10 Whole-Grain Breakfasts
You don't have to give up pancakes when eating whole grains in the morning. Instead, load up flapjacks with whole-wheat or spelt flour, oats, and cornmeal and they become the perfect vehicle for a whole-grain meal. These multigrain pancakes have an extra bite of flavor thanks to the addition of toasted walnuts. Try varying it up by experimenting with different flours and nuts, or using coconut oil instead of melted butter.
Muffins can go two ways: they can be so sweet that one could confuse them with cupcakes, or they can be a soft, dense power breakfast full of healthy ingredients. These muffins are enhanced by using a cup of steel-cut oats. Make sure to use whole-wheat, spelt, or buckwheat flour for a completely whole-grain breakfast on the go.
Oatmeal is so familiar to us that we often forget how healthy it can be — as long as you steer clear of instant oatmeal that contains artificial flavors and sweeteners. This recipe adds pumpkin purée and fall spices, proving that oatmeal doesn't have to be boring. Try changing it up by adapting the recipe according to what fruit is in season — think stewed rhubarb in the spring or fresh berries in the summer.
Whole-wheat pastry flour is becoming easier to find these days, so even familiar breakfast sweets can be turned healthy. These whole-wheat scones are made even healthier by using applesauce instead of butter or cream. Make the scones ahead of time and freeze them and you'll be able to enjoy a fresh scone every morning with tea.
In addition to being a whole grain, quinoa is also a complete protein. Though most of us have seen quinoa at dinnertime, not everyone is familiar with its possibilities at breakfast. Cook quinoa as usual, but sweeten it with honey or sugar. Add cooked apples or applesauce, berries, nuts, and milk and you will have a warm, comforting breakfast porridge like the recipe pictured at left.
Any whole grain can become breakfast if dressed up with the right ingredients. Bulgur is a quick-cooking wheat kernel that is extremely versatile. The grain is precooked, so it can be ready to eat in a few minutes by soaking it in hot water or boiling quickly on the stove. For those tired of oatmeal, try a bulgur breakfast porridge, or adapt this recipe for bulgur with pistachios and raisins. Just use water instead of chicken broth, substitute honey or maple syrup for the cumin and cayenne, and eliminate the herbs and onion for a sweet, nutty breakfast salad.
In the U.S., millet is most often found in bird food, not on our plates, but it's a protein-rich grain that deserves more of our attention. Millet can be used to enhance muffin or bread recipes, or is delicious eaten alone. In this recipe, the millet is toasted in butter and livened up with orange zest, cinnamon, and currants.
Porridge doesn't have to mean a tasteless bowl of steaming mush. This sophisticated oat porridge recipe packs in nutrient-dense ingredients like oats, chia seeds, and flaxseed. Dried dates and prunes lend it its sweetness. Cook for a shorter amount of time to retain the bite and texture of the seeds, and try mixing it up with different combinations of brans, nuts, and dried fruit.
We've all had leftover dessert for breakfast, but a recent indulgent morning of leftover arroz con leche had us inspired: Why not use brown rice and healthy sweeteners for a guilt-free, whole-grain breakfast? Using this recipe, eliminate the sweetened condensed milk, sub in brown rice, and sweeten the pudding with a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey. Experiment with using soy or almond milk for a different flavor.
Though nothing beats a buttery, Nutella-stuffed crepe, these buckwheat crepes are a healthy and delicious breakfast option. The recipe combines buckwheat and whole-wheat flours, and loads up the delicate crepes with a fruit compote. The addition of orange blossom water and fresh mint gives the compote an elegant touch.