Breakfast: my favourite meal + healthy breakfast ideas
Ahhhh, breakfast...It is by far my favourite meal of the day. There are endless possibilities, from fruit, yogurt, eggs to the wide world of green juices and smoothies. Breakfast can be more than just one course, can include tea, health tonics and meals. I JUST LOVE BREAKFAST, OKAY?! And it is the first thing to start your day, so I believe if you don't have a delicious, nourishing breakfast, then you're not starting the day in the best possible way. Breakfast is also super important for many reasons: it kick starts your metabolism, it fills you up and gives you energy for the day. I still cannot comprehend people who do not eat breakfast, WHY PEOPLE, WHY?! If you are going to do one good thing for your body, start each day with a nutritious breakfast. Breakfast can be a troublesome meal for us health nuts, especially being gluten free, as traditional breakfast foods are laden with grains and super processed, like cereal (SUGAR), toast, pancakes, pastries, crumpets and even oats (which sadly are not quite gluten free).
Here are just a few ideas for a healthy, nutritious breakfast to start your day. Some clean protein is important at breakfast, to keep you full for the morning. I usually have some natural yogurt and muesli and a green tea, but when I am at home I get adventurous...Enjoy!
The range of gluten free mueslis on the market is expanding every day and so it is a matter of finding one that fits your health requirements and that you like the taste of. Generally speaking, the best mueslis are low in sugar, so no added cane sugar or lots and lots of dried fruit. That being said, a little natural dried fruit is quite yummy in the morning, as long as it is not made with sulphates (check packaging for these). Also, watch out for GMOs, most importantly GMO corn which is in corn flakes that might be the base for a muesli. Also, organic mueslis are a good choice for avoiding toxic chemicals that are sprayed onto everything. Finally, find a muesli that uses a good quality and nutritious base, such as puffed millet, quinoa or brown rice, instead of refined white rice products with added sugar. Alternately, you can easily whip up your own batch of homemade muesli and add whatever you like. Check out my muesli suggestions here, and other great recipes here and here.
Serve your muesli with your choice of organic, free range milk, almond milk, rice milk etc, or natural, organic yogurt (good probiotics for your gut health) or a dairy free alternative, like Coyo. Finally, top with your favourite superfoods, such as raw cacao nibs, cinnamon, goji berries, bee pollen, chia seeds, maca powder and activated nuts (if they aren't already in the muesli). Some of my favourite bought mueslis include Food for Health Gluten Free Muesli and the Forage Cereals range, which are expensive, but worth it.
Eggs are Mother Nature's gift to the world. Packed full of protein, good fats and cholesterol aiding compounds, they are perfect for a delicious warm breakfast. Try poached or pan fried in coconut oil with avocado and wilted spinach, or make an omelette with your favourite veggies and perhaps a bit of shredded chicken, scramble some with plenty of detoxifying parsley or boil them and serve with bok choy to dip into the gooey goodness. You could even whip up a breakfast frittata the night before and cut a slice for a quick breakfast. The possibilities and combinations are endless. HOWEVER, always ensure you buy organic, free range eggs, which are the best for you and come from happy chooks that get to roam around the fields and eat worms.
Fruit is breakfast in its simplest form. Chop up a combo of your favourite fruits and enjoy them as a fruit salad, or try sliced apple with natural peanut butter. Fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (especially berries) and natural fibre to keep you regular, if you know what I mean. Fruit and yogurt is a great combo, use natural, probiotic rich yogurt, and I always love to add a generous dash of cinnamon. You can add superfoods and activated nuts to a fruit salad too, to give it great texture and variety. Fruit is just beautiful, but eat in season, buy organic and local if possible to ensure you are getting the best quality and the way Mother Nature intended it to be. Fruit. Eat it. Enough said.
On the topic of fruit salad, I have been known on occasion to eat actual salad for breakfast. Why not? If you have a leftover salad, simply pop it in the fridge and enjoy it the morning after. Or toss together some leafy greens, cucumber, avocado, carrot and sprinkle on a few chia seeds and voilà a breakfast salad. Any salad that you can eat for lunch or dinner, you can eat for breakfast too. And don't mind the weird looks people give you, they are just jealous of your amazing breakfast salad.
Sadly, oats are one thing that had to go when I adopted a gluten free diet. But don't despair, gluten free porridge alternatives are easy, nutritious and equally as delicious. Rice porridge, made from rolled brown rice flakes, or quinoa porridge are great alternatives. These grains are full of amino acids, protein, vitamins and minerals, plus there is nothing better than a steaming bowl on a cold winter's morning. Simply cook about 1/2 cup of either quinoa flakes or rice flakes with about 1 cup of water until the liquid is all absorbed and the porridge is soft. Then serve steaming hot with a dash of almond milk (or other) and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, honey and perhaps some blueberries too. See my recipe for rice porridge here, quinoa porridge here, or if you are feeling creative, paleo walnut porridge here.
Clean pancakes are surprisingly simple to make and taste FANTASTIC. There are heaps of recipes out there, such as these grain free pancakes, my simple petit pancake stacks or these protein pancakes. Whatever way you look at it, pancakes are just plain wonderful. You can top them with natural maple syrup, raw honey, berries, fruit sweetened jam, stevia stewed fruits and cinnamon, yogurt, lemon, or whatever your heart desires. I even had pumpkin chia seed pancakes at a cafe recently, which were fabulous. I am planning to recreate them soon!
Mousse? Chocolate? For breakfast? Surely not? Well, if you make yourself some avocado raw cacao mousse, then hell yeah! Avocados are packed full of good fats, plant protein and vitamins, raw cacao is a super dooper super food full of mood boosting compounds, minerals and tonnes of antioxidants. So yes, you can have mousse for breakfast, in fact it would be quite good if you did. Check out Lee's Tahini and Chocolate Mousse, or mine which simply involves blending 1/2 avocado, about 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder and a good dash of honey or liquid stevia. Top the mousse with shredded coconut, chia seeds, chopped nuts or berries.
I am yet to try this one, but for a superfood punch, açai bowls are they way to go. Plus they look super pretty if you top them with fresh berries, nuts and coconut (Instagram worthy). Here is Jess Ainscough's recipe for an açai bowl.
Another superfood wonder breakfast, chia seed pudding. Chia seeds are full of good fats, protein, Omega 3s and 6s, fibre and they are fabulous for detoxifying. This one is good to prepare the night before and you can just wake up, grab it from the fridge and enjoy. There are a million variations of chia pudding, but here are a few ideas, such as Chai Chia Breakfast Pudding or this simple Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding.
Juices and Smoothies
The staple of a raw, vegan diet, but adored by all health nuts alike, is the humble juice or smoothie. They are super energy boosters, packed full of all the goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables. There are infinite 'recipes' for green juices and smoothies, but the fact of the matter is they can be made from almost any ingredient in your fruit and veg draw. For juice, remember the 80/20 rule, 80% vegetable, 20% fruit. Start with a base of celery, cucumber, leafy greens (kale, spinach, silver beet), then add beetroot, apple, lemon, pineapple, carrot or parsley.
For smoothies, the combos are endless. Start with a base of leafy greens, cucumber, celery, zucchini, then add fruit such as lemon, berries, pineapple, apple, then liquid; water, almond milk, coconut water, then superfoods; chia seeds, bee pollen, goji berries, raw cacao, coconut oil, spirulina, superfoods greens, nuts and seeds. Here are a few recipes and links for smoothies and juices:
BBH Berry Blast Smoothie Pineapple Green Smoothie Simple Green Smoothie Goji and Raspberry Superfood Smoothie Morning Chocolate Milkshake Perfect Green Juice This Rawsome Vegan Life Recipes (she has millions!) Food Matters (for all the smoothie/juice info you could ever want) The Wellness Warrior (aka Jess Ainscough) Green Mo Revolution
So, with all that said, have a lovely breakfast tomorrow! What's your favourite breakfast food?
Keep healthy, Erica xx