Four Twenty breakfast
There have long been stereotypes about people who use flower, including the vision of the typical “stoner” who’s lazy and in constant need of feeding the munchies with junk food. Thank goodness these ideas are fading (I hope). In fact, many people that use flower care a lot about the health of their body (and mind) and function at a very high level in society. But even the best of us sometimes find it hard to manage healthy eating when we’re rushed to get everything accomplished during a typical busy week.
So, in the interest of promoting healthy eating, and poking a little fun at flower stereotypes, I’m starting a segment called Four Twenty, dedicated to creating (and eating) simple, beautiful, and delicious meals using four ingredients or less, in less than twenty minutes. Here are the criteria for Four Twenty:
- No more than four ingredients
- Less than 20 minutes to make
- Salt, pepper, and olive oil don’t count as part of the four ingredients
- All recipes include whole, fresh, seasonal ingredients when possible
That’s it. Let’s get cooking.
Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day. But I know from personal experience that it can be really hard, sometimes, to make a quick healthy meal in the morning when your rushed to get out the door. But your health doesn’t have to take a backseat to the clock when you’re starting your day.
Like many humans, I am a creature of habit. For me, breakfast is no exception. So I have a couple of go-to meals that I love to eat for breakfast or any other time of the day. They are so simple, so tasty and so fast.
First, eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein, and really easy to make. Even hardboiled eggs only take ten minutes. Personally, I’m partial to fried eggs. It’s probably a southern thing. You’re probably thinking fried eggs aren’t healthy but the facts is, I use about a tablespoon of real butter to fry my eggs which hardly makes the eggs unhealthy. One time my daughter made the comment that fried eggs are good on everything and I had to agree. If you’re adamant that you don’t want to eat fired eggs, then poached eggs are a comparable alternative.
2 fried eggs
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1 small vine-ripened tomato or cherry tomoatoes, chopped or sliced
2 slices of prosciutto
Salt and pepper to taste
This recipe takes less than five minutes to make and is packed full of goodness. Whole eggs (don’t skip the yolk) are nutritionally rich, supplying almost every nutrient you need. They are useful sources of some of the hard to get nutrients like vitamins D and B12, as well as the mineral iodine. Eggs are regarded as a complete source of protein as they contain all nine essential amino acids, which we must obtain from our diet.
Avocados are rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They contain high levels of healthy, beneficial fats, which also helps you feel full, and are thought to promote healthy gut microbes that break down fiber and produce metabolites that support gut health.
Tomatoes are chocked full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Believe it or not, prosciutto actually has some health benefits. Prosciutto is a good source of protein (about 8g) and various vitamins and minerals such as iron and thiamine. And, prosciutto’s main fatty acid is oleic acid which is actually a heart friendly fat. I’ll admit thought the proscuitto is a splurge, and, more often than not, I eat this meal without it.
1 big dollop of Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
1 cup of berries (think blueberries, raspberries, black berries)
1 teaspoon of local honey
¼ c. of chopped walnuts
(Sometimes I splurge and put lemon zest on this delicious dish)
This is another meal that takes less than five minutes to make. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, which can help improve bone health. It also contains probiotics, which support a healthy bacterial balance in the gut and is high in protein, which helps promote fullness.
Berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat and usually make the top ten list of super foods. They’re low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Many berries have been associated with being beneficial for heart health, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, while reducing oxidative stress. I love fresh berries (especially blueberries) so much that I always have some washed and ready to eat. When I get hungry I often grab a handful, or two, or three throughout the day for a sweet but healthy treat.
Honey is great alternative to sugar and provides a sweet contrast to the sour flavor of the Greek yogurt. Using local honey supports our local bee populations which are dying in many parts of the country and consuming honey daily can offer health benefits such as antioxidants, better wound healing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Walnuts contain the good kind of fats, polyunsaturated fats, and are great at satiating hunger. Studies show eating walnuts can help lower LDL, “bad” cholesterol in particular, but also lower your cholesterol overall. Walnuts have also been shown to ease the type of inflammation that leads to heart disease, and they may help lower your chances of a blood clot that could cause a heart attack. Two large studies found that five servings of nuts a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 50%. And early studies show walnuts may cut your odds of some types of cancer.
One more. This recipe only has two ingredients most people wouldn’t think to put together and it’s delicious.
Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient shown to help boost your body’s immune system. Grapefruit is also loaded with Vitamin A, another vitamin that has been proven to help immune function. But there are many prescriptions drugs that should not be taken with grapefruit so talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist first if you are taking any prescription medications. You can always substitute oranges. And, segmenting a grapefruit is actually really easy. If you’re not sure how to do it there are plenty of videos online. The creamy texture of avocado goes surprisingly well with pulp of the citrus and the avocado provides the filling heathly fats you need to contiue feeling full later in the morning.
All of these recipes are healthy and easy to make, but mainly they are delicious. So don’t let a lack of time be an excuse for eating some pre-packaged garbage in the morning. Eat whole, eat fresh, eat colors. Enjoy!