I realize that I've been lacking in the breakfast department recently, and I promise I'll make up for it. You see, my lack of breakfast recipes recently is probably a reflection of my breakfast routine which, albeit (mostly) healthy, can get a little mundane.
You know that during the week, I don't get too creative with breakfast for myself. I usually just make a green smoothie and call it a morning.
There are some days that the smoothie holds me over until lunch, and there are some days I need a little something in-between. Those days, my stomach starts to growl at 10:45am on the dot. It usually happens when I am running around doing a million things, so I succumb to buying some sort of sugary pastry because it is the easiest and most accessible thing.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good pastry once in a while, but if I am going to indulge I want to be leisurely hanging out with the New York Times in one hand and a perfectly made latte in the other. Not rushing around with the pastry shoved in my purse sneaking bites every once in a while just to hold me over until lunch.
I really needed to chill out on the mid-morning purse pastry eating habit of mine so I decided to come up with something - on the healthier side - that I can make and keep around for a mid-morning snack. But not just something healthy, I wanted something I would really enjoy eating.
Granola was out. I am not a huge granola fan, I mean, I will eat it if it is the only thing around but I don't really enjoy it. I do love oatmeal, nuts, and berries, but if I needed something to grab on the go, the oatmeal would have to be baked in the oven instead of on the stove.
Baked oatmeal bars were the winner. An on the go type breakfast food, or a mid-morning snack. Heck, you can even eat these for dessert with some ice cream if you like.
I know that my busy, on the go friends appreciate breakfast recipes like this.
These bars are loaded with healthy goodies. They are gluten-free (as long as you use gluten-free oats) and they can be made vegan omitting the egg. Chia seeds, cinnamon, oats, blueberries and pomegranates are all super ingredients loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. A little bonus added into the morning routine.
My morning routine goes a little like this:
I wake up, usually early, before Michael leaves for work. I make myself a warm water with lemon, and then I make us a green smoothie.
I take Bayley for a walk, the same route every morning. Two blocks north, four blocks west, two blocks south, then four blocks east back home. I pick up the New York Times from our front door step and go back upstairs and plan my day.
Recently, I added a new step to this routine. I go out mid-morning and I get a cup of coffee. I quit drinking coffee for about a year because I thought it was healthier to not have that habit, however I found that I was really missing that part of my routine. I was not necessarily missing the coffee or the caffeine, I was missing the ritual of going out to get a cup of coffee.
In my neighborhood, there is no shortage of really good coffee places. I have about three that I frequent depending on my mood and the weather (how far I am willing to walk in the cold) and how strong of a cup of coffee I want (or need).
I love being a part of the morning hustle and bustle. I love watching other people take part in their morning routine. I love seeing the regulars sneer at the tourists who don’t know how to order efficiently. I love seeing what people are wearing and I listen to what they are ordering. I love to watch a good barista at work.
It’s part of my routine, but I feel like it is a break from my routine. It breaks up my morning.
You might not have guessed it from reading this blog, but I get into a routine with recipes that I make for us at home. I will get stuck eating the same thing over and over, for breakfast especially. It is usually a green smoothie or eggs (made by Michael over the weekend). I’ve been trying to break it up by doing something different one or two days out of the week.
Recently I decided I was going to make some chia seed pudding and keep it around, for breakfast, for a snack, or maybe even for a little dessert. It's super easy to make, it's a set it and forget it type of recipe, so I figured it was an easy way to switch up my routine.
I decided to take it one step further and change up my chia seed pudding recipe a bit. Watch out, things are getting crazy over here. When we were in Switzerland a few weeks ago, a lot of the desserts we had were flavored with vanilla + cardamom. I decided that when I got home I needed to incorporate those ingredients, and chia seed pudding seemed like the perfect candidate.
I have never seen or made a fancy chia seed pudding, so I thought, why not. There is no reason chia seed pudding cannot get fancy.
This fancy chia seed pudding helped break up my morning recipe routine, and then some. Because it is good to break up the routine once in a while.
I've been chatting with some of you about what kind of recipes are helpful to you, and it sounds like we are all very busy people. Too busy. Too busy to make breakfast, too busy to make lunch, and too busy (and tired) to come home and make dinner.
With that in mind, I am trying to include more recipes for busy people so that they can eat homemade + healthy more often. Starting with breakfast.
My great pal, nutritionist, and fellow health enthusiast, Tiffany, asked for an easy recipe for breakfast on the go. This one right here might take a little effort up front, but it can be made ahead of time and it will last you a good couple of days. As you would expect, it is dairy-free and gluten-free and oh-so delicious.
Making your breakfast the night or weekend before and putting it in a jar is a great way for you to be able to enjoy a lovely homemade breakfast on the go. Getting into the habit of making breakfast or lunch for yourself at least a few days a week is just one little thing you can do to improve your overall health + might even put a smile on your face.
News flash! You can put anything in a jar and take it with you, not just this recipe. Oatmeal + raisins, muesli + fruit, or maybe even a little yogurt parfait. All you need is 30 or so minutes on a Sunday afternoon, and you have breakfast ready to go for a few days out of your week.
If you do not own a mason jars, you can also make this in whichever travel container you like to use. I love mason jars (who doesn't). They serve so many purposes. The tight lids also offer extra insurance if you are traveling with your breakfast so that you do not end up with it all over your car or handbag.
Now, of course, if you do not have an office job and you just want to make this for yourself or your boyfriend / husband / girlfriend / stranger, by all means. This recipe is great for that too.
And remember ... you should never skip breakfast, it really is the most important meal of the day :)
For my first recipe of 2013, I hope you weren't expecting a salad or a smoothie.
Now is probably a good time to tell you that I don't really do resolutions. Not to discourage the cleansers and the dieters - I'm proud of you, yay! - but I do believe that we should be making good decisions to eat healthier all year round, not just in January.
I do feel it is important to take the time to reflect on the past year and think about what was good and what was maybe not so good and make slight life adjustments accordingly.
If I ate too many pieces of pie last year, maybe I try to not eat so much pie this year.
If I didn't eat enough kale last year (not really possible), maybe I try to eat more kale this year.
If I drank one too many glasses of champagne at a christmas party (that may have happened), maybe I try to drink one less next time.
Cutting things out of your life that you enjoy are only going to make you want them twice as much, at least that is what happens to me. So, I prefer to make little changes in order to create more balance.
That's what it is all about, isn't it?
Okay, onto pancakes.
I've been on a bit of a pancake kick lately. More than normal.
I guess I was feeling like I needed some more pancakes in my life ... you know, to balance things out.
I made these pancakes with a mixture of quinoa flour and white rice flour, which turned out to be a pretty nice gluten-free blend. The only thing I would mention is that they do have a strong quinoa flavor .... so if you you want more of a subtle quinoa taste, feel free to lessen the ratio of quinoa flour. Say more like 3/4 cups of white rice flour and 1/4 cup of quinoa flour.
If you did make resolutions, I hope that they are ones that you will benefit from all year and bring balance (and maybe some extra pancakes) to your life.