After trying this recipe you will never again consider buying those little packets of oatmeal, but before I share this simple recipe with you, let me explain the dinner reference in the title. For the past year I have avoided sweet breakfasts and have been preparing savory breakfasts instead. The basic idea behind this change in lifestyle is that we typically eat too much sugar in our daily diets. In addition to the obvious long term problems with sugar such as diabetes and obesity, sugar, in the short term, is a fast burning fuel that can cause your energy level to rise and fall like a roller coaster. Your body will process a savory breakfast consisting of vegetables, fats, and proteins much more slowly and the result will be an energy level that should be steady for many hours. This steady energy level will help you perform when you need it most, during those first few hours of work, and it should allow you to last at least until lunchtime without snacking. Yes I know, there are many proponents of snacking frequently, but fewer and larger meals are preferable. With frequent snacking, one meal is often added on top of the previous meal and the digestive system is never given a break. I give credit for this lifestyle change to my instructor Todd Caldecott who writes a detailed explanation of the importance of breakfast on his Food as Medicine website. I took this savory breakfast concept one step further and developed my own theory: IF I want to eat sweet foods then it would be better for me to eat them later in the day because maintaining a steady energy level is less important for me as I unwind at the end of the day. The heavy slow burning foods can be eaten in the morning to power me through the day, and the easily digested foods can be eaten in the evening so that I go to bed without feeling full. In other words, if I’m going to eat eggs, kale, olive oil, and parsnips for breakfast then why not reverse the entire day and have some oatmeal for dinner? The reality is that I only occasionally eat oatmeal for dinner when I am short on time or groceries, but for the past year I have regularly eaten a savory breakfast, and the results have been good.
TRY THIS TONIGHT!
- ½ c oatmeal
- ¾ c water
- 1 small handful of raisins
- 1 spoon of coconut oil
- 1 tsp coriander seed powder
- 4 dried apricots cut into quarters
- 1 spoon of ghee
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 spoon of maple syrup
Simmer the oats and raisins on low, uncovered for 5-10 minutes until the water is absorbed. Some people recommend boiling the water alone first. Add oil and seasoning of your choice to a bowl then mix everything together and enjoy your breakfast for dinner.
Traditionally sweeteners were eaten less often due to their rarity in nature and the labor involved with producing them. You can imagine the joy in discovering a wild beehive and acquiring the prized honey without suffering too many stings, or the hard work required to process cane sugar without assistance from modern technology. Depending on where you lived, finding some tasty sweet fruit in nature would be cause for celebration. In Ayurveda, raw honey is primarily used in small doses as part of medicinal formulas rather than as a common baking ingredient as we often use it today. Today sweeteners are cheap, abundant and found in nearly every processed food. We eat it to celebrate, when we are having a bad day, and often when we don’t even realize it. The sweet taste is a necessary part of our diet. It brings us great pleasure and quick energy, but it is important to understand the historical context of sweeteners in our lives to find a healthy balance. If you’re interested go ahead and reverse your diet for a week or two. Skip the toast, oats, bagels, and pastries for breakfast. Instead try some healthy fats, proteins and vegetables for breakfast to get a proper start to your day!
For more information visit: http://www.foodasmedicine.ca/2012/breakfast/
Eric Johnson writes about the connections between agriculture, environment, food, and health at: