September is All-American Breakfast Month. If you’re not a breakfast person (or perhaps even if you are), you may wonder, why do we need a whole month devoted to breakfast? Well, aside from starting the day with the sweet taste of honey cake (see the honey cake recipe below), there’s some science at work.
The morning repast revs metabolism (after fasting overnight), improves concentration and memory and is linked to better grades and classroom behavior. And, eating a nutrient-rich breakfast regularly may help with weight loss. According to The National Weight Control Registry, a majority of people who have lost 30 or more pounds and kept it off for over a year eat breakfast regularly.
Of course, what you eat is important. Just like other meals (and snacks), the best benefits come from a breakfast comprised of complex (think high-fiber) carbohydrates, lean protein and/or heart-healthy protein. A well-rounded and nutrient-rich breakfast also helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which is especially important after our blood glucose dips while snoozing.
Grab and Go breakfasts
Here are few easy breakfast ideas to GRAB-AND-GO when mornings are hectic.
- Oatmeal packet + skim milk or favorite milk alternative + hard-boiled egg
- Whole grain toast + peanut or sunflower butter + banana slices sprinkled with cinnamon
- Corn tortilla + guacamole + scrambled egg + spinach
- Whole grain toast + avocado slices + hard-boiled egg slices with a sprinkle of salt
- Frozen berries + frozen banana + skim milk or milk alternative + chia seed blended into a fruit smoothie
- Plain yogurt + berries + sunflower seeds
- Whole grain muffin + hard-boiled egg
- String cheese + apple slices
- Whole grain English muffin + tomato slices + low-fat mozzarella toasted until cheese melts
- Quinoa + raisins + skim milk or favorite milk + cinnamon
- Black beans + brown rice + avocado + leftover vegetables
On those mornings when breakfast is really hectic, pull down a “breakfast basket.” I keep a small bin filled with applesauce, nut-free granola bars, whole grain fruit newtons, dried fruit, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sunflower butter packets and whole grain cereal within the kids’ reach. Then, we’ll add a hard-boiled egg, smoothie or homemade bread or muffin to their choice. They love being in charge of their breakfast, and I like knowing that they are getting some nutrients in their body and a little food in their bellies.
Honey Cake Recipe
And, speaking of September… The Jewish High Holidays fall in September this year. Homemade HONEY CAKE is always a staple for our Rosh Hashanah. I always try new recipes and additions, but always return to this delicious and moist honey cake. Feel free to add your favorite nuts or seeds (I like pumpkin seeds for our nut-free home) and dried fruit or a handful of dark chocolate chips.
- 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup + 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 6 Tbsp. cold coffee (regular or decaf)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- ½ cup + 2 tsp. pumpkin seeds, chopped and lightly toasted, divided
- Zest of ½ orange
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly oil 8”x4” loaf pan, line with parchment paper and then lightly oil parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly. Add ½ cup sugar, honey, coffee and oil; beat lightly until well-combined. Gradually add flour mixture until just combined. Fold in pumpkin seeds and orange zest. Pour into loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mix on top of loaf, then sprinkle top of loaf with remaining 2 tsp. pumpkin seeds. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until cooked through. Cool honey cake in pan on wire rack; turn onto wire rack and remove parchment paper. Makes 1 loaf.
PLEASE SHARE: What is your favorite on-the-go breakfast? Please share!