Start Your Day Off Right
Implement a healthy breakfast into your schedule
While darting out of the house to face your busy day, breakfast may become somewhat of an afterthought. This year, make it your resolution to eat a healthy breakfast every day. To sustain energy and have increased mental abilities, breakfast should be a priority every morning, according to the American Diabetes Association. Studies have shown that breakfast-skippers report irritability, fatigue and restlessness, the organization reports. Whether you want something to grab as you head out the door or a meal for lazy weekends, try these suggestions to help you start healthy breakfast habits this year.
Local bloggers Alex and Sonja Overhiser of acouplecooks.com provide these recipes for a flavor-packed start to your day.
Makes 3 cups
4 cups plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1⁄4 cup honey
Possible toppings: raisins, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, granola, fresh fruit.
Thicken the yogurt: Place a paper towel or cheesecloth in a sieve (or strainer), and place the sieve over a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the sieve and allow it to drain for 3 hours or overnight, in the refrigerator.*
Flavor the yogurt: After the yogurt has thickened, pour it into a bowl. Zest and juice the orange, and add both the orange zest and juice to the yogurt to taste. Then add the vanilla and honey, adjusting the quantities to your own taste.
Top the yogurt with garnishes of your choice. We used raisins and pecans, but the sky’s the limit.
* If you’re short on time, you can skip the thickening step without compromising overall flavor. You also can use Greek yogurt to achieve a thickened consistency.
Honey Almond Granola
Makes 10 cups
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1⁄2 cup slivered almonds
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
3⁄4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 cups raisins
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix vegetable oil, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Add oats, sliced almonds and slivered almonds. Stir with wooden spoon to evenly coat.
Spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake around 45 minutes until golden, removing the pan to stir every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely. Add raisins to the cooled mixture. Store in airtight container.
Vegetable Hash with Eggs
Tony Hanslits, national dean of The Chef’s Academy, offers these colorful options packed with veggies and protein.
Makes 4 servings
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 potatoes, diced
2 green onions, diced
2 stems rosemary, leaves only, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a sauté pan large enough to hold all the vegetables over medium heat, add the oil and then the vegetables. Cook until the potatoes are browned and tender. Add the chopped herbs and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Crack the eggs over the hash and bake in the oven until the eggs are cooked to your preference.
Egg White Frittata
Makes 6 servings
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 small red onion, diced
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 small red pepper, diced
4 ounces asparagus, diced
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 egg whites
1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, add the oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and fresh herbs. Slightly beat egg whites in a large bowl, and add to the skillet. Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until egg is set. Remove from the oven and serve.
Brown vs. White
For years consumers have debated the difference between brown- and white-shelled eggs, but, according to the Egg Nutrition Center, color isn’t an indication of nutritional value. Shell color is dependent on the breed of the hen. The nutrients in eggs come from what the hen eats, and in the U.S., hen feed is primarily corn and soybeans. Flaxseed and algae can be added to the feed to boost omega-3s.