Last month was “Better Breakfast Month,” which is definitely something that we advocate for here, and something that should be celebrated every month! We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? The most well know reason to eat breakfast is because you are “breaking the fast.” You’ve been asleep, without eating all night long and you need some energy to get you going in the morning. You won’t feel so sluggish and tired in your first class or during your morning commute. Also, by starting your day on a full stomach, it will be easier to resist binging on unhealthy foods because you are starving later.
Not all breakfasts are created equal, though. A breakfast high in sugar will send your blood sugar sky-high, only to have it come crashing back down soon after. This crash might give you a headache, or make you feel starving before you really are. Additionally, skipping breakfast is not good for weight management.
If you always find that you don’t have time to fix breakfast in the mornings, both smoothies and oats are great things to prep ahead of time. Oats are super easy to make a big batch of on Sunday, and distribute into containers to have throughout the week. If you do make oats, be sure not to add loads of sugar, as that will drastically affect blood sugar levels and won’t be as anti-inflammatory (or DII friendly). If you find that your oats need some sweetness, add fresh or frozen berries instead of sugar. A great oats recipe that scores an A on the DII, and gets your day started with some greens is this recipe for Oatmeal with Zucchini.
A quick way to prep smoothies for the week is to put everything (except liquid) for the smoothie into a freezer bag, and keep it frozen all ready to go until you use it! Then during your morning rush out the door, dump the bag into your blender, add liquid and blend! You can even drink this in the car if you’re in a big rush.
Jade and the Columbia’s Cooking/CHI Team
Zucchini Oats with Berry Chia Jam
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 For the Oatmeal:
1 large zucchini, peeled
1 cup steel cut oats
2 cup plant milk (almond, oat, cashew, soy)
2 cup water
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond butter
For the Berry Chia Jam:
12 oz berries, frozen
1/4 cup chia Seeds
Peel the zucchini and grate it over a large pot.Add in the oats, cinnamon, plant milk, water, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
In the meantime, prepare the jam. Add berries to a medium pot with the chia seeds and stir over medium heat, until the berries have thawed and the mixture has thickened. Stop cooking the jam just before the desired consistency has been reached, as it will thicken as it cools.
Once the oats and jam have finished cooking, remove from heat and assemble in your container of choice. Oats on the bottom jam in the middle and a drizzle of almond butter (1/2 tbsp) on top.