Your alarm goes off. You press snooze (woops). You finally get up to make breakfast, and you’ve got a choice to make. Do you choose the same ’ol oatmeal and blueberries, or do you try something different—something that will jazz up your morning routine and jumpstart your day with a boost of energy and nutrition? If you’re leaning toward the latter (and we think you are), here are three surprising breakfast bowl ingredients to help you put a pep in your morning step.
Heh? Yep, it’s call teff, and it’s seriously good for you. Teff is a powerful Ethiopian super grain that has about 10 g of protein and 7 g of fiber per cup (cooked). It also provides one-third of the recommended daily value of iron for women and half the DV for men. Iron is a key nutrient for healthy metabolism and cell function. (Here are more iron-rich foods to eat on the reg.)
Teff is versatile, and has a subtle hazelnut, almost chocolate-like flavor (is your tail wagging yet?). It’s a perfect base for a breakfast bowl or porridge, but you can also throw it in a stir fry or stew. To cook, pour 1 cup of teff (no need to rinse) with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes (until water is absorbed and teff is fluffy), then remove from heat and let it sit for 5 more minutes. Then, voila! Teff-alicious.
You’ve probably heard about quinoa, the protein- and fiber-packed grain that’s giving rice a run for its money. (Not to mention its impressive resume of minerals, like potassium and magnesium.) But have you heard of eating quinoa…for breakfast?! It might sound weird, but just picture this: Fluffy quinoa mixed with a bit of vanilla almond milk, and topped with cinnamon, almonds, and fresh berries. Or maybe you prefer something more savory, like quinoa breakfast “rice,” stir-fried with eggs and a bit of cheese, then topped with hot sauce. Sounds good, right? (You can also try these other ways to eat more protein at breakfast.)
To cook, rinse 1 cup of quinoa (which makes about 3 cups cooked) in a strainer until water runs clear, then pour into a sauce pan. Add 2 cups of water or broth, a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat (still covered) and let sit for 5 more minutes. Fluff with fork, and enjoy! Pro tip: Cook quinoa on a Sunday evening to enjoy all week—morning, noon, or night.
You may have seen these little seeds in kombucha drinks or sprinkled on yogurt, but you might not realize all the amazinghealth benefits of chia seeds. These nutrient powerhouses are chock-full of fiber, boasting about 10 g per ounce and heart-healthy fats, to help keep your ticker strong.
Blend chia seeds into a smoothie, or try this overnight (or two-hour) chia pudding: Pour ¼ cup of chia seeds into a bowl, and stir in ½ cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk or coconut milk. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you choose so it’s ready in the A.M. Top with fruit, nuts, or honey—or whatever else you see fit!
Power to the power breakfast. *insert fist emoji here*