Saturday 3 September 2016

5 Sugar-Free Breakfast Recipes - Sugar Free September

People have differing views on breakfast: some say it is the most important meal of the day, others say 'breakfast like a king, dine like a pauper', others say if you skip breakfast entirely your body burns more of its fat reserves, and others still say you need something small (protein according to some, lemon juice and hot water according to others) to kick-start your metabolism.

It's really confusing and I've tried several approaches over the years, all with very little difference to my weight. What I am sure about though is that the 'traditional' breakfast foods in the UK of cereals and toast are the least good things to be eating. Sugar and simple carbs are not what you need first thing in the morning.

I've previously reviewed a breakfast cereal that I think has good health benefits but since I've started #SugarFreeSeptember I thought I'd give five breakfast ideas that are healthy and largely sugar-free. Some people say you can still eat fruit on a sugar-free diet but others disagree, since fruit is high in natural sugars. So none of my suggestions below include fruit, but you can add it if you like eg to the yogurt, or have some grapes with the cheese.

#1 Eggs - a great way to start the day and also sugar-free (just don't dip any soldiers in your boiled egg!). My favourite is poached egg with smoked salmon for an indulgent way to start the day. Omlettes are also a good idea, and if you have a bit more time to cook, try poached eggs on wilted spinach sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper.


#2 Greek yogurt (unflavoured) sprinkled with chia seeds. Chia seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are not that cheap but I bought a big tub from the supermarket for only about £4 and it goes a long way.
#3 Cheese: good if you want to eat protein in the mornings and not as strange as it sounds- think continental breakfasts where you have ham and cheese on bread. The ham and cheese together make a good healthy and very quick breakfast if you are on the go - without the bread.

#4 Buckwheat pancakes: these are just like regular pancakes in method; the taste is a little different but I barely noticed, though of course my fussy husband did - but he still liked them! Using buckwheat flour instead of plain flour makes these gluten-free, so as well as not including any refined or natural sugar, these pancakes won't raise your blood sugar like gluten will.

I used 150g buckwheat flour to 250ml milk and one egg to make four pancakes; whisk the egg and milk together and make a well in the flour, and pour in, whisking well. Heat a little oil or butter or coconut oil in a frying pan, pour in enough mixture to just cover the base of the pan and cook until browned on both sides. My husband had his filled with grated cheese, while I spread mine with goat's cheese (I had a bit left over in the fridge from another recipe) and smoked salmon. Delicious!

#5 Homemade granola - I used this recipe from 'I quit sugar' by Sarah Wilson. I have to be honest and say it really wasn't my favourite thing to eat, but it wasn't that bad and I felt very virtuous eating it. You can make up a big tub at the beginning of the week and take it into work or portion it out as you need. I had a lot of the ingredients already, including the chia seeds which I bought on a whim and hadn't used yet; the coconut flakes came from Ocado, the mixed nuts from Lidl and the coconut oil from Amazon.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (along with some cinnamon and I used a tiny bit of agave nectar which is a natural sugar but very high in sugar - the recipe advises rice malt syrup as being optional and I wasn't sure where to buy that (health food shops perhaps?) but as I had agave nectar decided to use a little of that - I don't think it would have been very palatable without.

Baking in the oven:

And then a little tub to take to work with some Greek yogurt.

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