Did you know that February is National Hot Breakfast Month? It’s quite appropriate considering how cold this winter has been. When I get up in the morning and see wind chills down to -30 degrees or below, a hot breakfast is very appealing. The typical Amish breakfast fits right in with that. You’ll often find a hot meal filled with eggs or sausage, pancakes, bread, hash browns, and other breakfast items. The downside is the high amount of calories and fat in such a meal. While the Amish are very physically active, using those calories during the rest of the day, the rest of us aren’t. But we still need a healthy meal to start our day.
Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day. It provides the energy and essential nutrients our bodies need to get us going for the day. A healthy breakfast gives children an edge in school. In fact, children who eat a healthy breakfast before school typically perform better on tests and assignments than those children who skip breakfast. Adults who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight.
A healthy breakfast generally consists of a combination of lean protein choices alongside whole grains and fruits or vegetables. This could be oatmeal made with chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruit, and served with low-fat milk. Other ideas are whole grain toast alongside a poached egg and fresh fruit, or Greek yogurt mixed with berries and homemade whole-grain granola.
To help get you started with a healthy hot breakfast, I’m sharing a homemade waffle recipe that I adapted from my Better Homes and Garden cook book. I substituted white whole wheat flour for most of the flour and added in flaxseed meal and finely chopped walnuts. This increases the fiber content and gives the waffles a nutritional boost with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And they were delicious – my family loved them. Top them with fruit, and serve them alongside an egg or other high quality protein source and you have a healthy, hot breakfast that will keep you going till lunch.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (10th edition) recipe for Waffles
2 c. white whole wheat flour
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ Tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp. finely ground walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 egg yolks
2 2/3 c. skim milk
½ c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3 egg whites
1. In a large bowl mix together white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, flaxseed meal, ground walnuts, and cinnamon.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, skim milk, canola oil, and vanilla.
3. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour liquid egg mixture in all at once. Stir gently till all dry ingredients are moistened, but batter is somewhat lumpy – not smooth.
4. Beat egg whites with hand mixer till the egg whites are stiff and stand up straight when lifting the beaters out of the whites.
5. Gently fold stiffened egg whites into the waffle batter until combined throughout. Do not over mix.
6. Prepare and heat up waffle iron. When ready, cook waffles as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. For my waffle iron I used about ½ c. of batter for each waffle.
7. Serve with fresh fruit and/or your choice of syrup.
8. Extra waffles can be cooled and frozen for later use.
What’s your favorite healthy hot breakfast? I’d love to read about it in the comments below.