Photo Credit: Maria Kotob, Photo Editor
Healthy breakfasts to kickstart your day
Josephine Murphy, The Mike Staff Writer
We’ve all heard it a million times before: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But before the pandemic, how many of us actually had time for breakfast? I for one certainly felt like I didn’t. If there’s one thing quarantine has given me, it’s a newfound love for mornings and breakfast. Thanks to some newly discovered recipes, breakfast has become my most looked-forward-to meal of the day, and I can’t imagine skipping out on it like I habitually used to.
Research shows that eating breakfast is correlated with better academic performance, higher attentiveness, a lower BMI, and a healthier diet. In fact, those who skip breakfast are more likely to engage in impulsive snacking and are at a higher risk of obesity and heart disease. That being said, it’s not just about eating breakfast, but what you eat. Experts recommend choosing breakfast foods that are protein-filled, and high in fiber and healthy fats, whilst avoiding foods that are high in sugar and overly-processed. Here are five ridiculously easy, balanced and delicious breakfasts to ease your transition into the ‘breakfast club’. Each recipe requires only a few ingredients and takes around 5-15 minutes. Bon appetit!
1. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding is one of my favourite discoveries of 2021. Not only does it take about five minutes to prepare, but it’s delicious and an excellent source of fiber and omega-3s. For reference, a one-ounce serving (~2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fibre, 1 gram of digestible carb, 4 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat – making chia seeds an incredible low-carb option! All you’ll need to make a basic chia pudding are chia seeds, milk (or a vegan alternative) and sweetener of choice (stevia, honey etc). Mix these 3 ingredients together, store in the fridge for a couple of hours, and voila – pudding is served! Top with fresh or frozen berries, sliced banana, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or shredded coconut. *Note: for additional flavour consider adding vanilla extract, peanut butter powder or cocoa powder to the base mixture.
Basic chia seed pudding recipe:
2. Banana Pancakes
This recipe is for all the pancake lovers out there. These two-ingredient pancakes are flourless, full of protein and naturally sweet! They are a healthy (but yummy) alternative to the classic pancake, which is typically high in refined flour and sugar. All you’ll need is one banana and two eggs. Whisk the ingredients together and spoon the batter into a lightly greased pan over medium heat. Once you’ve cooked the pancakes for a few minutes on either side, transfer to a plate and serve with fresh fruit, nuts or maple syrup. *Note: While you can add additional ingredients to the pancake batter, such as baking powder, cocoa powder, vanilla extract or rolled oats, this is entirely optional.
My personal go-to recipe:
3. Smoothie Bowl
Start your day off right with fruits, veggies, dairy and protein by transforming your favourite smoothie into an easy breakfast option. It’s recommended that adults eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and a smoothie is a convenient way to consume two to three of these servings. Smoothie bowls are basically thick smoothies; just lower the ratio of liquid to the base to create the desired consistency! For the base of your smoothie bowl consider using frozen berries, banana, mango, spinach, and kale (frozen ingredients are better for achieving a thicker smoothie base). Then, add your preferred type of milk and some protein powder. Next, blend away, adjusting the ratio of liquid to base if you find the smoothie to be too liquidy or too thick. Once you have the desired consistency, pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with fruit, nuts, chia seeds, or granola.
Smoothie bowl recipe: https://minimalistbaker.com/favorite-smoothie-bowl-5-minutes/
4. Avocado Toast
It’s basic, I know, but avocado toast has become a breakfast staple for a reason. Avocados are high in fibre, packed with healthy fats and low in carbs. In just a single serving (~100 grams), avocado contains 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of unsaturated fat, 7 grams of fibre and 2 grams of digestible carbs. Swap jam or peanut butter for avocado, and white-bread for whole-grain bread and you’ll find yourself feeling fuller for longer. Consider adding your preferred style of eggs on top of the toast, or on the side, to pack in more protein.
Revamped Avocado Toast Recipe: https://www.spendwithpennies.com/avocado-toast/
Any discussion of breakfast has to include a discussion of omelettes! While most everyone knows how to make an omelette, not everyone is aware of the amazing health benefits of eggs. In fact, eggs are one of the rare foods considered to be a complete protein; containing all 9 amino acids that your body uses to repair cells, build muscle and prevent infection. One egg contains around 6 grams of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a host of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Iron. This makes omelettes a great powerhouse breakfast! Of course, eggs aren’t the only component of your omelette; add chives, cheddar, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, avocado or any other ingredients you prefer as a filling.
Basic Omelette Recipe: