Banish Breakfast Boredom
Try these three breakfast hacks and leave the morning mehs behind.

Sick of cereal? Tired of toast? Exasperated with eggs?

We all know breakfast is an important meal, giving you the nutrients and energy you need for the day ahead. But what if you’re simply over oatmeal and all the other common breakfast foods? Try these 3 tips to bring the spark back to your morning-meal romance. The key is to include at least 3 of the 5 food groups, and you'll be eating a balanced meal!

1. Eat like a bear

Some people wake up with the urge to eat nothing more than black coffee. If this sounds like you, not to worry, you can still get the benefits of breakfast by eating like a bear. Graze on nuts and berries by keeping a snack-size bag of granola, nuts and dried fruit in your purse, briefcase or car and snack on it as you drive to school, work or as you go about your day. Add some low-fat milk to that black coffee and you've got yourself a balanced breakfast. If you're feeling especially ambitious, keep cups of low-fat yogurt in the fridge to go with your nuts and berries. Voila! You're eating breakfast! 

2. Trot the globe with your fork

Ever feel like pickled fish and rice for breakfast? How about fresh salty cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and crusty bread? Throw off the shackles of your average breakfast by exploring other cultures with your fork or, heck, why not chopsticks?

Although many other countries have picked up our penchant for pancakes, the world is filled with amazing breakfast ideas, almost all of which include 3 of the 5 food groups, if not more.

Many cultures have a version of our hot cereal. In China, zhou is made with wheat in the north and congee is made with rice in the south. Both are cooked into a kind of porridge and can be spiked with slivers of roasted meat, crunchy pickled vegetables, spices and tea-smoked eggs cut into quarters. Turn your morning oatmeal into congee by adding whatever flavors and foods sound good to you. Oatmeal and cream-of-wheat made with milk are bland enough that you can add almost anything.

Bread can be found on almost everyone's breakfast table, but what people put on it – from salty, savory Vegemite in Australia to butter and sugar with a dunk into coffee in Cuba – is wildly different. Revive stale bread by putting a scoop of warm stew or soup beans on top, like they do in Ethiopia. Add a dollop of plain yogurt, and you have a delicious – though non-traditional – morning meal.

Beans are a staple in many breakfasts, forming the base for a stew in places like India or served fermented over rice in Japan. In Egypt, many families claim to have the best recipe for ful medames, a fava bean porridge laced with garlic, lemon and parsley and served with bread and pickled vegetables. 

The point is, you don’t have to feel hemmed in by ham and eggs. Explore global flavors first thing in the morning. It’s guaranteed to wake up your taste buds!

3. Forget breakfast for dinner, eat dinner for breakfast!

The easiest breakfast hack of all? Eat dinner leftovers for breakfast.

Left-over rice? Make it into a porridge by adding nuts, honey and milk and warming it over low heat. Rice is also perfect under a sunny-side up egg, brightened with a splash of hot sauce.

Who doesn’t love a breakfast burrito? If you have leftover beans, rice, meat, a tomato, some lettuce, maybe a little salsa, some shredded cheese , or any combination of those foods, pack them into a burrito, zap it in the microwave, and you’re ready to go.

Re-envision your leftovers. Shred last night's steak and make machaca con huevos, an egg and beef breakfast popular in Mexico (That one covers hacks 2 and 3!) And really, any leftovers are fair game for a scramble or an omelet. Any kind of leftover vegetable, meat or starch that you have will shine with eggs the morning after.

And don’t forget about lunch for breakfast. Make yourself a quick sandwich to eat on your way out the door. Chances are it’ll be made up of at least three food groups, more than that sticky pastry you can buy at the coffee shop.

And really, there's nothing wrong with simply pulling last night's dinner leftovers and enjoying them in front of the fridge. 

Bonus tip! 

All three of the above tips share a theme: as long as you include items from at least 3 of the 5 food groups, eat whatever strikes your fancy first thing in the morning. Use the Weekly Breakfast Planner to help you satisfy the 3 out of 5 model. 

 

Arndt Anderson, Heather. Breakfast, A History. Rowman & Littlefield, United Kingdom, 2013.