Tuesday 6 November 2007

Breakfast biscuit? Yes, please.

It's true, breakfast is good for you. For some, the idea of having anything more than a cup of coffee or tea is just too much to stomach in the morning. I say bring it on - croissants with butter and jam, eggs, tomato and mushroom on toast, bagels filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon, a good bircher muesli, freshly brewed stove-top coffee... the works! The thing is, I enjoy a good sit-down breakfast more than anything but it is one of life's little luxuries only reserved for those days when work and boring domestic errands are not on the agenda.

Being an "all-or-nothing" person can have some rather detrimental consequences to oneself and those in the company of. Allow me to elaborate.

I don't have trouble getting up and going in the morning but having said that, I can't deny the desire to remain in bed if the opportunity presents itself in the manner of a 10-minute-snooze-interval. Often this means running late and having no time for a leisurely breakfast, so a coffee on the go will (have to) suffice. An hour into work, my blood sugar level takes a dive, I would subsequently become a creature so cranky that truth be told, even I wouldn't want to have anything to do with me! Thankfully, my co-workers are a caring and tolerant bunch (thanks guys!), often offering me a coffee or little titbits to help me along. Mornings when I nibble on a bagel I somehow managed to toast and smother with cream cheese and jam before scuttling out my front door, a difference in my workplace demeanour is noted. Apparently, I am all smiles and full of pleasantries... like the cat that got the cream. Hmm.

So here is my solution to never having to go without breakfast (and no, I am not suggesting anyone dart to the shops and get boxes of muesli bars or cartons of breakfast smoothie which are incidentally loaded with lots of processed sugar thus causing an insulin spike which is an absolute no-no!): Breakfast biscuits!

My version of breakfast biscuits is an adaptation of the recipe found in Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries: Grand livre de Cuisine for peanut butter cookies. The peanut butter in his recipe is replaced with freshly ground salted peanuts and I added a cup of chopped dark chocolate and my favourite muesli to the final mixture. Although I don't often justify the use of ingredients in my recipes, I feel I must here because I do take the matter of nutrition very seriously. So here goes: peanuts are a great source of protein, vitamin B3 which is necessary for healthy brain function (and a common supplement found in expensive energy drinks) and anti-oxidants. Dark chocolate as everyone ought to know is now widely regarded as a health food, again, packed with anti-oxidants and a compound known as phenethylamine (PEA) which is linked to the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. The addition of natural muesli is to enhance the texture and to incorporate some natural fibre in the biscuit... also, call it sweet redemption but a little more fibre make these biscuits a little less snacky and a little more breakfast-y in my books.

The biscuit dough is utterly delicious and tastes just like peanut butter. Of course, if there wasn't such a naughty notion attached to the consumption of raw biscuit dough, you coud eat the mix for breakfast but the baked product with its crisp exterior and chewy-mealy interior, is far more portable and practical to consume on the run. Eaten in moderation, these biscuit could keep you going until lunch with random outbursts of temper in the workplace evaded!