Muesli = freaking awesome.

Today’s breakfast is pretty standard for me – or it has become pretty standard in the summer months, anyway. Before I started making a conscious effort to eat healthily, I would usually be running out the door to get to uni on time, and my weekday breakfast was often two slices of toast with Vegemite to be scoffed hastily in the car. Unsurprisingly, I was starving by the time lunch came around, and a mid-morning snack was generally required to tide me over. Two bits of bread just don’t give you the nutrients you need to get you going in the morning; they’ll fill you up for a short time and then leave you needing to eat more. In the end they’re just carbs – and carbs aren’t bad per se, but In the morning, you need protein and slow-acting, low-GI foods so you have the energy to do stuff!

So, my new breakfast routine was born. Muesli!

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This is my ‘holiday breakfast’:

  • 45g multigrain oats
  • 100% apple juice
  • 80g low-fat vanilla yoghurt (I like Dairy Farmers Thick and Creamy 98% Fat Free Country Vanilla)
  • 6g honey
  • 6g flaked almonds
  • 1 banana
  • Non-starchy fruit of your choice – today I went with strawberries, but apricots and nectarines are also winners!
  • Cup of tea

Weigh out your oats in a bowl and add just enough apple juice to soften them a bit, stirring as you go. When you’ve got a nice texture going, leave them to soak and cut up your fruit into pieces. Chuck the fruit into a non-stick pan and sear for 1-2 minutes, then flip over to caramelise the other side. Pour the yoghurt on top of your oats, add a small drizzle of honey and your fruit, and top with flaked almonds. Devour.

The whole thing comes out to around 433 calories, which is damn good for breakfast if you’re planning on doing a bit of physical activity in the morning – it’s delicious and full of good stuff that will keep you going. However, if you’re not having a particularly active day, or you’re looking for something a bit more comforting, might I recommend:

PORRIDGE!

Sounds a bit non-exciting, right? But porridge is just a wintery version of muesli, and like muesli it takes on the characteristics of whatever bits and pieces you feel like piling on top of it. This year I discovered Uncle Toby’s ‘quick oats’ sachets, which are a lifesaver if you’re in a hurry. You rip the top off, pour the contents into a bowl, fill the empty packet up to the line with your milk of choice (I’m an almond milk girl, but we’ll get to that), put that in your bowl, and microwave for 90 seconds. 90 seconds happens to be the perfect amount of time to chop up a banana and some long-life fruit (prunes are great, and not as old-ladyish as they seem, I swear!) and get your almonds ready to go – then BAM, everything goes in the bowl and you’ve got a nutritious breakfast ready to go in less than the amount of time your boring old Vegemite toast would take you.

The breakdown goes like this:

  • 35g sachet Uncle Toby’s multigrain oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 3 prunes
  • 6g flaked almonds

Total: 380 calories.

This was my standard winter pre-uni breakfast for many months, and it got me off to such a good start every morning. I’m a little bit against all these meal plans you see in magazines that have crazy, exciting breakfast ideas – I mean, I love creative food a lot but who has time to pan-sear salmon or make curried avocado before uni, especially if it’s not a recipe you’re used to? Get up, make your damn delicious oaty breakfast with your delicious fruit and nuts and get on with the day, I say. There’s nothing wrong with having a breakfast routine, especially if it’s something that you can wake up and look forward to eating. Which I do, every day, especially when I have time to make my holiday muesli. Mmmm, caramelised banana…

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