Breakfast On The Go

This is a follow on from my ‘Sexy Salads’ and ‘Meal Prep for Professionals’ pieces, as I am out to prove that if a sleep-deprived and ridiculously busy doctor can make the time to organise her food, then there’s nothing holding you back too!

My colleagues at work have both teased and praised me for my breakfast choices at work. I tend to arrive hurriedly at 7 am, still in my gym clothes, madly eating a jar of breakfast while attempting to change into my scrubs and make my hair and makeup presentable. Yes I did say a jar of breakfast.

The breakfast parfait / layered breakfast jar is one of the ultimate nutritious breakfasts on the go, and surprisingly easy to make. Some of the most beautiful breakfast jars on social media have to be seen to be believed, but us mere mortals don’t often have the time for that. But if you’re keen to start the day on the wholesome foot, here are a few ideas to get you started!

Overnight Oats 

Essentially the cream-less version of Bircher Muesli. Place 1/4 cup of oats in the jar and mix with a yogurt of your choice (stick to the plain ones with less sugar, I like the plain fat reduced Chobani or Paul’s natural style yogurt) and add a scoop of your favourite protein powder if you’re that way inclined. You can also kick start the metabolism with a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric or ginger, or really mix things up with some matcha powder or grated carrot / zucchini (don’t knock it until you try it!). Then top with fruit (frozen berries work well here but also try banana, mango or stonefruit) and your favourite granola or nuts. These don’t have to be left in the fridge overnight but they thicken when they do. You can easily make a stash of them a few days in advance and enjoy a run of less-stressful morning rushes to work!


Chia Pudding

Similar to overnight oats in terms of the process, however it does require the added step of being mixed with a fork. Soak 1/4 cup of chia seeds in a milk of your choice (I find the nut and soy milks work better here for some reason) and mix well with a fork. Let it sit for five minutes and stir with a fork again and you’ll notice that the seeds develop a gelatinous coating and stick together as pudding. Allow to rest for another five minutes before topping with fruit, granola, nuts and / or yogurt, and let it sit overnight in the fridge for the ultimate thick consistency.

Want a decadent breakfast without the calories and guilt? Try 1/4 cup of chia seeds mixed with 1/2 cup of almond milk and 1 tablespoon cacao. Top with coconut yogurt, cacao nibs and a dollop of your favourite natural peanut butter – absolute bliss!

Baked Eggs

A less fancy but no less tasty variation on Eggs en concotte or Shakshuka. Pre-heat the oven to 180*C or so. For a single serve, take a large oven proof jar or ramekin and spray with olive oil. Line the base with spinach, kale or silverbeet, then add whatever tidbits take your fancy (like leftover roasted vegetables, fetta cheese, haloumi, sundried tomatoes, capsicum, mushrooms etc). Then crack two large free-range eggs over the top (don’t scramble!) and season with salt, pepper, dukkha / dried herbs / a sprinkle of cheese, then bake until the whites are firm. These can be made en-masse and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days ahead, or can even be frozen. Just reheat when ready to eat, although many combinations actually taste good cold too!


Vegetable slice alternative: Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a small brownie tray with baking paper. In a bowl mix 6 eggs, 1/2 cup of plain flour of your choice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tsp baking powder and then throw in 1 cup of whatever finely chopped vegetables you like – chopped spinach, rocket, tomatoes, mushroom, roast potato / pumpkin, steamed broccoli, grated carrot, zucchini etc. Sprinkle with your choice of cheese and seasoning, then bake until just set (10-12 minutes). The result is 4 servings of a portable, delicious, fluffy, quiche-like slice!


Smoothie Jars 

As long as you use an airtight jar, these can be made the day before for the ultimate portable liquid breakfast (and you usually get two servings out of each). Try blending 1 cup of nut milk, 1 cup of spinach, 1/2 cup of frozen berries and a 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to increase your daily intake of leafy greens. Need refuelling after your morning workout? Try blending 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, 1/4 cup of oats and 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter. Skip the banana bread and instead use 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 banana, 1/4 cup of oats, and 1/2 tsp each of cinnamom, cardamom and ginger. It’s pretty hard to stuff these up nutritionally, just use fruit instead of sweeteners and limit the amount that goes in. Also stick to blending rather than juicing as this tends to extract the flavour and sugar from the fruit / vegetables without retaining the amazing fibre that helps to keep you full (and your bowels regular!).


 

Vegan Protein Cookie-dough Balls


Dangerously moreish and salmonella-free! 

Ingredients (makes 12) 

  • 300g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup pea protein 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence  
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Coco2 spread (or raw peanut butter) 
  • 3 tablespoons water 
  • Sprinkle of stevia (optional) 
  • Raw or vegan chocolate of your choice, a few squares chopped into rough chunks

Method

  1. Blend all the ingredients in the food processor until a dough forms. If you prefer it slightly sweeter, add the stevia to taste. 
  2. Mix in the chocolate.
  3. Roll into balls and chill in the fridge.
  4. Devour with guilt-free enthusiasm! 

Choc Peanut Tarts

One fantastic way to save on calories without sacrificing taste is to use baked wonton wrappers instead of pastry. They are deliciously light but crunchy, and can be filled with virtually any topping. Previous experiments of mine have included baking them with vanilla sugar before serving with ice cream and fresh fruit, and I have also used them as quiche bases.

These involve the winning combination of peanut butter and chocolate, making these a very moreish, low sugar and low guilt treat! 

Ingredients – per mini tart you’ll need;

  • 1 wonton wrapper
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (choose the kind with no added salt, sugar or oil for best results)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao / cocoa / carob powder
  • stevia to taste*

* I only needed about 1 teaspoon for a total of 10 tarts as I prefer the chocolate layer to be slightly bitter. You could also use maple syrup or brown sugar instead. 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Place the wonton wrapper in a muffin tin and bake until brown (about 10 minutes, be careful they don’t burn).
  2. Mix the coconut oil, cacao and sweetener together.
  3. Allow the wrappers to cool before filling with the peanut butter. Pour the coconut oil mixture on top and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set. Serve while still cold (otherwise the coconut oil will melt!).

Epic Raw Bliss Balls

IMG_2290

The recipe for these bliss balls was an experiment for a Mayver’s Food competition on Instagram. They turned out spectacularly well, and I’m stoked that I’ve found a delicious new pre-workout snack!

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder (you could use cocoa or carob instead)
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Method

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 5 minutes to soften them, then remove from the bowl.
  2. Place the dates, oats, cacao, tahini and peanuts in the food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together. You may need to add a teaspoon of the water here and there if the mixture seems too dry. The mixture should not stick to the sides of the bowl, but should be just wet enough to stick together when firmly pressed.
  3. Remove the mixture from the processor bowl and roll into small balls (approx. 1 tablespoon mixture each) using your palms, before rolling the balls in the coconut.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or for an icy treat, stored in an airtight container in the freezer. Enjoy these little moments of bliss!