On cold mornings, it can be tough to get out of bed. It’s not that I’m necessarily suffering from the winter blues or that I’m not looking forward to facing the day, but it’s so warm under the blankets and so cold outside them. After I make my fast-paced switch from pajamas to daytime clothes, the kitchen calls to me because I know I’m not far from a warm and hearty breakfast to fill me up and give me that snuggly blanket feeling again.
Beginning the day with cozy foods in the winter is one of the best ways for me to feel great and stay positive, even when my alarm clock is going off before the sunrise. Since they make such a difference to me, I thought I’d take a moment to share them with you, too. That way, you can enjoy a healthy, warm and hearty start to your day, just like I do.
1. Toast with nut better, banana and chia seeds – This is warm and super filling, and it comes with the bonus that I can hold my hands in front of the toaster while the whole grain bread is warming! I usually use almond butter or pure peanut butter (peanuts are the only ingredient), topped with half a banana cut into slices or mashed. I add about a half table spoon of chia seeds to the nut butter or the mashed banana. It’s warm, super-filling and the full feeling lasts throughout the morning. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals. I try to eat this with a warm cup of lemon water to get some hydration early in the day and to make sure the chia seeds will have the chance to expand in my stomach where they’ll keep me feeling full.
2. Oatmeal with an egg – Yes, yes I’m pushing oatmeal here but give me a second to show you how delicious this can be! On the weekend, I make a big batch of steel cut oats and divide it into portions which I store in the fridge and freezer (fridge for the start of the week, freezer for later in the week). That way, I only have to take the time to cook it once and I have lots to cover me for the week. I just heat it up in the microwave. That said, instead of adding cinnamon and berries, I add a poached egg with a bit of black pepper when I eat it in the winter. I love the way the oatmeal tastes with runny egg yolk. It’s the most fantastic and creamy breakfast for a cold winter morning. It’s as though I’ve added cheese, but with far more nutrients and protein. I’ll often have this with a couple of Clementine oranges which are amazing at this time of year.
3. Chocolate berry quinoa porridge – This spin on oatmeal comes with a far different texture, lots of great protein and is a favorite on mornings when I have a serious sweet tooth. As I do with steel cut oats, I cook this on a weekend and portion it out in the fridge and freezer so I can grab one and quickly heat it up in the microwave in the morning. I make quinoa and toss in a ton of frozen berries (which I buy a ton of when they’re on sale) and a good tablespoon of pure cocoa powder. The berries sweeten the cocoa for a fantastic chocolaty taste that reminds me of the rare occasions when my mother would let me have sugary cereals when I was a kid. Only this bowl is full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein.