Saturday, June 9, 2012

Busy Morning Breakfasts

Breakfast = Break the fast. As long as you aren’t participating in ‘Fourth Meal’ (I’m hoping you don’t even know what this is), breakfast should be the first opportunity of the day for a healthy meal (well even if you did have Fourth Meal, this still holds true). Breakfast can be quick, easy, and good for you. You’ve heard before it’s the most important meal of the day (studies have shown improved cognitive function and maintenance of a healthy body weight), so here are some ideas to help you get off to a greeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaat start!

If you don’t have time in the morning…
Make sure you have some staples on hand that won’t take more than a few seconds to serve up. Eat at home or you can put cold cereals in pyrex/gladware, grab a spoon and single-serve milk and enjoy while you get settled into work (or during carpool). 

Cold Cereals:
  • Select a breakfast cereal with roughly 5g fiber per serving and at least 5g of protein to keep you satiated and power through until lunch. Options include- Barbaras High Fiber Cranberry, Quaker Squares, Cascadian Farm Organic Hearty Morning Fiber, Yogi Products Walnut Spice Crunch, Peace Cereal Blueberry Pomegranate Crisp, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and Smart Start Healthy Heart.
  • Or try a low-sugar cereal such as Cheerios or Rice Chex and add nuts or berries to boost the nutritional punch in your breakfast bowl. Sorry, Tony the Tigers’ Frosted Flakes didn’t make the cut.

If you can prepare the night before:  
  • Hard-boil eggs in a batch and keep in the fridge for several days.
  • Yogurt parfait- Select a low-fat or soy yogurt (with no added sugars) and top with fresh berries, sliced nuts or seeds, and even a high fiber cereal (see cold cereal suggestions above).
  • Seasonal fruit bowl tossed with shredded coconut, lime juice, dried berries, seeds and nuts.
  • Trail Mix: Create your own using nuts (soy, tree), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin), dried fruit, and high-fiber and high-protein breakfast cereals.
  • Warm cereals can be made the night before and reheated in the am. Experiment with various grains such as millet, rice, buckwheat, oats, amaranth or quinoa. You can simmer in water or milk (cow, rice, almond, soy, hemp) and once cooked sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, raisins, currants, plum, dates, apple, pear, nuts/seeds as desired.
  • Quinoa Cereal

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry or strawberry)
1 tablespoon hempseeds

Place water, quinoa and spices in saucepan and stir gently. Turn heat to high until just bubbling, then cover and reduce to simmer for approximately 15 minutes. After cooking time is complete and water has been absorbed, remove lid and fluff lightly with a fork. Add honey, berries and hempseeds and stir gently to combine. May be enjoyed warm or cold. Serve over yogurt if desired.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes total
Yield: 4, 1 ¼ cup servings. 
Original recipe by Tarynne L. Mingione, 2012.

If you have a minute in the morning…
  • Berry and soaked nut smoothie.
  • Toasted rice or whole wheat bread with nut butter and fruit spread. Add a glass of real OJ to the meal.
  • Rice crackers and hummus. Hey, nobody is going to judge your breakfast if you have it at home.
  • Munch on rice cakes, sliced apples, bananas, carrots or celery dipped with almond/cashew/sunflower/macadamia/soy nut butter as you prepare for the day.
  • Warm applesauce sprinkled with toasted nuts, cinnamon and touch of nutmeg.

If you have 2 minutes but want more of the “feels like Sunday” effect ……

  • Baked mochi with jam, nut butter, honey, hummus, or avocado, etc.
  • Quesadilla: Whole wheat tortilla filled with low-fat cheese, chicken and tomatoes topped with salsa and shredded cheese.
  •   Breakfast Burrito: Leftover meat/beans/gluten-free grains with onion, spinach, and scrambled eggs wrapped in a whole grain tortilla and topped with salsa and cheese
  • Scrambled eggs with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper.  Add a slice of whole wheat toast and real juice.
  • Crepes: Sweet rice or wheat flour crepes folded over fresh berries and sprinkled with honey, nuts and a pinch of powdered sugar.
  • Pancakes/Waffles: Batter can be mixed the night before and stored in the refrigerator. Add mashed banana or ground flaxseed/almond meal into the mix. Once cooked, top with berries, real maple syrup and honey.

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