A Clean Breakfast Is The Best Way To Start The Day

Doesn’t this look WAY better than instant oatmeal?

Usually healthier breakfasts look a little bland but this healthy breakfast is so colorful and really tasty.

quinoa cereal with fruit

 

What’s in it?

Quinoa

English: cooked red quinoa
English: cooked red quinoa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Keen-wah, as it’s pronounced, is a “super food” as it can provide 9 essential amino acids, including lysine. However, ignore what you heard about it being a grain because that isn’t accurate. Quinoa is actually more closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. Tumbleweeds? Who’s eating tumbleweeds?

English: Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
English: Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Eeyore’s favorite

I don’t know what tumbleweeds (or thistle) taste like, perhaps quite tasty, but I can tell you that quinoa actually is quite versatile, which is a nice way of saying bland. However, that’s a good thing.  Quinoa is very good (like tofu) for its ability to absorb the flavors it’s in whether it be a broth, seasonings or, in our case, fresh fruit.

Walnuts

Walnuts
Walnuts (Photo credit: _-0-_)

Did you know that walnuts contain plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat; vitamins and minerals and dietary fiber? They also have omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your brain because, uh, can’t remember. Should eat some more walnuts. I jest. Omega-3 fatty acids are good to help your brain perform better.   And they provide crunch to your cereal.

Almonds

Unshelled (left) and shelled (right) almonds
Unshelled (left) and shelled (right) almonds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almonds, like other nuts including the walnut, can help increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL). Said another way almonds are good for your heart and a great to snack on. But are you like me and snack on them too much? Try getting the nuts with the shell and crack them as you watch old episodes of 30 Rock, or whatever show you enjoy. You have to work to get the nuts and the piles of shells can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten a lot as opposed to eating 15+ unshelled almonds in one sitting.

Coconut

English: IT IS A COCONUT
IT IS A COCONUT (Photo credit: Wikipedia). [Indeed it is. Who writes these captions?!]
People, I’m learning, have a love/hate relationship with coconuts. Whether it be the taste or the newly touted health benefits the magical coconut can provide. I found one site that claims the coconut can help with over 20 ailments from blood pressure woes to weight loss however coconut is a saturated fat and like all fats should be enjoyed in moderation.  When eating raw you get the fiber, manganese, potassium, copper and, yes, fat.

Raisins

English: A pile of Sunmaid raisins.
A pile of Sunmaid raisins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Not mouse droppings.

There are people who, like in the movie Benny and Joon, do not like raisins. Joon makes a great metaphor about how they were once grapes and are now shriveled and sad. Me? I see mouse droppings. Gross. But raisins are not gross. Dried fruit comes packed with sugar but, again, moderation is key and you’ll get some goodies like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Kiwi

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Czech Wikipedia for th week, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tart. Green. Fun. Kiwis are a great treat that provide fiber and phytonutrients. Phyto – what?!  Phytonutrients, which repair DNA, act as the body’s protection against some cancers, and function as antioxidants.


Mango

Mango
Mango (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mango! One of my favorite fruits.  In addition to being sticky sweet fungoodtimes, you’ll also get fiber, potassium, vitamins A & C.

Why Is This A Successful Breakfast?

The key to success (for me) is it has to be easy to make. Otherwise, I’ll end up skipping breakfast and that is a recipe for disaster.  I make a big batch of quinoa in the beginning of the week but won’t season it.

Then the night before I’ll cut up the fruits, chop up the nuts and sprinkle the coconut flakes and the next morning — you’ve got a tasty breakfast treat.

Enjoy!

Martita signature

Resources

Quinoa: The Protein-Rich, Incan Superfood
Walnuts Are Top Nut for Heart-Healthy Antioxidants
Are Raisins Good For You? Raisins Health Benefits
Kiwi and its Many Health Benefits
Nutrition Facts of Mango

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Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa, dried fruit, celery, green onion, bell peppers and carrots.

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers (remove the spine and seeds but keep the lids)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 6 tbs. of quinoa
  • 1/3 cup of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries and cherries)
  • Olive Oil
  • Your favorite seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder … etc.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees so the bell peppers can be roasting simultaneously.
  2. Over medium heat cook down the carrots in celery with a little oil.
  3. Cook down and then add the onion.
  4. Add the quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water.
  5. Add the dried fruit.
  6. Cover and bring it to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat on the quinoa to a medium-low and allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes (or until the germ can be seen at which time the water will have all been absorbed).
  8. Carefully assemble the bell peppers and place the lid on top.
  9. Enjoy.
Tasty and filling.

Fun, Quick, Facts about Quinoa

  • Quinoa (Spanish from Quechua kinwa and pronounced keen-wah) is a pseudocereal, meaning not a true grain and is more closely related to beets and spinach.
  • A species of goosefoot, we mostly enjoy the edible seeds although the leaves can also be eaten.
  • The Incas considered kinwa to be sacred and referred to it as the mother of all grains.
  • Today quinoa is known as a supergrain because of it’s high nutritional value — high in: protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Quinoa can also be made into a high-protein breakfast with honey, almonds and berries.