|Hot Muesli with Fresh Blueberries and Yogurt|
For a person who has resisted breakfast for most of her life, the idea of accepting food much before 10AM was a cruel concept. Coffee? Well, yes, of course, but that was about it. As if I had changed my mind, my mother would regularly try and ply me with waffles, bacon, eggs… perhaps a little orange juice? No, thank you.
Why was I so punchy and light headed by 3PM? Not only had I skipped breakfast, but often lunch slid right passed me, too. When my schedule changed so drastically that I had no time to sit down and eat a proper meal, I had to take a look at my strange ways. Fueled by quick bites and snacks, come dinnertime I was literally starving.
I love food… how could I possibly be too busy to eat?
I forced myself to get something down before leaving home in the morning. I started carrying a few convenient, nutritious bites―even a hastily made sandwich, which I always appreciated later in the day. I had more energy, my mind was clearer, I felt better: no more headaches, and I didn’t experience that 3PM slump. Huh, go figure.
Hard to believe, but I am now a confirmed breakfast convert. Much of this shift in eating habits can be attributed to my elevated interest in whole grains. Previously, a civilized breakfast would occur around 11AM with 2 soft boiled eggs and a couple of slices of enriched wheat toast, gently buttered. From there, life started looking up and I was primed for just about anything, especially a stylish late lunch.
Now, my mornings begin early with a bowl of grains, often an uncooked muesli of sorts with fruit and nuts, or a combination heated into a porridge and topped with a dollop of yogurt―and I am set. My body is satisfied, it gets what it needs to work efficiently―no weird blood sugar spikes or wild snacking in the course of the day. I still take finger food for mindful nibbling, something like bite-sized portions of freshly baked fruit bars layered with whole grains.
Lately I’ve been prepping a week’s worth of breakfast cereal ahead and stashing it covered in the fridge. In the morning, I’ll heat up a bowl full in the microwave for a minute or two and top it with whatever strikes my fancy. Here’s what’s for breakfast these days:
This whole grain porridge promises a rousing eating experience. Mild millet acts as a foil and creamy binder between moist, chewy wheat berries―which practically explode in the mouth―and nutty, satisfying oats. The combination of cinnamon, dates, and raisins all add up to the right hint of sweetness, and the sunflower seeds provide that tiny element of crunch. Pressure cooker directions also follow.
6 cups water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup triticale wheat berries
1/3 cup millet
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup whole dates, pitted and cut up
½ cup golden raisins
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp flax seed
In a medium pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the triticale and cinnamon, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, partially covered. Add the millet and simmer an additional 25 minutes. Stir in the oats and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add , the dates and raisins and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from heat, stir in the sunflower seeds and flax. Serves 6-8.
Notes: For later use, allow the muesli to cool before refrigerating. As the cereal sits, grains may absorb available moisture and swell. I have found that stirring in an additional ½ to 1 cup or so boiling water will keep the cereal malleable for later portioning, and not a stiff mass.
For the pressure cooker:
Combine the water, millet, and triticale and cook under pressure 20 minutes. Use natural pressure release, and let stand for approximately 10 minutes. Remove lid, add the salt, cinnamon, and oats and simmer an additional 10 minutes stirring occasionally, with lid on, but not locked. Stir in the dates and raisins and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sunflower seeds and flax.