Whether breakfast is really the “most important meal of the day" is up for debate. While some observational studies (many funded by the cereal industry) have found that people who habitually skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight or be obese, the few clinical trials testing the relationship have had inconsistent results. Weight control aside, though, there’s no question breakfast foods can be a delicious start to the day, plus make great lunch or dinner options (who said you have to eat eggs only in the morning?). For breakfast lovers at any time of day, these creative recipes are sure to hit the spot.
In recent years, eggs have been villainized because of their high cholesterol content. But dietary cholesterol in animal foods actually has relatively little effect on blood cholesterol in most people. Saturated and trans fats are the bigger culprits. And even in people who do respond to dietary cholesterol, some egg studies have shown that dietary cholesterol causes the body to increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol along with LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, possibly helping to offset adverse effects.
A main component of this dish is asparagus. To find the best quality, look for spears that are firm yet tender, with deep green or purplish tips that are closed and compact. Partially open and wilted tips are the most obvious signs of aging. Asparagus spears should stand straight, be green for most of their length, and have a nicely rounded shape.
Inside these pancakes are flaxseeds, which supply alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is also found in some other plant foods, notably flaxseeds, canola oil, walnuts, and purslane. The recipe also makes use of other healthful ingredients not usually/typically found in pancakes, including whole-wheat flour and wheat germ, and it is lower in sodium than most other pancakes.
Although it has “wheat” in its name, buckwheat is technically nota true grain, but rather the fruit of a leafy plant belonging to the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. It’s chock full of nutrients, including plant protein, fiber, and some iron, magnesium, and the B vitamin niacin. Buckwheat also provides the amino acid lysine, which is lacking in most plant foods.
This easy-to-follow infographic will help you whip up a range of interesting smoothies, and not just fruity ones. When you’re hankering for something sweet, choose one fruit, one liquid protein (yogurt, milk, soy milk, etc.), one sweetener, and one spice. If savory is calling you, choose one vegetable, one liquid protein, one flavoring, and one herb. And there’s no reason to limit your smoothies to the a.m. hours: You can mix one up in the afternoon or as an after-dinner treat.
This sweet bread makes an excellent complement to coffee, plus helps you get a little more fruit into your day. (If you’re not a fan of dried apricots, you can substitute raisins.) Thanks to the walnut oil in the recipe, it also supplies a modest amount of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA.
Dates make this bread chewy and rich. Helpful hint: To chop the dates, either snip them with scissors or cut them with a knife. In either case, dip the blades into water frequently to keep the dates from sticking. For easier slicing, separate dates and place them in the freezer for an hour to firm them.
Most people think cream cheese when they think of breakfast spreads. But cream cheese isn’t a great source of calcium, while yogurt is a superstar. Calcium is most noted for bone health, but it’s also necessary for many other body functions, from regulating heartbeat and blood pressure to conducting nerve impulses. Use this spread just as you would cream cheese on top of bagels, toast, or breakfast breads. To spice up the flavor, try one of our six sweet or savory mix-ins, from fruit to herbs.