Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's for Breakfast?

I'm in a hurry to leave the house most mornings, which could be remedied if I'd stop beating the snooze button to death.  I've tried to convince myself that I'm not hungry in the a.m. - until about 10:00 when I invariably pull the box of Cheerios from my drawer at work and eat a pile of them, dry.  No, not in a bowl.  It's a pile, right there on a kleenex beside the keyboard.  Around 11:00, on the premise of checking for mail, I make the circuit down to the mailroom/kitchen to see if there's food on the 'free for all' table.  Usually it's bare, and I'm starving by noon.  I didn't realize how much like a vulture that sounds...

Lately, many nutrition-minded articles rant on and on about eating breakfast..."most important meal of the day," "gives you energy," "boosts metabolism," blah blah blah.  Formerly a dissenter, I'm becoming convinced.  For the past 3 weeks I've had a good - yet small and relatively calorie-conscious - breakfast.  I'm living proof it does make a difference in the day - no more homing in on the closest available food!

Some of my favorite light, healthy breakfasts include:
  • an egg and a piece or two of good-for-you toast.  (Good-for-you toast means something that usually says "high fiber!" or "low fat!" on the label, and speaks of grains and no high-fructose corn syrup.) 
  • a homemade egg mcmuffin - really easy if you keep some thin-sliced deli ham on hand.  Toast the English muffin while you quickly fry the egg in the tiniest bit of butter or margarine; then for just a few seconds, after you gently lay that egg on the toasted muffin, hit the ham with some heat in the same skillet to warm it. 
  • fruit/yogurt/granola parfait - a great way to get your fruit, calcium, and some grains in one yummy treat.  Plain, lowfat yogurt doesn't get in the way of the fresh fruity taste.  Sometimes I skip the fruit and just have a yogurt/granola sundae.
  • and my on-the-run favorite:  two Eggo Nutri-grain low-fat waffles spread with about a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter.  An easy take-along.
Weekend is coming and I hope you'll have time to make a hearty, healthy breakfast.  My choice:  Farmer's Flapjacks - made with buttermilk and oatmeal, they may just hold you over 'til dinner.

Farmer's Flapjacks

Soak 1 cup oatmeal in 1 cup buttermilk.  If you don't have buttermilk, put a generous splash of vinegar in the bottom of your glass measuring cup, then fill to the one cup line with milk.  Voila!  Instant buttermilk.  Either old-fashioned or instant oatmeal will do.  Instant can be used right away - but may not give the same rustic texture.  If you use old-fashioned oatmeal, soak in the milk for at least an hour - up to overnight.

Mix together 1/4 cup flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 Tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.  Optional here is the addition of 1 Tablespoon flaxseed - it will punch up the nutty flavor, and who doesn't need a little more omega-3!  But the recipe will work out just fine without it.

After the oatmeal has soaked, add it to the dry mixture, along with 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of melted butter.  Mix thoroughly.

They're ready for the lighly-buttered griddle! Set the temp around 325 and you can use a large-size ice cream scoop to keep them somewhat uniform. This recipe makes about 10 medium-size flapjacks.  Flip when bubbles start to break on the top.  Enjoy with butter, syrup, or as T likes to do: chunky peanut butter AND syrup!

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