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Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal?
To Eat Or Not To Eat Breakfast?
Many people consider that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast can start your day off well, and help you resist sugary snacks. So, whether you are looking for healthy breakfast recipes, traditional breakfasts, or just a new brekkie idea, this page is for you. Here you will find breakfast recipes and ideas from around the world.
Breakfasts can be quick and easy, such as cereal or toast. They can be long and leisurely, perhaps two or three tasty courses. Breakfasts can be routine, or they can be fill-up sessions - full English breakfast, for example. Brekkie can be the most romantic of meals when shared with the right person. Whether you regularly skip breakfast, have a special breakfast routine, or like to give new breakies a try, I hope you will share your views here.
The photo shows a Syrian breakfast, to be eaten in the sunshine, and was taken by Daniel Ersdel. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Breaking The Fast
Without breakfast, apparently, we will run out of energy, catch a chill, get fat, do badly in school or work... Is it a myth? Or is it true? Do you like to eat a healthy breakfast? Or do you guzzle a coffee and donut as you rush to work?
Everyone should eat breakfast, right?
Yes, of course, we need a nutritious start to the day
A Selection Of "Full Breakfasts"
Have a look through the following breakfast choices: American, English, Irish and Scottish, then vote on your favourite! There may be one or two ingredients that you don't recognise. I've given links to some of these at the bottom of the page.
The North American Full Breakfast
The full breakfasts of the USA and Canada show some cultural influence from Britain, but are characterized by a wide range of options.
Referred to as a "Sunday breakfast", a "country breakfast" or a "big breakfast", it consists of eggs, meat (bacon, sausage, steak, scrapple, pork roll, spam), grits or fried potatoes (hash browns or fries) and beans, with toast (white, wheat or rye bread), or pancakes, bagels, English muffins, waffles, crepes, buckwheat galettes, oatmeal, or biscuits. Fruit or fruit juice is often included, and coffee or tea. Now that's a mouthful!
The Full English
The Full English is the classic dish served in hotels, B&Bs and "greasy spoon" cafs across the country. In some places, such as truck-stops, it can be available any time of day or night. In some English homes, the full English is a weekend treat.
Traditionally, the full English includes rashers of back bacon, fried eggs (could be poached or scrambled, if preferred), fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, sausages and beans. Fried bread is sometimes added to this calorific fry-up. The full English is usually served with toast and tea.
Regional variations include the addition of Black pudding, potato cakes, fried onions, onion rings, oatcakes or "bubble and squeak".
The Full Scottish
The full Scottish is similar to the full English and the full Irish, but also includes Scottish-style black pudding. additionally, it can contain some very Scottish delicacies: haggis, sliced sausage, white pudding, tattie scones, fruit pudding or oatcakes.
Porridge may be served in small portions as a starter course for the full Scottish.
The Full Irish
The full irish Breakfast is similar to the Full English. Traditionally, it includes bacon, sausages, fried eggs, black pudding, white pudding and fried tomato. Some people include sauteed mushrooms, baked beans, or liver. It should be served with soda bread, a potato farl or toast, and a strong Irish tea, with milk.
Who makes the best "full breakfast"?
Having seen the evidence above, and maybe sampled some of these calorfic delights, share your opinion with us here.
Which is your favourite? And why?
A lovely rose champagne, well worth trying. Moet & Chandon is one of the best known champagnes for a reason. It's very tasty!
A Champagne Treat For The One You Love..?
An indulgent and romantic Champagne breakfast, a treat to share with someone you love. Very nice, but perhaps not the best nutritional start to the day, so we probably shouldn't have this breakfast everyday!
But, for special occasions and for the special person that you want to treat, a little champagne will go a long way... something about those bubbles...
More breakfast choices
Of course, we don't have to eat the classic "full breakfast". Around the world, breakfasts vary enormously. Are you looking for healthy breakfast ideas? Have you tried any of these traditional breakfasts?
Breakfast in Laos
This photo, by Einalem, shows a breakfast of noodles, vegetables, salad, chillis and more, served in Laos. The photo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
This photo, by Das_02, shows a dim sum breakfast in Hong Kong. It includes shrimp dumplings, chicken and vegetable congee, rice noodles, steamed buns with pork filling and jasmine tea. All I can say is that it looks a hundred times more appetising then the breakfasts I was served in a hotel on the outskirts of Beijing. I was there five nights, but gave up the idea of breakfast after two days of tasteless boiled pudding-things.
Chinese Breakfast Update!
On my second visit to Beijing, I stayed in hotels with more edible breakfast offerings. Here: chips, fried egg, pickled mushroomy-things and vegetables! Sadly the chips (cold) were only available on the first morning.
British Airways Club Europe Breakfast
This was the first course... followed by a hot breakfast too !
Croissants, yoghurt, orange juice and coffee to start the travelling day.
French petit dejeuner
Some people love the French petit dejeuner, which basically means "small eat". This photo, by Lana Rosemburg, shows a cafe breakfast of croissant, orange juice, coffee and a small canela - a French pastry, with a soft, custard centre. The photo is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Costa Rican Breakfast
Here you can see a Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans with eggs, toast, fried banana, and white cheese. For me, the best bit would be the fired banana. The photo is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
I took this photo of the breakfast buffet in a small hotel near the Rila mountains, in Bulgaria. I found this breakfast quite challenging... more of a buffet lunch, cucumber, tomato, ham, cheese and bread, accompanied by sweet coffee or sweet tea. I gave up on the idea of breakfast after the second day.
I took this photo of the breakfast on offer in our hotel in Hungary, in January. It seemed to involve a lot of meats and a lot of sweet things. I was pleased to find yoghurts and fruit, and a decent coffee!
Also called aebleskivers or "appleskives", these traditional, spherical pancakes make an interesting breakfast variation. Their texture is between that of a pancake and a popover - solid, but still light and fluffy. You'll need the right pan, and plenty of time to make these, so saving them for a leisurely morning would be best.
Ebelskivers for breakfast? Enjoy this Danish delight of puff pancakes.
I visited St Petersburg recently, and quite enjoyed my hotel breakfast. The pickled mushrooms and fish were supposed to be local breakie treats.
And what about you? - What is your favourite breakfast combination?
Do you eat breakfast?
Here is a selection of tasty breakfast recipes. Simple, but delicious!
Serve these delicious waffles with honey, maple syrup or ice cream... yum!
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- Find a large mixing bowl
- Add all the dry ingredients, and mix together
- Separate the eggs, and add the yolks to the dry ingredient mixture
- Put the whites in a small mixing bowl, and beat until moderately stiff; then set aside
- Add the milk and melted butter to the dry ingredient mixture and blend together
- Fold egg whites into the waffle mixture
- Ladle waffle mixture into hot waffle iron and cook
- The photo, by Ewan Swigart, shows delicious waffles with maple syrup and butter. Licensed under creative commons CC BY 2.0
An essential for the budding waffle-maker
For tasty breakfast waffles drizzled with honey or maple syrup, chocolate dessert waffles topped with ice cream, or cheese and chive waffles served with soup, try one of these great waffle makers. To buy the Cusinart Classic Waffle Maker, or to see some other models, click on the photo below.
The Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker has a nonstick round plate, which is easy to wipe clean. It makes 7-inch round waffles, divided into quarters. To make life simple, it has red and green indicator lights to show when to add batter and when it is done. The five settings allow you to produce waffles perfectly browned to perfection.
- 140 gram (1 cup) self-raising flour
- 240 ml (1 cup) milk
- 1 egg
- pinch of sea salt
- fruit (optional
- could be banana
- blackberries or blueberries)
This pan will help you make perfect serving sized pancakes.
- Put the flour, salt, egg and milk into a mixing bowl
- Whisk together until smooth
- Stir in grated fruit (optional, but delicious)
- Melt butter in a large pan over a medium heat
- Add the batter to the hot pan, a spoonful at a time
- Cook in batches, for a few minutes until golden on the bottom
- Flip over and cook for a few more minutes until golden
- Serve with syrup, honey or yoghurt
- Photo by Tom Harpel, CC BY 2.0
Do the French eat this? I don't know, but I haven't seen anyone eating it in France...
Either way, a tasty start to the day!
- Prep time: 10 min
- Ready in: 10 min
- Yields: 6
- 2 medium eggs
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 6 slices of bread
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- butter or a nice-tasting oil for cooking
- Find a flat dish to mix ingredients and coat the bread, and a flat pan to cook the toast.
- Break the eggs into the dish
- Mix thoroughly
- Add the milk and sugar to the eggs, mix thoroughly.
- If you like cinnamon, sprinkle in now, and mix again
- Dip the bread slices, making sure each side is covered with the mix
- Heat the butter (oil) in the pan
- Cook the coated bread, turning at least once to make sure both sides are golden brown
- Photo by Biso, CC BY 3.0
There are many myths and traditions about porridge... how to make it, how to eat it. One tradition was to pour it into a "porridge drawer", let it cool and set, and then cut it into slices, which could be carried around. Some like to sweeten their porridge, some not. These days, the cook can add many different ingredients, such as fruits and nuts to make the porridge more interesting. So, if you are looking for healthy breakfast recipes, try some porridge variations!
- 500 ml (about 2 cups) of water (could be half milk half water if you like it creamier)
- 65 gram (3/4 cup) medium ground oats
- pinch of salt
- fresh or dried fruit (optional)
- nuts (optional)
- Find a non-stick pan
- Bring the water (or water and milk) to the boil
- Pour the oatmeal into the boiling liquid - stirring constantly with a wooden spoon
- Keep stirring until the mixture has returns to the boil
- Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Keep stirring frequently
- Add the salt
- Simmer and stir for a further 5 (or longer depending on the quality of the oats
- Serve hot, with milk, cream, syrup or whatever you prefer
- Photo of porridge, with blueberries, by Ash the Freecycler, CC BY 2.0
No time to make porridge?
Try these tasty "oatmeal to go" breakfast bars by Quaker
French Croissant breakfast
Usually a simple meal - croissants, bread, coffee. Croissants are typically eaten for weekend breakfasts. You could make your own croissants - I give a recipe in the links, below. But, this is time-consuming and difficult, so why not take the typical French way of picking some up at the baker.
Photo by Christophe Marcheux, public domain
- Prep time: 30 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- Yields: Your choice
- Get up, go to baker, buy fresh croissants and baguettes
- Put on coffee
- Serve coffee, with croissants, baguettes, jam and/or butter
Need some help with breakfast recipes?
Whether you are looking for breakfast recipes, traditional breakfasts, or just a new brekkie idea, you'll find a great selection in Sizzling Breakfast Recipes, including:
Baked Eggs, Breakfast Enchiladas, Apple Oat Pancakes, Bacon And Cheese Breakfast Pizza, Blueberry Muffins, Cornmeal Molasses Pancakes, Egg and Bacon Tarts, Breakfast Cheese Pie, Miniature Mexican Frittatas and much more.
Quick Breakfasts by Amazon
There is no excuse...
Even if you don't have time to make breakfast, there are many nutritious breakfast snacks available these days.
Kind Plus gluten free bars combine almonds and cranberries to make a tasty and healthy snack, packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
On the web
Some links to help you identify "unknown" breakfast ingredients, and some links to help you in converting cooking measurements between continents!
- Common measurements
converting US, European and UK recipes
- conversions cups to grams
converting US, European and UK recipes
- Croissant recipe
recipe by "Kate"
- White pudding
pork meat, pork fat, suet, bread, and oatmeal formed into the shape of a large sausage
- Black Pudding
Black pudding sometimes called blood pudding is made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler. In different countries the blood can come from cattle, sheep, pigs, goats or ducks. Typical fillers include suet, fat, meat, bread, oatmeal, barley, o
- Bubble and Squeak
Bubble and squeak - traditional English dish, which gets its name from the sound made whilst cooking. Basically, it is the shallow-fried vegetables leftover from a roast dinner, mainly potato and cabbage, but could include other veg such as carrots,
Haggis, with its nutty texture and savoury flavour, is a kind of pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with oatmeal, onion, suet, spices, and salt. It is tradionally encased in a sheep's stomach, although sausage casing is
Scrapple, also known as pon haus, is a mix of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour, or buckwheat flour, and spices. It is formed into a loaf shape, sliced and fried.
- Soda Bread
Soda bread is made with baking soda, not yeast. So it's a quick and easy bread to make.
Grits (sofkee or sofkey) - a Native American food, made of coarsely ground corn, common in the Southern United States.
- Eat Eggs %u2013 not cereal %u2013 for breakfast! | Diet Heart News
An article extolling the virtues of eggs for breakfast
Do you have a favourite breakfast? Or recipe? Or breakfast story? Share it with us here, please