Winter is a time of return, reflection, and rest. It is the period of the year when deep nourishment of our primordial energies is required so that we can enjoy the fruits of the warmer months. Breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day and this sentiment rings especially true during winter. A warm, nourishing breakfast is critical during the colder seasons to ensure both proper gut health and to provide the necessary fuel for our body’s optimal function. In our busy modern life, we often neglect breakfast. Instead, we opt for convenience and caffeine to provide us the energy to get through the day. The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many of us to slow down and remain at home. This period can be used as an opportunity to break previous habits surrounding our morning schedule. Many of us now have the time to indulge in a leisurely and healthy breakfast, and with a little planning, we can continue to do so as our lives begin to return to a normal pace. Below are a few simple yet delicious and wholesome ideas to suit your body’s breakfast needs.
A wet breakfast is considered one of the superior breakfasts. Not only does it nourish the Spleen and improve weak digestion but it also provides healthy moisture to the bodies other systems, especially the Stomach, Kidneys and Lungs.
A quick, easy and healthy porridge can be made in 15 minutes. Good quality oats, some cooked fruit (both fresh and dried) and a few toppings make this breakfast satisfying and alimentative. Below is a basic recipe that can be modified to taste or season.
· 1 cup organic rolled oats (soaked overnight for maximum digestion)
· Half an apple
· Small handful of dried goji berries
· Small handful of mulberries
· Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
· A couple of slices of fresh ginger
· 1 teaspoon of hemp seed
· 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds
· 1 teaspoon of raw cacao
· Fresh yogurt or coconut yogurt (Optional)
Congee has been a staple of Chinese cooking for centuries. It is simple and nutritious and has a myriad of regional and seasonal varieties. Below is a basic chicken congee recipe with a few topping ideas. Chicken can be left out or substituted with a good quality firm tofu. Congee is made easily in a slow cooker. You can put it on when you go to sleep and wake up to a delicious warm breakfast. This recipe makes enough for 6 people. Leftover congee can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for several months.
· 1 cup of medium grain or long grain rice
· 8-10 cups of water
· 2 chicken breasts
· 1 small knob of ginger sliced or grated
· A small amount of salt
· A dash of oil
Before serving, remove the chicken and shred it, then add it back to the pot.
Toppings can include; sliced spring onion, black sesame seeds, coriander, sliced hard-boiled egg, or kimchi.
If something a little more substantial is to your liking, a warm hearty breakfast of protein and carbohydrates may suit.
Baked Sausages and Apples:
Baked sausages and apples are a delicious substantial way to start your day. It is also surprisingly simple. Some warm crusty bread on the side and you have a lean yet generous start to the day. Simply combine some fresh butcher shop sausages (we want quality here) with some thick slices of apple and seasonal root vegetables in a lightly greased tray. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Uncover the tray and turn the heat up to 200 for a further 10 minutes to really crisp up those sausages. The combination of rich, hearty sausage and sweet moistening apple is delectable. Serves 4.
· 8 sausages (quality beef, chicken or pork)
· 2 apples sliced
· 1 potato quartered
· 1 small sweet potato cut into pieces
· Crusty whole grain or sourdough bread
For those of you that don’t eat meat. Here is a wonderful hearty winter breakfast that uses chickpeas and potatoes. This can be eaten with rice, flatbread or regular bread. I like to keep a little Indian mango pickle on hand for dishes like these. A good pickle can be found at most Indian grocery stores.
Spicy Chickpeas and Potato
· 1 cup of chickpeas soaked overnight or 1 can of chickpeas
· 1 potato cut into small cubes
· Half onion thinly sliced
· 1 can of tomatoes
· 2 cloves of garlic
· 1 small knob of freshly grated ginger
· 1 tablespoon of curry paste or alternatively garam masala and curry powder
· A squeeze of lemon
· Mango pickle
Lightly fry the garlic, ginger and onion and curry paste, add the chickpeas and potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and a dash of water and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (the small cubes should cook relatively quickly). Garnish with coriander and a squirt of lemon.
We hope you have enjoyed this post and have a go at some of these recipes. Having a substantial breakfast in the morning is a life-changing routine for many people. A little planning will go a long way and the rewards speak for themselves.