8 Healthy Breakfast Go-tos for the Week

8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas - Cover Photo.jpg

Breakfast might be my favorite meal of the day.

One reason is that the food options are just so dang yummy and varied. I’d argue that when you focus on health, a whole new world of breakfast possibilities are opened up because you have to get more creative than dumping cereal into a bowl or making pancakes from a box. Maca pancakes, turmeric omelettes, or matcha oats, anyone?

Reason #2 is the actual act of making breakfast. Save for those mornings when you wake up late and are scrambling eggs in a hurry and are watching the clock tick and you can't find your thing and it’s just AHHH, making breakfast is usually a relaxing start to the day. Whereas dinner is rushed and swirling with thoughts of the day and the tasks still ahead, breakfast is a clean slate. You can set the tone for the kind of day you want to have.

So MAKE IT AWESOME. You’d be surprised what an impact it might make on your day to simply try a new breakfast. Get out of your routine. In fact, I challenge you to declare one week of different breakfasts. Would it be more efficient to meal prep a batch of breakfast bars or something? Sure. I make this buckwheat breakfast bake all the time. But a week of fresh-made breakfasts is not only fun, it might lead to you finding a bunch of recipes you enjoy.

So without further ado, here are 7 ideas for relatively easy, totally yummy, and, of course, healthy breakfasts that you can (and should) make.

I bet you’ve made plenty of smoothies already but their versatility and speed make them worth a mention.

To add more nutrition, freeze up some produce like baked sweet potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, and peas to sneak veggies into your breakfast. A handful of greens also never hurts. Avocados will make your smoothies insanely, irresistibly creamy. Pulse in cacao nibs at the end for extra crunch. Are you taking notes on all of this?

If you want to get even fancier...

SMOOTHIE BOWL

Are you even a food Instagrammer if you haven’t ever dumped aforementioned smoothie into a bowl and topped with excessive toppings? Making a smoothie bowl will not only rack up the likes (guaranteed or your money back), but adding those yummy yummy toppings (granola, nuts, seeds, oh my) will prompt you to chew and initiate digestion, allowing you to absorb more nutrients from the smoothie.

Plus, I’d venture to guess that taking the time to chew dat smoothie will make you appreciate its flavor all the more. Because you did NOT spend all that time carefully sprinkling hemp seeds and arranging banana slices just to gulp it all down in a hurry, right?

TOPPINGS IDEAS: nut butter, banana slices, cubed mango, flax/chia/hemp seed, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, granola, toasted oats and other grains, coconut, chocolate sauce. I've also got a quick guide to 9 popular superfoods if you want to know why some of these are so awesome for you.

I personally think smoothie bowls are something you experiment with because they take practice to get the consistency just right, and the ingredients usually depend on what’s in the fridge, but in case you do want some recipes to get you started/inspired, here you go:

MY GO-TO SMOOTHIE BOWL (5 MINUTES!) - Minimalist Baker
Veggie Loaded Smoothie Bowl DREAMS - Earthsprout
Vegan Berry Crunch Smoothie Bowl - Domesticate Me
Green Smoothie Bowl - Naturally Sassy

My mom said her friend tried making chia pudding and described the sight upon opening her fridge as eyeballs in a jar. I hope you have a better experience with this amazing, food science-y breakfast, and don't let the texture and appearance deter you. Keep an open mind, okay?

Some recipes call for blending the chia but I’d say that’s too much work and unnecessary dishwashing, so here’s an easy recipe from Eating Bird Food that doesn’t require that: Basic Chia Seed Pudding.

When it comes to chia pudding, it’s really all about the toppings, so once you’ve got your base down, go crazy. Bananas, blueberries, walnuts, and almond butter taste amaaazing together.

I know a lot of recipes make chia pudding overnight but I’ve totally made it on a whim before and had it gel up while I got ready for school and it was 100% a success. So never give up on your dreams. You can ALWAYS have chia pudding.

I wonder if this sounds gross to someone who has never tried it but please please trust me when I tell you that it’s not. It’s actually quite spectacular. The idea is simple. Mash up a ripe banana, beat it with a few eggs, and cook exactly like you would scrambled eggs. BAM - sweet eggs. Hmm... that sounds like an exclamation of surprise. Oh sweet eggs! Let’s say that from now on instead of oh my gosh!

Here’s my recipe:

BANANA EGGS

3 eggs
1 large ripe banana
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp Carrington Farms Ancient Grains Blend (https://carringtonfarms.com/ancient-grains-blend-organic/)
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Scramble over medium-high on coconut oil until cooked through.

Barley is great. So is millet, and buckwheat, and quinoa. But, like, OATS. Ya know? Oats are somethin' else. Every time I come upon grossly overcooked, gelatinous, mushy oats, I am appalled. What a beautiful food, ruined. It should be a crime.

Oatmeal is fast, has a perfect texture (in my opinion at least), and the flavor can’t be beaten. Use rolled oats for a balance between fast and nutritious (instant oats are the most processed and thus the least nutritious, while steel-cut oats take a loooong time to make).

For a classic, top with almond butter, banana slices, and pecans, and mix it all together so that the banana and nuts get all nice and warm… drooling over here. Here are a few more ideas from the simple to the truly health nutty.

RECIPES
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal - Eating Bird Food
Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal - A Pinch of Healthy
Healthy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal - Genius Kitchen
Matcha Green Tea and Banana Oatmeal - The Breakfast Drama Queen

I would say that omelettes are the savory cousin to smoothie bowls. They’re the kind of meal that can basically take anything you’ve got in the fridge. Leftover greens? Toss ‘em in the omelette. Sweet potatoes? Alrighty. Mushrooms? YES, please!

A FEW TIPS:

if you use mushrooms, cook them alone for a while until they’re nice and golden
Use nutritional yeast for a cheeeezy omelette
Fact: omelettes are the perfect pairing for a piece of toast

RECIPES:

Spinach and Garlic Omelet - NY Times Cooking
2 Minute Egg Omelet in a Mug - Joyful Healthy Eats
Veggie Omelet - Dr. Axe

Pancakes definitely do not have to be a time-consuming affair, especially if you’re cooking for one. It doesn’t get much faster than blender pancakes because it’s literally just one step beyond making a smoothie. And the payoff of this extra work is oh so worth it.

I’ve got two blender pancake recipes for you that you can make and top to your heart’s content:

APPLE BLENDER PANCAKES

1/2 cup oats
1 egg
2 tsp flax
1/4 apple, cored unpeeled
1/4 almond milk
2 tsp hemp seeds
1/4 lemon zest
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp cacao powder

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Heat come coconut oil over medium-high. Cook pancakes, waiting for bubbles to appear before flipping. Makes ~1 serving.

LEMON POPPYSEED BLENDER PANCAKES

1/2 cup oats
1 egg
2 tsp flax
1/3 ripe banana
1/4 almond milk
2 tsp hemp seeds
1/4 lemon zest
1/4 tsp lemon juice

Blend all ingredients except poppy seeds until smooth. Add in poppy seeds and stir to combine. Heat some coconut oil over medium-high and cook pancakes. Makes ~1 serving.

Toast may get a bad rap but that’s only cause most toast is made with that gross, white, styrofoam bread. There are so many better options out there.

A personal favorite of mine is Angelic Bakehouse (pictured above). Food For Life Ezekiel bread is also pretty great. Honestly, once you get used to eating this kind of bread you can never go back. It’s just so much more FLAVORFUL. Plus, it holds up way better to toasting and toppings loading, so don’t hold back.

You can go the savory route, with some classic mashed avocado, perhaps, or get a little crazier with hummus or miso.

Sweet toasts are an obvious choice, and the sky’s the limit: nut butters, seeds, sliced bananas, berries, any fruit, really.

Extra credit: make some FRENCH TOAST!


Which of these breakfasts have you tried? Which have you not? Which ones WILL you try ASAP because they just look so dang good?? Comment below :)

Happy Thursday! x

 

Sweet High-Protein Buckwheat Bake Recipe

DSC_0062.jpg

Hello!

I am in Chicago right now - today is our last day. We planned nothing so we’ll see where the day takes us… sometimes the unplanned travel is the best kind! :) I’m very excited to share photos and stories with you all, but before I do that, I wrote up this post about a recipe my family makes VERY often.

Every family has their own set of recipes, right? The go-to make-aheads that everyone likes. For us it’s this kale butternut squash salad, the autumn glow salad, kale sausage tomato soup, an egg bake, and THIS recipe. We are quite a predictable family.

The buckwheat-ness of this recipe got me thinking about Lithuania. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about it on the blog, but just so ya know, I immigrated to the United States from Lithuania when I was a few years old. It’s a long story for a longer post but that basically sums it up :) It’s why my name looks the way it does! (P.S. I checked and I actually did write about it in my 15 facts post).

DSC_0066.jpg

But anyways, back to buckwheat. If us Lithuanians are not eating rye bread, cabbage, beets, or potatoes (in every freaking form imaginable), we’re probably eating buckwheat! When I was little, there were three ways I would have this pseudo-grain (of course, I had no idea it was a pseudo-grain and probably would not have cared).

  1. With butter. Literally, just butter.
  2. With milk and sugar (and you bet little me went back for second sprinklings of sugar).
  3. With this canned pork.

I know, there is a very sad lack of vegetables or really anything mildly interesting on this list, but this kind of food was everything to me. This is my comfort food! So then I got thinking about other childhood comfort foods, and I started doubting that the little kid who ate those things is the same person I am now. Why? Let me tell you about some of the things I ate.

  1. White bread, buttered, drizzled with honey.
  2. Sour cream and sugar mixed together. I KNOW RIGHT?
  3. These “corn sticks” were the shiz
  4. Usually my breakfast would just be these sweet cottage cheese bars and Actimel (which either changed its name to DanActive or it's just a name difference between countries). Really freaking delicious but also just pure dairy and sugar so, ya know, you get the good and the bad.
DSC_0064.jpg

I hope I don’t give you the impression that all Lithuanian food is unhealthy, oh no no no. My favorite Lithuanian thing might be this “red salad” my grandma would makes. I can’t quite remember everything but it had pickled cabbage, beets, potatoes, peas, corn, pickles… You know how when you eat dessert it’s like it goes to a different stomach and so even if you’re full you can still have a ton of dessert? This salad might be the only non-dessert food that has functioned like that for me. The last time we went to Lithuania I literally could not stop eating it because I missed it so much and it was mind-blowingly delicious. She is the best cook I know.

So back when I had started eating healthy and took it a bit too far, a bit too obsessively, my mom asked me, “What are you going to do when you visit Lithuania? The food over there isn’t healthy like you eat, there won’t be anything for you to eat.” That made me sad.

Now I think about that and my reaction is screw that. I haven’t been to Lithuania in a while but you had better believe that I’m eating everything over there once I go. Now, that probably won’t mean sugary “sweet cottage cheese bars” and “flavored yogurt drinks” for breakfast every day, because, ya know, balance and also, I want to feel good! But buckwheat with butter? Heck yeah. Some corn sticks? Sure! These gingerbread cookies? Yep! Topped with a little dollop of sour cream? Don’t mind if I do ;)

So now, in honor of Lithuanian cuisine, I bring you a family recipe with buckwheat AND quark cheese, so by my calculations, it’s basically 80% Lithuanian. Enjoy!

200g dry buckwheat

20g chia seeds

200g dried figs

450g quark cheese

4 eggs

250g whole milk yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cook the buckwheat according to package. Allow to cool.
  3. Place the chia seeds in about 200g filtered water and stir. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so until the water is absorbed, using the fork to break up clumps once in a while.
  4. Chop up the dried figs into bite-sized pieces.
  5. In a large bowl, place the quark cheese.
  6. In a separate small bowl, beat the 4 eggs, then pour them into the quark and use a fork to mash and thoroughly mix.
  7. Add the whole milk yogurt and mix with a spoon.
  8. Mix in the vanilla with a spoon.
  9. Add the cooked and cooled buckwheat and mix with a... ah, you know.
  10. Mix in the chia seeds and the dried, chopped figs.
  11. Pour mixture into a standard (9” x 13” or so) baking dish, and place in oven for 40 minutes to cook.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before cutting. I usually cut it into 8 pieces.
  13. Enjoy cold or warm! (I prefer cold for breakfast)

Pin this recipe for later!

Buckwheat Bake Cover Photo.jpg

What's your favorite childhood not-so-healthy food? (not junk! bc if it's yummy it's not junk <3)

Happy Sunday x