The thing with breakfast is that it can get boring pretty quickly if we fail to use our imagination, still sleepy in the morning. But everyone who knows me well also knows that I am a sucker for breakfast, to the extent that all the other meals could cease to exist and I wouldn’t care much.
To compose a nutritious breakfast is a bit of a challenge, that’s true. We live in a world of seemingly endless supply, of unlimited options and ready-to-eat convenience foods. Breakfast cereal, neatly organised on supermarket aisles call for purchase, staring at customers through kids’ favourite cartoon characters’ eyes. Breakfast has become, for many at least, a meal that is quickly ingested, often standing or even during our morning commute, washed down with coffee or a glass of water, and forgotten about – until our bellies remind us with a loud and unpleasant rumble that, well, we are hungry again.
What if we put a tiny bit of effort into feeding ourselves in the morning? What if we actually asked ourselves what’s good for us, and tried to nourish both, our body and mind? What if we found an extra half an hour in the morning to sit down at the table, maybe with a family member or a friend, and had a meal?
‘Before we can resolve our endless quandaries about food – such as ‘where the zucchini came from and how far it had to travel’ – we should first establish the basic paradigm that at certain times, every day, we stop, we sit and we eat.’Bee Wilson, First Bite. How we learn to eat (2015)
Building small daily routines is key in establishing healthy eating patterns. Nobody can change their habits overnight, but they surely can be changed – as long as we try. Changing our attitude to food can go a long way, and with a good breakfast, eaten in a good company – our days can become a little sunnier.
I never used to eat hummus for breakfast, even though I adore it since I tried for the first time. It was always a midday snack, had with vegetables cut in thin sticks. It wasn’t until recently when I learned that it is, in fact, an inseparable part of breakfast in many Arab countries and that it is super easy to make hummus at home.
The recipe below comes straight from Iraq, and it was generously shared with me by my friend’s Mum. She hasn’t only sent a recipe, but personally supervised the making of the hummus over a video call. The quality of the chickpeas was verified, the amounts of ingredients added were checked, and the consistency approved. The resulting hummus was silky smooth, beautifully spiced and incredibly delicious – best I’ve ever had. Thanks so much, Jinan, for sharing the recipe for this super tasty hummus and taking the time to teach me how to do it!
Best Breakfast Hummus
400g tinned chickpeas (drained)
2-3tbsp cold water
1 garlic clove
2tbsp plain yoghurt
1tbsp lemon juice
1tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp black pepper
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Drain and wash the chickpeas, add to a bowl.
2. Add water, lemon juice, yoghurt, tahini, grated (or pressed) garlic clove and spices. Mix everything well with a spoon.
3. Using the hand blender, process everything until smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add a little bit of water and blend again.
4. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. You can add more lemon juice, if you like it slightly zingy.
5. Store in an air-tight container the fridge, it will keep for a few days.