The way we eat today is labeled more than ever before: keto, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, clean, raw, green, healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, what have you. I don’t know about you but when it comes to eating for my wellbeing, these labels have me rather confused. Don’t get me wrong, I respect their positive implications on our world, but I also acknowledge the destructive influences of “breaking” such labels. For me, eating healthily has always been about eating quality food — fresh, organic and as unprocessed as possible. And when it comes to being and feeling healthy, a good quality breakfast can take you a long way. Here’s a one-week breakfast plan that’s easy to make and even easier to follow.
Monday: Homemade muesli
Store-bought mueslis are incredibly high in sugar (in various forms, including honey, maple syrup and dried fruit) – especially the so-called health-products. So learn to make your own — it’s much easier and customizable than you think.
Using a large frying pan, separately dry-roast your oats and your chosen nuts and seeds until both are fragrant and lightly browned. Then combine the two. Next, add a teaspoon or two of your favorite spices — ginger, cardamom or cinnamon, for example, and then add a small amount of dried fruit of your choice. Stir to combine and let cool. Enjoy your homemade muesli with your favorite milk and yogurt and lots and lots of fresh seasonal fruit as toppings. For a matcha version of this recipe, see here.
Tuesday: Kinako smoothie bowl
Smoothie bowls are awesome: they’re pretty, they’re delicious and if you work your ingredients right, they can taste like ice-cream — or, as I call them “nice-cream.” My main tip for smoothie bowls is to use frozen bananas (for a colder and creamier consistency) and toppings with crunch – like your freshly made muesli! Otherwise, you’re just eating soup.
To make your breakfast, simply blend 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup milk of your favorite milk, ¼ cup unsweetened plain yogurt, 1 tsp kinako, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional) and 1 tsp peanut butter (optional). Mix it all in a high-powered blender and then add toppings, such as a fruit of your choice and almonds. For another favorite smoothie bowl recipe, see here.
Wednesday: Veggie scrambled eggs, toast and fruits
Eggs are perfect for breakfast as they’re full of proteins, which will keep you satisfied until lunch, and they’re the perfect accompaniment to our generation’s No1 love: avocado.
To make veggie scrambled eggs for one, beat 2 free-range (they always taste better) eggs (hiragai tamago in Japanese) with a pinch of salt and pepper, ¼ cup milk and your chopped (small) vegetables of choice (I like tomatoes, spinach, bell pepper and mushrooms). Cook on medium heat in a frying pan with a little butter or oil. Overcooked scrambled eggs are nasty so only stir for a few minutes until just cooked. Serve with a toast of rye or brown bread and your selection of fruits.
Thursday: Chocolate chia seed pudding
Great intensive to wake up – the base for this recipe needs to be prepared the night before. Come morning, simply top with favorite toppings and enjoy.
Combine 1 cup of your favorite milk, 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder, 3 teaspoons of chia seeds, ¼ cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut and 1 teaspoon of honey in a mason jar and mix well. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next morning with toppings like yogurt, slivered almonds and berries.
Friday: Savory oats with avocado and togarashi
Stovetop: Bring 1 cup water (or milk) to a boil in a small pot. Stir in 1/2 cup oats and reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. In the last minute, crack one or two eggs into the oatmeal and stir through. It shouldn’t take long for the egg to cook so remove from heat and serve with savory toppings of choice – I like togarashi (Japanese seven spice) and avocado.
Saturday: Persian breakfast
One from my childhood, every day for breakfast, Iranians eat bread with feta cheese, nuts, herbs and fruit. I love this breakfast and like everything else on this list, it’s entirely customizable.
Sunday: Okara crumbles blueberry muffins
Sundays are for sleeping in and taking it slow — or spending more time on your breakfast. One of my favorite recipes for weekends is my vegan and refined sugar-free okara muffins. I typically cook them with blueberries, but you can replace with any other fruit of your choice. Okara, on the other hand, is a soy pulp that’s super low in fat and super high in calcium, protein and dietary fiber.
To make four of these goodies, prepare 150g whole-wheat flour, 2 tbsp almond powder, 2 tsp baking powder, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of cinnamon, 150g soft tofu, 3 tbsp pure maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil and a handful of fresh or thawed blueberries. Place all muffin ingredients (except blueberries) in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Spoon the batter evenly into a greased silicone muffin-tray and then gently push down 4-5 blueberries atop each muffin. Leave aside and focus on the okara crumble next. Prepare 3 tbsp okara, 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, 3 tbsp almond powder, 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place all crumble ingredients in a small bowl and combine using a fork. When ingredients take on a crumble-like texture, sprinkle each muffin evenly with the crumbly goodness. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven (180C) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a mug of black tea and enjoy your Sunday!
Have a recommended breakfast recipe? Share it with us!