Breakfast Time …. Part 4

It’s kind of funny, but actually breakfast was never my “favorite meal of the day”.  Growing up I rarely ate breakfast and it carried into my early adulthood. That was until I went to Bastyr University to study nutrition. I learned the value of eating in the mornings but I still had to work really hard on my metabolism so that I would be hungry in the morning.  I am not as good as my husband who can wake up at any time and be ready to eat breakfast, but I will say that almost everyday I wake up with a small pang of hunger.

Breakfast is still not my favorite meal of the day.  I like breakfast foods, but not really early in the morning.  I like omelets but I would prefer to eat them at 10am rather than 7am.  Most days I don’t eat breakfast food but prefer to eat soup or leftovers, especially when I am at work.  However, for the past several months, Sundays have been my day to make waffles.  I am kind of obsessed with them honestly.  I keep trying all different kinds – always gluten free – coconut flour, almond flour, rice flour, bean flours …. you name it.  It’s been fun.  Here is the recipe for my latest waffle – I hope you will enjoy them as much as me!

waffles

Healthy Oatmeal-Nut Waffles

2 c. milk (cow,almond,soy,etc.)

4 eggs

1 ½ c. almond flour

4-5 Tbs. coconut flour

1/3 c. butter melted, or oil

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 Tbs. coconut nectar

1 c. gluten-free oats

1 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Put milk, eggs, almond flour, oil or butter, baking powder and coconut nectar into a blender or food processor. Process until blended. Add 4 Tbs. coconut flour and process again. Check for thickness. The batter should be thick but not overly thick like cooked oatmeal. If it does not seem thick enough, add another tablespoon of coconut flour and process again. Add the oatmeal and nuts and stir to blend or pulse a few times in the blender to combine.

batter

Bake in preheated waffles iron until waffle stops steaming and is golden (approximately 5 minutes depending upon the waffle iron). Enjoy with jam, honey, maple syrup or fruit syrup.

The first day I made them I put almond butter on top, then blueberry puree, topped it with chopped walnuts and pecans, and drizzled on some maple syrup.  Just delicious!

This morning before tennis I had a waffle with almond and pumpkin seed butter, topped with bananas, chopped walnuts and pecans, cinnamon, and coconut nectar.  That was pretty tasty as well.  The toppings are endless….

Breakfast Time … Part 2

My last post was all about the importance of that first meal of the day, your time to break-fast.  I have been trying to convince people for a long time that eating something in the morning is the best way to start their day as well as their metabolism.  Of course my parents were my first sounding board and have had to listen to me expound on the  virtues of just about everything especially when I first came home from Bastyr University.  When my Dad was having cholesterol issues all of those years ago, I immediately went into nutritionist mode and had him start eating the “Hearty Morning Cereal.” He has been eating it now for years.  I can remember at first that I was the one going to the health food store to buy the grains, helping him to toast them, and then using the coffee grinder to grind them up.  After all these years, he has become the master.

My Mom on the other hand was never very fond of the cereal but she knew the importance of eating a good breakfast.  I am thinking that it was a few years after my Dad started eating the cereal that Anita’s friend Susanne passed us a recipe for baked oatmeal.  Of course, as you know by now, I could not leave well enough alone, and had to make a few changes.  For one, there was too much sugar for my liking and two, at that time I was convinced that too much fat wasn’t good, so we adjusted that as well.  It became my Mom’s go to breakfast and has stayed that way for years.  Every week now, my Dad makes her baked oatmeal adding dried fruit and nuts or whatever inspires him.  This recipe can be eaten warm or cold, and can be adjusted by adding different nuts, seeds and fruit.  It can be the same every time or something new and different.  Enjoy!

Baked Oatmeal

1-c. milk

3-Tbs. oil

3-Tbs. applesauce

2 eggs

3-c. rolled oats

¼ -c. maple syrup

2-tsp. baking powder

Additions: grated apple, fresh or frozen blueberries, dried fruit, any nuts or seeds you like.

Preheat oven to 350oF.  Spray an 8×8-inch pan.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Store any leftovers in the  refrigerator.

Breakfast Time

What do they always say?  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?  I do agree that it is very important to start your day with a good meal.  There are many reasons why you should not skip breakfast but two of the most important reasons in my book are:

  1. If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, breakfast is the meal that is going to kick start your metabolism. If you don’t eat something in the morning, you are wasting valuable time where you are not burning calories.  Calories in versus calories out is the mantra.  So if you don’t eat in the morning, your metabolism doesn’t start to burn calories, and now you are behind all day long.
  2. Starting your morning with a breakfast that contains some protein allows your body and it’s blood sugar to be more balanced all day long.  Try it out for yourself.  If you eat protein at every meal and every snack, you will NOT have that dip in energy in the afternoon. If you have too many carbohyrdrates in the morning and it is not balanced with protein, no matter what you eat the rest of the day, your energy will not be as even and you will experience dips throughout the day.

Experiment with it and see what makes you feel good all day long.  Is it eggs and toast? Oatmeal with nuts? Chicken Soup?  Every person is different.  See what makes you feel the best.  If you like something hot to eat in the winter time, then try out this yummy breakfast!

Hearty Morning Cereal

*This is another delicious recipe based on one in “Feeding the Whole Family” by Cynthia Lair. This was my go to cook book for a long time.  The cereal is like a cream of wheat, but more nutritious and packed with protein. You may use any grain that you like in place of the oat groats, millet and amaranth. I just like this combination because it offers some natural sweetness to the cereal. Oat groats do not contain gluten so if you are gluten free, then this combination will work for you.

½ c. oat groats

¼ c. amaranth

¼ c. millet

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup almonds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Lightly toast all of the above ingredients in an un-greased skillet. Toast only until a distinct nutty aroma is apparent. Grind all ingredients in a coffee grinder or blender, until fine. Cook 1/3 cup of the ground cereal with one-cup milk, milk alternative or water in a small pan over medium heat. Cook until thick. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Store the rest of the ground cereal in the refrigerator or freezer.

Kitchen Experiments – Almond Flour Pancakes

Breakfast has never been my favorite meal.  As a teenager into my early adulthood I always skipped breakfast.  I always thought it was a good way to control my weight and I was never hungry anyway.  Since then I have learned how wrong I was on both of these counts. Breakfast or break fast is when we kick our metabolism back into gear after a night of rest.  If you do not eat something first thing in the morning you are wasting valuable time when you should be burning calories.  And yes, I have heard all of the excuses of why you don’t eat breakfast, and I am still going to tell you, EAT SOMETHING!  If you are not hungry in the morning, that is just another sign that your metabolism is not working.  If you don’t eat breakfast because then “the rest of the day I am hungry”, please, stop that self talk and listen up.  You WANT to be hungry.  When your body signals that you are hungry it means that your metabolism is working and that you are burning up the calories that you have eaten.  This is perfect.  This is how you maintain your weight without gaining or how you actually lose the unwanted weight that has been hanging around all these years that you have been skipping meals.

Breakfast for you does not have to be what the media tells us – it does not have to mean cereal, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, or toast.  It can be whatever you want it to be.  I often eat soup for breakfast because it is satisfying and warm and delicious.  I think that because I never liked the normal breakfast foods, I avoided eating it all together.  Now I eat whatever I feel like eating that day.   Leftovers from dinner, rice cakes with almond butter, a wrap with lettuce and turkey, eggs, and then sometimes on a Sunday I just feel like pancakes.

My husband likes pancakes and waffles on the weekends when we can have a slow morning and a relaxed meal together.  I enjoy that as well.  So several Saturdays ago he asked if we could have pancakes in the morning.  I was happy to oblige, but I am not eating many grains and carbohydrates at the moment, so I went searching for something different. I love the internet because no matter what you are looking for, you almost always find something.  I found this almond flour pancake recipe that seemed to incredibly easy to make, so I had to try it.  These are so delicious.  The next weekend I went to my parents and I made them for again because I just thought they were great.  Enjoy!

pancakes

Almond Flour Pancakes

~ So you might be starting to notice something about me and cooking.  Even if I have never tried a recipe before, I almost always make some kind of change to it, well, just because.  In this recipe, you can use water instead of milk and add any fruit you like, or none at all.  The first time I made it I did not add the baking soda but the third time I did.  I think it helped to lighten them up just a bit, but that is optional as well.  The first time I made it I did not have enough almond flour so I used some coconut flour as well. The batter is very thick and the pancakes take a little longer to cook than normal flour pancakes.

1 c. Almond flour

1/4 c. Unsweetened Almond milk (or milk of your choice)

2 Eggs

1 Tbs. Maple Syrup or sweetener of your choice

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/4 c. Blueberries

Spray or oil for pan or griddle

1. Heat a pan or griddle over medium heat.  Just before cooking the pancakes spray or place a teaspoon of oil in the pan and coat evenly.

2. Whisk all ingredients, except blueberries, together in a bowl until batter is smooth. Stir in the blueberries.

3. When the pan is hot, drop batter onto the grill with a large spoon and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, about3-5 minutes more. Repeat with remaining batter.

4. Add the toppings of your choice and Enjoy!