Great Start Breakfasts
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 16 No. 5 September October 1999 pp. 177-179
Breakfast is important. We all know that. And good whole foods are the best start to the day. We know that too. Because breakfast comes at a difficult and inconvenient time of the day—the first thing in the morning—it's tough to be creative. Either you are still mostly asleep or you wish you were. Sometimes everyone is running out the door before you have a chance to make anything good to eat. It is hard to cook while nursing and hard to feel motivated to do much at all if you have been up all night with a baby who needed you. But cold cereal gets boring after a while. There is easy breakfast food out there. This article has some recipes good to make at the last minute and some that you can prepare in advance. Either way you can be sure you are giving your family what they need to carry them through the day.
What does your family need from breakfast food? It is important to include protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and as little highly processed food as possible. The protein and complex carbohydrates give your body fuel to burn for hours. The fruits and vegetables contribute vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. Avoiding processed food and simple sugars (like white sugar, brown sugar, and high fructose corn syrup) will help sustain your energy and mood. Often that 10:00 am dive in your energy level that sends you running for coffee or wishing for a nap is caused by running out of steam once those processed foods have been metabolized and left you with no fuel left to burn for the rest of the morning. Everyone's body is different. Experiment with what feels best. You don't need to stick to traditional breakfast food. My son likes nothing better than last night's dinner for breakfast. It is easy, nourishing, and he will eat, so we gladly heat it up. You will find something that fits your needs and your morning routine. And don't forget to look in your fridge and cupboards to see what you already have—leftovers are always a good option.
Advance planning can lead to the quickest breakfasts. If you have muffins in the freezer, homemade granola in the cupboard, or oatmeal pudding in the fridge, you don't need to do much in the morning except get it on the table at the right temperature. If that still feels like too much you can wait until the last minute and whip up a smoothie or some waffles made with mochi, a Japanese treat made from pounded rice. You do not need to eat the same cereal every morning forever nor do you need to wake up at 5:00 am to have good food for breakfast. By applying that same great nourishing instinct that led you to breastfeed your baby, you will find something that works just right in your house.
This granola recipe may be older than I am. My mother-in-law, Liela, copied it from a friend and has made it for at least thirty years.
6 C. of rolled oats
1/2C. wheat bran
1 C. wheat germ
1/2 C. almonds
3/4 C. cashews
1/2 C. walnuts
1/4 C. sesame seeds
1/4 C. sunflower seeds
1/2 C. canola oil
1/2 C. honey
1/3 C. water
1-1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1 C. raisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Oil two jellyroll pans or cookie sheets with sides or cover them with aluminum foil.
- Combine the oats, bran, and all the nuts in a large bowl.
- Combine the oil, honey, water, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan. Heat to a boil. Pour over the oat and nut mixture and mix well.
- Spread the granola on two jellyroll pans or cookie sheets with sides. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir the granola around and cook another 15 minutes or more until lightly brown.
- Mix in the raisins and let cool. Store in a sealed container for a week in the cupboard, a few weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer.
- Serve with your choice of milk, soymilk, rice milk, yogurt, or ice cream.
One of the other moms in my La Leche League Group gave me this recipe when I was pregnant and needed to eat a lot of protein. It can be made with any milk alternative, rice milk, soymilk, almond milk, or oat milk.
2 3/4 C. rolled oats
3/4 C. maple crystals or sucanat
3/4 C. dried fruit such as raisins, chopped apricots, cranberries, or chopped dried apples
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3 1/3 C. soy milk, rice milk, almond milk or cow's milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 T. canola oil
1 T. of vanilla extract or 1 t. almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Oil a 2-quart baking dish.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, maple crystals, dried fruit, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a smaller bowl combine the soymilk, eggs, canola oil, and vanilla.
- Add the milk mixture to the oat mixture and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for about an hour or until the center is firm to the touch. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Morning Glory Muffins
A local market makes muffins like these. I improvised this recipe. They taste the same and now I don't need to get dressed to eat them.
1 C. canola oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 C. grated carrots
2 C. grated apple
1/2 C. raisins
1 /2 C. walnuts or pecans
1/2 C. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 C. finely chopped pineapple or one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/3 C. unbleached white flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 1/4 C. maple crystals, rice syrup crystals or sucanat
1 T. cinnamon 1 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves 2 t. baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Oil 1 12-muffin tin for huge muffins or 2 tins for smaller muffins.
- In a large bowl mix the oil, eggs, carrots, grated apples, raisins, nuts, coconut, pineapple, vanilla.
- In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Combine and spoon into muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Store one day on the counter, three days in the refrigerator, or a month in the freezer.
Smoothies are the most versatile and forgiving breakfast around. Any kind of juice works. If you don't have juice any kind of milk will do. Any kind of fruit is fine. The bananas are the only necessary ingredient. They give the smoothie its smooth texture. You can freeze peeled bananas to store them longer.
6 strawberries, frozen if the bananas are not frozen
1/2-3/4 C. of apple juice
1 T. of protein powder (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a blender. Put the lid on and blend until the smoothies are liquefied.
1 mango peeled and chopped,
or frozen mango pieces
1 peach peeled and chopped or frozen pieces
1/2-3/4 C. apple juice
Put all the ingredients in a blender as above.
1 T. carob powder (or chocolate if you are feeling decadent)
1 T. maple syrup
1/2-3/4 C. soymilk or rice milk 2 ice cubes
1 T. protein powder
Put all the ingredients in a blender as above.
Mochi is a Japanese treat that comes in a flat rectangle. It is sold in Japanese markets and in the refrigerated section of most health food stores. If you don't have an electric waffle maker you can just cut it into cubes and cook it in your oven at 350 degrees until the pieces puff up.
One package of mochi for every two people. Can be served with maple syrup, apple sauce, jelly or other favorite toppings.
- Preheat a waffle iron.
- Slice the mochi into 1/2 inch wide strips. 3) Line the waffle iron with the mochi strips and cook until puffy on the inside and crisp on the outside.
- Serve with any toppings you can think of or make into sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly.