Thursday, November 22, 2012


I've noticed a lot lately that when I don't eat enough breakfast, I overeat throughout the day, or if I manage to not overeat I feel hungry all day.

Now, I can't eat just anything... it has to have protein, and it has to have bulk.  And, as I've said before, I have enough food allergies that I can't just nip up to McD's and grab a McMuffin or a Steak Bagel, I'd spend my day in the bathroom.  Plus, have you ever looked at how much fat and sodium one of those has?

I also can't trust donuts, bagels, muffins, or even toast at a restaurant, as most of them would have either corn or dairy, or both.

At home, on days where I have to get moving like mornings I work, I usually make toast from bread that I *know* I can trust and spread it with peanut butter.  The peanut butter I like is Smucker's Natural.  I can't buy the reduced fat, since it has maltodextrin or some corn ingredient in it, so I buy the regular and then pour off a little less than half the separated oil for use in cooking before mixing up the rest.  It isn't a hardship to me to have discovered that the safest bread for me is the stuff baked in a wood fired oven at my local grocery store (Holiday Market in Canton, MI.  If you live around here, check out their sourdough or beer bread).  Since I usually use the bread for a week, I buy the day-old to save money when they have it in the kind of bread I want.  But even when I have to pay full price, the sourdough is cheaper than a loaf of Pepperidge Farm or other "Premium" bread, it tastes better, and it has simple and short ingredient lists.

Speaking of ingredient lists.  I discovered this week that one of the problems I was having was because there was corn sugar (dextrose) in our SALT!  Oops!  And that was a pretty high-end brand - Hain "Pure Foods".  What a joke.  So I had to buy a different brand.  There were two other reasonable cost Sea Salt brands that didn't include sugar.  One had an anti-caking agent that was chemical in nature, and one had my favorite kind of ingredient list:  One Ingredient:  Sea Salt.

My other two favorite breakfasts are cold cereal and oatmeal.  For cold cereal, I like Barbara's Natural Shredded Oat.  Sometimes for a little variety I use less than a normal amount of that and break up a few Frosted Mini-Wheat biscuits over the top.  I then pour Rice Milk over it.  Rice milk is too sweet to substitute for regular milk in some foods, but for me that makes it better for cereal, where I don't have to add as much (or sometimes any) sugar because the rice milk itself is sweet.  For Oatmeal, a few years back I discovered Silver Palate brand "Rough" oatmeal, and while I liked it, it is really quite expensive for a product that they carefully do LESS to it than the Quaker brand.  Basically, oatmeal is generally made from oats that have either been modified by rolling thinner, or my cutting in pieces.  You can make oatmeal from whole unmodified "groats", but it takes much longer.  Irish oats are steel cut or "porridge" oats, where they cut the groats into smaller pieces.  Porridge oats are classified by size, ranging from fine through medium, coarse, and the largest, "pin-head" oats.  Different companies offer different cuts and of course everyone says theirs is best.  Fans of Irish oats say that the climate in Ireland creates better oats... Who really knows?  In Scotland, they often use steel-cut porridge oats as well, but apparently much of what is sold in America as Scottish oats is more of a stone-ground meal.  Quaker oats are traditional rolled oats, the kind most English speaking and Scandinavian countries usually eat.  The groats are steamed, then rolled flat, then apparently toasted to dry them.  Instant oatmeal is basically very thinly rolled and often cut into smaller pieces, but I don't like the gluey texture that they make.  The Silver Palate oats are just not rolled as thin as Quaker oats so they keep more of the nutty flavors.  However, one of my favorite flour, grain, and cereal companies, Bob's Red Mill, sells 2 pound bags of "thick rolled" oats, which are basically the same thing without tripling the price.  The Bob's Red Mill are what I like best.  I usually drizzle just a little raw unfiltered honey or perhaps sorghum molasses or pure Michigan maple syrup on mine.  I prefer Grade B or Grade A Dark syrup, because it has more flavor.  Grade A fancy syrup is "fancy" because it has a lighter flavor.  If I get more flavor per calorie, it helps.

So, I suppose in summary my three favorite breakfasts are all simple, hearty breakfasts.  Peanut Butter Toast is the quickest to make that I can carry, Cold Cereal is the absolute quickest to make but I need time to sit still and eat it, and Thick-Rolled Oatmeal takes around 20 minutes to cook and I need time to sit still and eat it, but all three give me some fiber, some protein, and enough calories that I'm not looking for a snack before lunch.


1 comment:

Diana Troldahl said...

Don't forget apple syrple!

Maybe my favorite is Bob's Red Mill brown rice cereal. Yummmm.