Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Breakfast Club

Typically, when someone is labeled a "fruit," or worse... a "nut," your natural tendency would be to avoid them like that neighbor-you-only-know-because-of-that-one-terribly-awkward-encounter-last-year. 

However. If that fruity, nutty someone happens to be your breakfast, the tendency should be to get as chummy as you can.  

Strangely enough, it took me about 18 years to master the all-important a.m. ritual of a good breakfast.  

Ever since I was five, I can remember being repelled by it. I'd get up for a serious day of kindergarten, but my little belly wouldn't hear the wake up call until at least three hours later. 

The mere thought of scarfing down milk or orange juice right after rolling out of bed literally made me sick. At such an hour, the most I could tolerate was a Toaster Pastry Strudel... but I could've made room for one of those babies no matter what the clock read. Back then, snack time officially prevailed as the most important meal of the day. 

Throughout my glorious tweens, when I spent summers at Spirit Sports Camp for Girls (it was badass, I swear), the six hours of back-to-back sports practice meant fueling up early on.

Eh, eh-- not me. How could anyone possibly run laps with a pile of scrambled eggs in their stomach? 

Come breakfast time, my concerned fellow campers unanimously confirmed that I must have a problem. Despite my best efforts to explain that I just don't do breakfast, the remaining morning mealtimes were awkwardly spent on the defense. 

It wasn't until high school that I realized the perks of breakfast. Screw an alarm, there's nothing more delightful than waking up to warm slice of buttery cinnamon raison toast. Luckily, my dad understood the power of breakfast in bed. At 7:00 a.m., he'd rest a plate of that intoxicating treat square in my face, knowing that the moment the cinnamon-y aroma wafted past my nose, all bets were off. And ultimately, I'd get my ass out of bed. Crafty, but I couldn't hate his strategy. 

It's almost funny, now, that I never go a morning without breakfast. After finding something new that I love, I'll literally hop out of bed before my alarm to make it. Weird, I know. 

Whether it's a tofu scramble or oatmeal with fruit, a proper breakfast can wake you up faster and more efficiently than any Trenta Turbo BS. And since breakfast foods can range from sugary to cheesy to a mapley-bacon combination of the two, it really is the perfect meal.

Although I still avoid orange juice and milk in the wee hours of the morning (I think I'm scarred), breakfast has rightfully become my favorite meal of the day. 

Hearty Multigrain Oatmeal
Serves 1

[1] cup water
[1/3] cup Hodgson Mill Multigrain Oatmeal with Flaxseed & Soy
[1/2] tsp cinnamon
[1/4] tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Top it with:
[4] fresh strawberries (or any other fruit, like blueberries or banana)
[1] tbsp chopped raw almonds
[1] tsp agave nectar
dash of cinnamon

Combine the water, oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking often. Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer until your cereal has reached desired thickness. You can also add more/less water depending on how thick you like it. To ensure that the oatmeal doesn't clump up, it really helps to use a non-stick saucepan and whisk continuously (with either a wire whisk or metal fork).

Meanwhile, chop the almonds and strawberries. Try hard not to snack while your oatmeal cooks. 

Transfer the hot cereal to a bowl and top with the almonds, strawberries, agave, and another dash or two of cinnamon. Eat slowly alongside an iced tea and your tank will be full for hours... wish I could say the same for my car. 

It's strawberry season! Bonus points if you buy them local (or organic)!

This recipe is so simple and fast, you could definitely make it with eyes half closed. Additionally, the oats act as a great canvas for any number of flavors. Experiment with different combinations of fruits, nuts and extracts, and you'll never tire of waking and baking. I recently made mine with almond extract, cinnamon, and blueberries!

The nutritional breakdown on this breakfast is even more impressive:

Calories: 240
Fat: 7 g
Protein: 9 g
Fiber: 8 g

The protein will give you a super boost of energy and the fiber will keep you full until lunch. Both the fiber and (good) fats take longer for our bodies to process, so a high-fiber breakfast means we're satisfied and energized all day long. It's also proven that a hearty, healthy breakfast will help keep mindless snacking at bay later on.  

So if you're not already a member, consider this recipe to be your official invitation to join The Breakfast Club. 

1 comment:

Molly Thomas said...

yum! keep it up taryn!