The most important thing in considering breakfast is how much fuel you will need until your next pit stop (snack) or meal. All breakfasts are not considered equal in this department and without doubt protein and/or fat is the most nutrient-dense here. When I need fuel for a good 3-4 hours, I will go to eggs, often extended with a good selection of vegetables, herbs, greens and such from the garden. A bowl of fruit salad or muesli can (and sometimes cannot) be a good thing, but neither will keep you going very long. So you had better be prepared with a good snack (or second breakfast) at the ready.
The other matter to consider with breakfast is that it doesn't necessarily matter what time you have it. It's when your system is ready, when you are hungry. Some may be starving soon after waking, some a little later. Your primary need is for fuel and hunger is your body's signal it needs that fuel. If you ignore this your body begins to suffer. This is what I mean by providing a good foundation for the day. A body that starts the day hungry or unsatisfied will struggle in every way.
It's easier to understand breakfast by taking a look at how they fall into categories, and I've gone through them below. I've also given you a solid recipe this month for one of my favourite breakfasts in the warmer weather, a kedgeree. It's incredibly sustaining and delicious and I hope you find it as rewarding as I do.
FRUIT-BASED (Nature's pharmacy):Good for a very hot day, but with little fuel you'll need to consider what to eat after it.
* Fruit with yoghurt
* Fruit with agar or gelatine jelly (add a bit of protein)
* Fruit with creamy nut topping
* Fruit as a smoothie - with yoghurt, kefir, coconut, any milk, egg yolk, and optional spirulina (see more below)
GRAIN-BASED: A grain-based breakfast does not mean cereal from a box. They are too processed, too damaged, even the organic ones. It also does not mean puffed or crispy flaked grains, or a rice cracker. Some examples are:
Bircher Muesli: Muesli should always be served Bircher-style, as this makes for optimum digestion.
Porridge: Whole, Ground or Rolled
Black Sticky Porridge is especially good for the upcoming warmer weather and another favourite is Buckwheat Apple & Fig Porridge (both on our website). Butter, yoghurt, fruit and nuts add further nutrient density and nourishment, while a bit of butter in your porridge will make nutrients in the grain more bio-available.
Savoury Grain: There is no reason a porridge can't be savoury - see Power Breakfast Quinoa on the website
Pancakes, Pikelets and Waffles: Berry Nice Pancake is just one recipe on the website
LEGUME-BASED breakfasts provide carbohydrate and protein: Baked beans, dahl, Mexican beans - legumes of all persuasions.
Add more nutrient density to Fruit or Grain:
With creamy additions :
* Yoghurt as is or as Labne
* Cream, as is or cultured
* Coconut milk or cream
* Amasake mixed with coconut
With nutrient-dense seeds or nuts
BREAKFAST IN A HURRY:
Kefir or yoghurt-based smoothies with spirulina (pre-digested protein, carbohydrates and very good fats. Egg yolk will also provide quality fats and nutrients; coconut oil or cream is another great addition. Please do not add rolled oats to smoothies because it is virtually impossible to digest in that format.
PURE PROTEIN AND FAT: This is grounding, slow release fuel, good for a day when you need to keep going till lunchtime.
Eggs any way:
* Soft Boiled
* Scrambled Eggs
1. Organic nitrate-free bacon (rich source of Vitamin D)
2. Organic ham from the bone. Traditionally, a ham on the bone was great for breakfast, lunch and dinners.
3. Sausages - organic, nitrate and preservative-free
Extend the use of protein with egg, vegetables or complex carbohydrate (bread, grain, legumes).
Extend the use of the egg/meat or fish, Add more flavour, vitamins, minerals and nutrient density with vegetables:
*This can be as simple as seasonal vegetables cooked in a little butter, then add eggs.
* Fried, roasted and grilled vegetables
3. Hash or hash patties - See Bubble and Squeak on our website.
4. Vegetable fritters - these are basically vegetables, bound with egg. Most vegetable fritters use cheese as a flavouring agent but you can easily omit this and add fresh herbs instead. See Corn Fritters on our website.
FISH and SOUP:
Don't overlook that what you might have for dinner will make a great nutrient-dense breakfast. Fish (think of Kedgeree and kippers) are very traditional breakfasts and excellent, slow release, nutrient-dense fuel.
Find Jude's version of a traditional breakfast favourite, Quinoa Kedgeree, and other recipes mentioned here in our Recipes archive
Jude Blereau is a wholefood cook and writer based on Perth. www.wholefoodcooking.com.au