One of my favorite things about having houseguests is making a warm breakfast in the morning, preferably something that fills the kitchen with its delicious aroma and entices everyone out of bed — think spices, coconut, vanilla and pears. Ideally the breakfasts I make can be prepped the night before and baked fresh in the morning.
In this week’s news: You now have another reason to scarf down your yogurt; breakfast’s importance is called into question; and heavy drinking may be especially risky for women.
Sometimes, warm freshly baked bread for breakfast is all you want — ideally made from dough that doesn’t involve activating yeast or kneading. You want bread that’s mildly sweet, but not cakey like muffins or a banana bread, and goes perfectly with a cup of tea. This gluten- and dairy-free skillet cornbread fits the bill and also happens to be perfect for lazy mornings — especially if you have leftover cooked squash to stir into the batter. This bread can be enjoyed with a pat of coconut oil if you want to keep it free of any dairy, otherwise a little butter melted in is pretty good. The scallions added to the batter may make you consider serving this with dinner, and they can certainly be left out if you want to serve it with jam. Either way, be sure to enjoy it warm.
Chilly fall mornings call for piping hot breakfasts. This porridge fits the bill and the added spices make it all the more invigorating. If you’re looking to change up your morning oatmeal routine, give amaranth a go. Though it takes a few extra minutes to cook, its mild, nutty flavor and nutrients make it well worth the time. It also maintains a slight crunch after cooking. Although amaranth is one of the smallest grains around, it also happens to be one of the highest in protein. Topped with toasted pecans and chopped dates and served with a splash of almond milk, this breakfast is sure to keep you going until lunch time. Read more
Muffins have a bad reputation of being very high in calories, fat and sugar. While many store bought muffins carry a hefty amount of calories — typically around 400 or more each, you can easily fit them into a healthy eating plan.With a little planning and a good recipe, muffins can also bring together highly nutritious ingredients like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Here are five healthy muffin recipes to fuel your mornings throughout the fall. Read more
Many people who crowd into chef Zoe Nathan’s Huckleberry Café in Santa Monica come for her phenomenal morning pastries and baked goods, including the likes of chocolate-almond muffins, blueberry scones and lemon-kumquat teacake. But Nathan — who is a veteran of San Francisco’s cult favorite bakery, Tartine — was actually trained as a chef, not a baker, and cooked at restaurants like bld in Los Angeles and Lupa in New York City before convincing her now-husband and business partner Josh Loeb to hire her as a pastry chef at his restaurant Rustic Canyon. “I had never done desserts before,” she recalls. “At Tartine, I had done breakfast breads and lots of savories, so I kind of lied and told him I had pastry chef experience, and then when I got the job, I had to go to my parent’s house to teach myself how to bake!”
Hey, Kids: Do Try This At Home
Parents encouraging kids to reach for fruits and vegetables may frequently find their efforts undermined by a barrage of marketing that lures young eaters toward chips, candy, sugared cereals and other less-than-healthy snacks. But some marketers and grocers, including Wal-Mart and Giant Eagle, are now ramping up the appeal of healthier snacks by deploying colorful, kid-centric junk-food-style packaging and signage in the produce aisles. The CEO of Giant Eagle told NPR that when she first heard about the kid-oriented produce-section snack stations, she thought, “This is a win-win.” Apple slice, anyone? Read more
In an effort to reduce sugar and sweeteners in general, I recently decided to divert my craving for granola by making toasted muesli. (It’s true that granola can be made by baking the oats in just oil, but I find the mix looks a little lackluster without the shine of maple syrup.) Since plain old muesli was not going to suffice, I decided on toasting it. Getting a rich golden color on the oats is the key to yielding a granola-like result without oil, sugar, maple syrup or honey.
The toasted oats and seeds taste delicious with large shards of fragrant coconut and buttery macadamias. Adding fresh sliced figs and berries adds juice and a subtle sweet flavor to the mix. The muesli stores well (up to three weeks) and will see you through many mornings.
A study published earlier this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that skipping breakfast doesn’t affect weight loss in dieters. But if you think the findings offer permission to skip breakfast, think again.
Researchers examined the effect of skipping or eating breakfast on weight loss in 309 healthy overweight and obese people who ranged in age from 20 to 65. One group ate breakfast before 10 a.m., while the second group didn’t eat anything before 11 a.m. A third group consisting of 44 people who normally skipped breakfast and 52 people who normally ate breakfast were not given any instruction.
The study found that eating or skipping breakfast did not affect weight loss one way or the other. But does it truly not matter if you bypass breakfast?
… your mom is on a whole-grain kick: Blueberry Almond French Toast (above)
When it comes to brunch, you just can’t beat French toast — and lucky for you, this one is a cinch to throw together. Assemble slices of a whole-wheat baguette, soak them in batter and scatter blueberries and almonds on top the night before. The next morning, just plunk the dish in the oven and bake.
… your mom has always been a health superstar: Zucchini “Hash Browns” with Eggs
You had the mom who was always buying brown rice? And almond milk? Like, before they were cool? Then she will appreciate this virtuous version of hash browns. Zucchini replaces the usual potatoes while fried eggs deliver a hearty hit of protein. Serving it up with whole-wheat toast helps pack in fiber — and makes it easier to mop up the egg-y goodness. For dessert: A smoothie loaded with berries, bananas, vanilla yogurt and just a touch of honey.