We’ve had a busy few weeks at home and away, hence a lack of blogging activity. We went for a short trip earlier in the month to Darwin to celebrate my birthday and had an amazing few days taking in Aboriginal art, crocodiles, local markets, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and the Darwin Military Museum including the Defence of Darwin Experience. Not forgetting relaxing by the pool at our hotel, and plenty of eating and drinking. We had crocodile skewers as an entrée one evening on the wharf – I figured better to eat than be eaten! It tasted kind of like fish, but with a meatier texture. Pretty good, and something I’d eat again.
We ate breakfast out on a couple of days too. One was great, an unassuming little café in an industrial area on the way to Kakadu, who quickly and cheerily fried up some fab bacon and eggs. The other was a coffee place near the hotel where we were eventually served avocado and feta on toast, and Eggs Benedict. Both were rather uninspiring, the avocado overwhelmed by the saltiness of the feta, and the eggs by the sauce. We obviously felt that things could have been improved greatly by the addition of some good fresh extra virgin olive oil!
Breakfast is a much under-utilised opportunity to pack some extra olivey goodness into your day! When Australians were asked about what fats they used at different times of day it turned out that only 7% used olive oil at breakfast, but butter or margarine was used by 69%. At dinner time 86% used olive oil, and 53% butter or margarine. I think this is largely because lots of us eat toast for breakfast, and this generally involves spreading something on it. There’s no reason though why EVOO can’t be drizzled on toast. I love it with honey or marmalade. In the name of research I’ve also tried it with marmite and vegemite, and it’s surprisingly good! If you’re going to try it, you might want to start with a delicate oil. Or if you really can’t handle the thought of drizzling, then a 50:50 blend of butter and EVOO is solid in the fridge and spreads easily. I’m not a fan of the olive spreads that are commercially available, they have a low percentage of olive oil (21% maximum from what I’ve seen), which probably isn’t fresh, or extra virgin quality. And then there’s all the other ingredients…
We also use EVOO on the BBQ when we’re cooking our weekend bacon and eggs. And I’ve taken to drizzling it on my overnight oatmeal. Many people feel this is a step too far, but I like the taste! And as a bonus, research shows that olive oil makes you feel full for longer. This is true for all fats, but a European study published last year showed that olive oil was the most effective, possibly due to the aroma compounds it contains. So it obviously means a few extra calories up front, but it stops me feeling like raiding the biscuit jar from about 9.30am onwards!
Overnight oatmeal is my regular breakfast. This recipe makes enough for me for three days, and it keeps fine in the fridge for that period. I generally have a side of fresh fruit too. Whatever’s in season, so at the moment I’m just coming onto melon and pineapple 🙂
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup almonds
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp lemon zest
EVOO to taste, about a tablespoon per portion
– Chop the fruit and nuts.
– Add to oats.
– Add milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.
– Mix together and leave in the fridge overnight in a sealed container.
This makes 2-3 portions, and keeps in the fridge for three days.
I usually make it and keep it in a single large container in the fridge, but if you put it in the jars it’s a great breakfast to grab and go if you’re short of time in the morning!
I’ve added some dried cranberries to the batch in the pictures, because just as I was about to start I realised I didn’t have enough apricots!
The vanilla and lemon add a nice tang. Honey would be nice too, if you wanted to sweeten it a little.