This week we are offering two delightfully healthy on-the-go breakfasts. It is well established through research that including breakfast daily provides a whole host of benefits. Some of these benefits include an influence on healthier food choices throughout the day, a jump-start to your metabolism and promotion of a healthier weight, improved alertness and concentration, and even improved mood. Our multigrain blueberry-ginger breakfast bars and orange smoothie pack a variety of nutritious whole food ingredients into a convenient transportable breakfast that will start your day off right!
Our breakfast bars are gluten-free treats that combine a variety of fruits, substantial whole grains, and healthy fats. These ingredients combined create a balanced meal in the form of pocket-sized, on-the-go squares. We utilize gluten free oats and quinoa to add variety into the day’s grain selection, plus a significant source of fiber that will keep you feeling full. Unsaturated fatty acids are incorporated through the addition of flax seeds and almond butter. In line with the Mediterranean diet, it is recommended that we focus on these healthy fats to promote cardiovascular health.
Fruits are rich in phytonutrients, which is reflected in their bold and varied colors. When you aim to eat a rainbow of colors, you reap the benefits of taking in a wide variety of disease fighting, naturally occurring substances. We pull together blueberries, bananas, and oranges in our breakfast bars to pack a variety of phytonutrients into every bite!
The beautiful blue-purple color of blueberries is actually contributed by a group of antioxidants called Anthocyanin. Not only do these phytonutrients provide an explosion of purple juice, but also fights off oxidative stress in the body.
Bananas are a potassium rich fruit, that serves to replace added saturated fat in the bars, creating a double whammy of cardiovascular benefits. We include the juice and zest of immune boosting, vitamin C-rich navel oranges. Often thoughtlessly discarded, the outer peel actually has more health promoting phytonutrients than the fruit’s center.
Fresh ginger root is added to the breakfast bar for a zing of wake-you-up flavor, with an accompanying host of health benefits. Powerful anti-inflammatory properties are provided by the naturally occurring compound, called gingerols. Regular consumption of this powerful root is suggested to aid in improvement of both pain and mobility in those with various types of arthritic diseases. For those who get queasy at the site of breakfast in the morning, ginger may be the perfect remedy, as it provides a natural form of relief when it comes to nausea.
Need to ease into the breakfast spirit? For those who aren’t breakfast lovers, drinking a smoothie can be a great strategy to kick-start your day in a less intimidating form. Our orange smoothie packs anti-inflammatory spices including cinnamon, ginger and turmeric, helping to fight stress in the body that compiles over the course of the day. These warming spices combined with the unique addition of sweet potato creates a frozen treat with warming properties, making this typically summer drink into the perfect winter-time variety.
These recipes are a great starting point for anyone looking to incorporate a whole-foods approach to breakfast on-the-go. Start your day off right with these powerful treats!
Multigrain Blueberry Ginger Bars
1/2 c. dry quinoa
1 1/2 c. rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/3 c. shredded coconut
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Juice of 1 orange
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease or line a 9×9 pan with parchment.
2. Pour quinoa and 1 c. water into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook covered for ~10-15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
3. In a large bowl, mix bananas, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, juice, zest, and ginger
4. In a small bowl mix together quinoa, oats, baking powder, coconut and seeds.
5. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Gently fold in blueberries.
6. Smooth batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top and firm to the touch.
Adapted from www.simplyquinoa.com
Immune Boosting Orange Smoothie
1 c. loosely packed sweet potato puree
1 medium ripe banana, previously sliced and frozen
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp. fresh turmeric, chopped
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/2 an orange, peeled
1. To bake your sweet potato, cut it in half lengthwise, lightly oil it, and place face down on a baking sheet, and bake 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees. Or, carefully cut slits into your potato (about 10 total), wrap in a moist paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes, turn over, and microwave for another 2 minutes.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add more liquid to adjust the texture or more orange for sweetness, if needed.
Adapted from http://minimalistbaker.com