Bread can be the foundation of the best breakfast. The type of flour and the method of breadmaking make all the difference. The Real Bread Campaign and Bread Matters are good resources. Baker and foodwriter Dan Lepard is another good source of information. I can recommend Paul Merry’s Panary breadmaking courses in Dorset.
Look for sourdough loaves and breads made from stoneground flour, especially wholemeal. Stoneground and heritage grain flours from Doves Farm are widely available and you can find others in your local independent shops, farm shops and farmers markets.
Breakfast cereals are convenient but not my favourite kind of food. The best, for me, is home-made granola. Kellie Anderson’s Food to Glow blog has a good recipe for granola.
Oats in the form of porridge and oatcakes are a healthy and delicious way to get energy in the morning. Adding some fat – wholemilk or cream – and flavours and other ingredients such as spices, nuts and dried fruit gives porridge more energy as well as flavour.
Protein and fat take longer to digest than processed carbohydrates in particular and its good to include these in your breakfast, though you don’t need much of either: an egg on hot buttered toast or some peanut butter on an oatcake or toast, for example.
Glycaemic Index (G.I) and Glycaemic Load (G.L) indicate how much a certain food raises your blood sugar and ideally you want this to be done gently and steadily rather than up and down like a yo-yo because this affects your appetite and how much you eat.
But don’t get too hung up on particular nutrients or diets. American author Michael Pollan attacks ‘nutritionism’: the insidious way food is broken down into its constituent elements, in a way that is exploited by food marketeers, rather than being seen as a whole. In Defence of Food is excellent and the ideas are made easily digestible in Food Rules.
Pollan says we should get back to the culture and pleasure of food. The London Review of Breakfasts is a witty website about all ways to break your fast.
MY JOURNEY WENT…
From memories of my childhood breakfasts with Frosties and tinned orange juice to…
…the glories of the Edwardian breakfast to
…undernourished catering students to
…a moment of epiphany about processed carbohydrates in a Holiday Inn in Jamaica to
…Mister Porridge in Brixton Market telling how he makes coconut milk porridge flavoured with spices and rosewater to
…number worriting in nutrition handbooks to
…discovering the nourishment in good food to
…a farmer growing a spelt jungle in Northumberland to
….the origins of breakfast cereals in American health freakery to
…Samuel Peyps drinking his first ever glass of orange juice and the story of marmelade to
…a fry-up with the editor of The London Review of Breakfast.