Spring out of bed and eat “like a king”
Even if you’re not a morning person it’s so much easier getting up with earlier sun these bright spring mornings.
It’s also more tempting to skip breakfast when the weather’s fine and there’s so much to do outside.
But the old saying “breakfast like a king and dine like a peasant” isn’t just folklore. Dietitians say there’s dietary wisdom in it.
“You want to have the majority of your food earlier on in the day when you need the energy,” says Niverville-based private practice registered dietitian Susan Watson.
Eating most of our calories earlier in the day not only gives us the food energy when we need it most, it can also help us avoid weight gain, she points out. Breakfast ends the fast our bodies have been in overnight, when we’ve been in storage mode, rather than burning energy.
Breakfast revs up our metabolism by using the calories we’re eating for energy rather than storage, said Watson. Many studies show those who eat breakfast regularly have reduced risk of obesity, she adds.
Watson recommends we consume anywhere from 300- to 500-calorie meals at breakfast and lunch, and at day’s end not exactly “eating like a peasant” but having a slightly lighter meal (around 400 calories). A snack between meals (of around 200 calories) is also recommended to keep from becoming ravenously hungry. “Because that’s when you’re likely to make unhealthy food choices,” she adds.
Unfortunately, most of us eat exactly the opposite of this recommended pattern, with the heaviest meal at day’s end.
I’ve been looking at recipes available for breakfast lately. If breakfast were treated as a meal, and less as grab ’n’ go food (often the same thing every day) perhaps we’d be inclined to enjoy it more too. Here’s a few recipes to make breakfast something to look forward to.
Caesar Egg Strata
This makes a quick and tasty breakfast for one in the microwave.
- Cooking spray2 eggs2 tbsp. 2 per cent milk1 tbsp. low-fat Caesar dressing1/2 slice whole grain bread, cut into cubes2 tsp. precooked packaged bacon bits1 tbsp. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Spray a small bowl with cooking spray. Add eggs, milk and dressing; whisk together. Stir in bread cubes and bacon bits. Microwave on medium high (70 per cent power) for one to two minutes, until soft curds form, stirring several times so eggs stay fluffy. Top with cheese.
Servings: 1. Preparation: 3 minutes. Microwave cooking: 1 minute.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 370 Carbohydrate: 15 g / Fat: 22 g / Protein: 29 g.
Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding
A quick and healthy breakfast for lasting energy.
- 2 c. water1/4 tsp. salt4 eggs1/4 c. 2 per cent milk1/2 tsp. cinnamon1/2 tsp. vanilla1-1/4 c. quick-cooking oats (not instant)1-1/3 c. 2 per cent milk1/4 c. dried cranberries or raisins (optional)4 tsp. granulated sugar
Bring water and salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Whisk together eggs, 1/4 cup milk, cinnamon and vanilla in medium bowl; stir into boiling water. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in oats. Simmer until desired for consistency, about five to six minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon into bowls; top each serving with milk, cranberries and sugar.
Makes 4 servings. Calories: 310 / Protein: 15 gCarbohydrate: 40 g / Dietary fibre: 4 g / Fat: 10 g.
Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers
A nutritious breakfast with oat flakes, yogurt and sunflower seeds.
- 2 c. whole oat flakes1-1/2 c. milk1-1/2 c. vanilla yogurt1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon1/2 c. shredded, unsweetened coconut2 bananas, sliced1/4 c. unsalted sunflower seeds
In a large bowl, combine oat flakes, milk, yogurt, cinnamon and coconut. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. Add bananas and sunflower seeds. Mix well. Or instead of bananas, add diced apples, fresh raspberries, sliced peaches or even dried fruit such as apricots or cranberries. For a light touch of sweetness, drizzle honey or maple syrup over the dish before serving.
Prep. Time: 10 minutes. Yields: 4 servings.
Maple Apple Oatmeal Muffins
Muffins are a great mid-morning snack. The combination of apples and maple are the perfect addition to these moist oatmeal muffins.
- 1-1/4 c. quick-cooking rolled oats1-1/2 c. milk2 c. all-purpose flour1 tbsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. salt1/3 c. sugar1/2 c. maple syrup1 egg1/4 c. butter, melted1 tsp. vanilla extract2 c. finely diced apples (unpeeled or peeled)
- Topping:2 tbsp. maple syrup*
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter non-stick muffin pans or line with paper liners. In bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for five minutes. In separate large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk sugar, maple syrup, egg, butter and vanilla extract into milk mixture. Pour over dry ingredients and sprinkle with apples. Stir just until moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to rack.
Topping: Brush warm muffin tops with maple syrup. Let cool completely.
*Maple syrup is important for this recipe. Imitation maple-flavoured pancake syrup won’t give the right flavour or texture. For best flavour and texture, choose tart apples that hold their shape when cooked such as Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Cortland or Crispin (Mutsu).
Prep. time: 10 – 15 minutes. Cooking time: 20 – 25 minutes. Yields: 12 muffins.
Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada