Cows are very much in evidence in the fields in May, making the most of the fresh grass. What better time to enjoy some yummy homemade cereals with milk for breakfast? You could take it outside if the weather’s fine.
We all know it’s important to eat breakfast and although the traditional British fry-up may not be quite what the doctor ordered first thing in the morning, milk, yoghurt, whole grains, nuts, seeds and berries all get the thumbs-up.
If you have no time for anything else through the week, try to drink a glass of milk before you leave the house. It’s full of vitamins and minerals (including calcium and vitamin D) and despite what many people think, is not actually a high-fat food. Usually, foods classed as high fat are those containing over 20 per cent fat, but even full-fat cows’ milk only contains about 4%!
Buttermilk and Honey
Alternatively, try a glass of buttermilk: very like yoghurt in taste, buttermilk is smooth and creamy which is surprising, considering it is a low fat product. It’s high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin and is a good source of phosphorus. It contains similar probiotics to live yoghurt and aids digestion.
Try stirring a little honey to taste into a glass of buttermilk for a soothing and nutritious breakfast drink.
This is simplicity itself to make and should tempt the most reluctant breakfast -er.
- About 12 juicy strawberries
- 100ml apple juice
- 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- Honey to taste
Cut the strawberries into halves or quarters and put into either a blender or a juicer with the yoghurt and apple juice. Whiz together and taste. The strawberries may be perfectly ripe and sweet or you may need a little honey. Whiz again.
For best results push through a nylon sieve to remove all those pesky little seeds.
Honey Oat Crunch
Eat this scrummy cereal with cold milk topped off with summer berries or scatter on top of natural yoghurt - or try Greek yoghurt for a weekend treat. It’s also very more-ish eaten by the handful, so be warned!
Makes 6-8 servings
- 4 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 tablespoons of mild oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225g (8oz) porridge oats
- 110g-175g (4-6oz) sultanas
- 1 tablespoon golden linseeds
Preheat the oven to 150C (fan oven) or equivalent. You will need a large greased baking tray
Warm the honey, either on the hob, or for 10-20 seconds on High in the microwave.
Stir the oil and vanilla into the warmed honey.
Stir the honey mixture into the oats using two metal spoons until they are all coated.
Spread over the prepared tray and bake for approximately 12- 15 minutes, until the oats are pale (not at all dark) golden and toasted. Turn and stir the oats a couple of times during baking with a fish slice, breaking up any large clumps.
Turn the toasted oats into a large heatproof bowl and stir in the raisins and linseeds.
Mix together and leave to cool. Return to the tray and spread out for more efficient cooling. Once cold, store in an airtight container.
It’s crucial the oats shouldn’t be over cooked or they will be hard rather than gorgeously chewy and crunchy.
Classic Muesli Mixture
Easy and straightforward: you can’t go wrong with this classic mix served with a splash of cold milk. An ordinary mug makes a handy measure. Wheat flakes are available from health food shops and are relatively inexpensive.
Makes approximately 6 servings
1½ mugs porridge oats
- 1½ mugs wheat flakes
- ½ mug oat bran
- 1 mug mixed raisins and chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon each pumpkin and sunflower seeds (optional)
Mix everything together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container. Eat within a couple of months.
For a weekend treat, mix with milk in the usual way and top with sliced apple and a little singe cream.
Blonde Muesli Mixture
This is another great mix. Serve with cold milk.
1 mug porridge oats
- 1 mug jumbo porridge oats
- 1 mug oatbran
- ¾ mug sultanas
- 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
- 1 tablespoon golden linseeds
Mix and store as before and serve with Try adding some chopped ready to eat dried apricots.
Celebrating 50 years of Dr Who 1963-2013
Fish Fingers and Custard
Dr Who fans may remember when the present incumbent, Matt Smith, fell to earth in seven year old Amelia Pond’s back garden, he needed food fast to help with his regeneration. After a few false starts he finally discovered his favourite food in the whole world (literally) was fish fingers and custard.
A later episode shows the grown up Amy Pond with husband Rory and the Doctor, all dipping fish fingers into bowls of custard whilst watching TV.
Fish Fingers and actual custard might not be the greatest flavour combination: pretend instead and dip your fish fingers into custard look-alike cheese sauce, it tastes delicious.
Serves 2, enough for dipping 6-8 fish fingers
- 25g (1oz) cornflour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 280ml (½ pint) whole or semi-skimmed milk
- 50g (2oz) mature cheddar, grated
Mix the cornflour, mustard and pepper together in a heavy bottomed milk saucepan, add a little of the milk and mix to a smooth paste. Gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring as you go.
Turn on the heat and bring to boiling point, stirring all the time. Turn down and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring or whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Check for seasoning.
Pour into 2 small bowls and serve with fish fingers.