Help curb crazy cravings that lead to poor food choices by making your first meal of the day a healthy one. Try these wonderfully nutritious options:
1. Classic oats
Oats are rich in wholegrain carbohydrates, providing a steady supply of energy to keep you going for the morning. “Prepare it with at least half a cup of milk to increase the calcium and protein content of the meal, and keep it interesting with healthy additions such as nuts, seeds, seasonal fruit, cinnamon or peanut/nut butter,” says Gabriel Eksteen, registered dietitian at the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA).
2. Fabulous fruit
Get your five-a-day (or more) with a fresh fruit salad. “Add yoghurt for calcium, and almonds or sunflower seeds for healthy fats and satiety,” advises Eksteen. Select a variety of fruit to ensure your salad contains a range of vitamins and minerals.
3. Smoothie magic
Smoothies are an easy and tasty way to increase your daily intake of fruit or dairy. “Add uncooked oats or oat bran to increase the fibre content and make it a more substantial meal,” suggests Eksteen. Try this recipe, complements of HSFSA:
½ medium papaya or 1 large mango, peeled and cubed
1 small banana, sliced
2 pears, plums, peaches or nectarines, cubed with the skin on
½ small pineapple, peeled and cubed
¼ cup (60 ml) uncooked oats or ground almonds (optional)
Ice cubes to serve
1. Place fruit in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add oats or almonds, if preferred and blend for a few more minutes.
2. Place ice in tall glasses and pour smoothie into each glass. Thin down with a little water, yoghurt, rooibos tea or low-fat milk if desired.
Use leftover roast vegetables or fry onions, baby marrows and spinach with herbs. Add the mixture into ramekins, crack over an egg and crumble over feta. “Put the ramekins in the oven or steam them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes and voilà, you have a rather impressive breakfast,” says Eksteen. “Spinach is an excellent source of calcium and iron. You can boost your body’s absorption of iron by eating fruit or veg containing vitamin C together with iron-rich foods.”
5. Fruit with peanut butter dip
“Mix yoghurt and peanut butter and a little vanilla essence or cinnamon to make a dip,” says Eksteen. “Cut apples, pears or peaches into quarters and dip them into the mixture. Always choose peanut or nut butter that is free from added sugar, salt and hydrogenated oils.”
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