Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Whether you grab and go with a cereal bar, sit down to a full English/Scottish breakfast, or simply start with a cup of coffee, breakfast is what fuels us for the morning struggles ahead.

Breakfast got its big break during the mid-1940s with clever marketing campaigns paid by manufacturers such as General Foods[1] in a bid to promote specialist breakfast foods such as cereal. Processed breakfast foods still remain popular to this day despite warnings about the staggering amount of sugar they contain, the possibility of GMO crops used and scary storylines including last year’s sensation about traces of the weedkiller, glyphosate, in cereal products made by Monsanto and Kelloggs[2].

A bowl of sugary cereal
The lure of convenience may not be the best start to the day.

Discovering the Link Between Mealtime & Health

Over 70 years later and the tune is the still the same, breakfast is regularly touted as an integral part of our days, not only to break-the-fast but also to provide us with the necessary energy and key nutrients as well as kick-starting our digestion and metabolic systems in the body.

A branch of nutritional science called chrono-nutrition suggests that it is not only what we eat but when we eat that is just as crucial for our bodies to maintain healthy standards[3]. Our body clocks, or circadian rhythm, is set to a daily cycle over a period of 24 hours[4].

An alarm clock and cup of coffee
Body clocks can be affected by what as well as when we eat!

Although our circadian rhythms are affected by many outside factors such as light exposure, stress and jet lag, a healthy breakfast, especially protein-rich, is believed to help us regulate our body clock which affects hormones, sleep patterns and digestive issues[4].

Of course, not everyone is the same, we’ve all heard of early birds and night owls, so it’s important to find out what works best for you and your body. Despite this, research still suggests that a larger, protein-packed breakfast is best for our body clocks overall both for health, weight management and a better-functioning body clock[5].

Chrono-nutrition can help you focus on setting a time for breakfast and see if you can notice the difference.

Top Local Breakfast Foods

Luckily, breakfast can be simple and easy as well as being a healthy fuel for the rest of the day. By basing it around a handful of ingredients, all of which can be bought locally, breakfast can become the best meal of the day. By eating these local foods you can control exactly what you are putting into your body.

Breakfast has become a ritualistic meal, where we tend to eat the same things daily. This list allows you to have a different breakfast every day of the week and help you to find your favourite.

Oats

Create delicious homemade muesli or a hearty bowl of porridge in the morning made from Heatherslaw Mill Oats. Oats are routinely touted as a fantastic way to break-the-fast with its low GI, low fat and heart-healing properties. Because oats are plain you can add any topping; sweet or savoury.

Top your muesli with berries and nut butter from The Nut Roaster. Alternatively, serve your porridge with banana and heather honey from Chain Bridge Honey Farm. Top up both bowls with full-fat milk from Northumbrian Pedigree or Morwick Dairy.

Porridge for breakfast
Oats for breakfast are the perfect way to avoid a mid-morning sugar crash which can affect the mood.

Greek-style Yoghurt

A veggie, protein-packed start to the day is a bowl of yoghurt. Yoghurt, like oats, is a versatile breakfast base. Top with nut butter or muesli. Serve with fruit or jam. You can even whizz it up into a smoothie with fruits and veggies.

Blue House Goats yogurt
A healthy start with a bowlful of Blue House Goats Greek-style yogurt.

Bacon

For those who like a classic British breakfast, you can’t go far wrong with a bacon butty. Although it is recommended to limit your intake of red meat, allowing a once-a-week indulgence of organic dry cured back bacon from Peelham Farm for your red meat treat. The bacon comes from free-range pigs and is dry-cured on the farm by the onsite butchery.

Strips of uncooked bacon
A typical bacon butty is a favourite breakfast treat!

Serve how you like it. We recommend white rolls from either Ford’s Bakers or Lough’s Home Bakery with butter and either red or brown sauce.

Eggs

How do you like your eggs in the morning? Eggs are a great start to the day boasting numerous vitamins and minerals. This is definitely the case for Border Eggs eggs which are both organic and free-range which boosts its omega-3 fatty acid content as well as its vitamin content. Consume both the yolk and white to get the benefits.

Top toast with poached. Serve scrambled eggs with a rasher of bacon or mix in some favourite veggies from mushrooms to peppers and top with cheese for a filling omelette.

Toast

Toast is one of the country’s breakfast favourites. Top your toast with many locally-sourced goodies from eggs, bacon, butter, jam and cheese.

Sourdough is the bread of the moment. Real sourdough bread is regarded as a fermented food, a food which promotes healthy gut bacteria, alongside foods such as sauerkraut and kefir.

Artisan bread
Artisan loaves from Bread & Roses near Alnwick

Try some locally made sourdough bread from Alice’s Artisan Bakery and Bread & Roses, both of which also uses locally-grown, organic heritage grain flours from Gilchesters Organics. Taste the difference.

Smoked Fish

Whether your partial to smoked salmon with a bagel, smoked haddock in your kedgeree or kippers with brown toast, smoked fish is a fantastic protein-filled way to start the day. Try kippers from world-renowned Craster Kippers from L Robson & Sons, smoked salmon from Ross Dougal or smoked haddock from Berwick Shellfish Company.

Smoked salmon on bread
Top a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon for a delicious breakfast treat

Coffee

A decent cup of Joe waiting for us in the morning is a great incentive to get out of bed in the morning. Thankfully, there are many coffee subscriptions and coffee aficionados, so a good coffee need only be a click away and at your door the next day.

Many local coffee roasters offer a subscription service including Three Hills Coffee, Mocha Mondo and Coffee & Kin, which also do compostable coffee pods compatible with Nespresso machines.

Coffee beans and grinder
From bean-to-cup. Try freshly roasted coffee from Mocha Mondo

Or visit the local roasters establishments. Three Hills Coffee has a beautiful coffee shop in Selkirk offering delicious bakes from TAE Bakery and Katy Cloud Bakery. Mocha Mondo has a coffee pod serving coffee and bean-to-bar chocolate made onsite at Amble’s Harbour Village. Northern Edge Coffee has recently reopened a small coffee shop in the centre of Berwick-upon-Tweed but also you can buy take out coffee from the roastery at the Ramparts Business Park at the top of Berwick.

The Coffee & Kin range
The Coffee & Kin and Tea & Kin range

Tea

If coffee isn’t your thing, a decent cup of tea is always welcome any time of day. Whether you like a classic builders brew or a more exotic green tea, there is plenty of choice around Northumberland.

Try a selection of loose-leaf black, white, green, herbal and flowering teas from Bari Tea in Alnwick or classic cuppa from Northumberland Tea. Tea & Kin, Coffee & Kin‘s sister company, offer a selection of loose-leaf pyramid teabags including Earl Grey and Chai Tea.

Loose leaf breakfast tea
A cup of Bari Breakfast tea will be the perfect wake-up on Christmas morning

If you like a cold brew better, try kombucha, a fermented tea, from Left Field Kombucha‘s 4-flavour range which will compliment a variety of foods. Try an Eastern-inspired breakfast, serving the zesty No 2 Sencha Green with a breakfast kedgeree.

The 4 varieties by Left Field: yunnan black, sencha green, oolong and darjeeling
The 4 varieties of kombucha by Left Field

A Great Breakfast

Discover how great breakfast can be with these fantastic local foods from around Northumberland and Scottish Borders. Share with us your top, locally-sourced breakfast meals and drinks.

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