Breakfast in New York: Banana Protein Mush
Breakfast people. Let’s talk about them for a second. Who are they? They’re people who gain an inordinate amount of pleasure from eating breakfast. They’re the ones that wake up really hungry – or sometimes even hangry; the ones who chuckle (while inwardly nodding in agreement) at quotes like “I love sleep because it’s like a time machine to breakfast.”
Breakfast people are usually friendly. They’re the people whose hearts start pounding when they smell pancakes, eggs, or frying bacon first thing in the morning. They’re the people who, at some point or another, thought that the Wake N’ Bacon Alarm was actually a good idea.
You can find breakfast people regularly eyeing up breakfast menus, incapable of making up their minds because they want to eat it all. In fact, they love breakfast foods so much that they could eat them all day long – pancakes for lunch? No problem. Fried eggs as a snacks? Sure! A broccoli and cheese omelet for dinner? Let’s do this.
And they take breakfast seriously, ohhhhh do they take it seriously! You don’t get between a breakfast person and their breakfast. Heck, if you deprive them of breakfast or serve them something mediocre for their first meal, they can get (mildly but noticeably) depressed; sometimes even moody verging on aggressive.
You know how I know all this? Because I’m one of them. I’m a breakfast person. I wear that label with pride. But there’s something about me that makes breakfast tricky: I don’t like any breakfast. I actually don’t like MOST breakfasts, at least not those enjoyed by most people. I’m what some people call a ‘difficult’ breakfast person. You see, for me, breakfast needs to tick all four of these boxes:
1. It has to satisfy the tastebuds.
2. It has to be nutrition-dense and devoid of added sugars.
3. It has to feature protein.
4. It has to not be exorbitantly calorific (I want room for lunch, dinner, and a snack or two after all!)
It may sound like a straightforward list but, let me tell you, it is most certainly NOT. Not if you’re eating breakfast away from your kitchen at least, like I have been the past ten days in NYC.
Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration when you’re a breakfast person eating breakfast away from home is value – and by value I mean nutritional value and value in the sense of cost, financial cost. It’s FAR too easy to spend a ton of money eating out for breakfast! And that’s just the first meal. You then have lunch and dinner to think about and if you’re eating out then too, well… your wallet will most certainly start losing weight (at the same time as you’ll probably be packing it on, hehe).
My solution is this: make your own breakfast. Scout out a good supermarket, health food shop, or local food market, and stock up on breakfast foods to enjoy in your hotel room. That way, you can ensure you start your day not with a, “beh…. there goes that” but with a “YEAH BABY!!!!!!”
That’s how the Banana Protein Mush came about. It’s a breakfast that ticks every single box for me. It’s rich in calcium, vitamin D, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and protein! It’s free of added-sugars and gluten-free. It’s also reaaaally tasty, especially if you like mushes (you know, mushy stuff-in-a-bowl… like oatmeal).
To make it, all you do is this:
1 scoop of unflavored (or vanilla) whey protein powder
1 to 2 scoops of a nice breakfast blend – I am using this ‘cereal’ called Qi’a which is a combination of buckwheat, hemp seeds, and chia seeds! It ‘voluminizes’ beautifully and I bet you can make a very similar mix at home. I was mixing some gluten-free granola into the mix the first few days but then realized I’d rather just use the Qi’a one by itself.
Milk of choice to bind (I used vanilla coconut milk the first few days and then moved on to vanilla hemp)
1. Get a mug out or, if you thought ahead of time, an empty tupperware or plastic bowl.
2. Add your ‘cereal’ blend first – not the powder (if you add the powder first it’ll get sticky at the bottom and harder to blend)
3. Add chunks of banana. You can cut it up with a spoon into slices or, if you want to go medieval on it, you can cut chunks of it with your mouth and throw that into the bowl. It looks positively ridiculous because it involves you basically ‘spitting out’ chunks of banana so I recommend using an utensil for the job (side note: chopping anything with your mouth will immediately make you feel – and look, like you’re a mother bird feeding your young. Not a look to be aspired to…)
4. Add the powder in and, finally, enough milk to get it to the consistency you want. Then, mix it all in – carefully – and KAPOW! Ready to be enjoyed.
PS: I did go out to breakfast once when I was in NYC. I went to the Hu Kitchen and I did because I had to. The place is like a dream come true for people like me and, I imagine, people like you too. It’s ridiculously wholesome, largely gluten-free, and jam-packed with the most delicious of ingredients (hail the sweet potato, coconut oil, cocoa, chicken, and bacon). I liked the place so much in fact, that I went back for lunch the same day! And I’m going back for lunch today, after having had my Banana Protein Mush. I fly back to London tonight so I want to make sure my last meal here is a good one! So yeah, that’s it from me for now. See you all later, alligators! Will catch you from the other side with a recipe for Zeusian Protein Fluff. Sayonara.