put in your coconut oil. Wait for it to melt, and spread around the pan.
  3. Place cod fillet in the pan and throw in your spring onion and fresh chilli.
  4. Add spinach and asparagus to the pan.
  5. Flip your fish at around 6 minutes to cook the other side.
  6. Add a little cayenne pepper (be frugal! 2 shakes will make it medium-hot) to the fish and spinach, keeping the asparagus separate.
  7. At 12 minutes, check your fish is completely cooked, and create flakes by mashing with a fork. Mix fish, spring onion, rice and spinach together.
  8. Add your 2 tsps yoghurt to the dish, and around 4 shakes of turmeric, 2 shakes of paprika, and mixed herbs to taste. Stir so thoroughly blended, and the mixture should be yellowish in colour.
  9. Lay your asparagus on top and serve.

You can also add chilli flakes to make it extra hot, if that’s your sauce ; )

Spicy spinach scramble

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I love this breakfast option – it’s great to start your day with protein, and the spinach gives you plenty of nutrients. Bread selection will make or break the healthiness of the dish – go for a good rye or wholegrain, and don’t have bread too often. The one pictured here is the walnut cob from Sainsbury’s as a weekend treat!

For 1 person, you should beat 2 eggs, and start to scramble them in a frying pan. Your pan should be prepped with as little olive oil as possible or half a tsp coconut oil. 

Add in around 2 handfuls of raw spinach (make sure if you haven’t bought ready-washed that you run it under the tap first!) and shake a little cayenne pepper into the pan. Less is more when it comes to this, I find. Chop 1/4 – 1/2 a fresh, red chilli and add to the pan. Keep scrambling ; )

The fresh chilli is great Vitamin C and for boosting immunity. Some suggest it helps raise the metabolism too. The cayenne adds an extra kick if you like the spice.

I like my scramble firm, but it’s personal preference of course, so once done, serve on your unbuttered wholegrain/rye toast, with spinach on the side.

You can also add red bell peppers, watercress, or asparagus too, to mix up your brunch.

Enjoy.

 

 

Quick protein mug cake

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You will need:

1 egg

1/2 scoop natural protein powder (my preference is the Nature Valley Soya Protein Isolate one from Holland and Barrett)

1/4 tsp baking powder

Drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup (just make sure it’s 100% natural! None of those ‘desert’ syrups / golden syrups)

Dash of water / almond milk

Beat your egg, and mix in all of your other ingredients thoroughly in a mug you’re happy to put in the microwave. Whisk briskly with a fork until smooth (some lumps are normal!) and like cake batter. Microwave for approx. 3 minutes. 

Once your microwave cake has risen, tip your mug upside down and you’ll have an instant sponge.

Serve with clementine slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon, some lemon zest or a smear of peanut butter.

 

 

 

Love that Body chocolate shake (protein powder free)

12801307_535229466651547_8913664360817129029_nA lot of you like the idea of a healthy shake that can double as a quickie breakfast, pre or post workout snack, or something to sip on mid afternoon to keep those office biscuit cravings at bay. So many of you have been asking for recipes that fit these criteria that you can make confidently without protein powder – and still get that great taste.

We’ve been doing a little taste-testing and concluded that this is the best of the bunch!

It’s a useful one to whip out if you’re staying with friends or relatives who don’t have protein powder in the house, or if you don’t tend to buy and use protein powder generally. I was never a shake fan at all before I discovered making my own natural protein shakes. Just remember to use them as part of a healthy balanced diet – they shouldn’t be used consistently as meal replacements.

For the Love That Body Chocolate Shake, you will need:

1/2 ripe banana

1/4 cup or 3 generous tablespoons of natural yoghurt (greek yoghurt adds too much of a tang; you ideally want natural yoghurt with live cultures. I like the Yeo Valley one. You should try to avoid fat free varieties as they often have added sugars and flavourings. A little good fat is not bad for you!)

1 heaped tsp raw cacao powder (if you’re in the UK, you can find this at Holland and Barrett. This Choc Chick Organic Raw Cacao powder is my personal favourite!)

Optional – 1 tsp organic honey or agave nectar

1/2 cup of water (if you want it to be milkier, you can use almond milk here, but you may be surprised how great it tastes with just water… try it out for a lower calorie version)

Blitz your ingredients in a blender and serve!

This mason jar is from Paperchase, and I like to have my shake with a handful of fresh raspberries, but you can vary and have it with strawberries, a sprig of mint, or even add a little chilli into the mixture for an extra kick.

What are your favourite healthy shake recipes?

‘Rum Truffle’ Protein Potion (natural!)

12801252_10154029063109571_7977042735221010885_nYou can do this a couple of ways – plain, the way I opted for this evening – essentially a cacao protein shake, great for a post-workout smoothie or a snack to keep you going if you’re gonna have to work all evening and can’t make dinner. Or, you can ‘FriYAY’ it a little, with or without alcohol. I’ll let you decide ❤ This was inspired by The Aztec, which is a delicious (treat day!) chocolate tequila cocktail which I first tried at Freud, London – you can find yours here. It’s significantly less healthy than this brew though, I’ll tell you right now!

There’s lots of ‘approving’ in this recipe; don’t worry too much, and you may want to season a little differently to suit your tastes anyway, for example, I’m not a huge sweet tooth, but you might be!

You will need:

Approx 3/4 tablespoon raw cacao powder

Approx half a cup of oats

Approx half a cup of cold decaf coffee (you can use caffeinated, but if you’re making the alcoholic version it’s best to use decaf!)

3/4 scoop soya protein powder (natural flavour, but you could use chocolate). Whey is also ok, but I prefer soya for numerous reasons. Have a little read up on protein powder and pick what’s best for you.

Splash of water or almond milk to fix the consistency

1/2 a frozen banana (if you are more of a sweet tooth, you may prefer a ripe, fresh banana instead!)

FriYAY extras:

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (for non alcoholic version – optional)

1 tsp honey (for non alcoholic version – optional)

Splash of dark rum (optional)

Fruit & cocktail umbrella to garnish (strongly recommended!!)

 

This is SO SIMPLE and quick to make, I promise.

Put all ingredients in your blender.

Blend.

Pour.

Serve!

 

Enjoy. Happy Friday, folks.