Training Day Breakfasts

Training day breakfasts are all about slow-releasing, high-fibre carbs that will enable you to fuel the slaying of the day!

All the recipes here contain quality protein and healthy fats, and I have carefully chosen the suggestions for the porridge add-ins to be high in vitamins and minerals – and to taste great together, of course.

Porridge

One of the most versatile of meals, porridge is made for mixing up. I tend to use jumbo oats, but you could also swap in some rye, barley, quinoa or spelt flakes, which have a nutty taste and add a different texture. What makes it versatile is that you can add different toppings; fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, powders such as cacao and cinnamon, making it impossible to get fet up with. Below is first the base and then my favourite toppings versions and their benefits.

For the base

50g jumbo rolled oats (or 25g jumbo rolled oats plus 25g rye, barley, quinoa or spelt flakes)

225ml water

a pinch of salt (optional)

a splash of almond or oat milk (optional)

  1. Place the oats and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 3–5 minutes, stirring. (If you’re adding other ingredients such as seeds or ground spices, as in the options below, mix these in now, so the seeds soften and the flavours merge.)
  2. Spoon into a bowl, adding a pinch of salt and a splash of milk, if you like, along with any additional toppings, such as fresh fruit or dried nuts.

Micro Boost

Raspberries and sunflower seeds are a great combination, providing manganese, folate, magnesium, plus vitamins B, C, E, and K, which variously help with enzyme and red blood cell production, plus maintaining healthy bones, skin, eyes and blood vessels, among other things, making this option a real micro-nutrient bomb!

1 tsp sunflower seeds

a handful of raspberries

Immune Injection

Strawberries provide even more vitamin C than oranges, and pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which improves immunity, is needed for healthy cell division, has a great impact on hormonal balance and aids in healthy digestion.

1 tsp pumpkin seeds

7 strawberries, halved

Heart Food

Cinnamon is rich in fibre; helps to maintain good bowel health and calcium, which studies suggest protects the heart from blockages, plus the blueberries are shown to help widen arteries.

1 tbsp cinnamon

a large handful of blueberries

Antioxidant Shot

Full of antioxidants, this is the option to get you geared up and ready to go in your longboat.

1 tsp cacao powder

10 almonds, finely chopped, to sprinkle on top

Iron Energy Boom

As consumption of red meat has decreased, iron deficiency has become more common. But worry not: iron is found in many foods, and adding these ingredients to your porridge will ensure it is full of it!

1 tbsp raw unsweetened coconut flakes or chips

1 tsp goji berries

3 tsbp coconut milk

Overnight Chia Porridge

An alternative to oats, small black chia seeds swell when soaked, becoming porridge-like in texture. They’re high in fibre – 50g should provide about two-thirds of your recommended daily allowance – so they should help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. As you leave this in the fridge overnight, it requires minimal prep first thing, making it great for busy training days and mornings on the go. Mix and match the toppings as with the other porridge recipes.

50g chia seeds

250ml almond milk (or rice or oat milk, or water)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

40g blueberries

  1. Put the chia seeds and almond milk into a bowl and stir.
  2. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. In the morning, stir in the cinnamon, then top with blueberries and enjoy.

Mushroom Porridge

Mushrooms are full of protein and fibre, and varieties like shiitake are especially high in selenium, which helps prevent damage to your body’s cells as well as supporting your immune system. This savoury porridge – a bit like a quick breakfast risotto – is a different way of incorporating them into your diet. This is the perfect breakfast for people with more of a savoury tooth. If you’re pushed for time in the morning, you could soak the mushrooms (steps 1 and 2) the night before.

If you’re training particularly hard, you could top with a halved soft-boiled egg for extra protein.

a small handful of dried mushrooms, such as shiitake or porcini

230ml boiling water

50g jumbo rolled oats

salt and pepper

a small handful of fresh dill, chopped

  1. Put the mushrooms into a small heatproof bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl, keeping the water they were soaking in, and chop them roughly.
  3. Place the oats, mushrooms and their soaking water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and finish with the chopped dill before eating.

Berry and Liquorice Chia Jam

Frozen berries are just as good for you as fresh, making them a great thing to keep stocked in the freezer. Liquorice root is often used in plant-based medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties, and adds a lovely tangy sweet aniseed flavour here. This fresh jam, thickened by the protein-rich chia seeds, will keep for a week in the fridge. Stir a spoonful through your porridge, or spread on a slice of toasted Tyr´s Post-war Treat (see page XXX), dark rye or pumpernickel toast. Berry good!

450g frozen mixed berries

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp liquorice root powder

  1. Put the berries into a pan and place on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to help them break down. When defrosted, increase the heat a little to a simmer, then add the chia seeds and liquorice powder and cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring.
  2. Remove from the heat and leave to thicken.

Viking Granola

Our Viking ancestors had to forage for berries, nuts and seeds. Baking a batch of this granola in advance should make your weekday hunt for breakfast an easier affair! Serve with almond milk or goat’s milk yoghurt. If you’re pushed for time, pack it into a glass jar or Tupperware for a portable breakfast – just remember, don’t eat on the go.

Raw honey contains sugar, of course, but it is not heated when processed, which means that it retains its enzymes and nutrients.

Makes 1 jar (approx. 400g/10–12 portions)

1½ tbsp coconut oil

1½ tbsp organic raw honey

100g jumbo rolled oats

100g rye flakes

20g sunflower seeds

20g pumpkin seeds

20g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

25g coconut flakes

seeds from 6 cardamom pods, crushed

½ tsp caraway seeds, crushed

a pinch of sea salt

50g dried cranberries or cherries, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the coconut oil and honey into a small pan and melt over a low heat.
  3. Mix the oats, rye flakes, seeds, nuts, coconut flakes, spices and salt together in a bowl, then stir in the coconut oil and honey mixture to coat.
  4. Spoon the mixture on to the baking tray in an even layer and bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden, giving it a stir every 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and leave to cool slightly before mixing in the dried fruit.

Blueberry Rye Pancakes

Serves 2

50g rye flour

50g buckwheat flour

a pinch of sea salt

1 egg

500ml almond milk

80g blueberries

1 tbsp coconut oil

organic raw honey (optional)

  1. Mix the flours, salt, egg and almond milk together in a bowl until fully combined, then leave to rest in the fridge for an hour (or overnight).
  2. Remove from the fridge and mix in half of the blueberries.
  3. Put the coconut oil into a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When melted and bubbling, add a couple of spoonfuls of the batter. Cook until golden, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter. Serve with the remaining blueberries and a drizzle of raw honey.