Monday, September 1, 2008

Getting back to breakfast

We are Americans. We like it quick. Cereal and milk. Toast and butter. Bagel and cream cheeese. Coffee and pastry.

I don't know about you, but I can understand why this meal is often skipped. Where's the passion? Where's the excitement? It seems to me what passes for breakfast food is the result of years of marketing in the American psyche. If we were to go back 100 years ago, before Kelloggs, General Mills, and Starbucks entered the realm of the American diet, I am sure the choices we made were far different.

When was the last time you prepared a breakfast you were very proud of yourself? Most people can remember a dinner, maybe even a lunch. But breakfast escapes most people. Yet it is arguably the most important meal of the day.

I think a solid meal in the morning is a bowl of steel cut oatmeal. While this may sound boring, I find inspiration from the types of toppings: shredded coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, crystallized ginger, dates, toasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax seeds. My friend Sacha suggests heating up the water with a bag of chai tea. With the right combination, you'll find you don't even need to add any sugar! I find this approach much more satisfying than a bowl of Shredded Wheat.

I think it also helps to look overseas for inspiration. I've recently taken to a Japanese style breakfast. A simple saute of bok choy, carrots, scrambled eggs, and brown rice can go a long way. It is also a great way to use leftover rice from the day before! Sounds good? Check out the recipe below.

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