Aaand the Winner is... Breakfast!

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Long ago, there was a war between the God of Breakfast and the Gods of Lunch and Dinner.  Lunch and Dinner tried to employ their popularity and larger amount of Facebook friends to help them win, but Breakfast was wily and used an effective profiling campaign to gain supporters, ultimately winning the war.

For this reason, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Unfortunately, some of Breakfast's less honorable methods of gaining support included the following campaign ads:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of this, and reasons including but not limited to rushing frantically out the door every morning, breakfast can be a far more challenging thing to check off our healthy eating list.

This might be you: In an attempt to make breakfast part of your life, you sit down with something like raisin bran and idly look over the newspaper. Twenty minutes later, you glance down, shocked to see something brown and mushy languishing in a bowl before you.

Its the third time this has happened this morning.

Perhaps you are wishing if you ignore it, it will go away. Or turn into a stack of pancakes. Your solutions are either to become a magician, or to finally take a step toward understanding how EASY and HEALTHY (and completely delicious) do not have to be mutually exclusive.

 

 

‘Cause, you know, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.

 

I offer you four of my favorite, well balanced, quick breakfasts that will rival whatever you’re craving.  Three can be made in minutes, one of which is take-along-for a drive friendly, and the other is ready to go out the door when you are.

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie Milkshake

 

Fall Doughnut Muffins

 

Faster-Than-Drive-Through Egg Sandwiches

 

Mocha Oatmeal (Moatmeal?)


Chocolate Pumpkin Milkshake... For breakfast

This recipe has been one of my favorites lately, because it combines my seasonal favorite, pumpkin, with a lot of other ingredients that add tons of nutrition. Say hello to our best friends at breakfast time - protein and slow carbs for filling up and staying that way longer; fast carbs, from the sugar in fruit and milk, for getting the boost of immediate energy you need when "breaking the fast"; and antioxidant/anti-inflammatory/nutrientdense guys like cocoa powder and the spices!


In a blender, combine:

  • one banana, frozen
  • with about 1/4 cup pumpkin puree,
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat (or your choice) Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened Almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 T.
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 T. oats (I'm serious!)
  • Optional: 1/2 packet no sugar added chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast(I love this addition!)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger, dash of nutmeg and dash allspice (omit if using pumpkin pie spice)

Blend thoroughly and pour into a tall glass! I like to drink this with a straw and call it a milkshake!

& I don't know about ya'll, but I am often thirsty when I wake up, and alongside some H2O, this is very refreshing.

Fall Doughnut-Muffins

If you have not yet tried the legend [... wait for it... dary!] doughnut-muffin, you certainly ought to.  The process of making these does, of course, take a bit more time than you might have on a quick morning, but once they're done, for the next 2-3 days you have a grab-and-go breakfast! (You can freeze em or refrigerate for longer if you have a freezer bag or container!)

Did I mention, they also take care of the fiber/protein/carb/vitamins/antioxidants combo quite nicely? Take along some coffee or tea and that's what I call a tasty to-go breakfast any day.

(Find the recipe on my blog here.)

Faster-Than-Drive-Through Egg Sandwiches

These fluffy little guys are a piece of cake, but they look just so darn fancy and adorable. Like a baby in a tux.

  • Get out a small (4 oz) to medium (6 oz) ramekin (or microwavable bowl)
  • spray to lightly coat the bottom with olive oil cooking spray
  • add 2 tsp. to 1 T. milk of choice or water
  • either crack 1 or 2 whole eggs and whisk or I like to buy liquid egg whites and just pour in about 1/4 - 1/3 cup 
  • the fun stuff: add any additions like spinach, cheese, basil leaves, onions, as well as lots of your favorite spices: my favorite is spinach, mushrooms, and red bell peppers, with red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic, and oregano
  • Whisk together with a fork, then pop in the microwave for a minute. Carefully take out and let the liquid egg run out around the cooked egg by gently lifting the edges with a fork, and replace in the microwave until cooked through, about 30 seconds longer.
  • Serve on whole wheat toast or English muffin, top with salsa or whatever you like! (in the picture above, I have basil and tomato from my garden in the sandwich!)

I love cooking, and I'll try to make anything, but omelets are just not my forte. Plus, they often require a lot of butter or oil to keep them from sticking to the pan, and an oily breakfast just sends me right back to bed.

This is where my days of restaurant cooking actually come in handy! Do your eggs in the microwave, where it is fast, easy and so healthy.

Mocha Oatmeal (Moatmeal?)

Last but not least is a great addition to the menu as the weather takes a turn for the chillier. Here in Tucson, it has barely dropped below 80 degrees outside, so we now need jackets.

Oatmeal: one of life's gifts to late risers and gourmands alike. Quick enough to pop in the microwave and be eating within a minute or two, and subtle enough in taste to invite the most creative flavor combinations.

If you, like me, have a bit of a sweet tooth in the morning, there's nothing like chocolate oatmeal. Of course, you can play with the ingredients, but here's my take on it!

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup or so unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T. or so unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • optional: dark chocolate chips OR 1 tsp honey/agave/sweetener

Microwave oats and milk (or water) in a large bowl, where the liquid can bubble without spilling out, one minute at a time, stirring in between minutes until liquid is soaked in and the oats are cooked. You may want to add a bit more liquid at some point as well, so it's good to check.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir! Cool until edible... then chow down!

I love how hot oatmeal makes you full and keeps you there for hours.

So don't forget: Breakfast is the hero of this story, and we want to clean up his image! Breakfast needn't be a laborious effort made in dread of the soggy wheati-os, but it should be around to jump-start your metabolism, and keep your brain from fogging over, like a car in the snow.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Bueller...?

 

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