10 Jan 2012
When it comes to creating new healthy lifestyle habits, I work in stages, to avoid overwhelming myself and to hopefully encourage permanent change. For diet that means starting with what comes first, breakfast.
My goal for the New Year is to continue cutting back on added sugars, whether in the form of honey, maple, or plain old sugar. I want to enjoy a daily sweet treat, but keep the sugars where they belong, in dessert. For my first step, I’ve enacted a no added sugars before noon policy to help me avoid a crash early in the day, and start my day off right with a healthy breakfast.
Added sugars hide in many breakfast foods, including that so-called “healthy” breakfast cereal. That said, switching from a sweetened cereal to unsweetened whole grains can be a shock to the taste buds. To ease into it, I add fresh fruit, cinnamon, dried fruit when I need an extra sweet-hit, and sometimes a wee bit of stevia to unsweetened milk alternative. This livens up the flavors, and sometimes makes me forget that I’m eating a healthy breakfast!
If you aren’t quite ready for the low sugar, fruit-sweetened option in my recipe below, then I have a few other ease-into-it solutions for you:
- Buy unsweetened rice or grain milk, which naturally contains more sugars and is sweeter, or try the “original” version of a milk alternative (almond, coconut, soy, flax, sunflower seed, or hemp). They are usually lightly sweetened (6 grams of sugars per cup seems to be the norm), but still contain less sugars than dairy milk (yes, the lactose in milk is a type of sugar!).
- Add just 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of your favorite sweetener to the cereal. Using an unsweetened cereal allows you to control the sugars on your own. You can gradually reduce the amount of added sugars you have as your taste buds adapt. One teaspoon of plain old sugar contains 4 grams of sugars.
- Try a “starter” cereal. The cereal aisle holds a wide range of sugars, so if you aren’t ready for sugar-free, start with a low sugar option. I like the Uncle Sam Honey Almond Cereal, but they have two other entry-level healthy breakfast cereal like Strawberry.
Recipe: Hearty Vegan Breakfast Bowl of Whole Grains and Fruit
Summary: I add nut or seed butter to my cereal, as I like the granola vibe it contributes to the crunchy flakes and also find that the little extra dose of protein and fat helps this breakfast fuel me until lunch. If you need even more energy, feel free to use 2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter.
- 3/4 Cup Uncle Sam Original Cereal (see note below for gluten-free)
- 2 Tablespoons Raisins or Other Chopped Unsweetened Dried Fruit,
optional (Over the holidays I added pomegranate seeds! See the
- 1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Nut or Seed Butter (my favorites are
almond, sunflower, and peanut)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Pinch Salt (omit if using salted nut or seed butter)
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Milk Alternative (my favorite with cereal is
almond milk), or more if you like more milk with your cereal
- 3 to 5 Drops Vanilla Liquid Stevia (can increase if using more
- 1 Small or Half a Large Banana, diced
- Combine the cereal, raisins, nut or seed butter, cinnamon, and salt in your cereal bowl.
- Top with diced banana.
- Sweeten the milk with stevia, if desired, and pour over cereal.
- Dig in.
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, optionally Gluten free, optionally Nut free, optionally Peanut free, Soy free, optionally Wheat free, Low Sugar
Number of servings (yield): 1
Do you crave sweet or savory in the morning? What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas and tips?
AlisaCheck out my latest posts here