7 Alternative Uses for an Iron That Are Borderline Genius

33 breakfast hacks that are borderline genius

7 Alternative Uses for an Iron That Are Borderline Genius

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but we often don’t give it the love it deserves. Sometimes all you need to do is shake things up a bit and follow a few shortcuts and tricks to make this meal easier and more delicious – here’s how.

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Juices and smoothies are a nutritious way to start the day but prepping can be time-consuming so, when you have a moment, chop and divide fruit and vegetables into individual food bags and store in the freezer.

Take out as and when needed, adding extras such as yogurt, water or coconut milk before blending.

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There's no cookie dough in this smoothie, but it tastes almost the real thing. Make it with dates, pecans, almond milk, cacoa nibs and lucuma powder.

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If you’re avoiding gluten or simply fancy a lighter breakfast, mash one banana with one egg and fry the mixture as you would pancake batter. The result won't be as firm as flour-based pancakes but just as tasty.

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Healthy and quick breakfast bars are one of the easiest things you can grab and eat on the go. These fruity granola bars can be kept in an airtight container for a week or you could try a three-ingredient version with just peanut butter, honey and oats.

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To prevent waste and to have a constant supply of bread for toast, freeze fresh bread on the day of purchase. Place two slices in individual freezer bags and remove as and when required. There’s no need to defrost before toasting.

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Whether you're bored with plain porridge or looking to pack more protein into your breakfast, give this red and black quinoa porridge a try. It takes just 20 minutes to make and is delicious topped with greek yogurt and fresh fruit.

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Ladling pancake mix is a messy business, so take an empty plastic sauce bottle and use it to squeeze out the batter into circular pancakes. If you've got kids, have a bit of fun – create animals, shapes or numbers that will put a smile on their faces in the morning.

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If you don't rate your drawing skills, it doesn't get simpler than using a cookie cutter as a mold for your pancake mix. This pancake recipe with cornmeal and buttermilk will hold its shape well.

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When we think of bacon, most of us imagine it sizzling away in a frying pan – but there are quicker ways to cook it. One way is to use a microwave.

Lay a paper towel on a plate and put strips of bacon, not touching, on top. Then cover with another paper towel and cook on high for around three minutes.

Transfer the bacon to another paper towel for a few moments to absorb some grease and allow to cool before eating.

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Baking bacon is another fuss-free alternative. Line a baking tray with foil and bake at 200°C/180°C fan/390°F/gas 6 for around fifteen minutes, keeping an eye on the rashers towards the end in case they burn.

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To solve the problem of rashers falling a breakfast sandwich, simply lattice them before baking or grilling to get a slip-free sandwich with bacon in every bite.

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For a one-stop breakfast, scoop out the stone of an avocado and some of the flesh to make a bigger hole, then crack in an egg and sprinkle with ​toppings before baking – think grated cheese, chili flakes, bacon bits or herbs. We also love this recipe with a chorizo and watercress salad on the side.

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If you’re cooking breakfast muffins, why make half a dozen when you can make more and freeze the rest for a later date? These apricot, chia and pumpkin seed muffins can be thawed overnight to eat the next morning.

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Bake a loaf of banana bread at the weekend and you can grab a slice before you head out the door every morning. This coffee-flavored banana bread will even provide part of your morning caffeine hit.

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Leftover fruit such as mango, berries and bananas can be diced up and added to pancake batter for a fresh and fruity start to the day.

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These easy apple pancakes replace sugar with grated apples – they're delicious topped with crème fraîche.

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Waffle irons aren’t just for waffles. Use them to cook omelets, hash browns, pancakes and even cinnamon rolls. Just be sure to grease the waffle iron first and ensure any raw ingredients, such as whisked egg, grated potato or dough, are cooked through.

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Leftover potatoes and vegetables can be transformed into a brilliant breakfast hash. Mash up the ingredients then shape into patties. Refrigerate for ten minutes then lightly coat with flour and pan fry or cook in your waffle iron until crispy and golden. Serve with a poached egg.

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Sweet potato waffles can rock. The simplest recipe is to grate two sweet potatoes and combine with two eggs and seasoning. Grease your waffle iron, then cook. Toppings can be savory or sweet: try grated cheese, yogurt or maple syrup.

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Cooking an omelet in the microwave is quick and simple. Whisk an egg, two egg whites, seasoning and some grated cheese or chopped ham, pour into a greased mug and microwave on high for one minute. Stir, then cook again on high for another minute.

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Omelets aren't the only microwave marvel you make for breakfast. Eggs just need a dash of milk and seasoning before a minute and a half on high, stirring mid-way for the perfect scramble. There's plenty more you can make with your microwave too: check out these 21 ideas for starters.

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For a breakfast that’s ready when you wake up, soak oats (jumbo oats are especially good) overnight in apple juice or a mix of water and plain yogurt. You can also add grated apples and spices such as cinnamon. Just before serving top with nuts, seeds or sultanas.

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Don't have time to eat breakfast at home? Use a mason jar for these granola pots and you've got the perfect breakfast to eat at your desk. Any type of fruit will work well, from blueberries and kiwi to strawberries and mango.

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In this delightful recipe for egg parcels, pancetta or streaky bacon rashers are used to line a muffin tin, then spinach, goat’s cheese and an egg is added to each compartment. After 10 minutes in the oven, you have an all-in-one breakfast and just a muffin tin to wash.

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If you want to skip the meat, nest your eggs in parcels made from a mix of sautéed greens and feta: filling, colorful and packed full of nutrients.

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Slow cooking isn't just for savory recipes. Start by whisking two eggs with two egg whites and a little honey, cinnamon and milk. Place triangles of bread in the bottom of the slow cooker, pour over enough mixture to wet the bread, then layer more bread and mixture. Cook on high for around two hours or for around four hours on low.

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If you enjoy dipping a chocolate pastry into your coffee, it’s easy to customize your own at home – all you need is puff pastry and chocolate chips or grated chocolate.

Cut the pastry into rectangles then again into triangles, sprinkle chocolate in the middle, then roll from the wide edge to the pointed edge and bend to create a croissant shape.

Brush with beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan/375°F/gas 4.

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Not only are egg muffins an ideal breakfast, snack or lunchbox treat, they can be made with ingredients you need to use up, such as leftover herbs or a solitary slice of ham.

Chop up the ham, red pepper, onion or mushrooms, lightly fry then place a spoonful into a greased or lined muffin tin.

Mix eggs with a little milk, pour over the mix and bake for around 20 minutes at 200°C/180°C fan/390°F/gas 6 until golden.

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Hollandaise doesn't have to be a hassle. This 'cheat's hollandaise' takes minutes: serve over poached eggs on English muffins.

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This ten-minute shakshuka uses store cupboard ingredients, making it the perfect breakfast dish to serve friends at the last minute. Warm fresh bread to mop up the tomato juice.

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There are numerous ways to achieve soft-boiled eggs but most cooks agree on these essential points – eggs should be at room temperature before being completely immersed in boiling water. Then you have various options.

Some cooks swear by a rolling simmer for 1 minute before taking the eggs off the heat and leaving covered for 6-7 minutes.

Another option is to gently stir the eggs while boiling and, after 6 minutes, place in iced water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process.

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Bored with sweet pastries and cereal? There’s nothing to stop you from eating a spicy, cleansing soup – a common breakfast dish in Asia.

Noodle soup is a healthy, nourishing and light start to the day – make a batch of the broth in advance then add the rest of the fresh ingredients when cooking.

This wonderful Vietnamese noodle soup will brighten up your morning (for something a little lighter, use tofu instead of pork).

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