Susan, her partner and baby daughter live in Glasgow where they live an active lifestyle taking part in regular park runs and events. However, aware that a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about exercise but what you put into your body too, they were happy to become our first Scottish Watercress Ambassadors. Over the last eight weeks they have updated us on how they have incorporated watercress into their diets and that of their baby. This time Susan turns her thoughts to breakfast…..
Week 8 Day 1
Looking at our diet and lifestyle since the beginning of the year, it’s fair to say we’ve been pretty healthy. For advent, I decided to set myself the challenge of running at least 5k a day and I’ve kept this going all the way through Christmas. Currently I’ve managed 55 days straight. And in terms of food, because we’ve had the challenge of a weekly delivery of watercress, we’ve been eating a balanced diet. Most of the time!
Breakfast, my favourite meal of the day is one place where it would be easy to make healthy swaps. But we get stuck in our habits, whether they’re good or bad, and this is one area where I’ve avoided change.
Now, there are days when nothing will cut it like a bowl of cereal. The re-hydrating effect of the milk with the satisfying crunch of the cereal when it’s been left for just the right amount of time, can’t be too bad for the soul, all things considered. But, when I started serving shredded wheat to the wee one, washed down with a buttered slice of white toast, I realised I was looking at a plate of beige carbs without so much as a vegetable in sight. It was definitely time for a change.
The easiest way for all of us to improve our diet, was with our weekend breakfast or brunch. Typically, after our Saturday parkrun, we come home, shower and have a relatively healthy mixed grill. Now, being Scottish, one of our weekly treats is a couple of potato scones. These are thin potato cakes made with a mix of mashed potatoes and flour then fried in vegetable oil.
I was excited to discover this recipe for Warm watercress potato cake with poached egg and trout from The Watercress Company
I added a cup of wholemeal flour to make the cakes more like the traditional tattie scones. Typically you roll out the dough, lay a dinner plate over the top and cut around with a knife. This gives you four triangles which you cook in a large frying pan. But, for speed, I just rolled them into circles and flattened them by hand. Breakfast is meant to be a lazy meal, after all! The result was a little thicker than I was used to, more like a fishcake. But the wee one didn’t seem to mind.
Week 8 Day 2
The next day, I continued with the theme and we scrambled some free-range eggs. In the past I’ve toyed with adding wilted spinach to my egg but I really prefer it to be plain and I would rather add a garnish. I don’t think that spinach does much for the taste of the egg. However, because watercress has a nice peppery bite, it works well with either a sausage or a scrambled egg sandwich.
Week 8 Day 3
So what did I do next day with the leftover baguette? I toasted it and had a couple of caramelised onion sausages and some more watercress. Add in a generous serving of cherry tomatoes and that’s two of your five a day before it’s even light outside. Not bad.
So our breakfasts have gotten noticeably healthier. Although, rather than eating sausages, the wee one is loving the watercress pancakes that I made and froze a couple of weeks ago along with some poached apple and pear. I’ve also made a watercress and cheese soda bread after she decided she didn’t like yogurt and I had a pot to use up.
It’s funny that, even though I wouldn’t ever think of adding a bag of salad onto the side of my breakfast plate, I quite enjoy eating watercress in the morning. And who’d have thought that four months after we first introduced it to our diet, we are still finding new and exciting things to do with this versatile vegetable.
If you’re looking for something even quicker to pull together for breakfast, look no further than this fabulous Watercress, Mango and Pineapple Smoothie from Keri Astill-Frew at The Watercress Company. You couldn’t have a better start to the day!