Some people consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Others believe it is the province of Sunday only. However, still others view it as a chore. Why?
You’re not a machine meant to treat food as nothing but fuel. You’re a human being, fully endowed with the ability to savor fabulous flavors. Here are five fun ways to make your breakfast more exciting, whether you’re enjoying a leisurely Sunday brunch or a quick midweek meal.
Switch Up Your Menu
If you grab the same meal replacement bar every morning to devour in your car on the way to work, no wonder you don’t consider breakfast very exciting. There’s a time and place for such speedy snacks during crunch time and extended weekend hikes. However, variety is the spice of life, so consider mixing up your morning meal in one of these fun ways.
1. Perfect Your Pancakes
Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food. There’s no need to stick with boring white flour. You can kick your protein intake up a notch using a chickpea alternative, skipping the rapid blood sugar spike and crash.
Do you want another way to increase the overall protein content — and flavor? Get wild and crazy with nut butters in your batter. Peanut butter works wonders, and who doesn’t love Nutella?
Nor do you have to stick to maple syrup as your sole topper, although you do well to use the 100% natural stuff if you prefer this sweet treat. Many commercial brands have questionable additives, but you can find brands containing only one ingredient — the sticky sap from the tree alone. Other options include jams, preserves and marmalades, fresh fruit and whipped cream, or chocolate or caramel toppings.
2. Make an Omelet Bar
What’s the best part about going out to breakfast? If you said “the omelet bar,” you aren’t alone. Why not recreate the magic at home? It’s the perfect way to use up any leftover veggies from your weekday salads and dinners.
Did you make steaks on the grill last night, accompanied by asparagus and sauteed mushrooms? If you have a bit of feta, your leftovers can transform into this delicious omelet that starts your day with plenty of protein and phytonutrients. If you ordered hoagies and only had half your ham sammy, add the rest of the meat and onions to your eggs and toast the leftover roll as a side. A dash more seasoning and olive oil elevate it to near focaccia status.
3. Think Beyond the Pig
Are you a carnivore? If so, you might think of pork as the classic breakfast meat. However, a quick look through your grocer’s aisles shows you have plenty of options besides the pig — a decided perk, given inflation’s impact on meat prices.
If you avoid red meat, you’ll find no turkey bacon and sausage shortage. Should you opt for an uncured version? It might be healthier to do so. The nitrates in cured meats help preserve them, but they also increase your colorectal cancer risk.
Those who practice vegan lifestyles can rejoice more than ever. There are tons of cruelty-free alternatives on the market today, made using everything from heme to hemp. You can recreate that classic “out for breakfast” experience while sparing yourself unnecessary guilt and going the extra mile to preserve the planet’s resources.
Upgrade Your Beverage Selection
Sometimes, it’s convenient to sip your breakfast. Other times, you want to add a nutrient boost to your day. The following smoothie recipes start your morning right as a meal in themselves or for slaking your thirst as you wash down your solids.
1. Healthy Berry Smoothie
This recipe is chock-full of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. It’s an a.m. boost for your heart and neurological system.
- 1 cup fresh blueberries or any berry blend you prefer
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt if following a vegan diet)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 3 ice cubes
- Monk fruit or stevia sweetener to taste
Add everything to a blender and combine at low speed. Turn up the dial and blend until smooth.
2. Easy Green Smoothie
Green drinks are rich in B-vitamins like folate, critical for expecting mamas. You also get your daily dose of kale without bitterness — the other ingredients blend it away.
- 1 cup frozen fruit (any kind — bananas, berries or a tropical blend)
- 1 cup fresh greens, like spinach, kale and arugula
- ¾ cup coconut milk or an almond/coconut milk blend
- ½ tablespoon ground chia or flax seeds
- 2 ice cubes
- Monk fruit or stevia sweetener to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix at low speed. Increase the speed, blending until creamy.
You can even elevate your morning cup of joe. How? If you have chronic aches and pains, add a touch of turmeric, ginger and black pepper to your coffee grounds. The turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties amplified by the piperine in the black pepper.
Is controlling your blood sugar a bear you wrestle daily? Try adding cinnamon to your coffee grounds. Research studies show that this bark may help mitigate insulin resistance, improving your glucose levels.
Of course, you might want the occasional mimosa when making a leisurely Sunday brunch version of breakfast. Go beyond mere champagne and orange juice. Make it more exciting by adding in some pineapple juice and a touch of grenadine for a blushing beverage pretty enough to serve at the Four Seasons.
Warm weather has finally returned — or it will soon. Why not take advantage of more temperate climes to dust off your patio furniture set and dine alfresco?
Doing so could even help up your social quotient if you’re still isolated due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Experts consider outdoor activities far safer than indoor ones, so why not consider having the gang for brunch as an alternative to a barbecue? You can practice social distancing and have guests mask up if they must venture indoors to use the facilities.
Do you adore breakfast sandwiches? Why stick to the menu at the drive-thru? They might use sketchy ingredients, anyway. Instead, invest in a crafty sandwich maker that will have you designing gourmet handheld treats that your cubicle mates will drool over.
Another groovy idea? A retro all-in-one breakfast station. These devices feature a toaster oven and coffee urn, topped by a griddle for frying your bacon and eggs. They’re the perfect countertop edition if you’re into tiny living — as in, no room for a stove.
With the right gear, there’s no end to creative ways to make your breakfast more exciting. You can find bowls divided in half, one side for milk, the other for decidedly non-soggy cereal. Pancake pens let you create artistic shapes with your morning meal.
Finally, are you wanting to eat the richest bagel? You can’t help but smile when slicing it with a miniature guillotine. Laughter increases your positive energy, releasing happy little neuropeptides — it’s highly recommended for starting your day off right.
Make It an Occasion
Too often, people consider breakfast a hassle. Make it more exciting by treating it like the occasion it is. After all, you woke up to the gift of another beautiful day on planet earth — make your morning meal a celebration.
Why wait until your loved one’s birthday to delight them with breakfast in bed? If you get up before them on your day off, treat them. Hopefully, they’ll take the hint to return the favor, but either way, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Do you typically skip the morning meal because you practice periodic fasting? There’s no rule saying that you can’t have eggs after 8 a.m. Why not serve up breakfast for dinner or spend a few hours on Saturday lingering over a leisurely late brunch in your PJs?