Starting the Day Right: Power Breakfast
My friend Melissa is one of the most amazing foodies I know. She shares my passion for eating well and cooks wonderful meals each day for her family. A former restaurateur, she knows what a demanding work schedule is like!
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Given my fondness for mornings, discussed here, I thought I’d revisit the topic with Melissa. When I have hectic days, be it traveling or meetings or simply an empty fridge, the thing I have the hardest time keeping up on are vegetables. Melissa has *incredible* ways of adding vegetables to breakfasts that taste so good, even her three your old son and formerly non-believing husband happily partake.
Here are three delicious breakfast recipes – two smoothies and one pancake – from her very own kitchen.
Sweet Greens Smoothie
2 handfuls kale – or any leafy green you like
1 handful cilantro, including stems
½ a medium cucumber – leave unpeeled if organic
1 cup pineapple, fresh or frozen
2 tbs chia seeds
2 c water
1 c coconut water
1 tbs frozen orange juice concentrate or orange juice as desired
Vanilla Liquid Stevia Drops (or honey + vanilla extract) to taste
1 whole peeled lime
1 c ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding lime and ice cubes at the end.
Red Velvet Cake Smoothie
*Note for beet skeptics: roasting takes away the bitter, earthy taste some find they have. And, as Melissa points out, if you enjoy wine, beets are great at helping your body detox!
2 to 3 small/medium beets for roasting
For beet puree: wrap beets individually in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until soft. Let cool and remove skins with a paper towel. Puree in a food processor or blender, adding water as needed to reach applesauce consistency. Extra can be refrigerated or frozen for another time, or used in the Pink Pancake recipe below!
3 tbs beet puree (or raw beets if you prefer an earthier taste)
1/4 c dried mulberries
2 tbs raw cocoa or carob powder
1/2 a pear (frozen or fresh)
1 c coconut milk
1 c water
Vanilla Liquid Sevia Drops (or honey + vanilla extract) to taste
1 c ice cubes
For smoothie: place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add ice at the end and adjust flavorings/liquid as desired.
Inspired by recipe from Good to the Grain
After making the Red Velvet Cake Smoothie, you’ll have leftover beet puree. Put it to use in these tasty pancakes – delicious served either sweet with maple syrup or savory, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
1/2 c quinoa flour
3/4 c all purpose gluten-free flour + 1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 c almond meal (available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods)
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 c kamut or whole wheat flour (or, if you don’t do gluten, add more all purpose gluten-free flour)
3 tbs dark brown sugar – date or coconut sugar preferred
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 c flax, coconut or almond milk (or whole cow’s milk if preferred)
1/3 c plain yogurt
3 tbs coconut oil softened/melted (or butter)
1/2 c beet puree (see instructions in Red Velvet Cake Smoothie recipe above)
*Optional: a handful or so of kale, broccoli or other green when blending the wet ingredients
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Puree wet ingredients in a blender or mix by hand: nut milk, yogurt, coconut oil (or butter) egg, and 1/2 cup of beet puree until smooth. Using the spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine. The batter should be the consistency of lightly whipped cream and light fuchsia in color.
The batter can sit for around 1 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. When you return to the batter, it will be very thick and should be thinned, 1 tablespoon at a time, with additional nut milk – take great care not to over mix.
Heat a griddle or 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with coconut oil or butter; this is the key to crisp, buttery edges. Dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto the griddle. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancakes, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total.
Serve as traditional pancakes with maple syrup or, as Melissa and her family do, with good olive oil and sea salt.
Bonus – these pancakes make a fantastic snack as they hold up well after cooking! For a recent early morning flight, I enjoyed a few pancakes for breakfast at the airport, as pictured above. : )