Breakfast Doesn’t Always Have to be “The Traditional Meal”
–Branch out and incorporate last nights left-overs into your morning dish!
Many of my clients come to me complaining of “No energy” or exhaustion and they cannot figure out why. The first thing I ask is, “What do you usually eat for breakfast?” Unfortunately, this question is usually followed by a simple, “Umm, breakfast? I don’t have time for breakfast…I grab a coffee on my way to work and maybe a bagel if I have time.
Well, first off this is a huge problem. Not only do many Americans wake up without eating breakfast, they wouldn’t have the first idea as to where to start in preparing this easy meal. What many people do not know is that breakfast is the easiest meal to prepare…you don’t have to make yourself a huge omelet with fresh herbs and veggies, toast, and freshly sliced fruit…(Who really has time for that when you are running out the door for work?) There are numerous foods that can be quickly prepared and keep you satisfied until your mid morning snack or lunch time. Who said breakfast has to consist of breakfast foods? For instance, use left over items such as beans and grains from dinner the night before. Easy to prepare items such as oatmeal, wheat berries, pilaf, brown rice, grits, cream of wheat, risotto, barley, polenta, Chinese rice porridge (Congee), the opportunities are endless. You can top these simple dishes with a sweet or savory mixture. For instance, some may prefer beans (chickpeas are my favorite), cheese, nuts, coconut, all natural peanut butter, fresh fruit, cinnamon, canned pumpkin, sweet potato, dried fruits, all natural honey and seeds. These dishes can simply be prepared overnight and placed in your refrigerator until the morning where you can add a touch of your choice of water, raw milk, soy milk, hemp milk, silken tofu or rice milk. These will ensure a perfect consistency. You can also use your slow-cooker to prepare these grains in large quantities and store in your fridge for every morning of the week ahead.
Take advantage of these unique breakfast ideas…branch out and don’t be scared to try sweet on Monday and savory on Tuesday…let yourself get creative and most importantly have fun. Try to plan the week’s dinners on Sunday night and make sure to cook a large batch of your grains at night so you can be sure to have left-overs for your morning breakfast. You can even combine left over grains in the morning with some freshly made rolled oats to get a unique consistency in your dish. Moreover, these breakfast grains are incredibly easy to transport to work in a Tupperware with all of your fixings added on top…when you get to work mix in your favorite nuts and fruit for an added sweet burst of flavor and crunch!
As noted in my previous post on Whole Grains (see Whole Grain post), benefits of whole grains include reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, better weight maintenance, reduced risk of asthma, healthier carotid arteries, healthier blood pressure levels, lower risk of colorectal cancer, reduction of inflammatory disease risk, and less gum disease and tooth loss. Whew…if that list doesn’t make you want to include whole grains into your first meal of the day, then I don’t know what will….Give it a try…be adventurous!!!
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Mix and Match the following toppings with the following grains.
- Steel Cut Oats
- Brown Rice
- Wheat Berries
- Hulled Barley
- Sorghum (Also known as Milo)
- Wheat: Spelt, Emmer, Farro, Einkorn, Kamut, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheat berries
- Wild Rice
Toppings of Choice
- All Natural Peanut Butter or Nut Butter of choice (Almond, Cashew, etc.)
- Egg Whites
- Raw Nuts
- Nutritional Yeast
- Bee Pollen
- Lemon/Lime Zest or Fresh Juice
- Wheat Germ
- Beans: Chickpeas
- Fresh Herbs
- Oat Bran
- Ground Flax Seed
- Vegetables: (Cooked or Left-overs from Stir-Fry) tomatoes, spinach, onions, peppers, etc.
- Raw Honey
- Canned Pumpkin or Sweet Potato or Squash
- Dried Fruits
- Fresh Fruit
- Raw Milk, Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Silken Tofu, Oat Milk, or Hemp Milk
- Greek Yogurt
Here are a few recipes to use to get you started…
1 1/2 cups whole grain (use a mixture from the below list or one). Use gluten-free if necessary.
1 tsp. salt (if desired)
4 cups water
Place in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn crock pot on HIGH.When crock pot is hot, pour grain, salt, and water inside.Cover immediately and reduce heat to low. Cook overnight.
Note 1: If making your meal in the morning, you can simply use a rice cooker, or your stove top sauce pan.
2 1/3 cups cooked rice
Add in any of the above toppings of your choice and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. This is delicious with granola and fresh cut fruit.
Any takers? Share your thoughts and the concoctions that you have created for your morning breaking of the fast from the night before…believe me, your left overs will never have tasted better! Enjoy!