donderdag 13 maart 2014

Healthy Breakfast Favourites

Once again, it has been too long!

I hope you haven't been missing my blogs too much, as time dragged on I was getting more and more ashamed of not writing yet another day, which of course did not help my creative process... So before I get on with the main topic of this blog, a little update on what I have been up to!

I think it is about 2,5 weeks ago since I wrote my last blogpost, since then I have been to The Hague (twice), Breda, Utrecht, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. (As I'm writing this down I can hardly believe it actually... I didn't know I've been all over the Netherlands so much haha). I've been on excursions with ESN twice (to Amsterdam and the Hague), celebrated carnaval in Breda, spent some time in the sun in Maastricht, interview consultants in Rotterdam and went about with my daily life in Utrecht.

With some of my best friends in The Hague
Celebrating Carnaval with Joost <3
exploding fields of crocuses in The Hague

Ahhh the daily life, you probably will recognize this, the good times and the bad. Last week was one of those 'bad' times. I like some routine in my days and suddenly I was thrown out of my routine because of a lack of classes and other things. I was so grumpy all week long... So what I've been trying to do to improve my own mood is go for a run two times a week. Having these anchor points in my week (and in my days) help me so much to stay motivated. I push myself to go faster and further every time I run, and I know that when I get back I take a nice shower, have a proper lunch and then have more energy to get Uni-stuff done. It has improved my mood a lot!

Something else that improves my mood is my breakfasts. Going for a run twice a week has motivated me to have healthier breakfasts as well. The typical Dutch breakfast is a cheese sandwich or a sandwich with chocolate sprinkles or peanut butter and a glass of milk or coffee/tea. But as you can imagine, this is not the best breakfast you can give yourself to stay nourished and full all morning. I started putting more effort in my breakfast and taking a bit more time to prepare something healthy, so here I have two healthy options for you to try if you are looking for some new breakfast ideas!

My first option is best for the colder days: Oatmeal!
I don't think I've ever had this as a child... But I love it now and I think it would be very suitable for children as well. I started making this half a year ago with milk, but these large quantities of milk started to give me stomach aches and made me very nauseous, so I steered away from that for a while. I always thought that making it with milk would lead me to a tasteless, disgusting porridge but actually it is not that bad at all! So now I make it with mostly water and a splash of milk to add a bit of creaminess.

1 portion Oatmeal:

Yummy oatmeal with in-season blueberries

175 ml water
4 heaped tablespoons of steal-cut oats
a splash of milk 
a pinch of salt

Toasted almonds, cinnamon, raisins (and a sprinkle of sugar)
Blueberries, desiccated coconut, cinnamon
Banana, Raisins, cinnamon

Heat up the water in a small pan until it starts boiling. Add the oats and let them cook for about 2 minutes, add the sprinkle of salt. When it starts to bubble cohesively and looks a bit gloopy it's perfect. Take it off of the heat and stir in the milk. Leave it for about a minute so that the oats can soak up all of the liquids.

Pour the oatmeal in a bowl and add the toppings. I gave you three of my favorite versions, as you can see I LOVE cinnamon... I can't help it. I also have a bit of a sweet-tooth, so I always add a sprinkle of sugar. Not too much, just a bit to give it a hint of sweetness... I know I should learn to live without... 

I don't always have the time to prepare my oatmeal, so I used to have some regular cereal that I would eat with yoghurt or milk if I had to get out of the house really quickly. But then I found a recipe to make my own granola! Life changer! It is so damn easy, and so tasty, and I really believe it is a healthier option to buying the stuff in the shop! The reason for that is that you can control the amount of sweetness you add, and I prefer to use honey because it is a natural sweetener and I think that makes it a healthier option to some artificial sugars. Make a large batch of this stuff on the weekend and you'll be laughing the rest of the week! I eat it with some yoghurt and some fresh fruit, and I'm a good girl so I don't add any more sweetness to my yoghurt and muesli, at least that is one step forward ;). 


The result of a saturday morning cooking session, granola with mango
Steal-cut oats (as much as you want...) 
Sunflower Oil
(egg white)
ground ginger

dried fruits
desiccated coconut
toasted almonds

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
Pour your oats onto a baking tray and add your spices, then start drizzling some honey and some sunflower oil over your oats. You want all of those little oats to be coated in some lovely sweetness and a bit of oil, it should end up looking a bit sticky. If you would start baking this off now you would end up with a granola that has a lot of loose oats (which I like). You can also loosely whip an egg white and add that to the mixture. The egg white will make sure more oats will stick together and you'll end up with some nice crunchy oat-clusters. Yum! 
As with the oatmeal, the toppings really are up to you! Before it goes into the oven add the stuff that needs toasting off as well, such as the coconut and the almonds. Add the dried fruit after the mixture comes out of the oven so that they don't become too tough. 
Bake off the oat-mixture for about half an hour, or even longer. It really depends on how dark you want your granola! Do mix up the mixture on your baking tray every ten minutes so that every oat gets nice and toasty. 
When you're done baking it, take it out of the oven, and let it dry completely on a cool surface. So take it off of the baking tray and let it cool completely until dry. When it comes out of the oven it might feel a bit moist but that will go away within 10 minutes!

Ahhh I'm glad I got that done... I hope it is as nice to read as it was to write! Please let me know what you think about my 'healthier' breakfast options, what toppings you like to add to your oatmeal and also please let me know if you give making your own granola a try! 

Lots of love,

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