Spice up your breakfast!

For some time now I have been having porridge (or soaked oats during the warmer months) for breakfast every day. Oats are great for breakfast, as they have all kinds of health benefits and they keep you going all morning. I feed it to my kids as well. We are like the 3 bears every morning, with my one year old having a small bowl, my three year old having a medium sized bowl and a big bowl for me! We all sit in different sized chairs as well – you get the idea. 
I prefer buying oats and adding my own ingredients to it each morning than buying muesli which often has a processed element to it, as well as sometimes having added salt and/ or sugar. Plus it is cheaper as I buy the oats in bulk. However sometimes it is easy to get stuck in a bit of a breakfast rut, eating the same thing day in and day out. The basic ingredients in my morning breakfast for some time were: Oats, chopped banana, mixed seeds (occassionally) and water (as I am intolerant to milk). There are so many potential variations on this breakfast and after some time of eating it, it was time to spice things up a bit!
So I added some herbs and spices:
Cinammon and ginger: cinammon really spices up your breakfast and it is good for you too (in small doses). My kids love it too, in fact my parents have converted as well. My mum has ginger and cinammon on her porridge, which I dabbled with for a while, but decided I just preferred cinammon on it’s own. For some time I couldn’t imagine not putting cinammon on my cereal any more. It tasted far too bland without it. It doesn’t have to be porridge either, shredded wheat also tastes great with cinammon. I don’t really eat other cereals, but I’m sure cinammon would go with most of them.
Lemon Balm: cinammon is great, but I can’t easily grow it at home, meaning it is imported (not good for the environment) and it costs money. Recently though, I made an exciting discovery – lemon balm (or melissa) is a delicious addition to breakfast (instead of the cinammon). I planted some in my garden last summer and for some time wasn’t quite sure what to do with, now however I know! I just tear up a few leaves and add it to the mix.  Dry some in the summer to keep you going over the winter. I also put some in hot water sometimes for a delicious herbal tea. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and like mint in the right conditions can be prolific. Therefore once you plant it, hopefully there will be an endless supply. That’s good from an ecothrifty point of view, as it is homegrown and after the initial investment it is free. You could also try growing it indoors or in a window box if you don’t have any outside space.
Variations: Most spices grow overseas, in fact, I’m not sure that there are any spices native to the UK (please let me know if you know otherwise), however we do have an abundance of herbs and edible flowers, which can be grown here easily. These are often overlooked as they are not commonly used to flavour our breakfasts. I haven’t yet tried them in my breakfast cereal, but am looking forward to trying, mint, lavender, basil, rose petals and violet petals.

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