Sun | May 28, 2017

Have you had breakfast yet?

Published:Thursday | May 14, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Fresh eggs benedict on bread with tomato and ham
A high fibre cereal keeps you full longer while providing you with the energy you need to start your day.
Bran and raisin cereal with fruits and berries are great breakfast options.
Ian Allen/Photographer Creamy MILO crush.
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Have you had breakfast yet?

Boost your morning with the ultimate meal that energises your entire day - breakfast.

Yes it is! According to nutritionist Patricia Fletcher, breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it is used to break a six- to 10-hour period of fasting. Therefore, it should be a balanced and wholesome meal for the whole family - especially for children.

Your breakfast should contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary to jump-start your day. It also prepares you mentally, and puts you in a more positive mood. According to the nutritionist, a healthy breakfast should comprise of food from at least three food groups: staples, fruits or vegetables and food from animals or legumes. These will provide you with the energy, vitamins and minerals that you need to start the day.

Whole grain breakfast

A great option for breakfast is wholegrain cereal with milk and a fruit. Fletcher notes, "A wholegrain is the entire edible portion of any grain, whether it is corn, wheat, rice, oats or others.

There are many health benefits of wholegrains that include helping to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy body weight," she added.

She notes that like fruits and vegetables, wholegrains are said to contain a powerful mix of essential nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. Additionally, the complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein contained in the grains slow the release of energy into the body, providing fuel for you to get through the entire morning.

"Breakfast is the easiest time to get in heart-healthy fibre from wholegrain cereals like oats, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol," Fletcher said.

These high-fibre cereals will also keep you energised longer. While no one food alone makes a perfect breakfast, high-fibre cereals make a good nutritional choice.

Research has shown that when you eat breakfast, your diet for the entire day is lower in fat and cholesterol and you are less prone to indulge in sugar-laden, processed snacks.

So if you are guilty of constantly missing breakfast, it?s not too late to adjust that morning routine.

Skipping breakfast contributes to irregular eating habits, it slows down your metabolism, makes it difficult for your body to break down foods, thus exposing you to an unhealthy body weight, "Breakfast helps to regulate your blood sugar and it sets your metabolism for the rest of the day," Fletcher explained.

So start making that extra effort to adjust your lifestyle and include breakfast in your everyday life.

Breakfast ingredients

Fletcher included some of her healthy ingredients that can be used in your quick healthy breakfast and save time - soy milk, coconut water/milk, cereal, low-fat skimmed milk, almond milk and powdered shakes.

A simple microwaved oatmeal is a healthy quick fix for breakfast. Adding molasses, ripe banana, prunes, almonds and flaxseeds can do wonders for your morning energy. Breakfast mixes and breakfast shakes are great choices as well.

Here is a quick and easy breakfast option:

Creamy MILO Crush

1/2 large ripe banana

11/4 cups Nestlé Carnation milk

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup Betty Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 cup crushed ice

1/4 cup Milo

Method

Blend until smooth.

Latoya Panton, chef, at Delicious Occasions shared some of her quick-fix delicious and moist breakfast recipes

Basic Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1tbsp baking powder

1/2tsp salt

1tbsp sugar

1 whole egg or 2 egg whites

2 cups milk (whole or skim)

2tbsp melted butter (optional)

Method

1. Preheat a skillet or griddle over low heat while you make the batter.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat the egg or egg whites into 2 cups milk then stir in the 2tbsp melted butter (if you are using it). Gently stir this into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten the flour; don?t worry about a few lumps. If the batter seems thick, add a bit more milk.

3. Spoon your batter on to your greased hot griddle (ungreased if using a non stick pan) and brown the bottoms for two to four minutes without burning. Flip when the bottoms are cooked.

4. Cook until the second side is lightly browned then serve hot.

French Omelet

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter

2 large eggs

Salt

Black pepper

2tbsp shredded cheese

Method

1. Add the butter to a skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs until they are frothy. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Pour the eggs into the hot skillet and cook, moving a spatula quickly through the eggs in small circles and zigzags until the eggs are about 80 per cent cooked.

3. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on half side of the eggs

4. Fold the other side of the omelet without the cheese on to the side with the cheese.

5. Tilt the skillet to the side a bit and, using a rubber spatula, carefully ease the omelet out of the pan and onto a warmed serving plate.

6. Serve warm with toast.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients

2 large eggs

Black pepper and salt to taste

1tbsp butter

Method

1. Break two eggs into a bowl.

2. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt 1tbsp of butter.

4. Add the eggs to the hot buttered pan.

5. After a 1 1/2 minute when the bottom and edges have begun to cook and are getting firm, fold the edges with a spatula and allow the uncooked part to run under the part lifted. Fold the cooked parts towards the centre of the pan.

6. Continue folding and stirring the egg until it is cooked firm but still moist.

7. Serve.

NOTE: The eggs will continue to cook for a short while after they are out of the pan so do not overcook.

To make your scrambled eggs even lighter add one tablespoon of milk, water, or cream for each egg.

For more flavour and texture, add minced vegetables, ham or smoked meats to the butter and sauté for a few minutes before adding the eggs.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com