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Yogic start to the day

The morning meal, more than any other, reminds us of the essential function of food – to fuel our bodies. When most of us think of breakfast, only a few foods and beverages come to mind. But here we offer an interesting and health-filled variety to choose from (you will find many more in our Yoga Cookbook). As with all meals, the good breakfast should strike a balance between the different categories of food. Whole grains, in the form of cereals, breads or pancakes, provide a rich source of complex carbohydrates. The inclusion of fruit satisfies the longing for sweetness. Protein in the form of tofu or pulses helps to raise the basal metabolic rate, giving a feeling of energy and well-being.

Apple Fig Salad

Serves 6

6 dried or fresh figs
2 apples and 2 bananas, sliced
200 g chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons clear honey
125 ml yoghurt, crème fraîche or hazelnut spread (optional)


If using dried figs, soak them in cold water for 1–2 hours, then drain. Cut the fresh or dried figs into quarters. Mix the fruit, chopped nuts, grated coconut, lemon juice and honey together. Serve at once, topped with yoghurt, crème fraîche or hazelnut spread, if desired. You can combine it also with granola (see below).

Granola

There are many recipes for granola. This one contains no added oil, but includes a wonderful array of grains, nuts and seeds – a veritable treasure house of natural oils, minerals and vitamins! At our Yoga Retreat on Paradise Island, Bahamas, we pick fresh coconut off the trees. When opened, the coconut pulp is shredded and 50 g is toasted along with the grain mixture. Dried coconut may be used as a variation. If adding coconut, the liquid sweetener may be reduced. You can simplify the recipe by increasing the quantities of some ingredients if you do not have others. Granola can be made in advance and then stored in an airtight container in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for several weeks. To serve, simply add some milk, yoghurt or soya milk.

Makes about 12–16 servings.

175 ml maple syrup
125 ml hot water
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
300 g rolled oats
150 g rye, millet or wheat flakes
50 g wheatgerm or bran
100 g hazelnuts, almonds or any other nuts
75 g sunflower seeds
50 g sesame seeds
75 g sultanas or raisins
50 g chopped dates or other dried fruits (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 120 °C/250 °F/gas mark ½). Combine the maple syrup, hot water and vanilla essence.

2) Mix the grains, nuts and seeds in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla solution and mix thoroughly. Spread out the mixture on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 1 hour, stirring 3 or 4 times to prevent it from burning. The granola is ready when it is lightly browned.

3) Mix the granola with the dried fruit while still warm, breaking up the larger chunks as you do so. Leave to cool and then store in airtight containers.


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