Want to eat more veggies? We think a healthy helping in the morning could do you a world of good. Even it sounds like a weird idea, there’s no need to scramble for some inspiration. We have plenty of options.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but we often underestimate its power. Research shows that breakfast is a sure way of boosting one’s intake of the recommended daily nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals needed for wellbeing.
When we break the overnight fast, our bodies are reloaded with essential nutrients, bringing preparedness and lifting energy levels for us to start the day.
And while it’s sometimes tempting and easier to reach for the sugary cereal box or – worse – skip breakfast entirely, it is always a good idea to use the first meal of the day to add to your vegetable and fruit quota, suggests registered dietician Jane Badham.
Badham says, “The average intake of vegetables and fruit in South Africa is just under three servings a day, which is considerably less than the recommended minimum five servings a day recommended by our department of health.”
So if you add a serving to one more meal, your body and brain will thank you for it.
How to make your first meal more nutritious:
Try some savoury pancakes
Alternating between veggies and fruits with your pancakes unlocks another level in the pancake stakes. Sautéed spinach or kale with mushrooms in pancake batter is a must-try, or fold crunchy cold beetroot and grated carrot into the mix.
When it comes to fruit, berries, bananas and citrus are delicious to sprinkle on top.
Let leftover veggies spark your creativity using a bread canvas to make a focaccia garden or a veggie patch on focaccia. This is a nice one to try for a summer weekend brunch.
Otherwise, use wholegrain bread and top it with your choice of veggies. Radishes go well with an avocado spread, and spinach or kale topped with mushrooms or juicy organic tomatoes taste great.
Adding veggies to your eggs – whether scrambled, poached or just sunny-side-up – can provide a tasty nutrient-dense meal. Try adding mixed vegetables (and not the frozen kind): bits of your favourite fresh veggies like broccoli, peppers, mushrooms and leafy greens. Be creative on this one and you’ll be surprised by the flavours, textures and yumminess.
Turn your favourite salad into a breakfast meal by adding bacon and eggs to the mix. Think baby spinach, sweet rocket, tomatoes and red onions with bits of bacon and eggs. Sprinkle in sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a dollop of your healthy fat choice – avocado or olive oil – and you’re set for the day.
Smoothies and juicing
This is a trusted veggie-packed breakfast. With vegetable smoothies and juices, you can’t go wrong if you mix the ingredients correctly for a well-balanced meal. This convenient and healthy meal is best had with whole foods, meaning unprocessed ingredients like vegetables, fruits and healthy fats to improve your fibre intake.
This article was written by Siyabonga Mngoma and published by Abundance Wholesome Foods.