Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Berry Good Breakfast

One of my favorite fruits to incorporate into breakfast meals, aside from bananas of course are berries. Colorful and nutritious little baubles of deliciousness that brighten up any dish and help you start your day with a smile on your face (and sometimes berry bits in your teeth). During the warm summer months fresh berries are plentiful and easy to find in grocery stores, farmers markets and roadside stands. Even in the off season though you can still enjoy berries that have been frozen, dried, or mashed up and made into jellies, jams and preserves. In the warmer months berries are great when tossed into smoothies or sprinkled atop ice cream or yogurt. When the weather starts to cool down a bit in the fall and winter berries make the perfect addition to a hot bowl of oatmeal and are particularly scrumptious when cooked into a thick sauce and smothered onto homemade waffles, pancakes or toast. As much as I love leisurely mornings that involve sipping tea and making breakfast from scratch during the busy work and school week most of our morning schedules do not allot for that kind of breakfast. No need to fret though or worse skip breakfast there are plenty of quick, delicious and nutritious gluten free berry breakfast options out there. Here are two of my personal quickie berry breakfast favorites.

Yogurt with Fresh Berries

This is one of my summertime breakfast on the go staples. Light and cool yet packed full of healthy goodness. Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in sugar than most commercially available yogurts and even the nonfat kind still manages to be super rich and creamy. There are many different companies that make greek yogurt, Fage, Oikos, Chobani and they are all delicious. Both Fresh and Easy and Trader Joes make their own brand of greek yogurt that are both equally delish and very reasonably priced as well. Plain greek yogurt is pretty bland on its own so I like to sweeten mine up with a smidge of stevia. Stevia powder is great as an alternative sweetener in things like tea as it has zero calories and does not affect blood sugar levels. It has 300 times the sweetness of sugar so when you use it do so sparingly.

Ingredients

1 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
A handful of fresh raspberries (or whatever berry you like best)
4 or 5 walnuts, chopped
A tiny sprinkle of stevia powder (or preferred sweetener)

Put the yogurt and stevia in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add to this your berries and nuts and either enjoy as is



Or mash up the berries to make a rosy bowl of deliciousness.



In the cooler months more often than not my tummy wants something warm in the mornings to help get my day off to a cozy start. When there’s no time for oatmeal this is a favorite quick and warm berry breakfast treat.

Toaster Waffle with Almond Butter and Berries



Happily there are a plethora of gluten free toaster waffles on the market and they can be found at many grocery stores. A few personal favorites of mine are Vans with Flax Seeds, Trader Joes Banana Waffles, Natures Path Buckwheat Wildberry or Mesa Sunrise, and Henrys Homestyle Blueberry. You can toast the waffles and eat as is or smother them with any number of tasty toppings. Personally, I love the taste of raw almond butter which is high in protein and rich in nutrients and healthy fats.

Ingredients

1 toaster waffle
2 Tablespoons raw almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
1 Tablespoon dried berries or frozen berries (I like to use blueberries)
1 teaspoon honey

Pop your waffle in the toaster and while it is toasting you can prepare the topping. If using frozen berries you will want to defrost them first. Combine the almond butter, berries and honey in a microwave safe dish and warm for about 30 seconds or until the almond butter softens to a spreadable consistency. Once the waffle is adequately toasted top with the almond butter-berry-honey concoction.

Savor the way the warm topping settles into all the delicious nooks and crannies of the crisp waffle, so scrumptious!

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