Breakfast in our household is both a complicated and simple event. We keep our breakfast meals relatively basic, but we all eat different things at different times.
We also see breakfast as in important part of the day and make time for it even if we have a very early start, so we like to make sure breakfast is an enjoyable meal and not something we rush through before running out of the door.
I have a section of the pantry and another one in the fridge dedicated to breakfast. Many of these things are used throughout the day for other meals and as snacks, but having them grouped for breakfast makes mornings (when we’re all sleepy and hungry) run smoothly.
The breakfast pantry is right next to the fridge, and right on top of the microwave and kettle. Usually, on top of the microwave is the toastie machine which can also make paninis, toast bread, brown wraps, and bake waffles. Keeping things organised this way, means we don’t need to be going from one end of the kitchen to the other to grab what we need.
The cups and plates are usually out on the drying rack from the previous night’s washing up and easy to grab. And the stove is right behind the pantry, so all we have to do is turn around if we’re cooking something.
Bread is our go-to when it comes to breakfast. Very rarely do we eat something that is not bread, and if we do, we usually have some bread with it too!
I often bake my own bread, using a very simple recipe of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water. Otherwise, I’ll buy a loaf of brown and a loaf of white bread. When we’re feeling fancy, I’ll make (or we’ll buy) brioche or some other flavoured bread.
We usually make the wraps ourselves as and when we want them. Sometimes, we prepare a larger batch and have them ready to be baked. We mostly have them with eggs (often with greens) that we cook flat on a crepe pan, or with cheese (and sometimes deli meat and/or greens) as quesadillas.
Porridge! Great for those cold wintery days, which is about half the year here in the UK. I prepare it in the microwave for speed and easiness (and less clean-up!) and top it with milk, seeds, peanut butter, jam, and/or sprinkles.
My husband likes other kinds of porridges too, so sometimes we have other West African porridge bases instead of oats (things like tiger nut powder or Hausa koko powder).
With oats I usually also prepare muesli or granola to have with milk or with yogurt, and I add it to bread for flavour and texture. In fact, we use oats a lot on all sorts of cooking.
We’re boring cereal people and buy a bran, nuts, and fruit cereal or cornflakes. Cereal is not really a common breakfast for us, but handy to keep around just in case someone fancies it, especially on hot summer mornings (so, about 4 times per year).
Spreads and toppers
I am lactose intolerant so to keep things simple we all eat margarine. It is cheaper than butter, but it can be quite unhealthy so we make sure to buy one with no trans fats.
Every now and then, we’ll buy salted butter (my daughter’s favourite), especially if we’re planning on making a traditional buttercream.
During summer we forage for blackberries and buy other seasonal berries. The rest of the years, we buy them frozen. They are cheaper and they last longer than fresh ones.
We add them to porridge or have them on their own.
And, I often make jam from scratch. It’s very easy and it tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff! I buy a large bag of mixed frozen berries, throw it in the slow cooker (sometimes with some apples) and after a few hours I turn it off and add either some sugar or some chia seeds (or both!) so it becomes jammy. The residual heat is enough to melt the sugar.
Dulce de leche
Depending where you live, dulce de leche could be called manjar, cajeta, arequipe, or milk caramel. It’s basically milk and sugar boiled together to make a very sticky caramel spread. It can be made at home but it takes forever, and it’s readily available at supermarkets all over the UK so we usually just buy it.
Whenever I fancy myself a proper cook, I will make it with condensed or evaporated milk to make the process go faster.
We use it as a spread on buttered toast. It’s very, very sweet, and a thin layer goes a long way! When I’m not looking, my kids eat it by the spoonful (I’m sure it’s fantastic for their oral health!).
PB&J. Need I say more?
We also add it to porridge, smoothies, and my son is extremely partial to wraps with peanut butter and banana. Most often than not, I’ll buy crunchy.
Mostly we fry them (with no oil in a non-stick pan) and eat on bread or in a wrap. We’re just exciting that way! Usually, I add some grated cheese on top.
My son is a fan of scramble with cheese and a few greens.
Hard melty cheese
I buy it in a large block and grate it at home. That way it’s cheaper and it doesn’t have that weird potato starch around that makes it melt weirdly. We often buy extra mature cheddar or a vegan cheese that will melt (my daughter is a fan of pepperjack and mexicana vegan cheeses, while I prefer smoked).
We mostly use it for toasties with or without deli meat and/or greens, on top of eggs, or for quesadillas.
Most often that not it’s chorizo slices or luncheon meat. If not, smoked ham, honey roast ham, or pepperoni, and very rarely bacon. A lot of times we also eat vegetarian or vegan alternatives, I especially like Quorn and Tofurkey.
We love greens! Especially the children and me, my husband will leave them at the side of the plate. If I go several days without serving the children a salad they complain and say I’m not feeding them properly.
We use greens in sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas. We usually vary the kind of green depending on what’s available and what strikes our fancy when shopping, but often it’s baby spinach, pea shoots, lamb’s lettuce, rocket (arugula), watercress, or mixed Italian salad.
Seeds or nuts
Most often than not, it’ll be chia or linseeds to add to porridge. But we rotate through all sorts of nuts and seeds, we like them all.
We keep 3: soy for most things, cow’s for my son and husband’s porridge and cereal mostly, and evaporated for my husband’s drinks.
I also use cow’s milk to make yogurt when I’m in the mood.
Pretty self-explanatory. We have it hot or iced depending on the season. And my daughter has got into the habit of adding a little bit of coffee to her morning porridge for flavour. I also bake with it regularly.
Drinking chocolate powder
Mostly for my son and husband, they have it every day no matter what! I sometimes have it cold during summer or as a treat before heading to bed.
Selection of teas
We all like tea and drink it throughout the day as well as breakfast.
We always have black tea, peppermint, berries, chai, chamomile, lime blossom, and ginger (with either lemon or honey). And some other random ones that we come across and sound interesting.
During Christmas we always get a tea advent calendar.
(Just in case it’s not clear yet, yes, we live in England!).
Other random bits
Sugar and sweetener
Sugar, for my kids’ drinks and porridge (and baking). Sweetener, for my drinks and porridge. I’m just not the biggest fan of the flavour of sugar! But I love sweet things.
To top my kids’ porridge! I also use it to top their drinks if I add whipped cream to them and on top of pancakes or waffles too.
We usually change the sprinkles with the seasons and celebrations. For winter we usually have snowflakes, for spring flowers, for Halloween and Christmas some sort of holiday-themed sprinkle. For every other time, the children choose whatever they want. For a while, my son had a dinosaur-themed pack, and my daughter a unicorn-themed one.
Sprinkles are not a must-have, but they make breakfast fun and the kids can be creative when they choose the sprinkles and put them on top of stuff.
This is not the most exciting collection of ingredients, but they are cheap, easy to find, and quite a bit can be done with them. Just with these 20 things you could eat for several days and not get bored by the variety, while getting some fruit and vegetables, as well as healthy fats, proteins and starches.
These are some ideas (some need some creative changes in ingredients that don’t really change the outcome):
- 4 ingredient chocolate peanut butter cookies, by Eating on a dime
- 10-minute spinach cheddar frittata, by Thriving HOME
- Baked egg with ham and spinach, by BBC food
- Baked walnuts, by allrecipes
- Berry easy bread pudding mug cake, by the leaf.com (Yummly)
- Berry butter, by Mrs Happy Homemaker
- Bombay toast, by sifybawarchi
- Bread and butter waffles, by just a pinch
- Bread pudding, by betterbutter
- Breakfast roll ups, by Australian eggs
- Chai tea ice cream, by Foodies.ph
- Chia seed iced coffee, by Yummy Tummy
- Chocolate dulce de leche dip, by saving room for dessert
- Chocolate fresh mint ice cream, by RecipeLand
- Chocolate idiot cake, by david lebovitz
- Chocolate mousse, by Food.
- Chocolate peanut butter chia pudding, by the Baking Fairy
- Chocolate peanut butter fudge, by allrecipes
- Chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies, by Confessions of a Baking Queen
- Chocolate peanut butter souffle, by the girl who ate everything
- Coffee creme caramels, by BBC food
- Coffee fudge, by kiwilimon
- Coffee popsicle pick me up pops, by Reuse Grow Enjoy
- Dalgona mocha milkshake, by Sharmis Passions
- Dulce de leche flan, by Kawaling Pinoy
- Dulce de leche french toast casserole, by it is a keeper
- Dulce de leche macchiato, by renaissance.mom
- Easy cheese souffle, by NZ Herald
- Egg bread pudding, by betterbutter
- Egg strata, by Mr. Food test kitchen
- Fairy “wands”, by POM
- Field berry soufle, by Food.
- Flourless chocolate fudge cake, by Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
- Fudge, by Gourmandize
- Gourmet reindeer poop, by cdkitchen
- Healthy berry breakfast smoothie, by little sunny kitchen
- Healthy homemade peppermint mocha, by desserts with benefits (I’ve made it with peppermint tea bags instead of the flavouring)
- Homemade cereal bars, by Dukes & Duchesses
- How to make chewy meringues – the chocolatey kind, by Foodista
- How to make homemade fruit and berry cordials, by Lord Byron’s kitchen
- How to make scrambled eggs in the microwave, by BBC food
- Mixed berry sauce, by Food.
- Mocha pumpkin seeds, by Taste of Home
- No bake nutella Christmas cookies, by My Stay at HOME ADVENTURES (I’d use peanut butter instead of nutella)
- Peanut butter creme brulee, by JIF (Yummly)
- Peanut butter drops, by allrecipes
- Peanut butter oatmeal cookies, by allrecipes
- Savory French toast, by lolibox (Yummly)
- Scrambled eggs, by recipe tin eats
- Simple and easy ham egg & cheese freezer breakfast burritos, by unsophisticook
- Strawberry syrup, by BigOven
- Super seed brittle, by Women’s Weekly FOOD
- Swedish nuts, by epicurious
- Thai iced tea (cha yen), by allrecipes
- The milk flavored amber walnut, by Miss Chinese Food
- Typical Dutch breakfast, by Food.
- Walnut pudding, by academia barilla
- Yuan yang – tea, coffee, and milk, by Daily Cooking Quest