Part 2 In our breakfast series
In Part 1 of this two part article (see: The Rise & Fall of the Breakfast club ) we established just how crucial but undervalued breakfast is. This second part will explore how breakfast is done in various countries around the world.
The Indian Breakfast
I recall thoroughly enjoying a warm Paratha- ; whole wheat flat bread filled with spicy potato and peas and a side of curd for breakfast during a short but warm sojourn at a friend’s family home in Jaipur in Rajasthan. Breakfast continues to maintain a sacred place in the daily ritual of numerous Indian homes. India across all its states offer a rich diversity of delicious and nutritious breakfast choices from fermented Dosa pancakes made from pulsed grains and legumes or steamed Idli cakes made from the fermented batter of rice and lentils in south India. Fermentation of grains and pulses is common and offers a delicious means of enhancing the metabolism of the proteins and the bioavailability of the various minerals and vitamins whilst lowering the glycemic index of the meal.
Travelling a little further east to Nepal, we had Dahl Baht (lentils and rice) pretty much daily for breakfast and dinner, sometimes accompanied by fried Tibetan bread and a cup of lemon and ginger tea to get the digestive fires burning.
Traditional Japanese Breakfast
A traditional Japanese full breakfast- or “Asa Gohan”, would be centered around a bowl of rice with a cup of fermented miso soup, grilled fish, Japanese pickles, and nori seaweed, and may be accompanied by eggs poached on raw, or Natto- a fermented whole soy bean dish- sadly less prevalent today In Japan’s modern world.
The macrobiotic breakfast (who’s nutritional principles are largely based on the Japanese diet) is usually composed of a hot bowl of grain porridge made from oats, rice and millet alongside a cup of fermented miso soup with root vegetables- and seaweed. Seaweed is practically a staple in the Asian kitchen- a mineral dense marine algae who’s cooling moistening quality yields multiple health benefits from optimizing metabolism and balancing hormones, to strengthen bones and building yin fluids. A very little goes a long way. The macrobiotic breakfast is one I enjoyed almost daily for a year on my healing journey and still enjoy it occasionally.
A comforting Ethiopian Breakfast
An Ethiopian dish I discovered at a cooking class called Shiro– made from chickpea powder cooked with water into a thick soup and spiced with an Ethiopian blend of spices called “Berbere” accompanied by Injera – a fermented pancake made from a gluten free grain called Teff rich in minerals (especially in iron) . It is a filling and wonderfully warming and comforting winter breakfast apparently loved by kids. It offers an optimal savoury blend of quality protein and mineral rich non glutenous carb to set the little loved ones or older ones off for a productive day of cognition and physical activity.
Traditional English breakfast and great Baked Beans recipe
Traditional breakfasts of the West also offer excellent breakfast choices – You can opt for a rich oat and millet porridge with butter, walnuts and bananas or strawberries, or a British favorite,- baked beans on a whole grain sourdough toast spread with ghee or butter, giving one a good combo of protein ,complex carb and fat. Whilst you may have to forgive the high sugar content in the tinned delights, apparently there are tins with 50 percent less sugar or you could opt to make your own with a little maple syrup and freeze portions.
For those curious little as to the origins of this British staple, It apparently originated as a Native American dish composed of navy beans, pumpkin and corn (Known as the Three Sisters) and baked with bear fat or venison in earthenware pots that were covered with stones . This technique was taught to the Europeans who had arrived there. It was first tinned with pork in the 1860’s in the USA and then arrived to Fortnum’s in the UK as a luxury. The rest is history...
In case you are having difficulty locating a tin of beans or fancy a stab at making your own (which I warmly recommend), I did a little googling and experimenting in my kitchen and came up with this healthier home version using sweet potato and a little maple syrup instead of sugar.
Home baked or rather stewed baked beans:
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 cup white beans
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1/2 tsp dried thyme or a fresh stem whole
• ½ tsp rosemary dry or fresh
• 1 cup tinned crushed tomatoes
• 1 medium sweet potato diced
• 1 tbsp. maple syrup
• salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans in cold water for 24 hours. Change the soak water half way. Rinse the beans and in a pot filled with water cook them for 40 minutes covered on a medium/low heat. Drain and put aside.
In the same pot heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and toss the onion inside. Sauté for about 5 minutes on a medium heat and then add the herbs and the garlic. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sweet potato, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Puree the mixture using a hand blender into a smooth sauce.
Add the beans to the sauce mixture and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, covered with the lid until the beans are cooked through.
If your taste buds have taken on a more savory, middle eastern orientation, you can leave out the maple syrup and sweet potatoes and spice with salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin instead of rosemary and thyme. You can also freeze portions for convenient consumption as and when desired.
(From the article in the Guardian: Consider baked beans https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/feb/22/consider-baked-beans, 22 February 2011)
Do try this recipe at home or any other breakfast option.
Enjoy a Full Breakfast every day
If there is one meal you should enjoy to the full, its breakfast be it early or later in the morning. It is indeed more crucial than supper. I plan to post more traditional recipes so watch this space.
About Denise Rubin, Nutritional Health Coach, Eatwise
I am a specialist in the treatment of chronic disease using food, herbs and spices that correspond to your unique needs. My mission is to help clients understand what is going on in the inside them and then teach them how to regain and take control of their health. My goal is to revive the ancient concepts that Hippocrates and Rambam wisely identified: “that the food you eat not only builds the scope of your body but also the quality of it down to on the deepest most cellular level.” Contact me today to arrange an appointment at 052-555 6418 or firstname.lastname@example.org