My husband Brian and I eat breakfast together every day, and have some of our best conversations over morning cups of green tea. I highly recommend making time for a leisurely breakfast. A nutritious breakfast of whole foods without a lot of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fat, preservatives, dyes and packaging is a great way to set the tone for your day.
About ten years ago I heard a doctor on the radio talking about how the biggest deficiency in the typical American diet was that of whole grains. Not foods made from whole grain flour, he clarified, but cooked whole grains. At that moment I realized whole grains were next to non-existent in my diet. My wheat came in the form of bread or noodles, oats were rolled into oatmeal, and if I ate rice it was white. I began to explore how I could incorporate whole grains into my meals. In the process I learned a little about macrobiotics and raw foods diets, and though I don’t adhere to either, they keyed me in on a few super-nutritious foods that have become staples for me.
These videos show you how to make the breakfast Brian and I eat most everyday; sprouted buckwheat topped with cashew milk and fresh fruit. Sprouting buckwheat takes about 2 days, but less than 10 minutes of hands-on prep time.
Allison Sprouting Buckwheat:
Allison Making Cashew Milk:
Some reasons I like sprouted buckwheat:
Most nutritionists agree that it’s good to include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes in your diet. Each plant has a different array of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients to offer. I like sprouting my own buckwheat because it’s something I won’t otherwise find on a typical American menu. Raw sprouted grains contain enzymes you won’t find in cooked foods.
Hauling food long distances is a tremendous factor in the US carbon footprint, and eating local truly helps. I like that buckwheat is grown in my state. Unlike fresh produce, it’s a local food I have access to year-round in Minnesota.
At $1.69 per pound, even the organic stuff is affordable.
Bring your own bag and buy buckwheat in bulk! I also bring my own container for cashews, flax seed and vanilla from my local co-op.
When I first started sprouting grains, it was a revelation to find out that unlike flour, whole grains and beans are also seeds that are still alive. I was fascinated that I could buy regular buckwheat from a co-op and sprouts would grow from it. It makes me feel like a farmer, and a bit more knowledgeable about what I’m eating.
Buckwheat has tons of antioxidants, magnesium, and has been linked to lowered risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. My friend Kate Provence turned me on to this website which can explain the nutritional specs better than I can:
A breakfast of sprouted buckwheat, cashew milk and fresh fruit makes me feel great and gives me a steady energy throughout the morning. Add a little ground flax seed and it really sticks to the ribs!
“The Chemistry of Joy,” is a book which details foods that naturally enhance serotonin levels in the brain. Whole grains are great for this, as are sunflower and flax seeds. The writer is an M.D. and outlines foods known to boost your mood without anti-depressants, and also explains that for people taking anti-depressants, raising serotonin levels in the brain through diet will improve the performance of their medication.