Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The most important something of the something

I'm not a breakfast person. I need to be up for a couple of hours before I'm interested in anything but coffee. Just. Not. Hungry. That said, I'm aware of the health benefits that come from starting the day with something nutritionally sound. So, I've compromised by making myself a smoothie before I leave the house every day. All the advantages of breakfast, with all the not-breakfast-ness of a beverage.

I start with frozen fruit, the same amount of each every day:
Then some ground flax seed and yogurt. I've started making my own yogurt, which sounds all time-consuming and hippie-ish, but it's really not any more taxing than making a cup of tea.
Cover it all with calcium-enriched orange juice:
Blend, and take it into a room with natural light:

1 banana, fresh or frozen
6 frozen strawberries
6 frozen mango chunks
2 handfuls of frozen blueberries
2 T flaxmeal
1/2 c or so of yogurt
orange juice to cover.

Blend. Drink. Feel smug about how awesome and health-supporting your habits are.

Homemade Yogurt
2 1/2 c. milk (any fat level works. as always, I'm a 1% girl.)
1 T. yogurt (the best you can buy for your first round. after that, just use some of your previous batch)

Bring the milk to a boil, then let it cool until you can hold your finger in it for 10 seconds (aka 110F). Put the yogurt in a small bowl and whisk in a little of the hot milk. Add the yogurt slurry to the rest of the milk and whisk. Pour it all into a glass jar, wrap it in a towel or old sweater and put it somewhere warm overnight. In the morning, stick it in the fridge. By afternoon, you'll have a jar full of incredibly fresh, perfectly perfect yogurt.

I've also been making large batches of steel-cut oats and portioning them out for the week, then bringing one to work every day and heating it up in the late morning. Even though I love it the regular way with maple syrup or brown sugar, a bit of butter and milk, I've gotten kind of addicted to this recipe from The Kitchn for oatmeal with dried apricots and buttermilk. I just do it on the stovetop though instead of in a CrockPot, and even though the write-up thinks it's too sour, I love the (pretty mild, really) tanginess of the buttermilk. As a matter of fact, I eat it with extra buttermilk on top. And I add some ground flax seeds, since I seem to do that to everything I eat these days. I love it with the apricots, which swell into jammy, juicy little nuggets when cooked, but I'm looking forward to trying other fruit too -- picked up some dried cherries and blueberries yesterday just for this. Ground or chopped nuts would be nice too.
Oatmeal with Apricots and Buttermilk
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons wheat bran (optional)
2 T flaxmeal

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add all of the dry ingredients and stir. Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla, then another half cup of water (gets every drop of buttermilk out of the measuring cup). Turn the heat down and cook for 30 minutes. Serve with extra buttermilk and sugar.


Jillian said...

We have the exact same morning return except for the coffee! I totally know what you mean about not being able to eat first thing. I'm a tea+smoothie at home, then walk 45 min. to work, do some work, and then finally eat either some homemade granola or oatmeal. I'm totally going to try out your oatmeal recipe. It looks awesome!

Jillian said...

and obviously it is too early in the morning for me to be commenting. Return = routine!