Breakfast: best meal of the day, right? It sets us up for whatever lies ahead. I always think that a day that starts with a good breakfast just goes better, somehow. All the experts agree that starting the day with a mix of whole-grain, slow-burning carbohydrate, protein and healthy fats is the best way to power up for the hours to come. America’s most high-profile cancer specialist, David B Agus (he treated Steve Jobs) cites eating breakfast as one of the key ways to live a long and healthy life. Which is what we’re all about at Kale and Cocoa, of course. A Harvard study last year found that men who skipped breakfast have a 27% higher risk of heart disease. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/skipping-breakfast-may-increase-coronary-heart-disease-risk/ And what’s true for adults is true for children too. With the school year starting this week (with the usual mixture of relief, sadness and a huge bill new shoes in our house, at least), it’s worth remembering that children who eat breakfast perform better in class http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/The-Case-for-Eating-Breakfast.aspx And this week – well timed for the back to school hysteria – researched revealed that kids who skip breakfast are 25% more likely to be insulin resistant. High insulin resistance increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/09September/Pages/Missing-breakfast-linked-to-type-2-diabetes.aspx
But when everyone is in a rush, and they’ve lost those overpriced new school shoes/pencil cases/phones it’s easy to shove a box of cereal at the children and hope for the best. A beautifully prepared feast that ticks all the nutritional boxes is a distant aspiration some mornings, but on others we try to make eggs or porridge or our new favourite thing – porridge pancakes. I LOVE this recipe – it’s packed with all the good things listed above – low GI oats, eggs and natural yoghurt for protein and healthy fats. PLUS the pancake batter can be prepared in a couple of minutes the night before so you can swan down in the morning feeling like a smug parent, knowing that you are about to fuel up your child, and yourself, for a perfect day ahead…
200g porridge oats (not jumbo)
2tbs ground flax seeds
400ml natural yoghurt
2tsp baking powder
Coconut oil (or butter) for frying
Berries and/or banana slices
The evening before….Mix the yoghurt and water in a large bowl. Stir in the oats, flax seeds and cinnamon. Leave in the fridge overnight. And before you go to bed, put 3 eggs (unbroken) in a small bowl by the hob, along with a fork, baking powder and a measuring teaspoon. It sounds anal, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself in the morning (or you will if your mornings are anything like mine). Next morning, Grab the oat mixture from the fridge and slap a (preferably non-stick) frying pan on the hob. While it’s heating, beat the eggs. Mix into the oats with the baking powder. You should have a stiff-ish mixture. Melt a little oil or butter into the pan, then dollop in heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the pan – if it’s really stiff you might need to squash it down a bit. Don’t have the heat too high – the secret is to let the mixture start to cook through before the outside gets too browned. When bubbles start to appear on the top, carefully turn each pancake – they are more fragile than regular pancakes. Serve with fruit and more yoghurt and cinnamon if you’d like.
PS if I want to make a smaller amount, I halve all the ingredients and use just one egg. It makes 7 pancakes – perfect for one adult and two children.