KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — It’s the weekend. Finally we have time for ourselves. To do what we haven’t the chance to even attempt during the work week. It’s a blessing if we don’t waste it.
Finally we have time to head to the gym. No longer will we neglect our barbell squats and our bench presses. So how do we reward ourselves?
With a gargantuan platter of greasy breakfast foods, perhaps? Sunny-side-up eggs, crispy bacon and grilled sausages, hot buttered toast, all drenched with copious amounts of syrup.
Why not? Surely we deserve the calories after such a hard workout.
But the weekend also means more time to spend on breakfast. Why not use the opportunity to build a better breakfast bowl, one designed to provide your hungry body with the nutrition it needs?
And no, we don’t have to drop by a smoothie bowl kiosk. Times like these, let us save where we can. We may investigate the contents of our fridge and our pantry; our larder isn’t as bare as we imagine it to be.
Begin with something creamy as the foundation. Greek yoghurt offers more protein than normal yoghurt as it has been strained. For those who exercise frequently, a scoop or two of whey protein powder here makes for an interesting change from the usual post-workout shake.
Rather than instant oats (too starchy) or rolled oats (cooking required), why not try some overnight steel cut oats? Made at home, these are nutty, chewy and toothsome. Full of fibre, particularly beta glucan, it’s a heart healthy choice.
Some fresh fruits wouldn’t go amiss. Use whatever you enjoy best. My usual go-to are blueberries, a veritable superfruit.
I’ve run out of these, however. But bananas (high in potassium, which may help lower blood pressure) and kiwi fruit (full of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system) are nutrition powerhouses in their own right and delicious to boot.
Those of us who spend too much time staring at the screens of our various devices will surely benefit from a sprinkling of goji berries, rich in antioxidants such as zeaxanthin that protect our eyes.
Everyone knows that matcha is good for us but most of us would balk at the intricate ceremony required to whisk this vibrant powdered green tea into a bowl of frothy brew. Why not just include a dusting of it over your breakfast bowl, now a veritable nutritional dynamo?
One final thing: Let’s not forget the almost requisite addition of honey or maple syrup, if only for that gooey, oozing factor?
Why not drizzle some extra virgin olive oil to complete your breakfast bowl instead? Yes, you’ve heard it right — some spicy, sometimes grassy flavoured extra virgin olive oil. We have enough sugars from the fruits; it’s time for some healthy fats.
The weekend is a blessing, as is our first meal of the day. Let’s not waste it.
BREAKFAST BOWLS FOR BEGINNERS
Perhaps the only tip we’d require to build a breakfast bowl — more preparation and assembly than anything else since no cooking is required – is to take it slow. Build every layer, every constituent part, one at a time.
Note also that whey protein powder tends to be flavoured — whether vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, espresso or even cookies & cream. So there could be a danger of it clashing with the other ingredients.
Safest, then, to choose a flavour you’d enjoy drinking as a protein shake. If all else fails, go with vanilla or even the dreaded unflavoured whey protein powder – horrible mixed with water alone in a post-workout shake but the sweetness of the fruits will prevent that same fate here.
Speaking of fruits, I have used golden kiwi as it is higher in vitamin C and folate, though admittedly the deep green of the classic kiwi is utterly appealing especially when contrasted with the other colours in the breakfast bowl.
Given the plethora of other ingredients, the ripeness of your bananas aren’t really an issue: if overripe, your breakfast bowl will lean towards the sweeter end of the spectrum; if unripe, well, that’s lots of resistant starch to aid your digestion.
It’s win/win either way. As a matter of fact, a breakfast bowl like this ought to win-win-win all the way!
Unlike my other recipes, here I will only list the ingredients. The quantities used are entirely up to your personal preference. I use rather generous glugs of extra virgin olive oil, for instance, that might scare away a newbie to adding something rarely associated with fresh, sweet fruits. Use as much or as little as you like.
• Greek yoghurt
• Whey protein powder
• Overnight steel cut oats (for the recipe, click here)
• Bananas, sliced into coins
• Kiwi fruit, sliced into coins
• Goji berries
• Matcha powder
• Extra virgin olive oil
Begin with a bowl large enough for all your ingredients or, quite honestly, your appetite. Spoon Greek yoghurt into the bowl to form the foundation. Add a scoop or two of your favourite whey protein powder. Stir until the protein powder is well incorporated into the yoghurt.
Next add a few spoonfuls of your overnight steel cut oats. If you’ve forgotten to prepare them the night before, don’t worry. You may skip this step; you’d certainly be getting plenty of fibre from the fruits.
Add a layer of sliced bananas, followed by your sliced kiwi fruit. Sprinkle goji berries over everything, followed by a generous dusting of matcha powder and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.
For more Weekend Kitchen stories and recipes, visit https://lifeforbeginners.com/weekend-kitchen/.