I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few days now and finally woke up this morning with the inspiration to do it!
I haven’t always been a huge breakfast person, and sometimes I still am not. Breakfast seems to be a difficult topic and a confusing one too.
Do you have breakfast? Is it good to have a big breakfast? Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
I think the simple answer to this question is: Everyone is different. When it comes to food- I don’t think there is a global, easy answer to anything because everyone’s body is so different and therefore everyone won’t shouldn’t be treated in the same way. It’s all about staying in tune with your body and truly listening to it (and I’m not talking about the thoughts in your head that may get in the way). Breakfast is important because it gets your day started and gives you the energy you need to face the tasks ahead of you. In this way, breakfast is definitely important- and something that shouldn’t be ignored.
That said, although there are lots of opinions and theories out there- it is clearly a general consensus that breakfast is important.
Our world can be so confusing now a days with so many different messages out there on what you should and shouldn’t do. The biggest thing is understanding where the information is coming from and who is saying it. SO, for instance- in North America especially, we have been told for many years now that milk is one of the most important food groups and we need to drink around 4 glasses of it a day. So where does this information come from? The American Dairy Association. Of course they’re promoting their product, so why do we trust them?
For me, my favorite thing to have in the morning is a juice or a smoothie. I’m not talking about a glass of orange juice, in a carton that was bought in the store. I’m talking about a fresh juice that has either been blended in my blender (a Vitamix- but really you can use just about any blender) or a juicer (a really great way to get a really high nutrition profile without the fiber- pretty much goes straight into your bloodstream). I like to add hemp seeds or chia seeds and/or almond milk to get my protein as well (to add to the protein I already get from the amazing vegetables/greens)!
Some combinations that I love to juice are:
Celery, Cucumber, Beets and Carrots OR Cucumber, Beets, Apple and Ginger OR Cucumber, Apple, Pear, Ginger OR
Some of my favorite smoothies are:
Kale, Blueberries, Ginger, Hemp seeds, Spinach OR Spinach, Banana, Blueberry OR Raspberry, Ginger, Strawberry, Kale, Banana
When you have company over, it’s not a bad idea to go for something that is simple but will still wow them and satisfy them (especially on a cold autumn/winter’s morning. Enter oatmeal! It is SO versatile, really simple and very satisfying. I wasn’t always a huge fan of oatmeal because it can be so filling but there is an easy answer to that predicament. 1) Don’t eat as much 2) Don’t add as many toppings.
When I was younger I’ll never forget the first time I had porridge, it was like a dream come true. My brother and I would stay at my dad’s parents (my Nana and Grand-dad) for around 2 weeks in the summer while my parents would go off on a wonderfully luxurious trip to the South of France. Our time spent with Nana & Granddad generally consisted of :
Disclaimer: it is not imperative that you read this paragraph- it is more documentation for my parents to witness what Sam and I were doing (or consuming more like it) while they were out enjoying amazing bottles’ of chateau wine and devouring buttery, classic French croissants.
waking up in the morning, eating breakfast, walking the dog, coming home and having “tea” (with a scone or rock, sugar cake), playing cards (having another tea and piece of cake), going on a walk, having lunch (sandwich, lots of cheese, butter, and english bread *it was always so delicious*), having another cup of tea (always accompanied with milk and sugar), watching tv or playing in the garden, having dinner (typical english dinner: meat, potatoes, cream, milk, wheat, peas), having dessert, and finally before bed we would each have a cookie (those smiley face cookies with jam and cream from Tesco’s) and giving the dog a bone (we would hide it for her and she had to find it).
So, you can imagine that our parents would come to pick us up 2 weeks later and we definitely (or at least I would, Sam was one of those fast-metabolism, tall, lanky teenage boys) have put on some pounds. Anyways- the point of this was to talk about the porridge. One morning Nana decided that I had “grown up” and could, if I wanted, have a bowl of porridge (I guess to her it was a mature person’s breakfast). So she went about making my porridge, which consisted of a lot of milk & BROWN SUGAR! I swear there was like 5 tbsp of brown sugar in that porridge- so you can just imagine that I really enjoyed it right?
I don’t put brown sugar on oatmeal anymore, I learned my lesson the hard way when I was younger (sugar addiction!) but I definitely am still momentarily reminded of those weeks we would spend with Nana & Grand-dad and all that wonderfully unhealthy food we would gorge into.
So why is oatmeal a good dish for guests?
What’s great is you can fix it up really fast, chop up/serve a variety of different toppings and then everyone can choose what they like and don’t like to add to their dish so it gives them some enjoyment in the creation process and they are able to customize.
This makes enough for about 2-3 people (you can adjust accordingly)
ONE combination I read about a while back which tickled my fancy is fresh blueberries and lemon (zest and juice)! Get creative!
- 1 cup rolled oats or steel cut oats (soak your oats overnight in 2 cups of water)
- 1 cup almond mylk
- 1/3 cup organic thompson raisins
- 1/4 cup dried apricots (make sure they are organic and the brownish colour- bright orange is food colouring)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey, coconut sugar or fresh fruit, dates)
- 1/2 cup organic unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Drain your oats- place in a baking glass dish or oven-safe glass bowl. Add the organic apple sauce and 1/2 cup of water
- Add your spices (vanilla and cinnamon) and stir, you could also add dried coconut flakes
- Place in the oven with a lid or foil on top
- Meanwhile- chop up your toppings: walnuts, raisins, apricots, fresh fruit, lemon rind: and place in small serving dishes so that everyone can choose their toppings elegantly
- The oatmeal should take about 35-40 minutes in the oven. Once finished- the liquid should be mostly absorbed and the oats will have expanded
- Serve the oatmeal, add toppings and top with almond milk, and devour! (Tip: Eat it while it’s still hot)
- PS. You could also add more apple sauce to it in the end. Another great topping is to saute some fruit such as peaches or apples with some coconut sugar or maple syrup or place a whole peach/apple on top of the oatmeal when you cook the oatmeal