Sunday, October 9, 2011

6 Delicious and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

 (Steel-Cut Oats, Honey Yogurt, Peaches, Blueberries, Cinnamon & Nuts)
You've all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there are a lot of reasons why this is true. One is that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who skip it, since if you skip breakfast, you are more likely to over-eat later on, and more likely to eat less healthy foods when your blood sugar gets too low. A second reason is that skipping breakfast is also linked with poor memory and concentration - so on top of feeling hungry, you could be finding it harder to focus, study, get things done at work, etc. It's also sometimes really confusing trying to sort out what breakfast foods are actually healthy, and which ones are just marketed as being healthy. One of the foods that frustrates me the most is breakfast cereals. Many of them have a ton of added sugar, and are heavily processed, which strips the food of many of the nutrients they originally had. So when they advertise that the food is "enriched" with all of these vitamins and minerals, it might just be replacing what you would be getting if you just ate healthy, un-processed foods instead. It makes me so angry that companies can market foods as healthy, espeically to parents and children. Then on top of that they target children with the branding, free gifts, competitions, puzzles and so on.

But on a happier, healthier note, here are my current favorite breakfast ideas, and I have started making extra most of the time so that I eat half before leaving the house, and then eat the rest at morning tea/break.

6 Healthy Breakfasts I Love:

1) Steel Cut Oats with Plain Yogurt mixed with honey, blueberries, peaches, cinnamon and cashews is the ultimate power-packed breakfast. You can also use regular oats, however I have recently discovered steel cut oats - they are unrefined, whole grain groats (the inner potion of the oat kernel) and have a more dense, creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavour. In Christchurch, I found them at Piko Wholefoods. They take a bit longer to cook than regular oats (about 30 minutes) so if you are in a rush, regular rolled oats or even instant oats are still good options.

2) Cherry & Vanilla Granola with Plain or Honey Yogurt. This is my new, all-time favorite breakfast - it's so good it helps me get up in the morning just because I look forward to it! Liberty Market in Christchurch packages their own granola mixtures so there are other flavors as well, but this one is my personal favorite. It's really reasonably priced as well.

3) Buckwheat Puffs with Rice, Hemp or Almond Milk. This is a breakfast I have started to eat when I need something quick, or when I just want a snack. Some of you may be thinking that buckwheat cereal doesn't sound very appealing, and I thought this too at first. It does take a bit to get used to, just because we're so used to those sugar-filled cereals, and of course, milk. But it is just another thing that I have found gets better each time I eat it. Buckwheat is also a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. 

4) Scambled Tofu or Scrambled Eggs and Toast.
I always find I feel full for a lot longer when I eat eggs with breakfast (although I am not currently eating eggs after finding out I am allergic to them). You can add some olive oil, your favorite veggies (I like onions, peppers and mushrooms) and eat them with some whole-grain toast or gluten-free toast, which works well since most of the gluten-free bread I've had so far tastes a lot better toasted. I like to have toast with peanut butter or sunflower seed butter and jam, but people here seem to think that is weird!

5) Bean & Rice Breakfast Bowls. This one might sound a bit un-conventional, and this is a recipe I found from one of my favorite websites:  Nourishing Meals . It includes a recipe for spicy avocado sauce to go with it. Bean and Rice Breakfast Bowls . This recipe is free from eggs, soy, gluten and dairy and they said they were getting requests for breakfast ideas free of these ingredients, which sounds pretty tricky! As I mentioned, it may sound unconventional, but to many cultures these are food staples that they eat every day, and it is a really healthy and filling option for breakfast.

6) Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes. This is a good recipe for week-ends since I would never be organized enough to make something like early in the morning. This is another recipe I found on  Nourishing Meals  They have a slight hint of nutmeg and cinnamon, and are delicious with maple syrup. A nice tasty and healthy weekend breakfast, and you can add other things on the side such as yogurt with honey or a fruit bowl. Also very nice with a good cup of coffee or fresh orange juice.Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration to make some healthy and tasty breakfasts. I know they are not for everyone, but for those of you who are looking to make some healthy changes to your morning routine, taking the time to take care of yourself and make a nourishing meal is a great place to start :)

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