Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Raw Food: Breakfasts

I've always been a lover of the first meal of the day, growing up eating whole-grain toast and cereals, homemade pancakes and waffles for breakfast. 

So yes, there were less nutritious days as a seventeen-year-old working at an Amish bakery, when I rose at four-fifteen in the morning to dress quickly before leaving for work at half-past four.  During those months, my sugary breakfasts consisted of a homemade maple latte [instant coffee stirred into hot milk and maple syrup!] which sufficed until I munched a hot, soft doughnut later on my first break.  

Not long after our twin boys were born, nine and a half years ago, I realised quite quickly that a big bowl of crunchy raisin bran for breakfast just wasn't starting my day right.  I was breastfeeding two hungry babies, and I was starving. All the time.  Cereal didn't make me feel full, and it wasn't giving me the nutrition I needed.

Back then, we were at the beginning of our journey into healthier eating, covered in this post.  Every evening, we began soaking bowls of oats for our breakfast the next morning, adding chopped nuts, apples, and plain natural yoghurt in the morning.  Later, I started soaking our oatmeal too, inspired after reading Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions.  Soaking causes the indigestible elements of the oats to break down, making them easier to digest.  These more substantial breakfasts kept me from snacking all morning.

As the years have passed, my babies have all started their breakfast eating stage with bowls of yoghurt and soaked oats, later adding pieces of apple and nuts separately, and later mixed together like the grown-ups.  Coo has only recently liked having the nuts and apples added to her yoghurt, previously preferring to eat everything separately.

With the advent of Dan's raw food detox, there were few changes to make, as our breakfasts were fairly raw already.  However, in the last few months of eating these completely raw bowls of yumminess, I can't imagine going back to how we had it before!

1) Soak 1/4 cup oats per person overnight.  For completely raw, soak in water.  Otherwise use apple juice.  You could use freshly-made juices, but water works great!  Other additions to the oats can include chopped dried fruit [my favourite brand is Crazy Jack], seeds, and unsweetened desiccated coconut or grated fresh coconut.

2) The next morning, stir in 2-3 chopped brazil nuts, an entire chopped apple, any other fresh fruit, and almond milk.  If you're not going for completely raw, use rice milk or plain natural yoghurt.  You can add cinnamon or mixed spice for extra flavour, and chia seeds for protein and omega 3 fats.

Almond Milk
For two servings:
16-20 almonds, soaked in a cup of water overnight
Use fresh, raw almonds: not roasted, blanched, ground, or sliced.  Any extra processing, unless done at home at low temperatures, causes the almonds to lose flavour and nutrients.  
In the morning, drain and rinse almonds.  Using a hand blender, blend with 1/2 cup of water for 20 seconds.  Blend for another 10-20 seconds if necessary. Delicious over breakfast! [Many recipes advocate peeling the almonds, and if you have half an hour to spare, go ahead and peel those almonds! The only difference peeling makes is to eliminate any brown flecks of almond skin in the milk.]

If you're interested in categorising it, you can call it raw, vegan, or gluten-free.

We just call it breakfast!


  1. Anonymous10:35 am

    Thanks Erin, starting a raw kicks start to school soon so this has given me (raw) food for thought!!!! Xxx

  2. Lovely; enjoy! Eating more raw always gives me extra energy. :)


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