Fruit is so expensive these days and my children eat a lot of it, so I hate to see any go to waste. But from time to time we do get to the point where we have some that needs using up, so I have decided to look at ways to keep it a bit longer. I know some fruits freeze very well. I have some rhubarb in my freezer and there is definitely a pot of chopped banana waiting to be made into ice cream any day now. But on a cold day, you want something warm and comforting – that is still a good breakfast.
So the other day, I decided to chop up my last tired looking apples and grapes and throw them in a pan with a bit of banana and some dried fruits to see what happened. I did have a go at this the other week, when I made my porridge and the end result was a great porridge topping. What I made this time was even better and actually could double up as a pie or sweet pancake filling.
So now I am starting to run out of my own breakfast ideas and have been going through my books to see if there are any ideas I could borrow and adapt. As Annabel Karmel is widely regarded as a ‘feeding the kids’ guru, I thought I would revisit her book for some inspiration. Yesterday’s porridge post seemed to go down well – with everyone but Zac, so I decided another healthy looking recipe would be good.
Quick and easy are the types of recipe that always catch my eye first, so anything that requires minimal mess, cooking and skill always comes out on top – and that is why I have just made my first muesli. I can’t believe I have never done it before – it took about five minutes. In my student days it was my favourite breakfast, yet I have never given it to the children. Obviously for the last 3 years we have been a gluten free kitchen, so you can perhaps forgive me for writing off any oat based meals. So now we know that gluten free oats are (mostly) suitable, I feel like exploring what else can be made from them apart from porridge.
I am forever reading how porridge is such a great breakfast because of the health boosting, cholesterol lowering properties of oats etc but when you are living a gluten free, dairy free lifestyle you tend to think of a bowl of milky, sticky cereal as your worst nightmare.
However since I became aware of gluten free oats, and more familiar with the various dairy free milks, I decided it was time to face my fears and see if this could be made palatable, appealing and safe for my intolerant child. Certainly porridge was a favourite when I was weaning him, but in my experience most babies love all foods at that age, it is only once they get older, discover the word ‘no’, and in our case are given the cast iron excuse ‘but it might give me a tummy ache’ that you find yourselves getting less and less adventurous with food.
So it is a while since porridge has been on the menu, but as I am on this quest to find multiple safe breakfast options, I have to explore ‘oats’. Thankfully, the porridge making method was explained on the back of the packet. I got my gluten free oats from Waitrose, but I have also bought them from Sainsbury’s in the past – always in the free from sections and clearly marked – gluten free.