Thursday 12 June 2014

Shake up your wake up - brilliant breakfast ideas from Sam at I Am Into This

I don't like breakfast. There, I've said it. I much prefer the foods you can eat at lunch and dinner and never have cared for cereal. Bleurgh. 

I know, I know - it's the most important meal of the day. For me though, I can't stomach eating when I first wake up and when it's a work day, or any other day in fact when we have things to do, I use the old excuse of not having enough time. More often than not, I need something that I can grab and go and, more often than not, I generally skip breakfast altogether or just nibble on something at my desk or in the car. You can probably guess that what I nibble on isn't the best choice or the best way to start my day, but nothing else really appeals. I'm more of a savoury person, preferring my fruit in a glass, so that doesn't help to inspire me either.

But, I've reached a point where I want to make a change for the good of my health so I have enlisted the help of someone I know who knows her way around the kitchen and knows what you need to eat, to help me finally embrace breakfasts.

Sam writes over at I Am Into This and is also a self-described over-tweeter too. We used to work together and since then, I've admired her passion for life, genuine interest and insight into health and her yummy looking recipes that she's always cooking up.

So, I set Sam a big challenge and here's the brilliant breakfast ideas she came up with...

As a huge food lover (yep, that is just a polite way of saying ‘greedy’), I’m a breakfast devotee. From the second I wake up in the morning, I start getting excited about what’s for breakfast.

From overnight oats to quinoa porridge, green smoothies, boiled eggs and sweet potato breakfast hashes, I can’t start my day without a big meal. You see, if I do, I turn into a grump, then devour the entire biscuit tin come 11am.

In fact, I refuse to leave the house until I’ve eaten something, no matter how many times my little ones (two-month-old and a 20-month-old) cry / want changing / want a hug. This usually means I’m late everywhere.

I can’t be alone in this, can I?

Anyway, I leapt at the chance to blog for Kelly when she challenged me to come up with some fresh ideas for breakfasts. I’m currently writing my own recipe ebook, so this means I’m trying new breakfasts most days – and these are some of my current favourites!

Forget your sugar-laden breakfast cereals (yes, put down that Special K this second!) and, instead, embrace protein-packed or natural goodness instead. Make breakfast a good, honest meal and you’ll see a boost for the rest of the day.

I hope you enjoy,

Sam x


This granola never lasts very long in our house. I tend to grab it by the handful and eat as a mid-afternoon snack to stop that energy slump come 3pm.

(Serves 6)

120g dried, chopped dates, soaked in hot water
250g oats
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp natural nut butter (any kind)
200g mixed nuts (I used almonds, cashews and walnuts)
3 tbsp mixed seeds
6 tbsp Lucy Bee coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1) Preheat the oven to 160C, then puree the dates until semi-smooth. Tip all the ingredients into a bowl, then stir the pureed dates through. 
2) Spread onto a lined baking tray, then bake for 15 minutes Reduce the oven to 110C, then bake for a further 30 minutes. 
3) Leave to cool then transfer to a container and serve with greek yoghurt.


These egg cups are super easy to make and keep me going all morning. The spicy salsa is optional, but really takes it to the next level  - I love to add chilli to breakfasts as it boosts the metabolism.

(Serves 2)

8 slices of Pancetta
4 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salsa:

½ red onion
½ red pepper
½ yellow pepper
2 tomatoes
Crushed, dried chillies
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar


1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Line four holes in a muffin tray with layered slices of Pancetta (two to each hole). Crack an egg directly into each ‘cup’, then season with salt and pepper. Cover the tray with baking paper and then place in the oven to cook. It depends how you like your eggs, but this should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
2) In the meantime, get a start on the salsa by chopping all the vegetables into small cubes. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then heat the vegetables through gently.
3) Add a dash of balsamic vinegar to taste, then 1-2tsp of dried chillies (depending on your tastebuds!).
4) Season with salt and pepper, then cook off the vinegar but don’t fry.
5) Serve the salsa alongside the eggs, with slices of buttered rye bread toast.


This sweet potato hash works just as brilliantly for lunchtimes too – I love it as my weekend brunch recipe.

(Serves 2)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
3 handfuls chopped kale
50g feta cheese, chopped into chunks
2-3 slices of Pancetta, chopped
2 eggs


1) Heat 2 tbsp of olive or coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, throw in the onions and sweet potatoes and give them a good stir. Next, sprinkle over the cumin, paprika and optional chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes have softened – around 15 minutes.
2) Add the kale, feta and Pancetta to the pan for the final 5 minutes of cooking and then start cooking your eggs. To do this, you want to heat 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil in a separate pan, then crack in the eggs (one at a time) once the oil has heated. The eggs are cooked once the whites have set – you want a runny yolk!
3) Tip the sweet potato mixture onto plates, then top with the fried eggs. Sprinkle with more chilli flakes and extra salt and pepper, if desired.


Quinoa is brilliantly versatile as it soaks up the flavour of pretty much anything, and it also happens to be extremely protein-rich. This is a great, gluten-free alternative to porridge.


350ml coconut milk
80g quinoa flakes
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsweetened dessicated coconut
1 tbsp maple syrup (or to taste)
Coconut cream, Greek yoghurt, mixed berries to serve (optional)


1) Mix together the coconut milk with the dessicated coconut vanilla extract and maple syrup.
2) Place the milk mixture into a sauce pan and heat it gentle. Pour in the quinoa flakes, then let it come to a boil before simmering for a few minutes, or until the flakes soften and absorb some of the milk.
3) Pour into bowls and top with your choice of toppings.


Who doesn’t love a recipe which only needs two ingredients? These Banana Pancakes are a great way of using up overly-ripe bananas at the end of the week. I like mine served with a dollop of coconut cream, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.

(Creates 6 pancakes)

One large, ripe banana
Two eggs


1) Mash the banana until smooth, then crack in the eggs and beat together until combined.
2) Heat a saucepan on high and add a tablespoon of coconut oil. Wait until it’s heated and melted through, then adjust the heat to medium-low. Pour a circle of batter into the pan (I use 2 tbsps, but it depends how big you like your pancakes), then cook for about one minute before flipping. 
3) Heat the other side for 30 seconds to one minute, then serve. 


Creamy and indulgent, this is a great breakfast full of flavour and spices.. Better still, you make it before bed, meaning it’s there and ready to roll come morning.

(Serves 2)

70g oats
280ml almond milk
One banana
One carrot, chopped
2 tbsp pecans
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch nutmeg


1) Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, then pour into bowls, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
2) In the morning, add a splash more milk if desired, then top with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Thank you so much Sam for these amazing ideas. Just goes to show that breakfast doesn't have to be just toast or cereal, with a little planning, you can have something super tasty and filling to set you up for the day. I'm committed to make a change... I just don't know which one to try first!

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