We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Or at least, I am assuming you have heard that tidbit of knowledge somewhere along the way… It gives your body the energy that it needs to keep you firing on all cylinders and on the top of your game. It balances blood sugar and helps you to get through that mid-morning dip when we are so often tempted to reach for that sugary doughnut in the office kitchen. If your tummy is full and satisfied there is no room for donuts!
The right power-breakfast (as I like to call them) sets a positive, energetic tone for your day. It is a message to your body that you are going to take care of it, honor its needs, feed it the healthiest of foods. And when your body knows that you are taking care of it, it will, in turn, take care of you. You will feel happy, healthy, vibrant, energetic. Who doesn’t want that?
So why do so many of us skip breakfast? I’ve never been one of these individuals (I love food too much and wouldn’t be able to function past 10 am with nothing in my stomach), so I can only guess the main culprit. Time. Many of us just don’t have enough time in the mornings to prepare a well-balanced meal. We either hit the snooze one too many times, have kids to shuffle off to school, or crying babies demanding attention (these are just a few examples). So often we grab our mug of coffee and the nearest item of food on the counter. If it’s a banana you’re halfway there and are moving in the right direction, but often it’s a bagel, processed breakfast sandwich thingy from the frozen food section (yes, I said thingy, because there isn’t much that’s real in them), or the sugary doughnut.
How do we solve the time conundrum? Prep breakfast ahead of time! This recipe is super easy, is best prepared the day or night before and is chock full of delicious, really good for you ingredients. It can be easily doubled, tripled, and quadrupled (you get the picture...) too. Let’s take a quick look at the nutrient powerhouses in this puppy:
Quinoa: Only thought you could eat oatmeal for breakfast? Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, and has a protein content equal to milk. It has the highest nutrient profile of all whole grains. It is naturally gluten free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber (almost twice as much as other grains). Quinoa is easy to digest, is an ideal food for endurance, and strengthens the kidneys, heart and lungs. It’s pretty simple to cook, 2 cups of water are needed for every 1 cup dried quinoa, and only takes about 20-25 minutes for a large batch that can be used for multiple meals. I’m always looking for ways to cook once and eat twice!
Cacao nibs: Cacao nibs are little crunchy bits of pure, 100% cacao. Think of them as nature’s chocolate chips. Cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet and is a great source of magnesium, iron, manganese and chromium. It improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, and increases mood, energy and longevity. Cacao nibs can be found in health food stores or on Amazon.
Hemp milk: Unsweetened hemp milk is my favorite non-dairy beverage. It is derived from hemp seeds, which are a 33% pure digestible protein and are rich in iron, amino acids, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can find hemp milk at some grocery stores and in natural food stores. The hemp milk in this recipe can easily be substituted by your favorite non-dairy milk (soy, coconut, rice, etc.) or regular dairy milk, if that is what you prefer. When buying non-dairy milk products, be sure to get the unsweetened variety as the sweetened ones are loaded with sugar.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed has three primary health benefits. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, has 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods and are high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Lignans are chemical compounds found in plants that help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and are high in antioxidants. This recipe calls for ground flaxseeds, which can be found in most supermarkets.
Chia seeds: Chia seeds pack a lot of nutrition punch. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and essential minerals. They expand when soaked in liquid so fill you up faster, keeping you satisfied and your blood sugar stable. They are gluten free, can be digested whole and are even used as an egg replacer in recipes. Chia seeds can be found in most supermarkets and on Amazon. Costco now sells them in bulk!
Quinoa Breakfast Porridge (makes 1 serving)
1 cup cooked quinoa (follow cooking instructions on package)
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 banana, sliced
1/4 cup unsweetened hemp milk
Mix ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Store overnight in the fridge in a glass container or mason jar. Enjoy it cold the next morning!!
~Peace, love and healthy noshing~