Part one of two:

Breakfast does not need to come out of a box.  I read the back of a box (a reputable brand) the other day, it stated that ingredients include 22% sugar and tartrazine.  This was a box of cereal to be fed to children.  Let’s explore some alternate options.

Actually you know what?  I have two options; eggs or oats.  Don’t return to that box of cereal yet.  There’s nothing wrong with eggs and oats, particularly because they are both actual food.  Before I expand on these groundbreaking breakfast ingredients and introduce you to my ways of keeping them interesting for my family, let’s consider some fundamentals.

Which oats to use

Oats come in three varieties.  Steel cut oats resemble grains of rice and will have the most coarse, chewy texture even when cooked.  Instant oats are the most processed and are also know as quick cook oats.  They are convenient and generally used when cooking traditional porridge as they will result in the creamiest texture.  I don’t usually cook traditional oats on the stove top, so I prefer to use rolled oats for my uses.  Rolled oats have a courser texture than instant oats. I enjoy the coarser texture and the fact that they absorb more liquid which makes them ideal for overnight oats.

Paying more for eggs

Basically you are going to pay more for the eggs of chickens which are kept under healthier, happier conditions.  This is because it costs more to provide premium accommodation and feed for chickens.  Happy and healthy chickens produce better eggs.  I choose to use Eddie’s Eggs which come from a farm in my local area.  They are implementing innovative farming techniques and are certified organic (proper certified).  They are also GMO tested and proven to be GMO free.

Below are my top breakfasts using rolled oats, look out for my whole breakfast ideas with eggs coming soon.

Rolled oats breakfast ideas:

Overnight oats

Overnight oats are perfect for hiding healthy superfoods in and feeding to unknowing children.  Two more top things about overnight oats are:
1.  You can make it the night before and then wake up the next day with that excited feeling knowing that breakfast is already prepared
2.  You can experiment with a wide range of healthy ingredients and never get bored

Here’s how:
The night before, combine your rolled oats with milk (or a non-dairy alternative) and place the mixture in the fridge.  Use the ratio of one to two.  One cup oats to two cups milk etc.  If you want to be cute you can make individual portions in mason jars.

Add any of the following to your oats to soak overnight:

  • chia seeds
  • ground linseed
  • coconut
  • mashed banana (I like to add this in with the mixture the night before so that the sweetness of the banana really permeates the oats)
  • cacao powder
  • peanut butter (a pure homemade one)
  • cinnamon
  • full cream greek yoghurt (if you want a creamier texture)

Below are some ideas for toppings to add to your oats in the morning.  I prefer to add these ingredients just before serving to ensure their texture (or temperature in the case of the compote) is retained.  I am a fan of texture and contrasting temperatures in food.

  • fruit compote (put some chopped fruit in a small pot with a bit of water; let it boil; turn town the temperature and simmer until it looks ready to eat)
  • almond flakes / coconut flakes
  • whole nuts
  • fresh fruit
  • cocoa nibs
  • honey

These are ideas, discover your own and experiment.  The great thing is that you can customise breakfast for the family.  Generally children prefer things plain and simple.  Mine do love the berry compote (especially if I run out of honey and compromise my principles by making it with sugar instead).

A NOTE ON COMPOTES:  It sounds rather fancy, but it’s really just a great way to use overripe fruit and add some natural sweetness to breakfast.  Whenever I see fruit on special I buy it and either cook it right away or put it in the freezer.  Frozen fruit can be removed from the freezer in the morning and cooked on the stove top right away. 

Homemade granola

I don’t think it’s necessary to add sugar to granola.  I toast raw oats in the oven with honey and coconut oil.  The outcome is a crispy, golden granola that adds a lovely crunch to breakfast.  Again, customize as you wish.  I like to serve it with full cream yoghurt and a fruit compote, with some extra honey drizzled over.

Basic ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

I also love to include some raw cashew nuts, they are lovely when toasted with the honey.  Another ingredient that you can throw in is some desiccated coconut / coconut flakes