Monday, March 2, 2009

What's for Breakfast?

Responses to the last Good, Better, Best post got me thinking about breakfast. Which is fitting since there are lots of grains involved.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." - Everyone
"Part of this complete, balanced breakfast." - The guy on cereal commercials

So how do we make breakfast a MEAL? How do we make it COMPLETE and BALANCED?

Is cold cereal at the bottom of the totem pole? Does it depend on which box we're talking about? Would Froot Loops and Coco Puffs be on the bottom and Grape Nuts up a little higher? (Anna, I'm interested in your take on this as you labeled "healthy" cereal and granola bars as "edible food like substances".)

What other options are there?
Cold cereal, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, bagles, English muffins, muffins, toast, French toast, granola . . . These are what I would call typical breakfast foods. What is good about these? What could be Better?

What do YOU think? Please, write a nice long comment and let's discuss breakfast.


  1. We love smoothies. I always freeze fruit that is getting over-ripe and pop it in the blender with 100% juice or water, fresh apples, berries or anything else we have on hand. I always throw in some veggies too...usually spinach, it turns the smoothie green but you can't taste it and it's yummy. The kids can't get enough. I put ground up flax seed in mine but the kids don't like the texture. Smooties and whole grain toast is a favorite with us and it is also very fast--my husband has time to drink one before running out the door. The fruit and veggies give us quick energy and kick start the morning while the whole grain bread provides more sustained energy for the morning.

    Our second favorite breakfast are muffins...raspberry bran, bannana cauliflower (that's right, I throw pureed veggies in these too) or applesauce. I try and stay away from muffin mixes because of the expense and the added sugar. Plus, the homemade kind are easy to make and perfect for a Saturday morining when we have a little more time to get going.

    Thanks for all the good info and ideas on the site! Love it.

  2. Throwing spinach in the smoothies -- i love it. That's great. I just need to get a better blender. a vita-mix would be ideal huh? do you have one of those Elizabeth?

    I just read an article the other day that proposed that you eat more dinner types of food for breakfast. Where was I reading that??? It was pointing out that usually our American breakfasts are so sweet. and carb-ish. They were proposing stir frys and breakfast pizzas and more savory filling foods. If it is the most important meal of the day, which makes sense to me, then we should be eating more substantially.

    We have been eating a lot of oatmeal. Plain Cheerios is our stand-by cereal. Only one gram of sugar. We fill it full of fruit -- bananas, strawberries or bluberries. Whole Wheat pancakes. scrambled eggs and toast. We get our eggs from a local church member who raises hens! Lucky us! Beautiful brown eggs... and they are delicious!

    I do love breakfast. I could eat all of those things I just mentioned for every meal...

  3. Likely - Was it this article? We eat ward member hen's eggs too! It's a great deal. :)

  4. Does anyone know of a good website or book with smoothie recipes? I know, it should be easy - just throw in some stuff - but I'm not that confident in my smoothie experimentation abilities (yet).

  5. So, what I meant when I said "healthy" breakfast foods and granola bars is most (Special K, Wheaties, Cheerios,raisin bran, Chex, and often the organic stuff) are chock full of sugar and unreadable ingredients and are very highly processed. My kids LOVE cold cereal for breakfast, and since our mornings are so rushed we usually have cold cereal or hot cereal. I admit, I love the convenience of cold cereal, and am too lazy to make nice fancy breakfasts. I just know that I can't make myself do that consistently so I rely on good cereals and fruit. My kids will only eat oatmeal, but I LOVE the Red Mill 10 grain hot cereal with a touch of honey. The only kinds of cold cereal on offer at our house are:
    Shredded Wheat: Whole Grain Wheat and BHT in the packaging. I don't know much about BHT. Maybe I should be worried, but it is a pretty basic ingreidient list. One item, and whole grain.
    Grape Nuts (because my husband will buy them if I don't): Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Salt, Dried Yeast, Soy Lecithin (? a preservative??), and sprayed on vitamins and minerals. Not the best, but not the worst.
    Weetabix (an old nostalgic childhood favorite from England): Organic Whole Wheat, Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice, Organic Barley Malt Extract, Sea Salt and sprayed on vitamins and minerals.
    Last is the granola I make. The recipe is over on the less meat blog, but it is very similar to the one someone else posted here. I love it and my kids and husband won't eat it. Stinkers. But I am working on it.
    As for the milk we put on our cereal, I am starting to wonder if I should switch to soy. I'm not quite there yet and need to do some more reading. So for now we have a daily dose of milk on our cereal.
    I love eggs, but due to the inhumane living quarters of most commercial chicken operations I try to avoid those. Someday I hope to have my own eggs or a nice neighbor who raises eggs and shares them with me. So for now eggs aren't really on our menu very often.
    The Mark Bitman NYTimes post referenced above regarding breakfast was very interesting. I don't know if I am that ready to abandon my cereal yet, but he makes some interesting suggestions.

  6. In my quest to cut out all sugar, I started eating rolled oats, with a small handful of nuts and a banana with milk for breakfast. Now that I've added some sugar back in my diet, I still stick to the same breakfast. It's filling, it's yummy, it's quick, and I feel good the whole morning.

  7. I LOVE doing green smoothies for breakfast, just like Elizabeth. Spinach is the best but if you are a little daring you can put kale in (Kale is really good for you). I find that if I have a big green smoothie for breakfast (frozen blue berries, strawberries, 1 banana and a hand full of spinich leaves and Agave to sweeten it) I feel satisfied (not stuffed but why should we stuff ourselves?) and I don't crave sugary/bread-like foods the rest of the day. I'm also less sluggish.

    I also like to cook oats and put a cut up banana in with honey or cut up apple with cinamon :P

    Yogurt and fruit is another good one or yogurt mixed with granola (a more natural kind of granola) and eat a cut up mango or banana or apple along with it. My mom likes to get the plain natural yougurt (i think its the kind from Costco), mix it with some natural brown sugar and frozen blue berries. It's tastes like dessert!!!


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