Breakfast: Off to a Great Start

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet the standard American breakfast of cereal, or a bagel and sugar-yogurt, or nothing(!) leaves much to be desired. Mainly protein and good fats.

Since my husband and I discovered a couple years ago that we both have a tendency towards hypoglycemia, we’ve revamped breakfast with more protein and are feeling the benefits of more stabilized blood sugar through the morning.

Here are a few menu suggestions:

Good Morning Smoothie
This is my husband’s daily standard: it’s fast, easy, totally portable in an insulated cup, and tastes delicious. (Who wouldn’t like waking up to a milk shake? OK, it’s not a milk shake, and doesn’t even have sugar in it, but it is that awesome.) Get my recipe here.

Oatmeal with a Sausage Link
This is a standard in our house for the kids, and I often join them. We buy organic rolled oats in a 20 pound bag from Azure Standard, and it’s only pennies a day for this breakfast mainstay.

To reduce the anti-nutrient phytic acid, most grains should ideally be soaked or sprouted before use. (Read this article Be Kind to Your Grains, and Your Grains Will Be Kind to You.) I like to soak my rolled oats covered by an inch of filtered water overnight in the pot I will cook them in; this also helps them cook up a little faster in the morning. I add Course Sea Salt (the grey, moist kind) from Trader Joe’s and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, and cook them on medium heat, stirring until all the water is absorbed. We then top with raw honey, and when I’m feeling like a really nice mommy, pecans and dried cranberries, or raisins, and/or butter, and/or freshly ground flax seed.

When we add sausage as a protein to this meal, I like to look for a natural chicken sausage, like the delicious Isernios one that Trader Joes carries. Since pigs are scavenger animals, they tend to have much greater amounts of toxic buildup in their meat than chicken and beef. We aren’t a pork free home (my German-heritage husband holds the line there!), but we do try to limit our intake.

Soft Boiled Eggs, Sausage, Toast
Like many Americans, I was very familiar with the greasy “bacon and eggs” breakfast, but had never tried a Soft Boiled Egg until I met my future parents-in-law, who are German. Not being a fan of straight from the shell hard-boiled eggs, I was delighted to find that I really liked this new version . . . or rather, a very old version, still enjoyed daily in many areas of Europe. Read my recipe for Soft-Boiled Eggs here. The gentle cooking of the egg yolk preserves the Omega3 and Omega6 essential fatty acids (good fat), which can be destroyed by heat.

Add a couple of links of chicken sausage, and sprouted-grain toast, and you’ve turned the greasy American breakfast into a good fat/protein/complex carb powerhouse meal! (Hint: dip the crusts of toast into the egg yolk…yummy.)

(Why sprouted grain toast, not “whole wheat” toast? Read the article Be Kind to Your Grains, and Your Grains Will Be Kind to You. Sprouted grain breads are easily found at Trader Joes or other health food stores. They are whole grain, but often not as dense as “whole wheat” bread.)

High Protein Waffles

This waffle recipe has fast become a favorite at our house. I love it because it is a healthy soaked whole grain, gluten free*, full of protein start to the day. My husband and children love it because you would never know that it is healthy, gluten free, or full of protein; it just tastes light and delicious.

8 thoughts on “Breakfast: Off to a Great Start

  1. Hi Bronwyn – glad to have this link and it will be fun to get your expertise on things šŸ™‚ I really should just call and talk to you once in awhile, sometimes I feel the need to talk to someone who understands the mixed up confusion of trying to feed their family for pennies, trying to nourish the little (and big) bodies,while at the same time avoiding so many common foods that I have always viewed as nourishing because of allergies. I know that all that you do is heavily researched and practically tried and I appreciate you taking the time to share it.
    Thanks,
    Kristi

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kristi! I know, meal planning can get tough, and then boring! One goal I have is to find just one fantastic recipe for those “exotic” foods that don’t often make it into our diet (quinoa, kale, etc.) so that we love varying our diet. There are lots more foods that I want to add to my repertoire…I would love to get YOUR recipes. We should definitely talk sometime! ~BD

  2. Bronwyn,
    When you get ready to cook your oatmeal after letting it soak overnight, do you add more water to the pot? I have made what we call porridge by soaking oatmeal in water and a little bit of yogurt in a non-metallic covered bowl overnight and then cooking it (with added water) in the morning. It definitely changes the texture of the oats and cooks up much quicker than regular oatmeal. Your version sounds super yummy and easy to do!
    Julianne

    1. Julianne, I’ve tried a recipe like the one you are describing, from the cookbook Nourishing Traditions, which I highly respect for it’s research. (Maybe your recipe is from there as well?) However, we found that the oatmeal had a sour flavor in the morning, and honey just made it sweet and sour. My kids refused to eat it, so I’ve just gone to water soaking. I can tell it changes the oats, and I believe it does help with digestibility. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research about which grains need soaking for how long/with acid or not. I’m just glad my children love this version rather than stick up their noses at it! šŸ™‚
      I don’t usually measure my oats and water, but I did last night so I could tell you: I used 1.5 cups oats and 4 cups water for soaking. There was plenty of water left for cooking this morning. They cook up soft, almost fluffy. That fed 4 of us. Butter on top helps us assimilate the vitamins in the oatmeal, and makes it super yummy too. Hope it works for you! ~BD

    1. Depends on what kind of sausage. If it is already fully cooked (like many of the flavored chicken sausages packaged like hot dogs), then I just heat it up/brown the skin a little in a skillet on medium heat. Hot dogs I heat in a saucepan with a little water at the bottom to steam them (they are already cooked). If it is raw (like raw chicken sausages on a tray), I heat them in a skillet on medium low with a lid over the top, then remove the lid near the end of cooking to allow the exterior to get a little crispy. I’m a little paranoid about eating raw sausage, as it likely has bacteria *inside* the ground meat, so I kind of cook it to death…medium low so I can cook it a long time.

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