Healthy Breakfast Cereal Alternatives

– by Jakob Anderson, Food Writer –

Please note: images are for illustrative purposes only.

Please note: images are for illustrative purposes only.

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When I was in my youth, I would answer the question, “what is one thing you would bring to a secluded island,” with the only answer I felt suited, “cereal of course!” I couldn’t really see myself living without it. I would lay my head down at night thinking of the nostalgic, delightful sound of those crunchy morsels clinking against my glass bowl as I poured them. Eggs and bacon were a six, while cereal sat at a milky ten in my young and naive mind.

Then one day I grew up. I realized that 98% of cereal is actually just sugar in a bowl, no matter how “healthy” it is advertised to be. I’m sorry cereal gang, but I no longer start my day at your side. Over the years I have found many breakfasts that provide better and healthier experiences (the little kid in me is crying right now and it breaks his heart to write this) than a bowl of cereal.

Overnight Spelt Flakes with Pumpkin Seeds, Raw Honey and Coconut Milk

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Spelt flakes are easy to prepare and exceptionally filling.

This was my first alternative to cereal and it is a mighty fine stand in. Overnight oats work for many reasons, but I think their convenience is their best quality. I prepare mine right after I finish dinner, before I start cleanup (not that there is much cleanup to this at all). Make sure to buy full fat coconut milk, none of this reduced fat malarkey. Also, do not fear the goats milk, as it is very beneficial and not to mention tasty. Goat milk based products naturally contain more vitamin A and B than cows milk (and has a better chance of being higher quality) as well as being much easier to digest.

1 cup spelt flakes

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 tsp raw honey

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 cup goat milk

1 tsp cinnamon

2 dates roughly chopped

1/2 cup seasonal fruit

Place all ingredients in bowl and stir to combine. It should look a bit runny, but the spelt flakes will soak all the liquid up overnight so you need not worry.

The Kale Shake

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Few greens are healthier then kale, and eating it for breakfast will get your day started right.

This is the all in one morning starter. Skip the coffee, and infuse the beans right into this smooth and spicy kale shake. The kale craze is over, but its health benefits are not. Kale is extremely dense in nutrients and has the ability to replace a multivitamin if used often enough (arm chair doctor remark, do not quote me). Get this down the hatch and you will be mercilessly yelling, “WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE,” all morning.

2 large handfuls of kale leaves (stems removed)

1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1/2 avocado

1 tsp coffee grounds

1 tbsp fresh ginger

juice from 1 orange

Coffee and 5 Spice Fried Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

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Sweet potatoes may not seem like your typical breakfast food, but they’re a great alternative to hashbrowns.

This is my breakfast of choice at the moment. The coffee and 5 spice are a match made in heaven and sweet potatoes are the perfect carrier for these flavours. Serve this with some runny eggs and you are off on the right foot.

1 sweet potato, small dice

1/2 onion, small dice

2 garlic cloves, small dice

1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup coffee

1 tsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

In pan on medium heat, fry potatoes, onions and garlic. When the sweet potatoes are just about cooked through, add 5 spice, vinegar, tomatoes and coffee.  Reduce until the sauce is coating the sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Breakfast Loaf with Apricots and Pistachios

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Breakfast loaf is a delicious alternative to toast.

This is a true loaf; the opposite of bread. Its dense, sticky and extremely moist (oh, and really flipping tasty). Feel free to add any other nuts and seeds you wish. Yes, I am a cinnamon fiend.

2 cups almond flour

2 eggs

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup almond butter

2 bananas, roughly cut

1 cup dried apricots, unsweetened, halved

1/2 cup pistachios

4 TBSP cinnamon

juice and zest of 1 orange

1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Add flour, salt, zest, pistachios and cinnamon to bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and incorporate eggs, orange juice, almond milk and butter. Stir in bananas and apricots Add the batter to a small, greased loaf pan and cook for approximately 35 minutes.

Jakob Anderson is a trained cook and food enthusiast who approaches cooking as something that connects people in ways they don’t realize: “I love talking about food, eating food, thinking food, discussing food, debating food, think about debating food, fooding food? I love food.”

You can follow Jakob on Twitter @jakobanderson and Q-Avenue @QuincyAvenue