Although it sounds cliché, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and unfortunately, it’s one of the first things to slip off the radar during the busy Holiday season. Fortunately there are very simple things you can eat for breakfast that don’t require much work in the morning while you’re trying to get out of the door. These ready-to-go breakfast ideas are also great for entertaining guests over the Holidays so you can enjoy your company and not feel like you’re spending hours in the kitchen.
1. Porridge/Oatmeal: The important thing here is to soak your grains 7 to 8 hours before cooking. The soaking process neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and unlocks the nutrients in the grains so that your body can assimilate them. Consider trying a mixture of gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat, millet and amaranth. One of my favorite recipes is my Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Porridge. I used this recipe by Real Food Outlaws as a starting point and then added grated ginger and apples or raisins to the mix. I then top this warming dish with toasted pecans and coconut. Yum! You can make this the morning of or cook on low in the crockpot overnight. By the way, the pumpkin pie spice from Frontier is my go to spice this time of year for porridge and healthy baking.
2. Birchermuesli: I learned about this wonderful breakfast food in Switzerland. My husband’s family there makes this regularly. Basically, you soak oats/muesli overnight in an acidic mixture to help pre-digest the oats. In the morning you add your spices, yogurt and fresh fruit. I love this recipe because you can make it the night before and it’s about done in the morning with the exception of a few additions. Quick, easy and healthy.
3. Fritatta: My body requires substantial protein some mornings which is why I love fritattas. A fritatta is an excuse to load up on your favorite veggies. Some of my favorite ones include, arugula, mushrooms, red peppers, leeks and Swiss Chard. The combinations are endless. I encourage you to stuff your fritatta with as many dark leafy greens and veggies as possible to counteract all of the nutrient depleting foods consumed over the Holidays. Add your favorite fresh or dried herbs for a special punch. I love to include fresh dill or cilantro when I can. If you can tolerate dairy, add a little grated parmesan, cheddar, ricotta or goat cheese for extra body and flavor. Make your fritatta ahead of time and keep in the fridge so it’s ready to warm up for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a nice side salad.
4. Soup: Soup is one of my FAVORITE winter breakfasts. You can pack alot of nutrients in soup and it’s a great way to get in your bone broth. Homemade bone broths pack a lot of minerals that are missing in our diet. I don’t care what kind of soup you make, but if’s chock full of veggies and homemade stock, I’m happy as a clam. The beauty of soup is that you can make it in batches and freeze it. It’s also quite packable and portable. Just reheat and voilé! Breakfast is served anytime, anywhere.
5. Dinner: In this country, we get stuck on eating “breakfast foods” for breakfast and this is just lame. We think nothing of having an omelet or fritatta for dinner so why not wild salmon and a side of collard greens for breakfast? Leftovers for breakfast are a great way to get the day started. You may have to think outside the box a little.
The bottom line is to eat in the morning and keep your mind open about what constitutes breakfast. If you’re not a breakfast eater currently, start slow. You may try a piece of fruit with a little bit of almond butter at first until your body adjusts to having food in the morning. And if you don’t fee like breakfast when you get up because you’re up before the rooster, pack your breakfast and eat it once you get to work. Your body will thank you for it…and so will your co-workers when you’re less cranky due to proper nourishment.
I have some other breakfast ideas on Pinterest that you are welcome to check out. What are some of your favorite healthy breakfasts? Please feel free to share them here.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!
In honor of the big day, I thought I’d share a recipe with you that I created last night. It was a soup full of flavor, beta-carotene and other powerful anti-oxidants. I call it, SunCarBochaSnip Soup. You’re thinking, what the hell is that, Kim? Well, it’s a yummy soup I concocted using sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes), carrots, Kabocha squash and parsnips. Hey, it’s what was in the fridge last night! As I was chopping these beauties, I realized that with all of this fiber, it must be a damn good soup for the heart – and the gut, too. So, I roasted them and turned them into a tasty, warming soup.
Want to know why these winter veggies are heart healthy?
Well, let’s start with our sunchoke friends. Full of inulin and fructooligosaccharides, these sunflower and artichoke relatives serve as a great pre-biotic for the healthy gut flora. Basically, pre-biotics feed the good bacteria, also known as probiotics, in your intestines which allows your digestive system to flow and work properly. Also, studies show that inulin helps your heart by lowering blood glucose, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. It’s also helpful with preventing the growth of certain cancers. One final note on this most romantic day of the year, Dr. K. M. Nadkarni, author of the Indian Materia Medica, says that sunchokes are an aphrodisiac and enhancer of semen production! Who knew?
Carrots of course are full of carotenoids which are amazing antioxidants that prevent cancer. They too can help with lowering blood sugar levels and their coumarin content can help prevent blood clotting. Of course this amazing root vegetable is important to eye health, lung health and the health of the body’s other surface tissues (such as the gut lining). If you believe in food energetics, this makes sense. Carrots are roots that are soothing to the digestive system and soak up nutrients for the carrot plant. The digestive system does the same for us which supports the theory that carrots are good for the gut! Anything that is good for the gut, is good for the heart, too.
Full of fiber and vitamin C, winter squash such as Kabocha are a great way to incorporate sweetness in your diet without the refined sugars. Dr. Thomas Levey, Board Certified Cardiologist and author of Stop America’s #1 Killer says the “the lower your vitamin C blood and tissue levels go, the greater your chances of developing significant heart disease.” Like sweet potatoes and carrots, winter squash are also high in carotenoids which protect your body from a variety of cancers. In addition, winter squash are full of potassium which is an important electrolyte for the heart and circulation in the body.
So what about parsnips? These tasty root vegetables are full of fiber and contain about the same amount of calcium as milk. Calcium, of course, is an important mineral essential for heart beat regulation among other things. They are a good source of potassium, too, which is an important heart nutrient. Parsnips are one of my favorite vegetables to add to soup; however, they do impart a strong flavor so keep that in mind.
So, I think you’re ready for the SunCarBochaSnip Soup recipe. Unfortunately, I don’t measure so you’ll have to improvise a bit. Enjoy!
- 1 Kabocha squash (you could substitute any winter squash)
- 5-6 carrots
- 5-6 sunchokes
- 2 parsnips
- 2 onions
- handful of fresh parsley
- stock (homemade is best, but you can also use water or a pre-packaged variety)
- 1 TBSP-ish curry powder
- 1 TBSP-ish paprika
- 1 TBSP-ish cumin
- ½ TBSP-ish chile pepper
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top (optional)
- Slice squash, carrots, sunchokes and parsnips. Place in a dish with a little bit of water and roast in the oven at 375 deg for about 45 minutes. Add some olive oil towards the end.
- Dice the onion and add to a pan with oil (coconut or olive if you keep the heat low). Add the dry the seasonings.
- Add stock or water.
- Add roasted veggies and simmer. Add fresh parsley. Adjust seasonings.
- Puree with an immersion blender.