This blog, originally posted in March for National Nutrition Month, has been updated to include seasonal information to help you get more variety in your diet, save money and support your local farmer. All new information is in italics.
Even though we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so many of us skip it because we're time crunched or just bored. If you make one change this month then commit to eating breakfast and incorporate local seasonal produce for best flavor and price. Here are five of our favorites that you can prepare in 5 minutes or less. Each is a flavorful low-sugar combination packed with protein and complex carbs that will fill you up and help you power through the morning.
1. Eggs Lyonnaise - Inspired by one of my favorite salads, Salade Lyonnaise. Top 1 cup of leftover cooked greens, heated and seasoned to taste, with 1 poached, sunny side up or over easy egg (Remember, you want it runny for the ooziness!). Serve with a slice of complete protein bread, toasted, with a teaspoon of bacon marmalade jam. Alternative: Skip the toast and jam. Add a piece of cooked bacon, crumbled to your sauteed greens before heating.
Collard greens are at their best during the Fall/Winter Months. You'll find beet greens Summer through Winter and chard in Summer and Fall while baby arugula, baby spinach, kale and bok choy are readily available year round.
2. PB & Banana Oatmeal - Cook 1/2 cup quick cooking Irish Oats in 1 cup of boiling water. Stir in 1 TBSP all natural peanut butter just before the oats are finished cooking. Add 1/2 of a large banana, quartered and sliced. Add milk, if desired. In the summer we'll also throw in a spoonful of local fresh ripe blueberries. Yum!
Overnight oats are also a great alternative when you're on the go. To a Mason Jar add 1 part oats, 1 Tbsp nut butter (or pure pumpkin in the Fall) then 2 parts liquid then 1/4 cup other goodies like nuts, chia or hemp seeds. Season as desired (e.g. cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, honey, etc.). Close the jar and refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, shake and top with fresh seasonal fruit like kiwi in the spring, berries in the summer, apples & pears in the Fall and pomegranate in the winter.
3. Open Faced California Melt - Top 1 slice complete protein bread, toasted, with 1/4 avocado, smashed, 1 egg cooked as desired, 2 TBSP salsa. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place in broiler or toaster oven to melt. Add hot sauce for an extra 'Zest'. Alternatives: Bacon, Egg and Avocado, Tomato & Avocado.
Fortunately, we can find avocados in the US pretty much all year long. When selecting toppings go for tomatoes in late summer and early fall, radishes in the winter and spring and roasted butternut squash in the Fall.
4. Hard-Boiled Egg with Ants on a Log - This is a great one if you need breakfast to go. Ants on a Log is an oldie but goody and is traditionally filled with cream cheese. But we suggest an all natural peanut butter or other nut butter instead. Slice one stalk of celery in half, crosswise. Fill as desired then top each piece with a few raisins. Pair with a hard-boiled egg and out the door you go!
In lieu of dried fruit top with chopped apple or pear in the Fall months. Toss the fruit with a little lemon juice first to prevent browning.
5. Banana Split - Now I know this one has you excited but settle down! We're not talking ice cream here but something delicious nonetheless. Split a small banana, lengthwise, but not all the way through - just enough to open it to serve as a 'boat'. Fill with 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Top with fresh berries and a tablespoon of chopped walnuts or granola.
In the Fall sneak veggies into breakfast with pure pumpkin! Combine yogurt with a tablespoon of pure pumpkin and a dash of pumpkin pie spice fill the banana and drizzle with pure maple syrup. Top with chopped toasted pecans.