Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Healthy Start

Sauteed mushrooms and kale on toast; Fried rice; Breakfast Parfait with fruit, granola and yoghurt  (or chia pudding) & a boiled egg.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body hasn’t refueled since last night’s dinner and deserves a good start. Incorporating protein with plenty of natural vitamins and minerals and a little whole grain (we’re not talking about factory-made cereal!) will keep you from snacking throughout the day and “compensating” for that light, or skipped, breakfast. 

Once upon a time, our breakfasts always consisted of some form of refined carbohydrate (any and all types of bread, muffins, pancakes, you name it!) and some form of dairy (think yoghurt, cheese, milk...). While I haven't let go of the grains, I do try to have whole grains, like rice or oats at the start of the day. On the occasional morning we have bread, we've been having the sprouted wheat or Ezekiel bread with a variety of wholesome toppings that are much more satisfying than a bit of butter and jam. Since I've been testing out gluten-free baking, many of the recipes call for almond flour which is a completely grain-free alternative to start the day.

The trick has been to add more vegetables to the morning.. fresh green juices or any smoothies with some vegetables blended in, are a perfect accompaniment to any breakfast. Mushrooms are deliciously substantial, and though my family would probably not eat kale with their fruit salad, I thought it was really great! I will post a few recipes for these breakfasts this week. 

Bruschetta for breakfast, why not! Avocados are healthy fats which will help sustain your appetite;
Yes, a fruit salad with chopped up kale for breakfast; 
Steel-cut oats (quinoa or amaranth porridge will also work here) with acorn squash, dried cranberries, walnut pieces, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, date sugar with homemade nut milk.
French toast made with gluten-free bread topped with caramelized apples, walnuts and currants;
Homemade granola, so easy to make and versatile, perfect for adding crunch to parfaits!;
Mini frittatas or egg "cupcakes", definitely a cute weekend brunch, with lots of kale chips on the side.

(makes 12 regular or 24 minis)
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 oz bacon or mushrooms and red peppers (your choice!)
1 shallot or green onion, diced
1/2 cup spinach leaves, chopped

NOTE: Silicone muffin trays work best with this recipe! If using standard baking trays, make sure to generously coat the muffin tray(s) with olive oil spray to prevent sticking.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, cheese (if using) and seasoning together. Pour the egg mixture out evenly into each cup (about 2/3 full)
  • Fry the bacon, until crisp. Or if only using vegetables, sauté lightly until soft. 
  • Finely chop the cooked ingredients and distribute evenly into the cups. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes for large muffins, 10-15 minutes for minis. Let cool a few minutes before removing from pan

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