Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast Ideas’

Since coming back from our holidays in August, I have been very intentional about how we live. Though we are typically pretty good, our lives had recently started to feel chaotic again. Simple, healthy, clean, honest, and wholesome is what I wanted us to move back towards and, as the mammy of the house, it was up to me to lead the charge.


I gently turned myself and my family {even the daughter who is miles away} towards getting more exercise, spending time in quiet contemplation, volunteering, and eating better. It took a little convincing of the two kids at the start of our move back to healthier living, but once they saw the tangible results {more sound sleep, better fitness, a few pounds shed, and less stress felt} everyone was in. Best of all…it only took six weeks before we were seeing and feeling the benefits and that, for me, felt like a small victory!

So, now, with the days growing shorter and the weather getting cooler, it is a touch harder to stay the course in terms of how we eat. And, let’s be honest, if you’re not eating properly, it’s much harder to do anything else well. I’m sure, like yourselves, we are craving foods that are hearty and warm, especially in the morning, which is why I really do love this Cinnamon Apple Porridge recipe. It is an autumn-inspired take on traditional Irish porridge.


With the addition of three simple ingredients, apples, cinnamon and toasted pumpkin seeds, it’s easy to make a vegan, gluten-free, hot and delicious breakfast in no time at all. In fact, I often make a big batch and either refrigerate or freeze the leftovers {in single servings} to have for the entire week which saves me time and energy…another small victory!


What toppings are you putting on your porridge in the morning? Do share, I’m always looking for new ideas. In the meantime, here are a few more apple recipes to try, if  you’re on an apple kick like me.

Cinnamon Apple Porridge

Serves 4


1 cup/7oz steel cut (or pinhead) oats

4 cups/2 pints water, though you can use milk if you prefer


1. The night before you want porridge, bring the water to a rapid boil.

2. Slowly add the pinhead oats, mixing all the time, and bring the water back to the boil.

3. Turn off heat, cover and leave to set overnight.

4. Next morning, add more water (or milk), stir and reheat.

5. While the porridge is heating, core an apple and chop the apple slices into bite size pieces. Set aside.

6. Toast a handful of pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat on the hob {stove}.

7. Once the porridge is ready, spook into bowls, top with apple pieces, pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and serve immediately. {Maple syrup is a nice addition too}.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* If you prefer stewed apples, you could always add the apples {skin and all} to the pinhead oats and cook until the mixture is creamy and the apples are so tender that they almost disappear…but that’s up to you. For the moment, I prefer my apples crisp and tart, which is why I add them uncooked. You could also add the cinnamon from the very beginning, if you prefer.

** Every wondered if cinnamon is safe or good for you? Read this Time Magazine online article to get the scoop.

*** We’ve been growing Irish apples in our back garden for years, but that pales in comparison to the fact that apples have been grown in Ireland for some 3,000 years! To learn more about Irish apple varieties and even buy some to grow yourself, visit Futureforests.ie






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Top Banana Muffins

This has to be the ultimate banana muffin {or bread} recipe! Soft and delicious and easy to make…these are right up my alley…especially in times like these when the centre of my universe has been in chaos for months! Teenagers will do that to you. 

I also like this recipe because it appeals to my “waste not want not” belief. If you’ve got bananas with skins as black as midnight on your counter or in your fridge…give them a purpose and mix up a batch of these delicious muffins. You’ll be glad you did!


Banana Muffins

Makes 18


4oz/ 1/2-cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the muffin tin

6oz/ 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling in the muffin tin

5 very ripe bananas

1 teaspoon bread soda {baking soda}

1/2 teaspoon salt

8oz/1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F.

2. Smear the cups of a muffin tin with oil, sprinkle with a little flour, and shake the muffin tin to distribute the flour. Turn the muffin tin upside down over the sink or waste bin and tap out any excess flour and set aside.

3. Peel the bananas, place them in a large bowl, and beat them well with an electric mixer. The riper the bananas and the more you mush them, the more tender your muffins will be. Don’t expect absolute smoothness; there will always be a few lumps. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

5. Add the sugar, oil, and eggs to the bananas and mix well.

6. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

7. Pour the batter into the muffin tin and fill each cup about two-thirds full.

8. Place the muffin tin into the oven. After 15 minutes, check the muffins for doneness. A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean. If not, cook for 5 minutes more and check again.

9. When the muffins are done, remove the muffin tin from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the muffins to release them from the muffin tin.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Peeling into the health benefits of bananas over at the Mayo Clinic’s website.

** Did you know there are 500 different types of bananas? Me either! Check out this article on the different types of bananas from the University of California Berkeley Wellness newsletter.

*** One of my girls LOVES jokes…for her and for all of your jokesters out there…here are some silly banana jokes courtesy of funkidsjokes.com.

**** If you love blueberry muffins…these are going to be your new favourite “go to” recipe!


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Weekday mornings are a bit of a panic in our Irish home. Book bags, shoes, hair ties, racing for the car…wait!…”Did you finish your brekkie?”. Most days there’s no time for rashers and sausages and lovely eggs. Nope. Crack of dawn, Monday to Friday, we can be a slap, dash, thanks for the hash kind of family.

Maybe we should get up earlier? You know if I tried to push that agenda forward there would be a revolt in our Irish house!

So I’ve been thinking about breakfast a lot lately. You may have noticed that I posted a smoothie recipe last week {the first of many, I hope). While smoothies are great, I feel strongly they shouldn’t be the sole breakfast food at the start of every day.

What else will the family eat in the morning when we are short on time? Cereal…ok. Pancakes…out of the question! Porridge…better. We need something quick and healthy and yummy.

Thankfully I have a huge collection of cookbooks and handwritten recipes. Old and new, from all over the world, I’ve been buying, copying and gathering them since I was a blushing bride. I have so many books that they are not only stored in the kitchen, where there’s limited space, but our sitting room as well.

A lengthy search last week turned up what has proven to be a new winner in our house: muesli. The recipe chosen was handwritten quickly and given to us by our childminder, Nadia. Until now, I’ve never tried it.

Nadia’s muesli is easy to make. It has a slightly sweet, slightly salty flavour. The toasted rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and almonds make it oh so more-ish. And, maybe because it’s homemade, it doesn’t have any of that over-the-top sugariness. We’ve been serving it over Weetabix, Special K, yogurt and fresh fruit this week {not all at once, mind you!}.

The true test of success however has not just been in the empty breakfast bowls this week. I believe we’re on to a winner with Nadia’s muesli for two more reasons. Firstly, my oldest daughter asked me to put some in her school lunchbox for break time tomorrow. And secondly, my lovely Irish husband asked me to make a double batch when we got to the bottom of the jar this morning. I don’t know what you think, but I don’t need a fourth reason to make more of Nadia’s muesli.

I hope you try this recipe. You’re sure to love it and may even make it your own by adding a few different ingredients such as chocolate nibs, dried cherries, cystalised ginger, dried apricots or whatever catches your fancy first thing in the morning. Enjoy!

Nadia’s Muesli

Makes 5 cups/600 grams


1 teaspoon cinnamon

50 ml/¼ cup maple syrup

1 oz/¼ cup brown sugar

50 ml/¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

340g/12 oz/3 cups rolled oats

86g/3 oz/½ cup raw almonds chopped in half (walnuts and pecans are nice too)

2 oz/¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1-2 oz/1/3 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F.

2. Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Add oats and mix to coat.

4. Spread mixture out on a large, rimmed, baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes.

5. Add the almonds and pumpkin seeds and bake for another 15 minutes. Continue to stir every 5 minutes.

6. Remove the hot muesli from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding raisins

7. Add raisins and store in a sealed container to keep fresh.

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