Friday, January 29, 2010

February is National Hot Breakfast Month

Did you know February is National Hot Breakfast Month?  Keep reading for a brief history on how this celebration came to be and some fun recipes to try!

The term breakfast means breaking the fast and is widely known to be the most important meal of the day. Janice Hermann, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist. Says Breakfast is the first chance your body has to refuel its blood glucose levels. Glucose is the main energy source of the body and helps fuel the muscles needed for physical activity throughout the day.” The nutrients digested from this meal begin the day for the body after its night of rest and recuperation. The vitamins and minerals that might or might not lie in breakfast foods give the body’s cells the fuel to carry out their functions and get the motor running.  Skipping breakfast does not give the message to the body to fully wake up. This is why there is an emphasis on a good breakfast for children and lead the federal government to create a breakfast program for schools.  Children who eat a good breakfast perform better and are more alert in school.  The same goes for adults.  A good breakfast will supply about a fourth of the daily nutritional needs necessary to reach peak performance.  Fiber, complex carbohydrates and foods low in saturated fat are recommended.
The Jimmy Dean sausage company, now owned and operated by Sara Lee, researched and found that two thirds of Americans were not eating a hot breakfast, saw a great marketing opportunity and established the National Hot Breakfast Month celebration.  Sara Lee commissioned a survey to find out which American city’s residents most often ate hot breakfasts.  The winner was San Diego.

For an optimal performance, begin your day with a hot well rounded breakfast.  Here are a couple of breakfast recipes to try.

Do It Yourself Oatmeal Packages

Why buy expensive oatmeal packet’s that might have other unwanted ingredients when you can make your own customized packets?  Packets can be brought to work or are easy to travel with.  Personalize them to fit your tastes.

Quick cooking oats
Creamora (optional)
Sealable sandwich bags

Mix ¼ cup of oats, ¼ teaspoon of salt (a pinch) 1 tablespoon of cream substitute (dry milk tends to mold and could be used if the packets will be consumed in one week) and sweetener (sugar, brown sugar, artificial sweetener, stevia etc).

Add your own flavorings such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla powder, maple sugar crystals, raisins, dried cranberries, blueberries or other dried fruit, nuts

Pack in individual sealable baggies.  Label baggies by flavors. 

Add 1/4 cup water and microwave for 60 seconds.   If you did not add Creamora, ¼ cup of milk can be substituted for water.

If you like thicker oatmeal, add 1 tablespoon oatmeal flour.  Oatmeal flour can be made by taking some of the oats and powdering them in a blender

Cranberry Syrup
This syrup is yummy and easy to make and a refreshing taste change .

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Dash each cloves and cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. maple flavoring
Combine water, sugar, and cranberries in saucepan. Heat on medium high until water is boiling gently and cranberries begin to pop. Use a fork to mush the cranberries slightly, enough to release the juice, but leaving the cranberries mostly whole. Simmer for about another minute.
Remove from heat and stir in cloves, cinnamon, and maple flavoring. Serve over pancakes, waffles, French toast, hot cereal etc.  Leftover syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Frugal Tip:  When making pancakes and French toast make more than needed for breakfast and freeze for quick meals when you don’t have time to cook.  Place in toaster or oven and heat.

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