Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Get ahead for breakfast

By Melanie Leyshon

You’re either a morning person or you’re not. I’m a late riser. For me, 7.30am is early – if I’m up before 6am it’s because I’m off to the airport.

This leaves me no time for breakfast prep in the morning, which is why I’m so enthusiastic about my simple oats discovery: Bircher muesli. It’s not new, of course – Swiss physician Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner invented it as a nutritional pick-me-up for his sanatorium patients in the 1900s. You can buy a ready-made pot of Bircher muesli from Pret A Manger or Eat, but a quick calculation of cost + time + effort shows making your own batch at home is a no-brainer. 

Oats are wholegrains so make up an important part of a healthy diet; they’re a great source of soluble fibre and are effective in lowering cholesterol. But instead of stirring oats and milk together in a pan in the morning to make porridge, simply leave them to soak overnight. Then when you get up in the morning, it’s a quick assembly job that can be done with your eyes shut – and that suits me perfectly. 

I'm using a basic recipe from cereal company Rude Health. You soak 100g oats in 150–200ml brown rice milk overnight, which serves 2 hungry people. The next day, stir 150ml natural yogurt into the oaty base, then add your choice of toppings. When I first started making this recipe, I added a sprinkling of cinnamon and 1tbsp grated apple per serving. Now I'm experimenting with berries, bananas, rhubarb purée – you can see where I’m going with this – working my way around the fruit bowl and allotment and using up whatever’s in season. But you don’t have to stop at fruit – a sprinkling of chopped nuts or seeds, or a spoonful of Manuka honey go down a treat, too.

HFG nutrition consultant Juliette Kellow worked out the nutrition count per portion of my apple and cinnamon version: 320kcal, 10g protein, 5.1g fibre, 330mg calcium and 2.2mg iron. It's 5 min prep and 20 min longer in bed, which adds up to a nice and easy, wholesome start to the day.

Rude Health’s new range of dairy-free organic drinks are available in oat, brown rice and almond flavours, which are nicely sweet but with no added sugar. Buy them at Waitrose from 24 June. 

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