Have you tried bircher muesli? It's a real breakfast game changer - or at least it has been for us. Oats, soaked in milk overnight, then served for breakfast, has changed our breakfast table for the better. In this recipe I've given it the Sneaky Veg treatment by adding a healthy portion of carrot. If you think carrot for breakfast is weird then think again - it's perfect here. In this recipe for carrot cake bircher muesli the warming taste of cinnamon is combined with creamy oats, juicy sultanas and a healthy portion of hidden vegetables (ok they're not completely invisible - but no-one here complained). It's a delicious and satisfying breakfast and one that I know we'll be making time and time again.
I was inspired to make this after Miss R (4) and I were invited by Rude Health to an event with Frances Quinn (author of Quinntessential Baking). The event was designed to inspire kids to try exciting new foods for breakfast (and to inspire tired parents to get creative in the kitchen). Right before our eyes she created breakfast cereal monsters, magical porridges and colour-changing milk using Rude Health's dairy free milks and organic cereals and oats. Watching her at work was an inspiration as she made cinnamon gingerbread men atop bowls of porridge, fashioned giant Paddington Bear pawprints out of marmalade and turned breakfast cereal into monsters. And afterwards Miss R had the chance to get creative herself. As you can see in the photos she went for the "all the ingredients" approach.
Healthy, interesting breakfasts for my children are something that I really struggle with. We are so short of time on weekday mornings before school that there isn't much time for creativity and even making a bowl of porridge can seem like a challenge. My two older kids won't eat porridge anyway - I even bought chocolate Ready Brek to see if I could tempt them that way (it didn't work) - so if I'm making it then it's just for Baby S and I. Mind you, Miss R did try some of the porridge she decorated at the Rude Health event, so that's something I'll have to explore further at home.
I usually have a jar of granola on the go, but during the week toast and Weetabix are the kids' preferred breakfasts. Miss R and Baby S usually have fruit as well. On weekend mornings I like to make pancakes and try a bit harder to get the kids to eat something different. After this morning's pancakes though R still wanted his usual cereal - I think his morning doesn't feel complete without it!
Bircher muesli is a great alternative to porridge. There's no cooking involved, you simply soak the oats in milk overnight, grate in an apple in the morning and it's ready to eat. The hardest part is remembering to get it ready before bed, but as long as you do that then it only takes a few minutes and you have a delicious breakfast. It's perfect for the warmer spring mornings we're having at the moment but I like it in winter too. And of course you can be as creative as you like with the decoration - see the photos above for some inspiration.
Here's the recipe for the carrot cake bircher muesli.
225g porridge oats (I used Rude Health 5 Grain 5 Seed Porridge)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 carrot, grated
450ml milk (I used Rude Health brown rice drink)
1 apple, grated
Honey or maple syrup
Blueberries or other fresh fruit
Place the oats, sultanas, cinnamon and carrot in a bowl. Stir. Cover with the milk and put in the fridge. Leave overnight.
In the morning you'll have a lovely creamy bowl of bircher muesli for your breakfast. Grate in an apple, add a little honey or maple syrup and serve with fresh fruit if you like. I like blueberries best of all with this.
Rude Health are launching a new range of children's breakfast cereals this summer. Look out for them in Waitrose.
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Rude Health: Frances Quinn Get Rude in the Kitchen event and received some Rude Health products for the purposes of this post. I didn't receive any other payment.