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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Smart Tips for Healthy Breakfasts

Smart Tips for Healthy Breakfasts

Waking up late. Getting the kids fed and off to school in time. Walking the dogs. Rushing to be at work on time. Not feeling hungry. Having nothing quick in the cupboards. These are all factors that can prevent us from eating a balanced and healthy breakfast. Tagged as the most important meal of the day, breakfast should be a part of everyone’s morning ritual. Our bodies need that wake up call to jump start our metabolism and fuel all of the involuntary processes that keep us alive. Our minds need that same fuel to help us focus for the long morning ahead of us. Here are a few tips to help you start the morning off right:

Stock your pantry with quick and healthy breakfast items.
- Quick cooking whole grains like oats, bulgur, or quinoa are quick and easy.
- Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, or grapefruit can be taken along to eat later.
- Frozen fruit in your freezer makes an easy addition to breakfast cereals, granola and yogurt. It’s also handy for making a warm fruit sauce to go inside crepes, over whole grain pancakes.
- Keep quick items like peanut butter, rice cakes, whole grain bread or bagels on hand at your home or office.
- Canned beans and salsa make healthy, delicious and easy additions to scrambles or breakfast burritos.
- Frozen vegetables are good to have on hand for easy additions to omelets, scrambles, and burritos

Be prepared!
- Get up 15 minutes earlier.
- Prepare omelet batter the night before and bake off one or two mini omelets in a muffin tin. You can even bake several at a time and keep them in your fridge for up to a week.
- Prepare low-sugar carrot or apple muffin batter the night before and bake them throughout the week.
- Pre-cook whole grain cereals the night before and add fruit and nuts in the morning. Warm it all up in the microwave.
- Make whole grain crepe batter the night before and cook off one or two in the morning. Fill them with fresh or frozen fruit, cottage cheese, or even eat it savory, with spinach and feta or any vegetable mixture you like.
- Hard boil a few eggs to keep handy in your refrigerator

Don’t make these your morning ritual.
- Sugary muffins, donuts, and pastries
- Refined grain muffins and bagels
- Fatty foods like sausage, bacon, and eggs sandwiches or omelets

Make substitutions for your health.
- Use egg whites to make omelets or scrambles to lower the fat and cholesterol.
- Substitute tofu for eggs to lower the fat and cholesterol.
- Be lean with your protein. Use turkey or chicken sausage instead of pork or beef.
- Use more beans and less meat. Beans are a great source of protein that is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but low in cholesterol and fat.
- Rethink your drink. Choose 100% juice, instead of sugary “juice drinks.” Reducing the amount of sugar you add to your coffee, or opt for no sugar at all.

Keeping all of that in mind, here are some tasty, and nutritious, breakfast recipes:

Mini Frittata (Baked Omelets)
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups fresh or frozen vegetables (thinly sliced or chopped)
Zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, kale, or whatever else you like!
Herbs — basil, tarragon, thyme if you have them
Salt and pepper
4-6 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
Grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese to cover
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Optional: Add in hot chili powder and beans or cooked lean meat, such as chicken or turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 350° F. Sauté onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil. After 3-4 minutes, add other veggies except spinach or kale. Sauté 3-5 minutes. Add seasonings and then spinach/kale. Sauté 2 minutes more. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk until frothy. Drain liquid from vegetables and then combine with eggs. Pour mixture into a well greased muffin tin (you can bake off as many or as little as you like). Top with cheeses. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Helpful Hints! Baked omelets, or frittatas as they’re called in Spain, can be saved for later and eaten cold with salsa and tortillas. Or you can keep some of the batter in the fridge and bake them all week!

Carrot Spice Muffins
25 min | 10 min prep
Makes 18 muffins

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
OR 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup honey or brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/8 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Mix together dry ingredients — flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice. Mix together wet ingredients — honey/brown sugar, egg, buttermilk/yogurt, oil, vanilla and the carrots, raisins and nuts. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just moistened. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

1 comment

1 solataire { 12.30.10 at 4:11 am }

We didn’t have a traditional Christmas dinner this year. Instead we made and served several different types of pizza – including of course vegetarian pizza. it was amazing how many people were not vegetarians – most in fact – were waiting for that pizza to come out of the oven because they all wanted some of it- more than they did the one with “the works”. The other favorite was the Chicken alfredo made with homemade alfredo sauce as the base and chicken and peppers and mushrooms added right along with the cheese topping. The other pizzas – Canadian bacon, ‘the works’, Pepporoni, Pepporoni & Jalapeno, & Cheese while popular did were not waited not as much as the Vegetarian or the Chicken Alfredo or enjoyed as much. That told us a lot. Healthy food could be enjoyed by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike and it didn’t have to neccesarily be traditional fare to be an enjoyable holiday for everyone.

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