Winter mornings mean hot breakfasts in our house. The most popular hot breakfast is porridge. It's not the porridge of years go however. It's warm and creamy and ready to eat as soon as we get up. It's slowcooker porridge and I just love it.
The secret to slowcooker porridge is to always use rolled oats, not instant rolled oats, and to use a suitable sized crock. If you are making porridge for four and only have a 6 litre slowcooker you'll end up with dried, disgusting rubber unless you cook your porridge in a smaller dish.
Follow the instructions and you'll end up with the creamiest porridge you've ever enjoyed - don't be tempted to skimp on the water, you need it all.
1 cup rolled oats
1.25 litres (5 cups) cold water
Put the oats, water and salt into a heatproof bowl with a lid that fits inside your slowcooker. Put the bowl into the slowcooker and add water to the crock until it comes about halfway up the side of your heatproof bowl of ingredients. Turn the slowcooker to low. Put the lid on. Cook for 8 hours.
Now if you have a smaller slowcooker you can add the ingredients to the crock and cook them. Also, newer slowcookers tend to cook faster and hotter than the older style. I set the timer to start cooking at 11pm and breakfast is ready when we get up at 7am.
You can add dried fruit and cinnamon to your porridge while it's cooking.
Some recipes call for using half milk and half water. Don't. The milk will cause the porridge to stick and it may even burn, ruining your porridge. Leave adding the milk until you are ready to serve.
Last year the kids gave me a waffle iron for Mother's Day and I love it. I'm not a gadget fan, but this is one that has been well used in the 8 months we've had it.
Waffles are so quick and easy to make, no need to buy a $4 packet of waffle mix.
We have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert - not all at once! With fruit, syrup, ice-cream, custard, jelly, baked beans, eggs, sausages - the toppings are limited only by your imagination and pantry supplies.
1 cup SR flour
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Mix all ingredients together, beating until smooth. Heat waffle iron. Pour 1/2 cup batter per waffle into the wafflie iron. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until waffles are golden and crisp.
Pancakes take a while to make so I usually put them on the meal plan for weekend breakfasts or lunches. If you’re tired of plain pancakes, why not try Apple Pancakes as an alternative instead? This recipe is easy to make. Use your imagination when serving. Try adding fresh blueberries or raspberries or thinly sliced apple and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Yum!
2 large eggs
2 cups SR flour, sifted
1/3 cup sugar for the recipe plus 2 tablespoons sugar (or more) for cooking
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
60g unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 peeled Granny Smith apples, 1 cored and grated, 1 thinly sliced on a mandolin
Begin by preparing your apples. (Remember to sprinkle a little lemon juice on the apples to keep them from turning brown after cutting or grating.) Cut one apple on a mandolin to make uniform thickness slices. These will be used with the pancake batter.
The other apple should be peeled and grated to add to the batter.
Now you’re ready to start on the batter itself. Melt the butter over medium heat being sure not to scorch it.
In a medium to large size bowl, beat two large eggs until frothy.
Add the flour to the beaten egg.
Then add the 1/3 cup of sugar. Reserve the rest of the sugar for coating the apple slices before cooking.
Next add the bicarb soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Add the buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter to the mixture and then stir to incorporate everything.
Add the grated apple. Stir until just combined. The mixture will be thick.
Preheat the frying pan over medium-high heat. Lightly spray with cooking spray or add a little butter.
Add 1/2 cup batter to the pan. Place two lightly sugared apple slices on top.
Cook the pancake until bubbles form (about 2 minutes). Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook until golden brown on each side for a total of about 4 minutes cooking time per pancake. You may need to spray the spatula with cooking spray between pancakes to ensure the pancake doesn’t stick to the spatula.
Place the cooked pancake on a plate. Garnish with apples slices other fruit and a sprig of mint, if desired.
This is a great weekend brunch or Saturday night tea, another one you can put together and let it cook while you relax. I serve it with a tossed salad and crusty bread.
6 potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated tasty cheese*
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese*
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
While preheating oven to 175 degrees Celsius, peel the potatoes and quarter. Place them in a large pot and fill with water to cover. Bring potatoes to a boil and continue boiling for 7 to 10 minutes (you want the potatoes to be soft but not so soft that you can’t slice them).
While the potatoes are boiling, put 4 tablespoons butter in a baking dish and melt in oven, then tip baking dish to make sure butter is distributed.
In a bowl, toss together the cheeses; set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream and eggs together; set aside.
Once the potatoes are done, drain them and slice each piece in half.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and dump half the potatoes into the pan and layer as evenly as possible on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Take the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and place it in the same pot you boiled the potatoes in. Add the onion and sauté until tender, approximately 3 minutes.
While the onion is being sautéed, chop the ham. Mix the ham and onion together in the pot with the heat turned off, and then layer half the mixture over the potatoes in the baking dish.
Scatter half the cheese mixture evenly over the ham-onion mixture, then put the remaining half ham-onion mixture on top, then use the remaining cheese mixture and sprinkle on top, then pour the egg mixture over all evenly.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
*Note: I don’t keep Gruyere in the house as a rule so I will often just use two cups of whatever cheese is in the fridge, or a combination of tasty, mozzarella and parmesan.
From the Cheapskates Club Gluten Free Recipe File
The Golden Arches is too pricey for regular weekend breakfasts, not to mention a tad on the unhealthy side, so to keep the troops happy we have the McMums Breakfast Special: McGoogs, Mum's Secret Hotcakes and Strawberry Shakes. The kids love it, their friends love it (or they're too polite to say they don't) and I love the fact that we don't have to leave home to get it.
I can make 8 McMum's breakfasts for around the price of two at McDonalds, not too shabby when it comes to catering for hungry teenagers.
8 English muffins
2 tbsp water
8 slices cheese
Split the muffins and toast on both sides. Beat the eggs and water. Pour into a heated, non-stick fry pan. Cook 2 minutes, turn and cook through, about another minute. Cut the egg into 8 equal pieces. Place an egg and a slice of cheese on half a muffin. Put under grill for 1 minute, to warm through and melt the cheese. Top with the other half a muffin.
Chia seeds have been promoted as a super food, and they are really good for us, full of omega-3 (around 18%, almost the same as flaxseed) and good fats (30%) and fibre (37%!). I'm not sure there is such a thing as a "super food" but chia certainly comes close to taking the title.
Moving on to this oh-so-very-simple jelly that even Wayne and my boys love, that is also super simple and a super healthy way to start the day.
You simply take around 3 tablespoons of chia seeds and stir them into 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice or blueberry anti-oxidant juice or your favourite pure, organic juice then put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning you'll have the most delicious fruit jelly, without a hint of processed sugar or gelatine. It really is that easy. And that delicious.
Soaking the chia seed in either water (a tad bland) or juice makes them completely digestible so you absorb every last possible nutrient from those tiny little balls of goodness, so making the jelly is just a way to use them to full advantage.
I like my chia jelly topped with fresh strawberries (which we have in abundance in the garden at the moment, I'm picking around 800g a day) or blueberries and a dollop of plain yoghurt. Wayne likes his with berries, yoghurt and a sprinkle of dry toasted oats. The boys will eat it whatever way it's served and are quite happy to inhale it even plain.
Chia is a good way to get some extra nutrition into your body and if you have a slightly timid family, who may not like the idea of eating chia, try this jelly, it's sure to be a winner.
Oh and you can use black or white chia, both work.
3 tbsp chia seeds**
1/2 cup organic fruit juice*
Stir the chia seed into the fruit juice. Refrigerate overnight. To serve top with fresh berries and plain yoghurt.
*I don't like orange juice, so I use cranberry juice. Hannah loves apple chia seed jelly, the boys like orange and mango. Use whatever juice you prefer, it's all good.
**Hindustan Imports is where I buy chia seeds, I can buy 500g of black or white (you can buy a mixed pack but it is more expensive, I mix my own) for $6.55 - a huge saving of $13.60/kilo over supermarket prices!
I have 2 young boys with milk allergies. As they eat at least 1 litre of soy yoghurt a week, I found a website that sells probiotic cultures for non-dairy yoghurt (Green Living Australia). I make one batch with the culture (with directions given) then use some of the batch of yoghurt as a starter made to make one more batch of soy yoghurt (using the cheapskates instructions). I make it using a vacuum pot and candy thermometer, and the long life soy milk.
Contributed by Cynthia Tay