It’s not always possible to eat breakfast before leaving the house in the morning but it is important to eat breakfast. If you want to avoid excess sugars, saturated fats and additives your options for buying breakfast on the move are quite limited. Banana, anyone?
Why not try these breakfast muffins instead: they freeze well and you can take one out of the freezer the night before you have an early start. Just grab and go, just don’t forget your coffee!
This week I am lucky enough to be going to Paris for the day with a couple of friends, for a birthday treat (not mine!). We are getting the Eurostar and have to be on the 6am train to London to get it. I will not be getting up in time for breakfast at home…
I am going with Frin, the birthday girl, who is a personal trainer and Crossfit addict. And Vana, who lists skydiving and triathlons among the many and varied sports she does on a daily basis. And me, a very amateur runner who would rather be doing yoga anyway. Or having coffee.
I bake a lot: they train a lot and eat very healthily. So I had to really think to come up with a recipe that would tick all the health boxes so that they might agree to eat it for breakfast on the train.
I have to admit to being really pleased with this recipe as it has healthy grains, limited fat, no refined sugar and a decent amount of fruit, nuts and seeds. I even managed to get flax seed in there. And most importantly, the muffins taste great: not too sweet, which is perfect for breakfast time. You could easily substitute the dried figs and macadamia nuts for other dried fruit or nuts; either your favourites or whatever you have in the cupboard.
My parents gave me some ripe pears from their pear tree so I mashed one up for this recipe but apple purée, either homemade or store bought, would be a perfect alternative. The pear I used was particularly juicy so if you find that your mixture is a little stiff, just add a splash of apple juice. If you want to keep this dairy free, just use soya yogurt instead.
200g wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
50ml light olive oil
60g agave syrup
100g crème fraîche or natural yogurt
100g mashed, ripe pear or apple puree
1 banana, mashed
50g chopped dried figs
50g chopped macadamia nuts
25g pumpkin seeds
Set the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Put the flour, oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and flax seed into a large mixing bowl.
Add the eggs, oil, agave syrup, crème fraîche or natural yogurt, pear and banana and mix well.
Mix in the chopped figs and macadamia nuts.
Divide evenly between the muffin cases and scatter the pumpkin seeds over the tops.
Bake for around 20 minutes, until golden brown, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
I’m really looking forward to our day out. Despite having a degree in French and Italian I can’t even remember the last time I was in Paris. Probably about 14 years ago. And I’m not sure I can string a sentence together in French anymore either. I don’t entirely know how we managed to be going to Paris but it has something to do with Vana and Frin wanting to race up the Eiffel Tower. I’m scared of heights and am a bit worried I won’t make it up the stairs! Maybe I can hold the coats…
I made half the muffins in normal paper cases (for the freezer) and half in pretty cases, to try and give a better impression on the train. I’m planning to do some important research in Paris (most probably mainly on cake) and am looking forward to reporting back with new ideas. Assuming I’m not still clinging on at the top of the Eiffel Tower, refusing to budge!