KITCHEN DIVA: Resolve to shake up breakfast routine | Community Living


Every year, the most popular resolutions are: “Exercise to get in shape,” “Diet to lose weight,” “Save money” and “Eat healthier in general.” If you’ve resolved to take charge of your health in the new year, a nutritious breakfast is one of the best ways to start your day.

When you eat a healthy breakfast, you consume less fat and cholesterol, eat more vitamins and minerals, have higher productivity throughout the morning and are more focused on the tasks at hand. A healthy breakfast also helps with weight loss and appetite control, and can lower cholesterol, which will reduce your risks for heart disease.

According to the American Dietetic Association, breakfast is especially important for children and adolescents. Kids who eat a healthy breakfast have better concentration and problem-solving skills, improved hand-eye coordination, are more alert and creative, miss fewer days of school and are more physically active.

If you’ve been skipping breakfast because you’re pressed for time, a vitamin- and nutrient-rich, power-packed smoothie is the answer. Smoothies are easy to make, can be adapted to suit individual tastes and best of all, they’re portable if you need a “breakfast to go.”

These healthy smoothie recipes contain fruits, vegetables, wheat germ, soymilk and soft silken soy tofu, which is easier to incorporate in most drink or sauce recipes. When selecting soybean-based products like soy milk or tofu, look for a Certified Non-GMO label.

This means the product was produced without genetic engineering and its ingredients are not derived from genetically modified organisms. The label also means that a product has undergone stringent provisions for testing, traceability and segregation. Only Non-GMO Project Verified products can use the verification mark. The label also includes the project’s URL, where consumers can look up the product standard to better understand what it means.

Non-GMO soy milk and tofu add many health benefits to smoothie recipes. Tofu contains considerable amounts of protein, omega-3 fats, calcium, selenium and other minerals and antioxidants that all play a role in good health. Tofu is bland in taste, but easily absorbs and enhances the flavors of whatever you combine it with, and adds creaminess to your smoothie.

Wheat germ offers another way to add a punch of protein to your breakfast smoothie. Wheat germ is the embryo or kernel of the wheat. It’s a rich source of protein, fiber, unsaturated fat, vitamins E, B1, B2, B5 and B6, phosphorus, zinc, thiamine and magnesium. Wheat germ has natural antioxidants and helps prevent heart disease, cancer and aging. It also protects the muscles, blood, lungs and eyes, and helps to prevent blood clots.

Wheat germ helps to strengthen your body’s immune system and increases your ability to cope with stress. It’s also a reliable source of natural fiber, which is essential to maintaining regular bowel functions and preventing constipation. Try these nutritious, vitamin-packed smoothie recipes to ensure you start your new year and a new day the healthy way!

BREAKFAST IN A BLENDER

1½ cups apple juice

1 cup soft tofu

1 banana, sliced

1/2 orange, peeled and seeded, or 1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 small, raw sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes OR 1 small carrot, sliced into rounds

1/4 cup chopped kale or spinach, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

Puree all the ingredients together in small batches until smooth. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in a covered container overnight and shake well to mix contents. Makes 4 (8 ounce) glasses.

FRUITY TOFU SMOOTHIE

1 cup soft tofu

1 banana, divided

1/2 cup soy milk or orange juice

1/2 cup plain or vanilla soy yogurt

1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1. Blend the tofu, half the banana, soy milk or orange juice, yogurt, half the strawberries or blueberries and the wheat germ until fairly smooth. Add the remaining banana and strawberries, and blend until smooth.

2. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in a covered container overnight and shake well to mix contents. Makes 3 to 4 (8 ounce) glasses.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is www.divapro.com. © 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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