What makes the perfect breakfast to you? Is it a tray of bagels, eggs, pancakes, and coffee in bed? Is it crispy, buttery waffles with a drizzle of maple syrup? Is it a huge bowl of creamy, sweet nice cream?
Think about it - do you look forward to eating in the morning? Let me put it this way - do you take a minute when you get out of bed (and regain consciousness after eight hours of nothingness) to listen for your body and your tummy to tell you what they're craving?
I can name about ten people off the top of my head who start the day ( and some who survive until lunch) without breakfast, and I don't know if I'll ever understand how they accomplish that. Food is constantly on my mind from the minute I roll out of bed to the minute my body says "lights-out" at night. I wake up excited to eat! Who doesn't?
Breakfast is fuel for my day, pleasure for my forever-hungry-tummy/Hulk-sized appetite, and creative expression of my mood, cravings, and favorite seasonal foods. It's an opportunity to choose between sweet or savory - something lunch and dinner don't typically offer. It's about strengthening, hydrating, and nourishing my body to take on whatever is ahead of me for the day. It's exciting and fulfilling and rejuvenating and arguably my favorite time to eat.
I know what some of you are thinking - either you don't have time to cook in the morning, you're not hungry when you wake up, or you have no healthy options in your pantry, among plenty of other excuses. After a busy freshman year in college, I can relate to a lot of those, but two priorities snap me out of that kind of thinking:
- My determination to feel energized and healthy
- My always-growing passion for good food
Breakfast is vital for optimal nutrition and lasting energy. Bottom line. So, eat something when you wake up. But, for me, there's more underneath that bottom line. Breakfast is the first chance I get in a day to spend at least some time in the kitchen and interact with good food, and I feel so powerful and full of life when I'm savoring a plate of something truly delicious and satisfying. It starts my day off on the right foot.
If making breakfast is the only favor you do for yourself in a day, then do it. Few things are more rewarding than spending quality time listening to your body, translating those feelings into pancakes/eggs/oatmeal/bagels/whatever it may be, and running on full-charge for the rest of the day.
So, to answer my first question: my perfect breakfast consists of...
- atmosphere - sun + a chilly breeze + nature's soothing whispers + good company
- food - scones are my favorite (these ones are now at the top of my list), but my love for anything baked, pancaked, waffled, toasted, or avocado'ed stretches pretty far
- gratitude - appreciation for the abundance of nutrition surrounding me, love for previously mentioned good company, and acknowledgement of another sunrise and many hours and opportunities to praise the God who saved me laid out ahead of me
Your perfect breakfast doesn't have to be a gourmet plate of something you can't even pronounce or make yourself - that defeats the purpose. Breakfast is about YOU. Listen to and understand and nourish YOUR body. Treat yourself to your favorite waffles or pancakes or scrambled eggs at least once a week; you'll be glad you did :)
Makes 8 mini scones or 4 larger scones
For the scones:
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice krisps
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon (I think, but a little more never hurt)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax seeds + ~2 tbsp. water)
1 tsp. almond extract
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup chopped dates, figs, & raisins
For the topping:
2-3 tbsp. rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped dates, figs, & raisins
2-3 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a pie pan with coconut oil or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make your flax egg if you haven't already, and then combine the coconut oil, sugar, honey, almond extract, and milk in a small bowl. Whisk in the flax egg and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold in the wet mixture. Press the dough into the pan and set aside.
- To make the topping, simply stir all the ingredients together and sprinkle over the top of the pan with some sea salt. Bake for about 15-16 minutes, or until the topping and edges are golden-brown. Cool completely before slicing.
Recipe inspired by The Pancake Princess.