We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, more than half of us skip it due to a variety of reasons.
All of us, and especially children of school age, need to eat healthy, balanced diets to give them the energy and brain power to get through their days. However that doesn’t often happen.
Having raised four children, I know that nutritious meals are key to healthy and energetic children, so this year I have become the new spokesperson for the national “Breakfast for Learning” foundation, an organization that focuses on educating children on nutrition in our schools.
Here are some breakfast recipes to get you started:
Rose’s Whole Wheat Nut ’n’ Fruit Granola
You’ll never want to eat packaged granola again after you try this. This is the number-one breakfast food in my catering company. It also has fewer calories and less fat than other granolas due to a smaller amount of oil and the use of apple juice and maple syrup. Serve with yogurt or milk.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Makes 4 cups
• 2 cups large rolled oats
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 3 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup apple juice
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
• 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
• 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with vegetable oil.
Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, oil, apple juice, maple syrup and nuts in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, tossing once to prevent burning.
Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Add the dried fruit and stir. Store in an airtight container.
Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf
Banana loaf is an all-time favourite. The traditional loaves are made with an excess of oil and chocolate chips. By using more banana and light sour cream, I enhance the flavour so I can use fewer chips and less oil. This is great as a dessert, breakfast or snack.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes 1 loaf, 8 slices
• 1 large ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 1/2- × 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil.
Using a whisk or electric mixer, combine the banana, oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and sour cream in a large bowl until smooth.
In another bowl, combine both flours, baking powder and baking soda. With a wooden spoon, stir the dry mixture into the banana mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing.
Frittata with Baby Spinach, Caramelized Onions and Aged Cheddar
A frittata is an open-faced omelette with a variety of toppings. This version mixes some sweet flavourings from the caramelized onions with a savoury taste from the spinach and aged cheddar.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 9 minutes
• 1 tsp vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup diced onions
• 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
• 1/2 tsp brown sugar
• 1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs)
• 3 egg whites
• 1/3 cup low-fat milk
• salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup baby spinach
• 1/3 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese
Spray a small nonstick skillet with vegetable oil. Add the oil and set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and lightly browned. Add the brown sugar and sauté on low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk together the egg substitute, egg whites and milk, and season with salt and pepper. Add the onion mixture.
Spray a 9-inch skillet with vegetable oil, add the egg mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 4 minutes, or until nearly set. Add the spinach and cheddar cheese, cover and cook until the frittata is set, about 2 minutes. Slip the frittata onto a serving platter with a spatula. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Rose Reisman is an author, media personality, nutritionist, and the inspiration behind a fresh food delivery service, Personal Gourmet, and new website, The Art of Living Well. Visit Rose at www.rosereisman.com & www.personalgourmet.ca