I'll be honest: breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. I've never really liked traditional breakfast foods - waffles, pancakes, french toast, regular toast, oatmeal - it's all yuck to me. But, over the years, I've learned the importance of breakfast for jump-starting a productive, healthy, happy day. Here are some of my non-traditional, super-healthy family favorites.
Green Smoothie Juice
This isn't quite a smoothie and it isn't quite juice - it's somewhere in between. A serving of this will jump-start your morning better than coffee (yes, I really said that!) and will make you feel like a superhero. When our whole family had the flu a week before Christmas, I had a variation of this from a local juice shop and it brought me back to life instantly. I knew I had to start making it at home. The best part: you don't need a fancy juicer and this takes about 5 minutes to make. I combine a cup of ice, a cup of water a handful of kale, a handful of spinach, one pear, one green apple, a 1-inch nub of peeled ginger and a few tablespoons of lemon juice and whir until smooth. Add water as needed to thin out and you're ready to go! I often make this before bed and jar it with a straw for the commute to work in the morning.
Avocado Rice Cakes
I am always down for anything trending involving avocados, but, I've never been a fan of toast. About a year ago, I started making my own version of Instagram-worthy avocado toast using rice cakes instead of bread. In a small bowl, I mash 1 avocado and mix with a tablespoon of diced red onion, a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, a squeeze of lime juice and a good helping of salt and pepper. I smear the topping onto the rice cakes and drizzle with a little hot sauce. It is absolutely delicious and REALLY filling! Bonus: though rice cakes don't offer much in the way of nutrition, they have a very low caloric value so if you're counting calories, this is an easy way to fill up!
Daisy absolutely loves hard-boiled eggs. HBE are such a good source of lean protein, as soon as I discovered she would eat eggs this way, I set out to figure out as many preparations as possible. Deviled eggs were an obvious choice – one of my favorite snacks in the world. For Daisy, I cook 12 hard boiled eggs (or, most often, I buy a dozen HBE in a bag at Trader Joes) then cut them in half. Squeeze out the yolks into a bowl and mix with mayonnaise, a bit of Dijon mustard, a splash of lemon juice and a nice helping of salt and pepper. I like to add cayenne pepper too. Mix thoroughly and either spoon or pipe the yolk filling back into the eggs then top with a bit of dill or chives and serve.
Yogurt, Coconut, Granola & Berries
This is a great option for those who crave sugar in the morning. These days, you can find granola in a hundred flavors, with or without grains. I love Trader Joe's granola. I like to mix it with a scoop or two of greek yogurt, a helping of fresh berries like blueberries, strawberries and blackberries, then sprinkle with shredded coconut (unsweetened) and, if your audience loves sweet, a drizzle of agave syrup.
Some other favorite recipes...
Breakfast Ricotta with Berries & Maple Syrup
My amazing mother-in-law always brings a bevy of culinary treats when she visits and this Christmas, she was in charge of breakfast so I could sleep in. Knowing that I am not a traditional breakfast fan, she brought the ingredients for this dish especially for me (and homemade the ricotta!) and I fell in love instantly (as I do with everything she makes). The ricotta is pillowy light, not too sweet and the berries are the perfect complement. She served it with caramelized almonds instead of maple syrup and the presentation was elegant but the taste, even better!
Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia
When I am hosting company and don't have the luxury of sleeping in, this is a crowd pleaser. I like to make it with ciabatta bread but any thick Italian bread will work. I use cherry tomatoes and parmesan in there too. You can add whatever you'd like, this is just a base. Make this on a Sunday night then re-heat and serve all week long for an easy family breakfast!
Here's to starting the morning right! Bon appetit loves!