I often find breakfast tricky. It has a lot of limitations that other meals don’t.
I mean, sure, on a weekend it can be glorious. Pancakes studded with bursting blueberries, omelettes fat with cheese and ham, croissants shining with jam and butter, a steaming plate of bacon and eggs, home-made granola adorning berries and Greek yoghurt… what was I saying?
On weekdays, though, there’s time pressure – assuming you have to be getting out of the door and to some sort of job at some stage. You’re probably feeling a bit bleary and not up to cooking, or indeed eating, anything too elaborate. The idea of making your own batter for something is laughable.
I, personally, am a bit of a precious cow about eating the same thing every day. While my wonderfully unfussy partner would happily have an eat-by-numbers series of identical breakfasts forever, I tend to get bored. So, I set about finding recipes to make up this ‘Vaguely Healthy Breakfast’ series. ‘Vaguely Healthy’ only got in there because if I’m eating something pretty often, even I admit that the thing shouldn’t be peanut butter, Nutella, and raspberry jam on toast (don’t pretend that doesn’t sound delicious).
So I’ve started looking for things that are easy, have at least some nutritional value, and that can either be pre-prepped or made quickly. Enter: muffins.
Vaguely Healthy Breakfast Muffins
Source: Recipe (minimally) adapted from the ever-wonderful BBC Good Food.
Notes: I thought these were good when I made them as per recipe, but lacking in a little flavour. I have swapped the honey for maple syrup, added a pinch of salt and some more spices, and mixed in raspberries with the blueberries for some added sharpness and a more complex taste. I also use Greek yoghurt instead of natural, as I like the tang. Since they use wholemeal flour, Greek yoghurt, seeds, fresh berries, oil instead of butter, and maple syrup instead of sugar, they qualify as ‘vaguely healthy’ in my head. If this supposition is incorrect, please don’t tell me, because I don’t want to know.
2 large eggs
150g Greek yogurt
50ml rapeseed oil (or any reasonably unflavoured oil you have lying about)
100g pureed apples (I used baby food because it’s all rock and roll over here)
1 ripe banana, mashed
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g wholemeal flour
50g rolled oats
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
100g mixed blueberries and raspberries (or whatever you think would work really – blackberries, apricots, grated apple…)
2 tbsp mixed seeds
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 12 large muffin cases.
- Whisk up the eggs, yogurt, oil, apple puree, banana, maple syrup and vanilla in a large bowl, until it’s all well-combined. Chuck everything else, except the seeds, into another bowl, and mix that together too.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry slowly and mix until smooth. Don’t overmix (I kind of hate this instruction in recipes as OBVIOUSLY I wouldn’t overmix something on purpose, but basically mix it until it’s just combined and you can’t see any flour patches and then stop). Divide the batter between the cases – I find an ice cream scoop best for this.
- Sprinkle the muffins with the seeds. Bake. Mine only took 15 minutes at 160C in my fairly fierce fan oven, but you will know what is best in yours. You want them to be golden and well risen. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Can be eaten as is. They’re also nice sliced, toasted, and spread with butter. The really great thing is that you can freeze them, so make a batch and that’s twelve breakfasts sorted right there.