I was excited that after only a few days of Penny’s Recipes being started, I was invited to be involved in a ‘Healthy Breakfast’ Event as part of a number of activities taking place over three weeks, to help demonstrate a breakfast that goes beyond a bowl of cornflakes.
Being a recent convert to home made breakfasts having recently become more aware of the heavy processing involved in breakfast cereals, I was really excited to be involved. It also encouraged me to do more research in to the origin of breakfast cereals. Kellogs has become a name so integral to our British culture and breakfast, it’s hard to recognise it’s only been around for little over 100 years.
History of Cereals
The first breakfast cereals were developed in the United States. In the 1880s the Kellogg brothers, in their quest to find good high fibre food invented Cornflakes by happy accident in 1884. Quaker Oats registered their trade name in 1877 and Granola (originally Granula) was invented in 1863 by James Celeb Jackson although his version required soaking overnight. Grape nuts was also developed around this time by Charles William post in 1897.
Muesli was developed around 1900 in Switzerland, by Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a doctor, for the benefit of his patients. So, as often happens a number of developments were happening at the same time. I wonder what any of these pioneers would say at the seemingly infinite varieties of breakfast cereal available on the supermarket shelves today. It has to be said that their inventions bears little resemblance to these, the majority having added sugar and salt and much of the goodness and fibre extracted.
More On The History Of Breakfast Cereals
For a detailed look at breakfast cereals, read the book called Eat Your Heart Out by Felicity Lawrence. She talks about the history and nutrition (or lack of it) in the cereals as well the energy that goes into making them. Makes interesting reading for anyone who is concerned about their diet, their carbon footprint, their wallet or the planets resources.
Breakfast cereals have entered our culture so that a very high percentage of households have a selection of manufactured cereals as their breakfast choice – potentially without ever considering any alternatives. There are some very healthy alternatives to these and some are also easy to prepare and are likely to leave you feeling fuller for longer. Such healthy breakfasts as porridge made from oats, eggs, muesli and of course toast made from home made bread. Does that sound better than a bowl of Frosties?
A Healthy Breakfast Event
The Breakfast Event at Spacex Gallery in Exeter this morning got off to a slow start with just one initial visitor who happened to be visiting from Australia and heard about the possibility of a free breakfast! She certainly appreciated a cup of tea and some discussion about love, life and hope.
However it was not long before a local walking group decided to divert their planned exercise and experience the healthy breakfast on offer. So we had some delightful company from people who understood the importance of a good nutritious start to the day!
Appreciating the good bread from the Real Food Store, and the opportunity to make their own muesli mix, they were also found tucking into the Banana Breakfast Cereal Bars – and requesting the recipe, much to my delight!
The event really showed that breakfast does not have to be a manufactured cereal but good simple foods such as oats, raisins, coconut, almonds and seeds make the best days beginnings you could wish for. Not to mention some excellent conversation! After all, we all know that it is the most important meal of the day and I for one, would not feel happy without starting the day right with some good food – even though I only have to travel as far as my desk in the room next door to the kitchen!
We wished the group a happy walk on this sunny morning, as they left after enjoying their healthy breakfast, to begin their quest to seek out Elane Goodwin mosaics in the city.