Of course you’ve signed the October Unprocessed pledge, right? To give you some support, here are some awesome unprocessed breakfast options that are healthy, and (most importantly) delicious.
As I mention in my own simple green smoothie recipe, I used to turn my nose up at these. Considering that it’s still in the 80s here in San Diego, a cool morning drink sounds mighty refreshing.
Another basic option: two handfuls of spinach, half a banana, some milk (dairy or non-dairy), and a spoonful of natural peanut butter. Blend. Toss in a handful of ice to make it frothy. You can also make them the night before.
Vegetables and Eggs
The picture is kale, potatoes, and poached eggs. Start your day with veggies to ensure you’re eating enough of them.
Greens are great additions because they cook down so much that you can really load them in for a nutritious and filling meal. Don’t love fried or poached eggs? Scramble yours, or add scrambled tofu to make it vegan.
Sweet potatoes and winter squash also work, like in this butternut squash breakfast bowl.
The pictured spicy tempeh breakfast hash is great if you’re still riding on the coattails of summer produce at the farmers market. We got tomatoes and summer squash in our CSA share this week.
The tempeh and eggs give a great protein boost to keep you satisfied until lunch. Just make sure to check your hot sauce for additives – use fresh chiles or red pepper flakes instead.
These sunshine breakfast bowls use cabbage and a kick of salsa to brighten up your morning. What’s not to love?
I have trouble resisting huevos rancheros on a brunch menu, though I can be swayed by a breakfast burrito. Check the ingredients (canned refried beans can be full of weird stuff, as can salsa, tortillas, and dairy items), or make your own.
In a rush? Roll up simple breakfast burritos in whole-grain tortillas (filling ideas: eggs, black beans, rice, cheese, salsa, corn) then wrap in tinfoil. Stash them in the freezer to heat-and-eat another day.
Instant oats are broken into smaller pieces for faster water absorption. Skip the packets full of sugar and chemicals: if you’re in a hurry, just whir some rolled oats in the blender or food processor for a few seconds before cooking.
Rolled oats (pictured, left) can be made in the microwave or on the stove top relatively quickly. I like to load mine up with raw nuts, a little sprinkle of dried fruit, cinnamon, and chia seeds.
Steel-cut oats (pictured, right) are a very different texture when cooked than rolled oats, so if you think you don’t like oatmeal, give them a try. They take about half an hour on the stove top, but you can make them in the crockpot, or here’s my sneaky overnight method:
- Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a lidded pot. Stir in 1/3 cup steel cut oats.
- Return to a boil and cook for a minute or so. Put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat.
- Let stand overnight. Reheat over low and serve in the morning.
Multiply the batch as needed (I do a 1:3 grain:water ratio) and you can make a week’s worth at once!
If your bread is truly whole grain without any weird preservatives, you’re good to go. I’d recommend making 100% whole wheat bread yourself because it’s satisfying and delicious.
Serve it with natural peanut or other nut butter, no-sugar-added jam or jelly, honey, or my favorite, sliced avocado with a sprinkle of sea salt. I need a little more bulk in the morning (hence the eggs in the photo), and will often start with a piece of fruit or have some plain yogurt with honey and cinnamon on the side.
What’s your favorite unprocessed breakfast? Are you going to try any of these ideas?
Stacy Spensley is a healthy life coach, recovering stage manager, lover of the Oxford comma, and vegetarian. She's bossy because she loves you.