Nutrition Corner: Use quick protein to make a rich breakfast

April 19th, 2017 2:47 pm

We all know it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast. Some people respond to that with, “I am not hungry first thing in the morning” or “I just don’t have enough time!”

If you work outside the home, or have a child who needs to catch a bus for school, it’s important to feed your brain before you leave the house or pack a breakfast to go.

I am a breakfast eater. It has always been a habit of mine. However, I am noticing that our sons (millenniums) delay eating by a few hours of waking up. Everyone’s habits are different. However, the research shows that people who break the fast (ate before breakfast, breakfast and/or between breakfast and lunch), have lower incidence of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Eating a protein-rich food at breakfast will ward off hunger pains and stabilize our blood sugar. Why is that important? When we eat protein, it takes longer to digest the food. When we eat only carbohydrates such as donuts, high sugared drinks or cookies, it is digested sometimes in 20 minutes. Our blood sugar goes up and then drops. When it drops, we feel like heading back to bed instead of dealing with work or class and hunger pains may return.

Foods high in protein are eggs, milk, yogurt, meat, beans, nuts and cheese. Eating meals or packing meals at home usually contains more protein and less sugar and salt. Add a protein rich food to your breakfast to help feel better, work better and learn better at school.

Beginning to eat or pack breakfast at home takes a plan, especially if you have not in a while. First, lighten up late-night snacks so that you will wake up hungry. Second, plan your breakfast foods. Third, keep foods in the house so that it is easy to make. Remember, leftovers work well, also.

Here is a protein-rich dish that can be made ahead of time and frozen. Pack in individual baggies for a quick on-the-go healthy breakfast. If you like quiche, but just cannot eat the whole quiche, try making individual quiche. Bake in a lined cupcake tin.

Magic Crust Quiche

Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup onion (chopped)

2 cups vegetables (can use frozen, fresh or leftovers)

1 cup cheddar cheese, low-fat (shredded)

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk, 1%

3/4 cup baking mix

Cook onion in oil (or cook with vegetables). Next, cook vegetables (or use leftovers). Drain well any liquid. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liner or spray nonfat cooking spray. Spread cooked vegetables in cupcake tin. Spread cheese on top of vegetables. Mix milk, eggs and baking mix. Pour over vegetables and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until reaches 160 internal degrees and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at