What’s for Breakfast?
by Stacey Tress
Hannah Whitaker for the New York Times writes: “Saki Suzuki, 2 3/4 years old, Tokyo. The first time Saki ate the fermented soybean dish called natto, she was seven months old. She promptly vomited. Her mother, Asaka, thinks that perhaps this was because of the smell, which is vaguely suggestive of canned cat food. But in time, the gooey beans became Saki’s favourite food and a constant part of her traditional Japanese breakfasts. Also on the menu are white rice, miso soup, kabocha squash simmered in soy sauce and sweet sake (kabocha no nimono), pickled cucumber (Saki’s least favourite dish), rolled egg omelet (tamagoyaki), and grilled salmon.”
Do you lack imagination when it comes to breakfast? The vast majority of us, surveys say, start our days with cold cereal—and those of us with children are more likely to buy the kinds with the most sugar. Children all over the world eat cornflakes and drink chocolate milk, of course, but in many places they also eat things that could strike us as strange, or worse.
Breakfast for a child in Burkina Faso, for example, might well include millet-seed porridge; in Japan, rice and a putrid soybean goop known as natto; in Jamaica, a mush of plantains or peanuts or cornmeal; in New Zealand, toast covered with Vegemite, a salty paste made of brewer’s yeast; and in China, jook, a rice gruel topped with pickled tofu, strings of dried meat or egg. In Cuba, Brazil, and elsewhere in Latin America, it is not uncommon to find very young children sipping coffee with milk in the mornings. In Pakistan, kids often take their milk with Rooh Afza, a bright red syrup made from fruits, flowers, and herbs. Swedish filmjolk is one of dozens of iterations of soured milk found on breakfast tables across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. For a child in southern India, the day might start with a steamed cake made from fermented lentils and rice called idli. “The idea that children should have bland, sweet food is a very industrial presumption,” says Krishnendu Ray, a professor of food studies at New York University who grew up in India. “In many parts of the world, breakfast is tepid, sour, fermented, and savoury.”
What does my family eat for breakfast?
I’m on point with what Krishnendu Ray states, as I also prefer a breakfast that is tepid, sour, fermented, and savoury. I can’t handle sweet in the morning. My breakfast is typically porridge/oatmeal topped with homemade granola and milk kefir. My girls eat this most mornings as well, although they prefer it with the addition of sugar. We usually eat oatmeal most mornings, but branch out and try different things like milk kefir smoothies, sourdough waffles, or a fruit, nut, and cheese plate. Lately, I’ve been enjoying a fried rice dish mixed with scrambled eggs and topped with a spicy kraut. I was inspired to try some fried rice dishes for breakfast after a chat I had with a friend from work. Not sure how the conversation started, but I remember her saying, “I eat rice three times a day, and usually for breakfast I have rice with some fried pork.”
Eating something for breakfast is oh so important—and certainly better than no breakfast. A nutrient-dense breakfast can have a profound positive effect on your kids’ day. (And those big kids, too—speaking to my hubby here as he’s one of those that still prefers a coffee only breakfast.) Kids who don’t eat breakfast are less able to learn at school, get less iron (an important nutrient) in their diets, and are more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), which is a sign they may be overweight (as those that skip breakfast tend to eat more calories throughout the rest of the day).
On the other hand, kids who eat breakfast do better in school, are more likely to participate in physical activities, and tend to eat healthier overall.
Just as with other meals, try to eat a variety of foods, including:
• grains (make at least half your grains whole grains)
• protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, nuts, and seeds)
• dairy products (low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt)
Are you feeling rushed in the morning or uninspired? Here are some delicious, nutritious (and some of them are quick!) ideas to try:
First, some standard ones:
• French toast, waffles, or pancakes (try wheat or whole-grain varieties) -> on the weekend or when I find a bit more time, I like to make a batch of sourdough waffles to freeze and then in the morning my 6 year old can just pop one in the toaster to reheat
• cold cereal and milk (look for whole grain and low sugar varieties)
• hot cereal, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat (try some dried fruit or nuts on top)
• whole-grain toast, bagel, or English muffin with cheese
• yogurt with fruit, nuts, and/or granola (I’ll post my family approved “Seedy Granola” recipe at the end of the article)
• fruit smoothie
And now some weird (but yummy) ones:
• banana dog (peanut butter, a banana, and raisins in a long whole-grain bun)
• breakfast taco (shredded cheese on a tortilla, folded in half and microwaved; topped with salsa)
• country cottage cheese (apple butter mixed with cottage cheese)
• fruit and cream cheese sandwich (use strawberries or other fresh fruit)
• sandwich—grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or another favourite
• leftovers (they’re not just for dinner anymore!)
• milk kefir smoothie (our family favourite is milk kefir, ripe banana, frozen raspberries, and chia seeds)
• protein or power balls (see recipes)
Looking at all these ideas above, you begin to see a pattern. We don’t need sugar for breakfast, we need protein. Protein is the fuel that keeps you going. Carbohydrates fuel too but since they are simple sugars when you break it down, they don’t last as long in the system.
3–4 cups quick oats
1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup to 1 cup each sunflower, pepita (pumpkin),
and hemp seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 cup or so flax seeds
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (can skip coconut oil and just
use all olive oil)
1/2 cup or so olive oil
1/4 cup or so maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (can also use allspice)
Preheat oven to 300ºF. Add dry ingredients, then add in the wet ones and mix. Line a large baking sheet with parchment, dump the granola onto it and smooth out a bit. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. I like to stir it up a bit at least once during the baking as the sides tend to brown first. Let cool and then transfer to containers to store (also freezes well!). If you’ve added too much “wet” (oil), you’ll find you have to break up the granola a bit when transferring from the baking sheet. Makes about 8 cups.
• Can top granola with dried fruit (cranberries) and shredded coconut (I do this step as the granola is cooling)
• This recipe is super versatile and you can change it up by adding chopped almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds….whatever you happen to have on hand!
• Use raw nuts/seeds as I found the roasted ones I used in this recipe lend a rancid taste to the granola.
(my adapted recipe from Allrecipes.com Classic Waffles)
1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup sourdough discard*
(you can also make this with whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups milk kefir
1/3 cup butter melted
1 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar; set aside. Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk kefir, butter, and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; beat until blended.
Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Cook waffles until golden and crisp.
- These waffles freeze well, and to reheat just pop into the toaster. Batter can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge… just be sure to mix well again before using.
- *Sourdough Discard: for those that have a sourdough starter, the discard is referred to that “not awesome bubbly starter” that you would pull out and “discard” before feeding to use for bread. You can make this a true Sourdough Waffle recipe by combining the flour, salt, sourdough discard, and milk kefir together overnight and then add remaining ingredients in the morning.
- Try adding hemp seed, cacao powder, or orange zest!
Some Health Benefits of Sourdough Waffles vs Classic Waffles
Anything that is fermented or soaked is easier to digest. By using the sourdough discard in place of 1 cup of the regular flour, you are now getting a more digestible food and one that is easier to assimilate. When we ferment flour, it is also lower glycemic (less sugar) and the same goes for the milk. The bacteria and yeast in the sourdough need a fuel source to work their magic, and in this case it’s the simple sugars in the flour and the lactase in the milk. So this recipe is easier to digest and lower in sugar. If you did the overnight treatment and made these into a true Sourdough Waffle recipe -> these benefits would be increased.
Crunchy Raw Protein Balls
Prep: 10 minutes
Author: Karielyn Tillman—The Healthy Family and Home
Yield: 20 small balls
Raw/Vegan/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/No-Bake/Paleo-Friendly/No Refined Sugar
1 cup almond flour
4 tbsp organic raw/vegan protein powder
1/2 cup organic nut butter
1/4 cup organic sesame seeds
1/4 cup organic chia seeds
1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder
2–3 tbsp organic maple syrup
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until everything is well combined and in a crumbly, paste-type consistency.
Scoop out a small spoonful at a time and squeeze tightly in the palm of your hands, then roll them into a small ball shape.
Serve plain, or roll in sesame seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, raw cacao powder, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Refrigerate and they will become firmer. Enjoy!
Superfoods for Babies and Children, Annabel Karmel
Crunchy Raw Protein Balls: www.thehealthyfamilyandhome.com/crunchy-raw-protein-balls
Seedy Granola—Stacey Tress Garden Therapy Yorkton
Sourdough Waffles -> my (Stacey Tress) adapted recipe inspired by this one www.allrecipes.com/recipe/22180/waffles-i
Stacey Tress, a Holistic Nutritional Therapist (HNT) and Young Living Essential Oil Distributor (#2282633), lives in Rhein, SK with her husband and two daughters. She is the owner of Garden Therapy Yorkton which offers fermentation workshops, permaculture design work, organically-grown produce, and more! She also offers essential oil support and carries a wide variety of Young Living Essential Oils and products for sale. To learn more, call 306-641-4239, email: email@example.com, or on Facebook “Garden Therapy Yorkton.” Also see the display ad on page 9 of the 23.5 January/February issue of the WHOLifE Journal.