I am notoriously bad at eating breakfast, but one of these with a cup of tea in the morning gets me going. Not the healthiest of breakfasts, but at least there are slow-release sugars to keep me going for a while as well as the sugar and syrup. The proportions are based upon my favourite flapjack / oat slice recipe but with half the amount of sugar.
- 4oz / 110g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
- 8 oz / 220g Butter
- 2 rounded dessertspoon Golden Syrup
- 8 oz / 220g Oats
- 2 oz / 55g Bran Flakes
- 2 oz / 55g Rice Crispies
- heaped teaspoon Ground Ginger
- generous handful of Dates
- generous handful of Chopped Nuts, I used brazil nuts. Pecans or walnuts would also be good.
Note, you can substitute in different types of cereal depending on what you have in the cupboard – as long as the total dry ingredients adds up to 12 oz / 350g. If you want to add flaked almonds I would advise including them as a proportion of the dry ingredients rather than substituting them for other nuts, otherwise they will dry out the mixture.
Line a square tin (8 inches approx) with greaseproof paper, and preheat the oven to 150oC.
In a large pan, gently melt the butter, syrup and sugar. When melted add the ginger, fruit and nuts followed by the dry ingredients. Mix well and then put in the prepared tin, flattening it with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. When it is cooked, let it cool in the tin before turning it onto a board and chopping it into squares.
These Breakfast Muffins are perfect for people who (like me) are awful at eating breakfast. They are small yet filling, cheap and easy to make.
One of the things which Steve and I struggled with when I started the Basic Kitchen project was what to do for breakfast. I have to say that breakfast isn’t my strong point at the best of times – it is my least favourite meal of the day, but if I don’t eat it I am miserable.
The solution came from Steve’s all time favourite recipe book, published in 1984 by the New Zealand Girl Guides – not something you can pick up in you local bookshop I’m afraid. One of the good things about using this book for the Basic Kitchen project is that it uses cups, so scales are not required. We did of course have to add a muffin tin to our collection of basic utensils, but it was well worth it considering that they are so cheap to make.
The book contains two versions of Bran Muffins – one of which is in the section on cooking for big events and asks you to mix in a ‘large bucket’, the other makes a rather more sensible number of muffins! Over the last few weeks I have tried both recipes, adapted and doctored them depending on what I have in the cupboard, and come up with the version below. The original recipes are at the bottom of the post – a big thank-you to the ladies who originally contributed the recipes to the book, and to the New Zealand Girl Guides who gave me permission to publish them here.
When we made the ‘mix in a bucket’ version a few weeks ago Steve calculated that they cost 7p a muffin. I haven’t calculated how much the recipe below costs, because my pregnancy brain is rebelling!
This recipe is fantastic for using up cereal which is going a little soft – a common occurrence for me since I don’t like breakfast very much! In the last few weeks I have made the muffins with ‘All-bran’ and with bran flakes which already had dried fruit added to it. I found that bran flakes needed a bit of crunching up before using.
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar (optional – I leave this out if I have included sugary dried fruit such as prunes, if I do add it I use dark sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups of bran
- a handful of dried fruit (something sticky and sweet such as prunes or dates work well)
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
First warm the milk, syrup and butter in a pan and dissolve the bicarb of soda and coffee into it (I just want to drink it at this stage!). Take the pan off the heat and then add the bran, crumbling it in your hands, so that it can begin to soften.
Mix the rest of the dried ingredients together, then mix in the egg and the milk mixture. Stir in the dried fruit.
Bake in the centre of the oven in lined muffin tins for approximately 15 minutes.
When cooked, remove onto a cooling rack. Once cool they can be stored in an airtight tin for up to a week.
I have to say that I am usually pretty rubbish at making myself eat breakfast, so I am rather pleased with this little number which I made up last week when I realised that buying a pastry on the way to work wasn’t an option with my £5 a week budget! The apples I used came from my parents apple trees – hence the winter wrinkles.
- One cooking apple
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup sultanas
- 1/2 tsp dried ginger
This can be made either in a pan on the hob, or in the microwave. The first time I made it I (somewhat miraculously) had time to make it on the hob before I left the house. The following morning was a bit more ‘situation normal’ however, so I took all the ingredients with me and made it in the microwave at work and had a number of rather jealous people peering over my shoulder.
Chop and peel the apple and put it in either a small saucepan or a microwave-proof bowl. Add a splash of boiling water, the fruit and the dried ginger and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the oats and chopped nuts, stir, and cook for another couple of minutes adding a splash more water if it looks a bit dry.
Taste and add a little sugar if necessary (depending on the sweetness of the apple and your tastebuds) and enjoy with a steaming mug of coffee.