As the first post of the new series “Around the World,” we will take a look into the German kitchen just in time for breakfast. An impressive 75 % of Germans eat breakfast daily compared to a meager 44% of Americans. Yes, I know, you have heard this all before, but how many of you actually listen? What I am going to say next is going to be very important, so remember it…. eating a healthy breakfast will help you LOSE weight…. skipping breakfast will help you GAIN weight. Get it?
Studies have proven that skipping breakfast will actually cause you to eat more calories throughout the day, and those calories will more likely be from unhealthy sources. When you choose to rush out the door without a proper breakfast, no I do not mean a cup of coffee, your body becomes less sensitive to insulin, which is what controls proper blood sugar levels.
When your blood sugar is not controlled properly, you can become fatigued, moody, and starving. In this state of mind, you cannot focus properly, but you are also ten time more likely to make a poor food choice. Hence, the M & Ms from the office vending machine, or the croissant at Starbucks. To make matters worse, your body is more likely to conserve the calories that you do consume therefore leading to instant weight gain. By skipping breakfast you are also missing out on a metabolism booster. A well-balanced breakfast that contains proper complex carbohydrates and a healthy fat will actually increase your metabolism which means you will burn more calories throughout the entire day.
One more fun fact: studies also show that people that skip breakfast also have high LDL cholesterol levels which is an indicator for heart disease… yikes!
So, now to the fun part. What to eat for breakfast. Since we are in Germany for breakfast today, lets go with one of my most favorite Swiss German breakfast dishes, Muesli.
Muesli was developed around 1900 by a Swiss physician for his patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. My kind of doctor! Traditionally it comprises of rolled oats, fruits and nuts, a light but filling meal that is easy to digest and contains a great balance of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Due to its versatile flavors and shelf-life, it has become a very popular dish throughout Europe and the United States.
The following is my favorite recipe but feel free to substitute the nuts and seeds with any raw alternative such as walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. You may also choose other dried (un-sulphured, no sugar added) fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, figs, strawberries or raisins. If you cannot find RAW honey, you may substitute grade B maple syrup or raw agave (low glycemic index).
Ingredients (6 to 8 servings)
3 cups organic rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped sprouted almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon Pink Salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, currants, wheat germ and salt. Mix together and transfer to a mixing bowl or a quart-size mason jar. If you are using a larger dried fruit, chop first then add to the mix.
In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil and honey on low heat. Once the coconut oil and honey are liquid, slowly pour into mason jar or mixing bowl.
Mix thoroughly. Serve with unsweetened coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk or coconut yogurt. Or serve it the traditional style with fresh squeezed orange juice 🙂