Greens for breakfast might sound unconventional, but starting the day with vegetables is a fantastic way to check off some of the daily requirements for vitamins and minerals, plus get the energy needed to stay full and focused all morning.
If your family isn’t exactly keen on greens, these simple breakfast items can ease everyone into a healthier morning routine.
SATISFYING SMOOTHIE BOWLS
Smoothie bowls are sweet and satisfying — and meant to be eaten with a spoon. Thicker than a typical smoothie, these delicious bowls are a mix of fresh and frozen produce, blended with your choice of superfoods and toppings. Include leafy greens such as kale or spinach and seeds like chia or hemp for a power-packed breakfast. Add avocado for a silky texture, then top with fresh berries, nuts or seeds. PUMPED-UP PANCAKES Use a high-powered blender, such as the Vitamix Professional Series 750, to whip up pancakes with a secret ingredient — zucchini. Mix chopped zucchini right into the batter and your family won’t even notice that their favorite breakfast treat has an extra boost of antioxidants and Vitamin C. For a less intense green color, peel the zucchini before blending into the batter. MAKE-AHEAD SAVORY MUFFINS
Muffins can be sweet or savory and are easy to take on the go. Create tasty, satiating breakfast muffins with a crust made of blended cauliflower, spinach, eggs and spices. Mold the crust into the bottom of muffin tins, top with an egg and bits of cooked bacon or ham, and bake for a make-ahead breakfast item.
SILKY GREEN SMOOTHIES
Smoothies are a great grab-and-go breakfast item that can be customized to each family member’s tastes. A handful of fresh greens can increase the nutritional value of nearly any smoothie recipe.
Use the natural sweetness of fruit as a camouflage for vegetables. Pineapples, oranges and grapes are particularly good ingredients to marry with vegetables. Apples can offset greens with a slight bite. Experiment to figure out your favorite combinations, increasing the amount of greens as your family becomes more accustomed to them.
To get started, try this recipe for a Basic Green Smoothie:
• 1/2 banana, peeled 1 1/2 cups green grapes
• 1 medium orange, about 5 1/2 ounces, whole, peeled but with pith intact
• 1-inch thick slice pineapple with core, peeled
• 1 1/2 cups packed fresh spinach
• 1/8 teaspoon grated lime zest or thin slice of lime with peel, about 1-inch diameter
• 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
• 1 cup ice cubes
• Place ingredients into blender in the order listed and secure lid. If using a Vitamix blender, select Variable 1. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
• Blend for 30 seconds, or until desired consistency is reached. Subtly incorporating vegetables into your family’s diet can help expand palates and get the day off to a strong start.