It’s no secret that we can all fall into a rut when it comes to our first meal of the day. Cereal, eggs, pancakes, oatmeal; they all make it easy to think ‘inside the box’ with the ingredients we use for breakfast—especially when we’re looking for quick grab-and-go options. But these easy ways to start the day don’t always pack as much nutritional punch as they could.
So, in continuing our celebration of one of our registered dietitians' favorite months—September’s Build a Better Breakfast Month—we thought it would be fun to introduce some new, globally-inspired ingredients to not only help spice up your breakfast routine, but also add some great nutritional benefits to our most important meal of the day.
Add a Little Kimchi to Your Eggs
Eggs are one of those inside-the-box ideas for most Americans when it comes to breakfast. But consider this little South Korean inspiration to add some flair to our staple breakfast ingredient.
This spicy fermented napa cabbage is not only rich in vitamins A and C, but is also an excellent food to promote digestion thanks to its healthy dose of probiotics. Add to that, it’s also a great source of fiber. Couple those benefits with protein rich eggs and you have a great new way to start the day.
Ingredients (one serving):
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (Optional)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce (Optional)
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup chopped kimchi
- 1 scallion, thinly slices or shredded
- In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir until mixed. Set aside for later. (Optional)
- Heat a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into a small bowl (do not mix), then once the oil in the skillet is hot enough, carefully pour the eggs into the hot oil. Spoon the chopped kimchi over the egg whites as they are setting so they get cooked into the eggs. After 1 minute, lower the heat to medium so the bottoms can get crisp without over-browning while the egg yolks are still setting. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to your desired level of doneness.
- With a wide spatula, carefully transfer the eggs and kimchi to a plate. Spoon the oyster sauce mixture over the eggs (optional), and top the dish with scallions.
Try A Mediterranean Start To Your Day
Why settle for just buttered toast with peanut butter or jam? Get some inspiration from Greece to see how they use fresh, and healthy ingredients to give toast an entirely new flavor.
Take that same piece of toast (whole grain preferably!) and add these simple ingredients:
- Hummus. An ingredient high in fiber and protein which is great for overall nutrition, but hummus is also full of anti-oxidants and has nutrients that can help you lower your cholesteral.
- Feta. Cheese can get a bad wrap, but feta is the healthiest of them all. Made from goat cheese (or sheep), feta is a nutrient-rich and relatively guilt-free option.
- Tomato. Starting your day with some fruit is never a bad idea. This one is full of antioxidants and adds a great bit of juicy zest to a piece of toast.
Close your eyes, take a bite of this delicious three ingredient toast and you’ll feel like you’re in Greece nearly instantly.
- 2 slices wholegrain bread
- 4 tablespoons reduced-fat hummus
- 1 large vine-ripened tomato, sliced
- 25g reduced-fat feta, crumbled
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
- Toast the wholegrain bread, then spread with the hummus.
- Top toast with the tomato slices, feta and parsley, then sprinkle with black pepper and serve.
Pancakes that Pack a Punch
West Africa – Tatale
Pancakes aren’t typically a nutritionists ‘go-to’ for breakfast, especially once we add the butter and syrup. Traditionally they are packed with carbs and sugars that can make you crash later in your day.
However, make a pancake from plantains – or Tatales as those in West Africa call them, and you have a whole new story. Relatives of the banana, plantains pack a big punch of potassium which helps regulate blood pressure and more. But even better, they are rich with Vitamin B6 which builds healthy brain function – critical for starting your day out right.
Try a Tatale this week and turn pancakes into an every week treat!
Ingredients (Makes 8-10 cakes):
- 4 large overly ripped plantains, peeled
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 4 tablespoons milk
- Mash the plantains with a potato masher in a large bowl until you reach a pureed consistency.
- Add the cornmeal, milk, salt, ginger, and cayenne pepper to the mash. Stir in the scallions until fully combined.
- Heat a skillet with 3 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat.
- Use a medium sized ladle to pour the plantain batter into the skillet.
- Fry each side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve immediately for best results.
Those are just a few ideas for how to #BuildABetterBreakfast inspired from around the world. If you are excited to try some of these recipes, leave us a star rating below. And if you have other favorite global ingredients that help spice up your meals – we’d love for you to share in the comments.