Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Eat (or drink) Your Breakfast!

An Easy Way to Start the Day

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."
Old adage; alternate versions include lunch like a queen and dinner like a peasant. The kingly breakfast thing, however, always remains.

Breakfast, so they say, is the most important meal of the day. And for some of us it is the hardest to get into our bellies. A very sensible thing Dr. Oz says (I don't know how sensible what he says on the whole is or is not, but this tidbit is sensible) is that it is a good idea to "automate" your breakfast.  In other words, decide on a good breakfast for yourself so you can eat the same thing every morning and keep the ingredients stocked. Of course that's not some sort of immutable law; on any given morning you can have whatever fancy may take you or go out for an arterial disaster of a breakfast with a friend (or non-friend as the case may be, I hear that happens too).  But on other mornings, if, like me, you stand about the kitchen knowing you need to furnish your body and mind with some sort of nutritious fuel but with no inspiration nor even interest in finding something to do so with, you will still be able feed yourself and get your day going.

This is what I've concocted to meet my personal criteria, with a couple of extra options for those that can have them: 

A Drink of Breakfast



1/2 cup plain Yogurt or Kefir

1/4 cup Coconut Water (or a juice or other liquid yummy w/ fruits chosen) 

1/4 cup Almonds (or other nut, whole, sliced, chopped etc, or 2 tablespoons nut butter) 

2 tablespoons Flaxseed Meal (or any combo of flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, or even hemp or chia seed) 

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 cup frozen Fruit (see below for some possible combos)



1/4 - 1/2  cup of Oatmeal which has been soaked overnight or cooked or both

1 - 2 tablespoons Cocoa or grated Dark Chocolate
OR a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or a chunk of lemon or lime, peeled (you might add the zest too but I recommend throwing out the white pith, blech) 

1 - 2 Dates (make sure pits & hard caps are removed!)
OR 1 - 2 tablespoons Local Honey (or 1/2 - 1 tablespoon maple syrup)

small pinch Salt (bumps up flavour; use a mineral rich salt such as Real Salt or Himalayan Salt) 

1/4 cup frozen Blueberries (It's always good to throw Blueberries into any combo!)

1 - 2 cups Ice (particularly if using fresh fruit instead of frozen.  Ice goes in last)


Some Possible Combos:

1 Banana
use Coconut Water - optional, add Cocoa and Dates or Honey

Berries (blueberries strawberries raspberries etc)
use Pomegranate or Pineapple Juice, add Lemon or Lime
OR Pomegranate Juice, add Cocoa and Dates or Honey

Good Digestion
1/2 cup Papaya and 1/2 cup Mango or other tropical fruit
use Pineapple Juice
1/4 teaspoon Ginger or slice of Ginger Root
sprig of Mint
The the Good Digestion combo should contain both Papaya and Pineapple, maybe 1/4 cup juice or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen of each. Another choice could be: 1/2 cup frozen Papaya and 1/2 cup frozen Pineapple for the fruit and replace the pineapple juice with 1/4 cup Coconut Water or Coconut Milk

Peach Pie
Peaches (maybe increase to 1 1/2 or 2 cups, mmm mmm!)
use Coconut Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each Nutmeg and Ginger
add a dried apricot for stronger peachy flavour if desired



All the essential ingredients plus your chosen ingredients go into a blender or VitaMix or some such device.

Add ingredients in order of those which offer least resistance to blending first to those which offer most resistance to blending last (e.g. my blend this morning: begin w/ 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup coconut water, & 1 teaspoon vanilla, then add 1 tablespoon each flaxseed & sesame seed, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon each ginger & nutmeg, dash salt, 1/4 small lemon peeled & seeded, 2 dates, a dried apricot, 1/4 cup almonds, followed by 1 and a little bit cup frozen peaches, & finally would add 1 cup ice last but I didn't want it, and a drizzle more coconut water during blending as needed to make it go).  

Don't forget to put the lid on!

Start blending at low speed and increase to high speed; blend until smooth.  

If it is too thick to blend properly or you want a thinner consistency, add more liquid.  For a thicker consistency, add or increase Ice.

 This will not have the same taste and texture as an all-fruit smoothie because it isn't one! 

W.C. Fields

"I must have a drink of breakfast"
W.C. Fields

Don't want to drink your breakfast?  Prefer using utensils?  Make a Parfait, particularly if you have fabulous fresh fruit you'd sooner savor than smatter.  Simply leave out liquids and ice. Use yogurt; berries are fine fresh or frozen but use fresh Banana (idk about other fruits), grated Dark Chocolate, and replace Oatmeal with Granola.  Arrange as beautifully or as hastily as you wish.

With a nice drink for your breakfast you don't have to sit down and eat it all up at once, which is especially good if you're one of those who don't like to eat first thing, and it travels with you as easily as a cup of coffee.

The variations possible are almost limitless; you can use just about any fruit, try different spices, spike it with a handful of greens, substitute any ingredient with one you prefer, and generally  custom tailor to fit your taste and needs.  And, so long as you have a machine that can manage it, you can double the recipe.

If you have a combination of spices or seeds etc you want to stick to, rather than always measuring each component separately you can create a quantity of your own special blend for one-scoop convenience.  For instance, for the spices I use to make a Peach Pie Drink of Breakfast, mix 1/4 cup Cinnamon, 2 tablespoons each Nutmeg and Ginger, and 1 teaspoon Salt in a baggie or small jar.  Now you can just use I teaspoon of the mix and you're done measuring spices!

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