Sunday, June 10, 2007

Energising breakfasts

I can't function if I don't eat breakfast. If I miss it, there's a large hole in my stomach that can't be filled, even if I stuff myself for the rest of the day.

Aside from the emptiness factor, and from the health and nutritional benefits of breaking your overnight fast, breakfast - and brunch - are fun. Whether it's a bowl of bircher muesli, a platter of fresh fruit drizzled with yoghurt, or a weekend indulgence of eggs or pancakes, it starts the day off on a good note and it never feels sinful to indulge at breakfast because you know you've got the rest of the day to work it off.

My mum has a delicious, healthy muesli recipe that we've been mixing up for years, chock-full of dried fruit and nuts. My weekend indulgence is buttermilk pancakes with bacon or sinfully creamy scrambled eggs. I always make Adam a Valentine's Day breakfast of scrambled eggs on sourdough toast, complete with crispy bacon rolls, roasted tomatoes and garlicky mushrooms on the side. I quite often mix up bircher muesli on Sunday night to see us through the week, or I make Bill Granger's justifiably famous coconut bread that can be frozen and reheated for a quick breakfast.

In Bill's latest cookbook, Every Day, he featured an apple, dried cherry and almond loaf as an energising breakfast idea. Not having all the specified ingredients on hand, I adapted the recipe to suit my needs. The dried fruit studded throughout the loaf gives it a pretty jewel-like appearance. It freezes well and can be thawed and lightly toasted for a great start to the day.


50g rolled oats
300ml milk
240g self-raising flour (white or wholemeal)
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g craisins (or dried cherries)
60g dried apricots, chopped (or use 50g chopped and diced dried apples)
75g brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons roughly chopped almonds, plus 2 tablespoons extra

Put the oats in a bowl, pour over the milk and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a 1kg loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the rolled oats, dried fruit, sugar, cinnamon, honey, egg and almonds. Mix well.

Spoon the mixture into the tin, level the top and sprinkle with extra almonds. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked through. Leave to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from a recipe in Every Day by Bill Granger


Cindy said...

Melinda, this does look like another great breakfast loaf! Even if you don't use them here, I'd highly recommend getting your hands on some dried cherries one day. I recently tried them for the first time (after finding them at the Queen Vic markets) and fell in love. Such a treat, especially when paired with dark chocolate. :-)

Melinda said...

Thanks for the tip Cindy! I actually didn't know where to find dried cherries. Are they in the deli section at the Queen Vic? I like the sound of them with dark chocolate!

Cindy said...

There was a stand selling dried fruit and nuts in amongst the fresh produce. Everything is ordered by the scoop or by weight, as you wish. :-)

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