Growing up in 1980s Ireland, breakfast generally involved cereal from a cardboard box, sometimes with the added bonus of some kind of toy hidden inside. Sometimes with a side of toasted slice pan, or perhaps, a boiled egg. And always with a cup of tea.
In reality my routine has changed little in the last three decades. Breakfast comes in a bowl midweek, porridge hot or cold, depending on the season. At weekends, when there’s more time for food preparation and lolling over a meal, eggs are usually on the menu.
But in an era of food as a fetish, even the humble breakfast isn’t safe. Porridge with milk and maybe some apple or raisins to liven it up a bit simply doesn’t cut it these days. No, breakfast now comes with unpronounceable ingredients like acai. And, by decree of Instagram, must be green.
I’m as guilty of jumping on a bandwagon as the next person, and I do like trying out new ingredients or recipes. But when it comes to breakfast, I’m very much a creature of habit.
Which is why, I’m not convinced on the merits of a smoothie for breakfast. And definitely not if it comes in a bowl. Why would you want to eat a drink with a spoon?
But, I capitulated last week due to unseasonably hot weather and the allure of something resembling an ice-pop for breakfast. My first attempt at a smoothie bowl was a blend of frozen berries, milk and oats. Next I added some nuts, more frozen berries and coconut.
It was very refreshing, but not very filling. Another sticky hot morning encouraged me to have another go, this time with raspberries, oats, cashews and lime zest.
I’ll agree with Instagram on one thing. Smoothie bowls look lovely once tarted up with nuts and so on. A very pretty breakfast. But my ideal breakfast is less pretty, more filling.
I remain devoted to porridge.