Healthy Cooking Class: Healthy Breakfasts

DAA (Dietetics Association of Australia) encourages all Australians to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast contributes in many ways to good health and nutrition.

Here’s why you should enjoy a nutritious brekkie every day.

Breakfast:

Helps you maintain a healthy weight

Breakfast is often coined as the ‘most important meal of the day’ as it an opportunity to break the fast from the night before. Research shows that consuming breakfast regularly is associated with lower levels of overweight and obesity. Breakfast fills you up, meaning you are less likely to experience hunger pangs throughout day and resort to snacking on high energy, high fat foods.

Provides energy and leads to higher intakes of essential nutrients such as carbohydrate, dietary fibre and certain vitamins and minerals.

It is important to eat something nutritious each morning to replenish your carbohydrate stores and re-fuel for the day ahead. Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to consume foods which are great sources of B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre. Research has found that those who consume breakfast are more likely to meet their recommended dietary intakes for vitamins and minerals compared to when breakfast was not eaten.

Improves alertness, concentration, mental performance, mood and memory

Skipping breakfast can often leave you feeling ‘fuzzy’ or unable to concentrate; this is because your brain is starving for energy. Your brain requires energy in the form of glucose from nutritious foods such as grainy bread, breakfast cereals, fruit and milk at breakfast in order to function at its best throughout the day. In fact, eating breakfast has been linked with an improvement in literacy and numeracy skills in school children.

For the best start to the day, choose a healthy breakfast which is high in fibre, low in saturated fat and provides plenty of vitamins and minerals.

In today’s workshop, the students learnt how to include all the right ingredients into their breakfast meal and prepared Acai Bowls.

acai bowls

You too can make these delicious, healthy Acai bowls at home for breakfast. Here is the recipe and the reason why these bowls are so good for us.

Acai Bowl

acai-bowl-111

What’s good about it:
Berries contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which are anti-inflammatory to the body and can promote optimum health and vitality. Bananas are a great source of potassium that helps to regulate muscle contraction and fluid balance. Leafy greens and super foods are anti-inflammatory and help support immune function.

Super foods added;

Chia Seeds

Helps to pump up the omega 3 fatty acid profile. Benefits of omega 3 include helping to lower cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure, improving symptoms of arthritis and improved mental health.

Goji Berries

They are high in antioxidants, specifically the carotenoids (like beta-carotene) and zeaxanthin (compound that absorbs blue light and helps protect the eyes). Goji Berries have about 20 different vitamins and minerals, making it one of the most nutritionally beneficial foods available and 18 different amino acids (the building blocks to protein).

Acai Powder

A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help remove free radicals that can cause premature aging, cancer and other degenerative disease. It has 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine. A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health. An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

Ingredients

2 cups (250 g) frozen blueberries
1 banana (frozen ) will give a thicker consistency.

Strawberries are also great- use 1 cup.
handful baby spinach leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon protein powder
1 tablespoon acai powder.
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup nut or seed milk, water or pure coconut water – depending on the consistency and taste you want

Topping:

2 handfuls fresh blueberries and strawberries for the top – Use other fresh fruits if you prefer.
1 banana, sliced
Sprinkle of seeds and nuts

Combine the frozen blueberries, banana, spinach, superfood , protein powder, goji berries, chia and nut milk into a high performance blender like a Vitamix.
Blend until smooth and creamy – adding a little more milk depending on the consistency you like.
Garnish the tops with fresh berries, banana, coconut, nuts and seeds.

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