Nowadays, I thoroughly enjoy my breakfasts, but I was not always a breakfast person. Following my countrymen’s trend, my breakfast for a period was just an espresso, until I got to the conclusion that I am not a coffee person, either. I started having breakfast again when I learned that it was crucial for the PCOS diet, as it seems that a concentration of calories in the earlier part of the day is helpful in reducing the symptoms.
Breakfast became a quiet moment with myself, a brief 10 minutes in which it was just me, the stove, and the early sunlight of 7am, and I was the first in the house to be up. Breakfast was a blessing, an intimate moment between me and my gestures: making barley coffee, making almond milk, or making tea, while toasting some rye bread or retrieving the oats from the fridge. Every single movement feels like a meditation, in which the world is calm and quiet.
Because this was an alone moment, I never thought of sharing breakfast with someone else. I did not even think I’d find someone who liked oats within a 50-mile radius. And even more so, I never thought I would ever have breakfast in bed on the weekends. But that is what happened, and I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am.
On Sundays, Enrico jumps out of bed to make me breakfast. It is usually the simple, nutritious breakfast I am in love with: nuts, coffee with some plant milk, fresh fruit, oat cookies, or whole bread with the homemade jam I made. Sometimes he might go out and grab a couple whole-spelt or quinoa brioches and cappuccinos from the nearby bakery, but most of the time he prepares everything himself and he makes a killer caffe latte. I never asked for it, and I never thought something like this would happen. But I am incredibly happy this is happening, and it is now the moment of the weekend I treasure the most.
“I’ll make breakfast for you too when we live together,” I keep telling him. “I want to make something … different. Something you never tried, like pancakes or French toast. Healthified, of course.”
Oh, what would I do if he wasn’t a health freak like me.
“You know I’d eat anything you make,” he says. “I am a lucky man.”
And I wish I could express how lucky I feel, but I’m not very good with words so I cook instead. He’s a healthy foodie too, of course!
This post is an idea from Evencki, a German company that makes these beautiful bed linens you see in the photos. I think it is a gorgeous idea, and I am super happy that I actually do have breakfast in bed now, so this post makes sense. These sheets are not only an incredible color, but they are also the softest fabric I have ever touched.
Another thing that I am featuring in this post is this incredible Innocente Barley coffee. As I already stated, I am not a coffee person, but I do love coffee made out of toasted barley. Barley coffee is a super Italian thing, but it is still not well known outside of Italy, and this Siena-based company wants to expand the trend. Theirs is seriously the best barley coffee I have ever had. If you are interested in trying it, do check them out!
I love crepes, they’re super easy to healthify and they can be stuffed with pretty much anything, and that’s why I think they make a wonderful breakfast food. Though a French staple, crepes hold a special place in the heart of every Italian. They are hardly seen as a dessert—they are more thought of as a Sunday treat to have in the morning or afternoon.
I love them stuffed with fruit for breakfast, and with chocolate if I’m feeling really decadent. I wish I could say these peaches come from my garden, but I just found out that we have four peach trees and that three of them are nearly dead. But I do have plums! So I used peaches, apricots, and plums for the filling, but you can really use any fruit you like.
I like crepes for these hot summer days. On weekends, we enjoy our alternative breakfast and head to the beach. It’s a real blessing to live both close to the beach and the countryside!
1⁄2 cup almond milk
1 scant tbsp honey
1 tsp coconut oil, melted + more for the pan
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (40g) stone-milled flour or spelt flour
3 tbsp (20g) whole rye flour
A small pinch of salt
1 large peach + 2 plums or apricots (or other fruit), sliced lengthwise
1 heaping tsp honey
The juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
½ tsp vanilla extract
Coconut cream or cream of choice, or yogurt of choice
Dark chocolate shavings or melted chocolate
Chopped nuts of choice (I like pistachios here!)
Valentina is a 25-year-old Italian ex-graphic designer who, like many designers, got seduced by food photography. She runs Hortus Cuisine, a blog where she shares Italian natural vegetarian recipes from the Italian countryside. She loves green tea, hates cilantro, and considers handmade pasta a form of art. Follow along on Instagram @HortusCuisine.