What do you look for in a good breakfast? I, personally, look for three things: cost-effective (so you will never catch me buying two boiled egg snack pack at Tesco for a pound when I can buy a whole bunch of them and boil them at home for the same price; same goes for sandwiches), delicious (self-explanatory) and filling, because I have a whole day ahead of me, and I tend to wake up quite early.
Funnily enough, I wasn’t a big breakfast person until quite recently — I used to think it was a waste of time and calories and boy was I wrong. Not only did I start feeling better, but I also started losing weight faster and more efficiently, so cheers to that!
I try to have a bit of fun with my breakfasts, though, so I decided to try some breakfasts from around the world — and here I am, sharing my top four favourites with you!
I would lie if I say this wasn’t at least slightly biased, considering the fact that I’m Russian, BUT.
Russian breakfast fulfills all three of my demands. It’s very cost-effective, because it involves dry ingredients most of the time, unless you’re making a sandwich on the run; it’s delicious — because I’m biased, but also because usually it’s at least mildly sweet; it’s very filling, because it’s carbs and grains.
The typical Russian breakfast involves either some sort of porridge (rice, oats, pearl barley, buckwheat or even just farina — and many more — all work) made on either milk or water that you can add whatever your heart desires to, or blinchiki, which are, basically, Russian crèpes, just thicker, usually eaten with sour cream.
All you need for either are dry ingredients you can easily and cheaply stock up on — grains and some milk (and potentially sugar or dried fruit — if you’re fancy) for the former; flour, milk, eggs and, potentially sugar, unless you want to make them savory, for the latter. This is as budget as food prep gets — Russians are good at that.
Oh and don’t forget the tea. Lotsa tea. I sometimes feel like the British tea stereotypes are a lie, because all Russians I know drink more tea than all Brits I know.
Colombia & Venezuela
Arepas are absolutely to die for. Sweet or savoury, they go with whatever your heart desires, and are explicably a very popular breakfast food choice for a lot of people in Colombia. Honestly, I agree with them 100%.
Carb and calorie-dense, this food will absolutely fill you up for a while — and you could put anything in it, from the Americans’ favourite avocado, to salmon, to cheese, to spinach, to sugar… the list goes on, endlessly and limitlessly.
The downsides of arepas for breakfast are that 1) you should probably cook them from the evening in advance, 2) you probably shouldn’t have them if you’re dieting, but boy are they worth it sometimes. You can make a whole bunch of them for several days, too!
Oh, Japan. Japanese breakfasts scare a lot of unsuspecting tourists and unprepared Internet users — most westerners are not used to seeing any of the foods the Japanese pick out at breakfast time.
A typical and most basic Japanese breakfast usually involves 1) rice, 2) miso soup and 3) fish. The rest you can vary, adapt and improvise on: you can add a sunny-side-up onto the rice, can add some pickles like Koreans do to their breakfasts, can add natto (sticky, smelly soybeans) and do a lot of other things you personally deem acceptable.
These foods are a fantastic choice for breakfast because they combine all the important macros: there’s carbs, there’s fats and there’s protein. In addition, there’s a lot of fiber; overall, this breakfast will let you feel sated and full for much longer with fewer calories wasted than any pancakes or fried foods will.
It follows the preparing in advance con, though, unless you invest in a rice cooker (they can be pretty cheap, wink) and just pop the rice in there while you shower.
To cut down on the price even further, as sad as it is — substitute the fish for something else. (As I’d offered — eggs, for example.)
Okay, honestly, first of all all Lebanese food is absolutely fantastic. They have absolutely won the competition.
When it comes to breakfast they take it quite easy most of the time, from what I’ve gathered, but boy, do they do that well.
It’s a lot of mix and match, really: you can throw meat leftovers into eggs and make a meat omelet (sounds morbid but is actually absolutely delicious); you can throw chickpeas into hot yogurt with garlic and have it with some pitta bread — it’s called Fateh; you can prepare pita-bread sliders with whatever the hell you want (the usual choices include cheeses, meats and/or veggies).
My favourite (and quite lazy, I’m afraid) thing to do, however, is to just eat hummus with veggies. It’s 1) cheap if you learn how to make hummus yourself (I swear it’s so worth it — and not even that complicated) and just make some for the week, 2) varied because you can add anything to your hummus, 3) so deafeningly filling and 4) full of varied macros, including the oh-so-needed fats.