My father, an immigrant from Russia, spent his first summer in the New World threshing wheat from dawn to near midnight on the flat Canada prairie. Long before the advent of two-story combines, threshing was a backbreaking job, high-energy work demanding high-energy input—beginning with a breakfast of four eggs, slabs of farm-cured pork, lard-fried potatoes, home- baked bread with butter and jam, and glasses of full-fat milk.
My arteries cringe.
But if you ignore the actual ingredients of my father’s morning meal, he did have the right idea: A good breakfast is the best way to kick-start your day. What’s considered “good?” Most nutritionists agree that whole foods—whole grains, whole fruits (as opposed to juice) and nuts—provide the soundest breakfast. They leave you feeling full, yet not stuffed, and release energy gradually instead of producing a carbo high that crashes into a sugar low two hours later, leaving you defenseless against sugar- and fat-loaded midmorning donuts and lattes. Whole foods also add fiber and trace nutrients, perhaps the most important being the many antioxidant phytochemicals found in fruits.
These recipes favor a nutrient-rich approach to fuel long summer days. None are high in fat or overloaded with protein, and each sparkles with flavor-packed, antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts or seeds. All are simple to make. Several of the recipes freeze well and thaw rapidly, ready for breakfast when you’re too sleepy or rushed to spend much time cooking.
You can also use these recipes as a template to create your own favorite, similarly healthy breakfast dishes. Ultimately you’ll find a wholesome breakfast becoming a habit of mind—a way of life. Good morning and bon appetit.
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