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Breakfast

Fruity Bircher muesli

Fruity Bircher muesli

The original recipe for this nutritious breakfast cereal was developed over a century ago, by Dr Bircher–Benner at his clinic in Zurich. The technique of soaking the cereal, here using milk, makes it easier to digest, and also easier to eat.

Herbed French toast

Herbed French toast

Give breakfast or brunch a new twist with this savoury version of French toast, also called pain perdu or eggy bread. Triangles of bread are dipped into a fresh herb and egg mixture, then pan–fried until crisp and golden.

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

These pancakes are thick and wonderfully light and fluffy. They can be left plain, but adding fruit, such as sliced banana, makes them more exciting, and more nutritious, too. Here they are served with cinnamon–spiced yogurt and a drizzle of honey. Serve straight from the pan.

Camembert and broccoli pancakes

Camembert and broccoli pancakes

Thin pancakes rolled around a tasty filling make a delightful main course. The beauty of this dish is that the pancakes, filling and tomato sauce topping can all be made in advance, then assembled and baked later.

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Apple-berry souffl omelette

Apple-berry soufflé omelette

This light, sweet omelette should be cooked just before serving, but can be prepared up to the end of step 2 an hour ahead. It's a simple yet delectable pudding to make in late summer and early autumn that makes the most of seasonal fruit.

Sticky prune and ginger teabread

Sticky prune and ginger teabread

The texture of this irresistible teabread is a mixture of crumbly ginger–spiced cake and a sticky, sweet prune purée that is rippled through it. The teabread keeps well – in fact, it improves after being stored for a day or two – and is a good choice for an energy–giving lunch box sweet.

Goat's cheese toasts

Goat's cheese toasts

Indulge your guests with these tasty morsels, made by topping toasted slices of crusty baguette with slices of roma tomato and tangy goat's cheese, sprinkled with pine nuts and fresh herbs. Choose your favourite type of goat's cheese: delicate or strong in flavour, soft or firm in texture.

Mushroom and herb omelette

Mushroom and herb omelette

An omelette is the ultimate impromptu meal, prepared quickly and easily from a few simple ingredients. Here the classic French fines herbes version, with fresh chervil, chives and tarragon, is made even better by filling it with garlicky mushrooms.

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Apple and hazelnut pikelets

Apple and hazelnut pikelets

Pikelets are an almost instant sweet snack. The thick batter is made by simply stirring together a few basic pantry ingredients, and the pikelets cook in minutes. Here they are flavoured with diced apple and toasted hazelnuts. Top with a little maple syrup and enjoy them warm from the pan.

Bircher muesli

Bircher muesli

Fresh bircher muesli, moist from soaking and rich with juicy fruit, is a revelation to those who have only eaten dried muesli. It has the soft consistency of porridge but the freshness of raw ingredients. This one is chock–full of fruit, making it a very satisfying way to start the day.

Blueberry and cranberry muesli

Blueberry and cranberry muesli

A delicious toasted muesli, this is made from a tempting mix of grains, nuts, seeds and colourful red and blue berries. Stirring maple syrup and orange juice into the mix helps to keep the oil content down, making this version much lower in fat than most ready–made ‘crunchy’ cereals.

Orchard spread

Orchard spread

Use this rich, slightly tart, lightly spiced purée of fresh and dried fruit to replace butter on warm morning toast or muffins. The recipe makes far more than 4 people can enjoy at one breakfast, but the spread keeps well in the fridge.

Spinach pancakes with smoked trout and prawns

Spinach pancakes with smoked trout and prawns

Spinach gives pancake batter a subtle flavour and added vegetable value, while mushrooms and peas complement the smoked fish and cheddar filling. A tomato salad would complete the meal.

Fruit bread slices

Fruit bread slices

If you're bored with cereal for breakfast, try this fruity alternative. Thick slices of fruit bread, toasted and spread with orange-flavoured cream cheese, are topped with strawberries and bananas. Cut the loaf lengthwise for 2 slices per portion, or cut crosswise for 3–4 slices each.

Strawberry and yoghurt smoothie

Strawberry and yogurt smoothie

This refreshing drink is perfect for summer when strawberries are plentiful and full of flavour and vitamins. It takes only a few minutes to prepare, so is ideal as a nourishing start to the day or as a light snack-in-a-glass at any time.

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