It’s 7 a.m. on Monday. You’re eating something quick and hand-held while driving to work. Fast-forward to the weekend, and you’re enjoying a lazy brunch. Either way, breakfast possibilities range far and wide, including all the options for a healthy breakfast.
Sure, you can sit down with half of a grapefruit and some dry toast, but eating a healthy breakfast does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor or substance. For instance, when dining out, ask for turkey sausage instead of pork, or order whole wheat toast instead of white.
Make an effort to incorporate leafy greens. Spinach wards off toxins, and it supplies you with vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system. It also gives you an early start on your vegetable intake for the day. For instance, add some fresh or frozen spinach to scrambled eggs. Try pairing the mix with toast, or adding to a flour tortilla with some feta cheese.
Another healthy change is to swap out the sugar in your oatmeal for locally sourced honey. Honey tastes sweeter than regular sugar, so less is required. It’s full of antioxidants and is lower on the glycemic index, which means honey doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly as regular sugar.
Frittatas, which are essentially a crustless quiche, are typically made by combining eggs with meat and cheese, and are cooked on top of the stove before finishing under the broiler. They are easy to lighten up, without sacrificing flavor. A typical frittata made in an 8-inch cast-iron pan, consists of at least six large eggs, some type of cheese, and meat, such as bacon or ham. For a lighter option, heat some olive oil and cook 8 ounces of your favorite veggies, seasoning as desired, before pouring in the eggs. For extra protein, stir in cottage cheese with the eggs. Top with shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese before putting under the broiler.
By using healthy substitutions for breakfast, you’ll find that it’s easy to create food that is good for you and tastes good. Here are four recipes to start the day a healthy way. Happy cooking!
– Tiffany Hughes is an Acworth resident and works for the Booth Western Art Museum. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick Banana Smoothie
• 2 cups ice
• 1 banana
• 1 cup vanilla yogurt
• ¼ cup peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
• cinnamon (optional)
Add the ice, banana, yogurt, peanut butter and honey to the blender. Blend well, until combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk. To make a more frozen smoothie, try using frozen yogurt and a frozen banana. If desired, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of your smoothie.
Berry Yogurt Smoothie
• 2 cups of your choice of frozen berries
• ½ cup skim milk
• ¾ cup of vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt
• 1 banana, peeled
• honey to taste
• 4 ounces frozen spinach (optional)
Pour the berries into the blender, followed by the milk, yogurt and banana. If desired, add frozen spinach (just be prepared for the color change). Process until smooth, adding honey as the mixture is blending.
Freezer French Toast
• 2 baguettes, sliced into 1 inch pieces
• 8 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons skim milk
• 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ cup sugar
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the bread. Place the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and pour the egg mixture over each slice. Flip the bread, so that both sides have the opportunity to soak up the mixture.
Place the baking sheet into the freezer until the slices are individually frozen. Remove the bread from the baking sheet and place in a resealable bag in the freezer, until ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, remove the bread slices from the freezer and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake approximately 15 minutes on one side, then flip. The sides should be golden brown when done. Serve with warm fruit, honey or powdered sugar.
Cheesy Spinach Frittata
• 1 tablespoon bacon rendering
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 8 ounces frozen spinach
• ½ teaspoon garlic or season salt
• ½ teaspoon oregano
• 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
• 6 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
• ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce
• ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• dash of lemon juice
Heat a cast-iron pan (8 inches in diameter for best results) over medium-high heat. Add the bacon rendering and olive oil to the pan. Add the frozen spinach and break it apart as it cooks. Sprinkle salt, oregano and lemon juice into the pan, stirring to combine. Continue to cook until the spinach is hot. Then, spread it across the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle the feta across the top.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt and hot sauce together. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach and feta. Continue to cook without stirring, periodically running the edge of a spatula around the outside edge of the frittata. When the frittata is mostly firm, sprinkle the cheese over the top, and place the pan under a broiler (about 5 minutes). The top of the frittata should be mostly firm by the time the cheese melts and the top turns golden brown.