A delicious, nutritious breakfast will set you and the family up for the day. In need of inspiration? We're here to help, with recipe ideas from chef Chris Baber, plus ingredient swaps and tips for getting the most out of what's in your storecupboard
"A bowl of porridge is my favourite way to start the day – especially after a run or some exercise at home," says chef Chris Baber. "Once you've perfected the basic recipe, you can let your imagination run wild with delicious topping ideas, using whatever you've got in the kitchen."
If you've got time, it's worth making your porridge on the hob. Simply simmer the oats with water, milk (or a mixture of both) alongside a pinch of salt, stirring until it goes really creamy. If plant based is your thing, opt for a dairy-free milk like almond or oat, and try adding spices to the porridge, such as cinnamon or mixed spice, for extra flavour. You could even add a spoonful of cocoa powder for a chocolatey version.
Once your porridge is lovely and creamy, add a splash more milk and serve with some of the delicious toppings below.
Add frozen berries to a saucepan with a squeeze of honey and a splash of boiling water. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes then mash gently with a fork. Top tip: Make extra and enjoy spooned over yoghurt or ice cream.
Stir frozen or tinned cherries into the porridge as it cooks, along with a squeeze of honey and a spoonful of vanilla extract. If you have it, cook the porridge in almond milk and serve with a spoonful of almond butter or toasted flaked almonds.
Purple blueberry porridge
Add frozen blueberries into the porridge as it cooks, squashing a few berries so they stain the side of the pan. Top with a dollop or yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and toasted nuts.
Spiced apple or pear
Add a handful of fresh or frozen apples or pears to a pan with a pinch of cinnamon (or mixed spice if you have it) along with a splash of boiling water and a spoonful of brown sugar. Cook over a high heat until golden and caramelised, then use to top porridge. Top tip: Make a double batch of the topping and enjoy with granola and yoghurt the next day.
A batch of homemade granola is a lovely thing to have on hand for days when you need a delicious breakfast quickly. The beauty lies in its infinitely adaptable nature to whatever ingredients you might have in the cupboard – oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds all work well.
To make it, simply add a mixture of nuts, such as hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans or pistachios, to a baking tray alongside seeds (such as pumpkin or sesame) and a good handful of oats. Add dried fruits, such as cranberries or raisins, if you like. Drizzle with sunflower or vegetable oil and maple syrup or honey, then bake at 180C until toasted and golden.
Store the granola in an airtight jar, ready to be served with yoghurt and fresh fruit.
If you've got little ones at home and mornings can be a bit manic, a prep-ahead breakfast is your friend. Bircher muesli fits the bill perfectly. To make it, simply soak oats overnight in milk or fresh orange or apple juice, along with a squeeze of honey.
The next day, it's ready to serve – try these simple topping ideas:
Looking for kitchen inspiration? Chef Chris Baber's easy family recipes are here to help
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