Easy Healthy Breakfast

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Breakfast bowl recipes for an easy healthy breakfast using  granola and muesli with special toppings to aid nutrition.

 

Top 10 Breakfast Foods to Fuel Your Morning

top 10 breakfast foods

Whatever your day may bring, breakfast should be the fuel that propels you forward and then keeps you going until lunch, or longer. But what are the best foods for the job? In this article we take a look at the top 10 foods for a healthy breakfast, and also consider some of those you may want to avoid, or at least keep to a minimum.

What Are 10 Healthy Breakfast Foods?

Oats

When it comes to kick-starting your day, oats tick all the right boxes. Packed with heart-healthy fibre, they help keep your cholesterol levels in check and your digestive system happy.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Oats are also full of the good kind of carbs that give you a slow-release energy to power through your morning without hitting a slump. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile!

Whether you’re enjoying a warm bowl of porridge topped with fresh fruit and nuts or grabbing an oat-based granola bar on the go, oats really are the breakfast of champions.

Eggs

Eggs are one of very few ingredients considered to be a complete food, providing most of the nutrients our body needs.

An excellent source of protein, with all nine essential amino acids, eggs will keep you full and focused throughout your morning. They’re also full of essential fats, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin D for bone health and choline for brain function.

Whether you prefer them scrambled, boiled, poached, or folded into a fluffy omelette, eggs are as versatile as they are quick and easy to cook.

Cereal

A super quick fix for a busy morning, cereal can be a wholesome choice too if you choose wisely. We’re talking cereals that are whole grain, low in sugar, and high in fibre.

Muesli and granola have all the right credentials, but do read the label carefully to make sure they contain more of the good stuff than the bad. You can find out more about why we believe that wholegrains are the heart of a healthy cereal.

Top it off with some sliced bananas or a handful of berries for that extra boost of nutrients and sweetness!

Wholegrain Toast

Sticking with the theme of wholegrains, we should address the elephant in the room. Bread gets such a bad press nowadays but again, when you choose wisely, it is not all bad.

Wholegrains are fantastic for heart health and digestion because of their high fibre content, which also keeps you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the temptation for mid-morning snacking. They have a lower glycaemic index than refined grains, so they help maintain steady blood sugar levels. Balanced out with healthy fats and proteins, maybe toast is not the breakfast baddie after all.

So, whichever way you slice it, wholegrain toast is a simple and satisfying choice for a nutritious breakfast.

Yoghurt

When it comes to quick and easy foods for breakfast, yoghurt is a popular choice. An excellent source of probiotics, which are fabulous for maintaining a happy gut flora, it is also packed with protein.

Whether you’re a fan of the creamy Greek yoghurt or prefer the plant-based varieties, there’s a yoghurt out there to suit your taste and nutritional needs. Spoon into a bowl and toss in your favourite fruits, a swirl of honey, and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds for a perfect start to your day.

Plus, it’s a breeze to prep when you’re short on time. Who knew something so simple could be so good for you, right?

Fruit

Fruits really is nature’s candy, and if you are seeking a little sweetness then this is the sugar to choose. Packed with the good stuff, not only does it satisfy your sweet tooth naturally, but the fibre in fruit helps safeguard against those blood sugar spikes associated with sugar.

So, whether it’s a vibrant smoothie bowl bursting with tropical sunshine or a simple apple on the go, incorporating fruit into your breakfast is a delicious way to fuel your body and keep your taste buds happy.

Vegetables

Veggies for breakfast might sound unconventional to some, but there are few foods on the planet as blessed with plant power. Some veg are more suited to breakfast than others, and a chosen few have gained a permanent place in the breakfast lexicon. Spinach has become the acceptable face of greens in the morning, whilst tomatoes and mushrooms have long held their place on the breakfast plate. Peppers and onions pack a punch of flavour that eggs welcome, and even chillies are thought to be an excellent wake up call.

Sneaking veggies into your morning meal, adds not just a splash of colour to your plate, but also gives you a head start on the daily nutritional goals. So why not get creative? It’s all about making that morning meal work for you in the tastiest, healthiest way possible!

Avocado

Avocado. The superhero of breakfast foods! Full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, it does wonders for keeping those cholesterol levels in check.

Whether you’re smashing it onto toast or slicing it into a spinach salad, avocados are the gift that keeps on giving. And they have way more to offer than just those good fats; they also have just the right balance of sodium and potassium that can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Besides, the creamy texture and subtle flavour makes avocado a dream to pair with almost anything

Seeds

Seeds do far more than add a toasty crunch. Chia, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are just a handful of choices that can supercharge your morning routine. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health, seeds contain all the nutrients necessary to grow a whole new plant. That’s a lot of goodness in a tiny little space.

Sprinkle them over yogurt or oatmeal, toss them into your morning smoothie, or bake them into your morning muffins. They add a satisfying pop of texture and a nutty flavour that gives your brekkie a boost.

Nuts

Nuts are also champions for your brain, delivering a dose of omega-3s and antioxidants that are sure to keep those neurons firing. Like seeds, they all offer something slightly different, so mix it up with as many varieties as you can.

Walnuts are a particularly good choice for breakfast, and are positively brimming with nutrients to boost your brain health.

What Foods Should I Avoid For Breakfast?

Starting your day off with the wrong foods can set you back before you’ve even stepped out the door, leaving you feeling sluggish or hungry way before lunch. What’s more, they do little to support your health on a long term basis either. Let’s run through some morning no-no’s:

Sugary cereals

Sugary cereals might be tempting with their bright colors and sweet taste, but they are the very opposite of a healthy breakfast food. These cereals are often loaded with refined sugars and lack substantial fibre, protein, or healthy fats—key elements that give you that lasting energy to tackle your day.

When you start your morning with a high-sugar cereal, you’re more likely to experience a mid-morning crash as your blood sugar spikes and then plummets. Instead of setting up for success, they leave you reaching for a snack long before lunchtime, not to mention the long-term health impacts of consistently high sugar intake.

Read more about making the switch to low sugar cereal

Refined pastries and doughnuts

Tempting, but no.

Refined pastries and doughnuts might seem like the perfect comfort food to start off your morning, yet their convenience and taste come with a downside. These sweet treats are typically made from processed white flour and are packed with sugar, which can lead to a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels. This spike can not only leave you with a notorious ‘sugar crash’ but also may result in you feeling hungrier sooner. Additionally, they’re often bereft of essential nutrients like fibre and protein which are crucial to kickstart your metabolism and keep you feeling full and focused throughout your morning.

So, as tempting as they are, it’s best to reserve these goodies for occasional treats rather than everyday breakfast fare.

High-sugar fruit juices

Glugging down a glass of juice might seem like a great way to start your day, but what’s really in your glass?

High-sugar fruit juices are often missing the fibrous goodness that you find in whole fruits. Without the fibre, that liquid rush of fructose hits your system fast, leading to a quick spike in blood sugar levels. Just like with our not-so-friend, the sugary cereal, you could find yourself tumbling down from a sugar high way before your next meal.

Plus, many of these juices have just as much sugar as sodas, minus the beneficial nutrients that whole fruits provide. Much better to grab a piece of fruit for the full quota of flavour, fibre, and vitamins.

Processed meat

Processed meats, like bacon and sausage, might be breakfast staples for many, but let’s take a closer look at that familiar fry up.

These meats often go through extensive processing, loaded with salt, preservatives, and sometimes even sweeteners, which ranks them pretty low on the health scale. They’re often cited as increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They’re not doing you any favours in the nutrient department either—offering more negatives than positives.

It’s a far cry from the lean protein and wholesome nutrition you really need to start the day strong. So maybe, instead of making them a morning mainstay, it could be time to lean towards healthier proteins like eggs or Greek yogurt for your first meal of the day.

Ultimately, a breakfast built on high-sugar, high-fat, and highly-processed foods can mess with your energy and health. Opting for whole, nutrient-rich foods is always the way to go!

What Are 5 Healthy Breakfast Combinations?

We have seen the foods that make great healthy choices, and some of those that don’t. But what really makes a healthy breakfast is striking a balance of all those nutrients.

  1. Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer up Greek yogurt with a mix of fresh berries, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of granola for that delightful crunch.
  2. Oatmeal Supreme: Start with warm oatmeal, top it off with sliced bananas and walnuts, and finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a heart-healthy treat.
  3. Avocado Toast with a Twist: Whole-grain bread toasted to perfection, adorned with mashed avocado, topped with poached eggs, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little zing.
  4. Smoothie Bowl: Blend some spinach with frozen mango, a banana, and almond milk for your base, then garnish with chia seeds and mixed nuts for an extra energy boost.
  5. The Classic with a Healthy Spin: Whole-wheat English muffin with grilled mushrooms, a side of scrambled egg, and a handful of roasted vine-ripened cherry tomatoes for a balanced morning meal.

Combining proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats means you’re setting yourself up for a morning of success. Just a few simple ingredients are all you need to fuel your body and mind. In fact, when it comes to healthy food in general, we always think that simple is best.

So whether you’re a sweet or savoury fan, these breakfast foods are designed to please your palate while giving you the kick-start you need. Remember, the key to a nutritious breakfast is balance—getting those proteins, carbs, and healthy fats altogether on your plate.

Explore our range of healthy cereals to help you cross one of your healthy breakfast foods off the list!


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Healthy Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers”.
See original article:- Top 10 Breakfast Foods to Fuel Your Morning

Yogurt with Granola – Start your Day with the Perfect Parfait

yoghurt with granola

When it comes to a healthy breakfast, yogurt with granola is a perennial favourite. It’s a universally acknowledged truth that a healthy breakfast is not only the key to a balanced diet but also the best way to make an energetic start to your day. The winning combo of yogurt and granola isn’t just delicious; it’s packed with nutritional benefits that can kick-start your morning, and keep you feeling satisfied and energetic throughout the day.

Whether you’re an early riser or a reluctant morning person, let’s dive in to discover why a yogurt bowl with granola might just become your new favourite way to start the day.

It all Begins with a Healthy Breakfast

A healthy breakfast sets the tone for an energetic and productive day. While we sleep, our bodies are still working, using up stores of energy that need to be replenished when we wake. A nutritionally balanced breakfast provides us with the essential nutrients and energy to perform effectively throughout the day.

What’s more, a healthy breakfast can help regulate metabolism and prevent snacking on high-calorie foods later in the day. Skipping this crucial meal can lead to increased hunger and potentially overeating, which can be counterproductive if you’re aiming for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

So, why is yogurt with granola healthy?

Yogurt with granola is super nutritious, providing a harmonious blend of proteins, healthy fats, fibres, and essential vitamins and minerals that complement each other perfectly. Throw in some fruit and the list of benefits just gets longer.

The health benefits of yogurt

Yogurt is renowned for its numerous health benefits, making it an excellent choice for breakfast.

  1. High in Protein: Yogurt is packed with protein, which is essential for building and repairing body tissues. Not only that, but it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
  2. Rich in Calcium: A great source of calcium, yogurt is ideal for helping to maintain strong, healthy bones and teeth.
  3. Good for Gut Health: Yogurt contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can enhance gut health and aid digestion.
  4. Boosts Immunity: The probiotics in yogurt can also strengthen your immune system, helping your body resist infections.
  5. Vitamins and Minerals: Yogurt is rich in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins, calcium, and phosphorus.

The health benefits of granola

Granola, a crunchy and delicious addition to your breakfast, also boasts numerous health benefits:

  1. Packed with Fibre: Granola is an excellent source of dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
  2. Healthy Fats: Many granolas include nuts and seeds which contain healthy fats, essential for heart health and maintaining cholesterol levels.
  3. Energy Booster: Granola is a concentrated source of energy, ideal for kick-starting your day or fueling physical activity.

And then there’s fruit. All around general good guy.

Fruit offers some incredible health benefits. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, fruit can aid digestion, strengthen the immune system, and even promote skin health. Most fruits are packed with antioxidants, which fight against harmful free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Additionally, the natural sugars in fruit provide a quick, healthy energy boost, making it a perfect addition to your morning yogurt bowl.

Is granola with dried fruit good for you?

Absolutely. Granola with dried fruit can be a healthy choice, but it’s important to consider the quality and quantity of ingredients. Dried fruits can enhance the nutritional profile of granola by adding fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. However, they can also increase sugar content, so it’s recommended to choose options with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Find out more about the sugar content of granola in our article on low-sugar granola.

The Perfect Pairing – Yogurt with Granola

As we have seen, from a nutritional standpoint yogurt and granola make the perfect pair. Especially when a portion or two is thrown into the mix. But just why do granola and yogurt work so well together?

Yogurt and granola create a symphony of taste and texture that is simply irresistible. The creaminess of yogurt provides a perfect contrast to the crunch of granola, delivering a satisfying mouthfeel with every bite. The tangy flavour of yogurt enhances the sweetness of the granola, which can be further enriched by the inclusion of dried fruits or a drizzle of honey. Also, the cool freshness of yogurt is balanced by the comforting oven-baked homeliness that is granola.

Creating the perfect breakfast yogurt bowl

The beauty of this pairing lies not only in its deliciousness but also in its versatility. You can make endless combinations of yogurt, granola, and fruit yet there is one thing that won’t change. Your yogurt bowl will only be as good as the quality of your ingredients.

Choose healthy yogurt

  1. Opt for Plain Yogurt: Flavoured yogurts often contain high quantities of added sugars. Opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt.
  2. Check the Fat Content: Yogurts come in non-fat, low-fat, and full-fat versions. Depending on your dietary requirements and preferences, choose one with a suitable fat content. However, remember that full-fat yogurt tend to be more satiating.
  3. Look for Live Cultures: Yogurts with live and active cultures are a fantastic source of probiotics, which can enhance gut health. Look for labels that indicate the presence of these beneficial bacteria.
  4. Choose Organic: If possible, go for organic yogurt. This is made from the milk of cows that haven’t been given antibiotics or artificial growth hormones.
  5. Consider Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is strained more times than traditional yogurt, making it thicker and creamier. It is also packed with protein, making it a great option for a filling breakfast.
  6. Avoid Artificial Additives: Some yogurts contain artificial flavours, colours, or sweeteners. Check the ingredient list thoroughly to ensure your choice is as natural and healthy as possible.

Choose healthy granola

  1. Read the Ingredients List: Always check the ingredients list. The healthiest granolas are usually those with the fewest and most recognisable ingredients.
  2. Look for Whole Grains: Make sure whole grains are at the top of the ingredient list. Find out more in our article about whole grains for a healthy breakfast.
  3. Check the Sugar Content: Some granola can be high in added sugars. Look for granola with less than 6g of sugar per serving. Be aware of different names for sugar like honey, brown rice syrup, or cane sugar.
  4. Avoid Artificial Additives: As with yogurt, granola should be as natural as possible. Avoid brands that include artificial flavours, preservatives, or colours.
  5. Look for Healthy Fats: Granola containing nuts, seeds, or oils like olive or coconut can provide healthy fats which are essential for your body and brain.
  6. Consider Protein Content: To make your granola more filling, look for options that contain nuts, seeds, or a source of protein like whey or casein.
  7. Watch Serving Sizes: Granola can be dense in calories, so pay attention to serving sizes. A serving is usually 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup.

Putting Together the Perfect Breakfast Parfait

Wait, what? Isn’t parfait a kind of ice cream? Sadly, no. Actually, it is but when it comes to breakfast, parfait is just a fancy name for yogurt with granola. Yogurt parfait tends to be layered in a glass, rather than piled in a bowl, in order to maximise the surprise factor of contrasting ingredients on the spoon. It is also, of course, utterly Instagrammable.

Whether you choose to layer your ingredients in a glass, or simply put them in a bowl, the concept remains the same. Take some good yogurt, some great granola, and add some fruit; fresh or otherwise. Depending on the content of your granola, you may wish to add any number of extra toppings such as nuts and seeds.

Healthy yogurt bowl ideas

Australian Berries: Layer Greek yogurt, a handful of your favourite local berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries), granola, and a drizzle of honey. Top with a sprinkle of chia seeds for an extra nutritional boost.

We think this would be great with our classic almond crunch granola.

Apple Cinnamon Autumn Crisp: Combine natural yogurt with stewed cinnamon apples, granola, and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. For added crunch, toss in some sliced almonds.

Try something a little different with our crispy apple paleo granola.

Nuts About Bananas: Layer banana slices with Greek yogurt and granola. Top it off with a sprinkle of walnuts and a drizzle of almond butter.

Make it extra nutty with our award-winning maple nut crunch granola.

Choc Cherry Forest: Blend Greek yogurt with a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder, and add in some tart cherries and granola. Top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs.

This cranberry crunch granola would be a great substitute for sour cherries.

Pretty as a Peach: Layer peach slices, Greek yogurt, and granola. Finish with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of flax seeds.

This honey and macadamia crunch would be the perfect granola here.

And there you have it. We reckon yogurt and granola not only make for a delicious start to your day but also a nutritious one, providing the energy you need to power through. Remember, the beauty of a yogurt bowl breakfast is in its versatility. You can mix and match flavours, layer in your favourite fruits, or even throw in some nuts and seeds for added crunch. And don’t forget, choosing the healthiest types of yogurt and granola makes a big difference, so always read the labels. Armed with these tasty ideas, why not have a go at getting creative with your granola bowl?

Take a look at our range of healthy cereals, including some great crunchy granola to get you started.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Granola Manufacturers”.
See original article:- Yogurt with Granola – Start your Day with the Perfect Parfait

Top Tips for Crafting the Perfect Overnight Oats

overnight oats

If you are looking for a nutritious, easy-to-prepare, yet still delicious breakfast option, then overnight oats could be just what you need. Packed with goodness, highly customizable, and incredibly convenient, overnight oats are the perfect solution for those busy mornings when you need a quick yet healthy start. Read on to uncover the secrets behind crafting your perfect bowl of morning oats.

Why Overnight Oats?

Overnight oats are a fantastic choice for several reasons.

Number one, they are super good for you. Rich in fibre and protein, they keep you satiated for a longer period, aiding in weight management and promoting digestive health. They’re also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall well-being.

Number two, they are gonna save you a ton of time. You simply mix the ingredients the night before, and by morning, you have a ready-to-eat, healthy breakfast waiting for you. This makes them an ideal option for those rushed, early mornings.

Number three, you can totally make it your own. Overnight oats are incredibly versatile; you can customize them to suit your taste preferences, dietary needs, or even the season. Whether you like them sweet, fruity, or nutty, there’s an overnight oats recipe out there for you.

Oh, and did we mention delicious?

What’s not to love.

The Basic Recipe

The basic recipe for overnight oats requires just a few key ingredients. At its core lies rolled oats, which are the foundation of this dish.

These organic rolled jumbo oats are ideal for making classic overnight oats.

Next is a liquid, usually milk or a dairy-free alternative like almond or soy milk, to soften the oats and create a creamy texture. A sweetener such as honey or maple syrup can be added for a dash of sweetness. Finally, a bit of yoghurt can be included for a tangy flavour and extra creaminess. These ingredients form the base of your overnight oats, to which you can add a variety of toppings and mix-ins for flavour and a nutritional boost.

So, in a nutshell, here’s what you do. Remember, this process starts the night before. The clue is in the name.

  1. Choose your container: First, select a container to make your overnight oats in. This could be a jar, a bowl, or a Tupperware container with a lid.
  2. Mix the base ingredients: Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of your preferred liquid (milk or dairy-free alternative), and a scant pinch of salt into your container. Add your chosen sweetener as desired. If you like, mix in 1/4 cup of yoghurt as well. Give everything a good stir to combine.
  3. Add your mix-ins: This is where the fun begins. Feel free to add your favourite fruits, nuts, seeds, or spices. But don’t forget that the texture will change. Nuts, for instance, will lose some of their crunch. Grated apple will add liquid back into the oats. So think about not just the flavour, but the final textures that you want to achieve.
  4. Let it rest: Once all the ingredients are combined, cover your container, and place it in the fridge overnight. The oats will absorb the liquid, soften, and develop a beautiful, creamy texture all on their own.
  5. Enjoy: The next morning, give your oats a good stir and add a little extra liquid if needed. Top with more of your favourite fruity, nutty, seedy bits, and enjoy your healthy, filling breakfast.

The basic overnight oats recipe

For 1 serving

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup milk

a pinch of salt

Sweetener, as required (sugar, honey etc)

Fruit, nuts or seeds

  1. Combine, cover and place in the fridge overnight. That’s it!

All you need to remember is that the overnight oats ratio is equal parts of oats to milk. And that half a cup is an ample serving for one person. After that, it’s up to you how you make your overnight oats.

Getting Creative

Now’s the fun part. There is just no end to the possibilities of your bowl of overnight oats.

Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas to get you started.

Fruity overnight oats

Apple Cinnamon: Grated fresh apple, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Top with chopped walnuts. Don’t be afraid to mix up your base either. Give our 5 grain porridge blend a go, instead of regular oats.

Tropical Delight: Mix in dried coconut shavings and chunks of pineapple. Finish with a topping of toasted coconut flakes and a splash of coconut milk.

Banana Nut Crunch: Add mashed banana and almond butter into your oats mix. Top with sliced bananas and crushed almonds.

Berries Galore: A medley of fresh or frozen berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt on top.

Feeling something different?

Spiced Pumpkin: Mix in pumpkin puree and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Top with pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Chocolate Lovers: Blend in cocoa powder and a dollop of nut butter. Top with dark chocolate chips, and for an added crunch, some granola.

Peanut Butter Jelly: Mix in a spoonful of peanut butter and a swirl of your favourite jam. Top it off with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts.

Or, you could go with a seasonal theme that not only suits your seasonal ingredients but your style of eating and mood too.

Seasonal overnight oats

Autumn Harvest: Try adding roasted pumpkin cubes, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey to your oats. Top it off with crunchy pumpkin seeds.

Winter Warmer: Mix in stewed apples with a touch of vanilla and clove. Sprinkle over some toasted pecans for added warmth.

Spring Fling: Incorporate fresh strawberries and a dollop of light, creamy yoghurt. Finish with some chopped mint leaves for a refreshing touch.

Summer Zest: A combination of fresh blueberries, a swirl of lemon zest, and a sprinkle of chia seeds make a vibrant and tasty mix. Top it off with a spoonful of honey for a touch of sweetness.

Mix things up even further by experimenting with different grains and ready-made muesli mixes for your base.

Try this classic organic original bircher mix or our hinterland bircher muesli which is already packed with nuts and fruit.

Remember, these are just ideas to get you started. Feel free to experiment with what you have, what’s in season, and what you love!

Our Top Tips for the Perfect Overnight Oats

The right oats to use

Opt for old-fashioned rolled oats when making overnight oats, as they soak up the liquid well and offer a creamy, chewy texture, unlike instant oats which can become too mushy.

The ideal ratio of oats to liquid

The ideal ratio for overnight oats is typically 1:2, meaning that for every one part of oats, you should use two parts of liquid; this ensures your oats are well-soaked and achieve a creamy consistency without being overly soggy.

To sweeten or not to sweeten?

When it comes to sweetening your overnight oats, it’s entirely a matter of personal preference; you can choose to add natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup or rely on the natural sweetness of your chosen fruits and toppings. Remember though that oats, and many milks especially dairy, have their own inherent sweetness too.

What is the ideal refrigeration time for overnight oats?

For the perfect texture and flavour, allow your overnight oats to refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but not more than 24 hours. This allows the oats to fully absorb the liquid and soften, creating a creamy and delicious breakfast treat. If left longer than 24 hours, the oats might become overly mushy. Always keep them covered to prevent your fridge flavours from mingling.

We think that overnight oats are a great choice for breakfast that is not just super convenient and time-saving, but versatile and nutritious too. The different combinations of oats, liquids, sweeteners, and toppings, mean you can make it your own without getting stuck in a rut. Whether you like your oats slightly chewy or creamier, sweet or fruity, there is tons of room for creativity. So why wait? Try making your own batch of overnight oats tonight! Who knows, you might discover your new favourite breakfast dish.

Our top tip? Making the perfect overnight oats is all about finding the right balance that works for you!

Have you discovered our full range of healthy cereals yet? Don’t forget, that if you still aren’t sure about what goes into a healthy breakfast, then check out this in-depth guide.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Healthy Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers”.
See original article:- Top Tips for Crafting the Perfect Overnight Oats

5 Really Good Reasons to Make the Switch to Spelt Today

what is spelt

What is spelt, exactly? Have you ever wondered why you should bother with it? Isn’t it, after all, just another variety of wheat? The very thing that you are told to avoid.

Yet this often overlooked ancient grain offers numerous benefits to your health. Not just packed with nutrients it also has a unique, nutty flavour that sets it apart from the more neutral-tasting wheat. You’ll be pleased to know that spelt is a sustainable choice too! Stick around as we take a look at five of the most compelling reasons why you should make the switch.

Reason 1: Spelt is Rich in Nutrients

Despite its similarities to wheat, spelt has a lower gluten content and higher levels of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Its gluten proteins are said to be easier to digest than the gluten in wheat.

Spelt contains an impressive array of minerals. Amongst them are iron and magnesium, both of which are essential to maintaining optimal health. Iron is critical for healthy blood, while magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle function. But it doesn’t stop there – it also contains phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, all of which have important roles to play.

A rich source of vitamins, spelt is a great source of B vitamins and is higher in niacin (B3) than wheat. B vitamins are essential for maintaining energy levels, optimal brain function, and healthy cell metabolism. Niacin in particular is used by the body to turn food into energy and provides support for the digestive system. Spelt is also a rich source of vitamin K which helps the body to absorb calcium.

Reason 2: Easier to Digest than Wheat

When you consume wheat, the gluten proteins can be difficult for your body to break down, leading to discomfort and inflammation. Spelt, on the other hand, has a slightly different gluten structure that makes it gentler on the digestive system.

It could be worth giving spelt a try to see if you notice a difference in how you feel after eating it.

Reason 3: A Sustainable Option

Spelt is a low-input crop, requiring minimal resources such as water and fertilizers, making it more sustainable and environmentally friendly than conventional crops. A hardy crop, spelt can withstand various weather conditions and is more resistant to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.

Farmers are increasingly turning to spelt as a low-input, high-quality alternative to other grains, making it a promising option for a more sustainable agriculture industry.

Another exciting advantage is its ability to thrive in challenging soil conditions. Unlike other crops, spelt is highly resistant to drought and can produce a greater yield in poor soil. This makes it an ideal crop for small organic farmers who want to grow food sustainably without relying on chemical fertilizers or large quantities of water.

Reason 4: Spelt is a Tasty Alternative

This ancient grain has a mild taste that can be described as sweet and nutty, with a slightly earthy undertone. Slightly sweeter than wheat it offers more depth of flavour to your dishes. Whilst it is soft like wheat, and not dense like some other grains, it can be a little heavier.

Reason 5: A Versatile Grain

Wheat is everywhere. Granted, it is now in a lot of places that it really does not need to be, but the fact that we find it so difficult to live without stands testament to its versatility. Yet there is very little that you can do with wheat that you cannot do with spelt. It does, in fact, behave in exactly the same way. There are also a few uses for spelt that you may not consider for wheat.

An ideal grain for a healthy breakfast

Spelt makes an ideal alternative to wheat in healthy breakfast cereals, adding another dimension of texture and flavour as well as a nutritional boost.

This award winning granola contains wholemeal spelt

Our organic 5 grain porridge contains spelt

Healthy baking and cooking

Although not suitable for gluten free baking, many people are turning to spelt flour as a stand in for standard wheat flour. Completely interchangeable with wheat flour, it can be used everywhere from thickening sauces, to cakes and bakes. Keep it in the cupboard instead of all purpose flour. White spelt flour is ideal for this, but you can swap out a small proportion with the wholemeal variety to add nutritional and textural variety.

Take a look at our organic spelt flour, available in wholemeal and white.

Use whole grains in cooking 

Most of us do not use wheat in any other form than flour. Whole spelt grains can be used in the same way as any other whole grain, such as rice or barley. Like barley, spelt is available in its ‘pearled’ form, meaning that the outer husk has been processed to make it easier to cook. In this form it can be added to soups, salads and stews. You can even use it to make a super healthy risotto.

 

Explore our award winning range of healthy whole grain breakfast cereals.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers”.
See original article:- 5 Really Good Reasons to Make the Switch to Spelt Today

Why Oats are Still the Backbone of a Healthy Cereal

healthy oat cereal

What with keto, and the controversial avenin/gluten content debate, oats have begun to get as much bad press as wheat. Yet the truth is that its very low in gluten and unless you have clearly identified that avenin causes you problems, then you should strongly consider including oats as a regular part of your diet.

The Heart of a Healthy Cereal

At Opera Foods we take our breakfast pretty seriously. We spent a long time considering ‘what makes a healthy breakfast‘ and reached the conclusion that wholegrain cereal is the healthiest breakfast of them all.

So what does that mean? Certainly not all wholegrain cereals are equal. Staying away from the big commercial brands, especially those marketed towards children, is probably a good start. When choosing a healthy cereal, muesli, granola, and porridge, are at the top of most people’s lists.

Speciality blends (such as keto or Paleo ) aside, most of these breakfast cereals have one thing in common. And that is oats. If wholegrains are truly the heart of a healthy cereal, then oats are most definitely the backbone.

Oats in Granola

The entire point of granola is those crunchy, possibly even chewy, clusters. It is one of the things that sets granola apart from muesli. Btw, which side are you on? This may help; muesli vs granola.

We have lots of lovely oat based granola blends for you to try. As well as a few that aren’t.

Oats in Muesli

When Mr Bircher first created his restorative recipe, he didn’t reach for the buckwheat or the quinoa. He choose to base his easily digestible breakfast around the restorative power of oats.

Have you tried our premium muesli blends?

Oats in Porridge

Likewise, generations of Scots have started their day on a warming bowl of porridge oats, which are a staple ingredient in Scotland. Granted, this is largely because they grow really well there and traditional foods do tend to evolve through availability. Yet oats behave in a certain way when cooked in liquid that makes porridge so appealing. They have a certain creaminess, even when cooked in water, that is inherently easy to eat. A bowl of porridge at breakfast will certainly see you through to lunch, and possibly all the way though to dinner. It is just that good.

Our five grain porridge blend is based on organic jumbo oats.

The Health Benefits of Oats

Oats have a ton of beneficial properties and can be considered a true superfood. Which is why we recommend that you only eliminate them from your diet if the downsides outweigh the good.

In short, oats can…

  • help lower cholesterol
  • help control insulin secretion
  • help lower anxiety
  • prevent blood sugar spikes
  • soothe your gut
  • supercharge your skin

Which is quite a lot for an unassuming and often misunderstood little grain. So how do oats manage to provide all these benefits. What supercharges this super grain?

Beta – glucan; heart healthy fibre

Beta-glucan is a soluble fibre found in many grains, yet is particularly abundant in oats.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel, unlike insoluble fibre that passes straight through. Although both are types of fibre, they actually have the opposite effect on the body. Together they provide powerful protection for your gut.

The mucus-like gel coats and lubricates the gut lining, slowing down digestion and keeping you fuller for longer. This, in turn slows down the absorption of sugar and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels as well as improve overall blood sugar regulation.

Beta-glucan has been shown to to drastically lower LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol levels, leading to a marked improvement in total cholesterol.

Essential mineral magnesium

Things rarely work in isolation, especially when it comes to health and nutrition. Oats are known to be one of the best foods for helping to control blood sugar levels. Not only does the beta glucan help with blood sugar regulation, but oats are also a rich source of magnesium that helps to regulate insulin secretion. A diabetic double whammy, if you like.

Gramine; nature’s sedative

Oats are a traditional remedy for insomnia, depression and anxiety. We now know that they contain the alkaloid gramine, that acts as a natural sedative.

Water loving polysaccharides

Oats are also well known for their skin softening properties, and again feature highly in traditional beauty remedies. Their excellent moisturising properties are down to the sugars that they contain, which attract and hold water to lubricate the skin.

Silica; skin care’s best kept secret

The mineral silica is involved in the making of collagen and elastin, which provides the structure for firm youthful looking skin. It is also found in hyaluronic acid (yes, that one) which helps to keep the skin matrix supple.

Tocotrienol; skin soothing vitamin E

Oats are very soothing for the skin. They contain a compound known as tocotrienol, which is actually a member of the vitamin E family. As well as its skin soothing properties, it is thought to offer some protection against UV damage too.

Zinc; for problem skin and hair

As if all of this were not enough, oats also contain zinc, which is helpful in controlling sebum production. Greasy hair and breakout skin are often caused by out of control sebum production, and zinc can certainly help with this.

 

So that’s the lowdown on why oats are such a valuable part of a healthy diet, unless of course you do have issues with avenin sensitivity. Oats are very low in Gluten. In the USA they allow it to be called Gluten Free. Including them in your diet may reap more rewards than excluding them so we believe it is well worth serious consideration.

As always, feel free to explore our range of premium healthy cereals, available to buy online in bulk today.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers”.
See original article:- Why Oats are Still the Backbone of a Healthy Cereal

Whole grain cereal is the heart of a healthy breakfast

If whole grains are, quite literally, the heart of a healthy breakfast then it makes sense to choose a healthy cereal to start your day. In our article ‘what is a healthy breakfast‘ we discovered that a nutritionally sound breakfast is made up of a portion of wholegrains, a portion of dairy, and a portion of fruit. In other words; healthy breakfast cereal.

But what are wholegrains exactly? Why are they so good for you? Let’s find out, beginning with the obvious question…

…what are cereal grains?

Grains, or cereal grains, are the edible seeds of certain grasses. In Australia, wheat is the most commonly grown grain followed closely by oats and rice. In many parts of the world, rice is more widespread than wheat. Other grains include rye, barley, corn, millet, and sorghum. There are many different varieties of wheat, with ancient strains such as spelt, emmer, and eikorn, regaining popularity.

Some other foods come under the heading of grains yet are not actually true grains despite being nutritionally similar and used in the same way. All of these grains, pseudo or otherwise, are used in healthy breakfast cereals.

What are whole grains?

Whole grains are unrefined grains that have their natural structure, and therefore their nutrients, intact. Refined grains, such as those found in white bread and pasta, have been stripped of their nutritious parts.

Whole grains are made up of three layers; bran, endosperm, and germ. The tough outer skin is the bran. Bran is full of fibre and also contains vitamins and minerals. Under this fibrous layer lies the endosperm. This is the starchy part of the grain that has little in the way of nutritional value beyond the carbohydrate energy it provides. As we see in our nutritional primer on superfoods, carbohydrate is an essential nutrient yet has more value when it comes with the rest of the plant parts that nature provided. If you want to understand more about nutritional value then this article ‘what are superfoods’ is a great introduction to the basics.

At the core of the whole grain lies the germ, the nutrient packed part from which the plant grows. Think germination, right? It makes sense that this is the nutritional store of the plant. The germ is filled with vitamins, healthy fats and valuable phytochemicals.

Why are grains good for you?

As we have seen, whole grains have more nutritional value than refined grains. But what does this mean in terms of health benefits for us?

Bran – the benefits

The fibre in bran slows down the breakdown of starch, which leads to better blood sugar control. That means steady blood sugar levels without the spikes or slumps. Fibre also helps to lower harmful cholesterol, and helps to move food through the bowel.

Bran is also rich in minerals such as iron, copper, zinc and magnesium, as well as a wide variety of beneficial phytonutrients. We look at these in more detail a little later in this article.

Germ – the benefits

As the energy source of a growing plant, the germ contains energy dense unsaturated fatty acids such as Omega-3. Essential fatty acids play a key role in our biological functions, not least of which is the uptake and absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Vitamin E is one of these and it is no accident that grains happen to contain lots of it. Often known as the beauty vitamin because of its role in skin health, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It also plays a role in heart health, lipid balance, hormones, fertility and immune health. Incidentally, milling of flour can cause up to an 80% loss of this vital nutrient.

As well as powerful phytonutrients that can vary from grain to grain, germ is also a rich source of B vitamins. This group of vitamins plays a number of important roles in the body, yet are mainly concerned with metabolism and maintenance of healthy cells.

Endosperm – the benefits

The starchy part of the grain isn’t all bad, it is just better as nature intended. Aside from the energy value of its carbohydrate content, the endosperm can contain some protein with vitamin B and minerals in small amounts.

Whole grains in breakfast cereals

Here’s a closer look at some of the whole grains in our breakfast cereals, and the specific benefits of each.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a pseudograin. Easy to digest, and gluten free, it is a complete source of protein with all the essential amino acids that are vital for tissue growth and repair. Rich in the beneficial fatty acids oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid, quinoa can help lower LDL cholesterol. A good source of antioxidant vitamin E, it also contains the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol (both examples of phytochemicals).

Our five grain porridge contains quinoa.

Spelt

Spelt is a true grain. A variety of ancient wheat, it is high in fibre and has more protein than modern wheat. It is also said to be easier to digest than modern wheat, and although not gluten-free it does contain less gluten.

Spelt is high in fibre, and is rich in soluble fibre that helps lower LDL cholesterol and blood sugar regulation. It is a good source of B vitamins, in particular B3 which aids in energy metabolism and the synthesis of fatty acids. The mineral profile of spelt includes copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.

Our spelt and agave nut crunch is made with spelt.

Rice

Rice is a true grain. It is also gluten free. Brown rice is the unrefined whole grain, whilst white rice has had the husk (or bran) polished away. Rice contains phytosterols that have shown to help with hormonal balance.

Rice has a rich mineral profile that includes selenium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, and magnesium which can help to lower the risk of diabetes.

Our hinterland bircher muesli is made with rice bran.

Oats

Oats are a true grain. They are considered to be a true superfood and as such form the basis of many healthy breakfast cereals. A nutrient powerhouse, oats contain more soluble fibre than any other grain. Easy to digest, they also contain a natural sedative.

Barley

Barley is a true grain. High in fibre, it is far better at controlling blood sugar than wheat is. Barley is also considered a prebiotic as it helps to feed good bacteria in the gut. Helpful for lowering LDL cholesterol, barley is a good source of magnesium and manganese.

Our fig and apricot bircher muesli contains barley.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a pseudograin. Like barley, buckwheat is a prebiotic that helps feed good bacteria in the gut. Packed with both insoluble and soluble fibre, buckwheat is also a good source of amino acids. Gluten free, it contains the plant chemicals quercetin and rutin; both powerful antioxidant flavonoids.

Our gluten free maple nut crunch is made with buckwheat.

Triticale

Triticale is a true grain. A hybrid of wheat and rye, it is higher in fibre and protein than either and offers better blood sugar control. With a rich mineral profile, triticale is said to be good for the circulation with its combination of iron, copper and folic acid contributing to healthy red blood cells.

Our toasted cranberry granola contains triticale.

We will be looking at triticale in more detail in an upcoming article.

If you are interested in finding out more about the gluten content of grains, read our article about ‘gluten-free grains’.

Remember – whole grains foods are not always healthy

Including foods that contain whole grains is an excellent start, but just because it contains whole grains doesn’t necessarily make it a healthy choice. Many of the foods that we buy are marketed as wholegrain but contain enough refined sugars to cancel any health benefits out. We recommend that you always check the label and take the other ingredients, particularly sugar, into consideration. Breakfast cereal manufacturers can be especially guilty of over emphasising the wholegrain content of products. You may find our article on low sugar cereals useful.

 

Don’t forget to check out our range of healthy cereals available to buy in bulk online. The more you buy, the more you save!

 

 


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Gourmet granola manufacturer”.
See original article:- Whole grains are the heart of a healthy cereal

What is a healthy breakfast?

what is a healthy breakfast

Breakfast provides nutritional benefits but also has a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. But what is a healthy breakfast?

In this article we cover all the breakfast basics, beginning with the many benefits of eating breakfast. We explore the foods that make up a healthy breakfast and look at why some breakfast cereals are healthier than others.

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Why is breakfast important?
What is a healthy breakfast?
A balanced breakfast
Wholegrains for breakfast
Fruit for breakfast
Dairy for breakfast
Healthy breakfast cereal
Is muesli healthy?
Is granola healthy?
Is porridge healthy?
A healthy oat breakfast
Gluten-free cereal
Choose low-sugar cereal
How to build a healthy breakfast

Why is breakfast important?

Eating breakfast restores energy levels

After 8 hours without food, if you don’t eat breakfast you will be running on empty all day. Chances are you will try to make up the losses with caffeine and then reach for the sugar by 11am.

A healthy breakfast replenishes nutrient levels

Food is more than a simple energy equation and the body requires a balance of nutrients to help it work efficiently and effectively. It makes sense to get the day off to the best start possible, with a broad range of nutrients.

A balanced breakfast can help you achieve your 5 a day

Breakfast is the ideal opportunity to get a head start on your 5 a day, and is a great time to get some fruit on board. Lunch and dinner may well be more vegetable based, so a few portions of fruit in the morning is a great idea.

Eating breakfast helps to regulate hunger

Eating a healthy breakfast gives us the energy, and the nutrients, to see us through to lunch. Not only do we need slow release energy to prevent those energy slumps, but quite often when we feel hunger it is because we lack certain nutrients.

A healthy breakfast provides fibre

We need at least 30g of fibre each day and eating wholegrains at breakfast is a good way to get ahead of the game. Eating fibre first thing not only keeps us feeling full but also aids digestion. A sluggish bowel can leave us feeling tired and uncomfortable, but a healthy digestive system won’t slow us down.

Eating breakfast can sharpen focus and increase mental performance

Hunger is not only a distraction in itself, but the brain needs nutrients to perform well. The brain requires a constant steady supply of glucose, as well as B vitamins and fatty acids.

Breakfast boosts metabolism

We have all heard the phrase ‘kick-start your metabolism’ and eating breakfast does just that. Eating boosts the metabolism. Eating breakfast gets the metabolism going at the start of your day, for efficient calorie burning throughout the day.

Metabolism is the term used to define chemical reactions within the body. In nutrition, metabolism is the conversion of food into energy and the breaking down of nutrients. In lay terms we tend to use it to refer to how efficiently we are burning calories. Or in even simpler terms; how easily we gain, or lose, weight.

Our basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories that we burn at rest. Determined largely by genetics, underlying health issues, and body composition, we can however give nature a helping hand. Exercise, indeed any form of movement, is one. Eating, is another. Which is why we are doing ourselves no favours by skipping breakfast.

A balanced breakfast can help to stabilise blood sugars

A slow release of energy regulates insulin production and keeps blood sugar levels steady. Not only is this vital for overall, long-term health, but it prevents the exhausting cycle of highs and crashes that comes when we rely on instantly gratifying sources of energy such as refined carbohydrates.

Eating a healthy breakfast reinforces positive feedback

If you feel good in yourself physically and mentally, then you are likely to make positive healthy choices. Making healthy choices will help you to feel good. And round it goes. That’s a positive feedback loop. It creates its own momentum.

Those who eat breakfast have better weight control

Weight control is tied in with all of these things. With better control over our metabolic processes we have a greater chance of reaching, and maintaining our healthy body weight.

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What is a healthy breakfast?

Breakfast is a matter of personal choice that is likely to mean different things to different people, according to the dictates of a varying routine. The breakfast we eat on a work or school day may be totally different to a weekend breakfast. Most of us tend to eat the same thing for breakfast, especially on the days when we need to be up and at it. Which is fine; routine may be the thing that stands between breakfast or no breakfast all.

Nutritional science agrees on two things. What makes a healthy breakfast, and what doesn’t.

What we don’t want for breakfast is sugar, and other refined carbs, or excessive saturated fats and salt. So that’s the traditional breakfast proteins best kept to a bare minimum, as well as the other side of the coin, which is sugary breakfast cereals or white toast. Basically, all the stuff we have breakfasted upon for years.

Yet these are the extremes. Fatty salty proteins and really carby carbs.

In the middle, lies some excellent food choices. Wholesome, nutritious food. Not all carbs are inherently evil, just as not all protein is a heart attack waiting to happen. The thing that we seek is…balance.

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A balanced breakfast

It stands to reason that a balanced breakfast, just like a balanced diet, takes into account ALL of the food groups. The five food groups are…

Starchy foods – for energy

Fruit and veg – plenty of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals

Dairy – a good source of calcium

Protein – for growth and repair

Fats – provide essential fatty acids

Within these groups, some foods support a healthy lifestyle more than others. Eaten in moderation, no food is bad, yet sensible choices are the cornerstone of healthy eating. As a general rule of thumb, stick to foods as close to their natural state as possible as these have a greater chance of having their nutritional profile intact.

Nutritionists consistently recommend that a balanced breakfast consists of…

  1. A serving of wholegrains
  2. A portion or two of fruit
  3. A portion of dairy

That’s roughly 30g wholegrains, 150g fruit, and 100g of yoghurt or 250g milk.

Additional fats and proteins can be added according to your needs and your daily diet as a whole. Nuts and seeds are all excellent sources of protein and fat.

From a breakfast viewpoint, this group of foods makes perfect sense. Grains, fruit, and dairy, with a handful of nuts and seeds thrown in. It is almost as if they evolved with breakfast in mind. They involve minimal prep, are quick to eat, and easy to digest. Not to mention nutrient dense.

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Wholegrains for breakfast

We don’t seem to be able to grasp the fact that grains are good for us. When it comes to nutrition, grains have become a contentious topic. They involve carbohydrate. And gluten. And then there’s the question of phytic acid. We may have finally twigged that over consumption of refined grains has led to a whole host of health issues, yet unrefined grains are a different story. An important part of a healthy balanced diet, grains are not something we should dismiss lightly. They do, after all, constitute an entire food group.

Grains are the seeds of grasses known collectively as cereals. Rice, wheat, and sorghum are all examples. Oats, barley, rye, and bulghur are also cereals.  Buckwheat and quinoa are examples of pseudo-cereals; they are seeds but not of cereal grasses. Wholegrains are less refined and have more of their natural structure intact, with less of the nutrients removed.

The benefits of wholegrains

Not only are grains a comparatively low-cost food, providing bulk to our diet, but they also come with a range of health benefits too. They have been shown to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. They also help to regulate blood sugar levels. Unrefined, they are an important source of fibre; a vital nutrient for digestive health.

Fibre slows down the release of sugars into the blood stream. Which is why refined grains have the opposite effect and have given carbohydrates a bad name. Refined grains have had all, or most, of their fibre removed, and a lot of their proteins and fats too, so release their sugars far too quickly. This results in insulin spikes, and also storage of excess sugars as body fat. Fibre also encourages digestive transit, which helps us digest food more efficiently and eliminate waste.

Soluble fibre, like that found in oats, also helps to stabilise blood sugar.

What about gluten-free grains?

Not all grains contain gluten. There are several gluten-free grains, including rice and sorghum. Buckwheat and quinoa may not be true grains, but they are gluten-free and can happily take the place of other, gluten-containing, grains.

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Fruit for breakfast

Fruit, believe it or not, also gets a bad press. We have become so enamoured of the idea that sugar is bad for us, that we have become afraid of fruit. Yet fruit has powerful nutrients found in no other foods on Earth. As with the carbohydrate content of wholegrains, the importance lies in the whole package. Some of the most nutrient dense foods to be found are fruit. Not only do they come with fibre (sometimes soluble – as in apples) that slows down the absorption of sugar but also a whole array of vitamins and phytochemicals.

Breakfast is the ideal opportunity for eating fruit. As part of a balanced meal, alongside the fibre from the grains, plus the fats and protein from dairy as well as nuts and seeds, the sugars in fruit are taken into the body even more slowly. Fruit is sweet and easy to eat. A form of easily digestible nutrients after the nightly period of fasting.

Dairy for breakfast

And then there is dairy. Much maligned and misunderstood. So much so that it is another entire food group disappearing from our diet. We understand that there are a number of good reasons that you may not want dairy as part of your diet. We are not here to debate, or to judge. However, the nutrient value of dairy foods such as milk and yoghurt cannot be denied.

Milk is a natural partner for breakfast cereal. Just as yoghurt is a natural partner for fruit. A trio of nutritious foods with which to begin the day.

250g milk contains 8g protein. That is around one-fifth of the daily needs for a female and provides all of the essential amino acids. Whey protein in particular is rich in branched-chain amino acids which is why they make protein powder from whey. Speaking of whey, milk is 88% water so it is hydrating as well as nutritious.

250g full-fat milk contains 8g fat and is a complex mix of hundreds of fatty acids.

Milk is high in Vitamin B12, and is one of the best sources of Vitamin B2. It is the best source of easily absorbable calcium and is usually fortified with Vitamin D.

Yoghurt, made from fermented milk, has the same nutrient profile as milk. It also contains beneficial bacteria and may have extra protein.

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Healthy breakfast cereal

Usually when we refer to cereal we mean breakfast cereal, not the grasses that grains come from. We have talked about the health benefits of eating wholegrains for breakfast, but what does that mean in terms of breakfast cereals?

Is eating cereal for breakfast healthy?

The answer to that depends on the type of cereal you choose. And also what you put with it to make a meal. Snacking on a bowl of dry frosted flakes just won’t cut it. Let’s take a walk down the cereal aisle and see what we can find.

We can immediately eliminate the most obvious. The whole range of breakfast cereals that may taste like sugary/chocolatey heaven, but sure aren’t doing much to support your healthy eating goals. Scarily, most of it is marketed to kids. You know the ones, so we won’t go into detail.

Then there are the less obvious. Probably marketed as wholegrain, but a closer look at the label reveals plenty of not-whole grains and a fair old amount of sugar.

Then there is the truly confusing. The breakfast cereals that were intended to be healthy, that we expect to be healthy, but these days we just can’t be entirely sure…

Is muesli healthy?

is muesli healthy

Muesli, invented by a doctor, began life as a health food and has managed to hold on to that reputation. Full of raw, natural ingredients, muesli is a wholesome mixture of grains, nuts, and dried fruit. Modern muesli tends to have seeds added to the mix too; pumpkin, sunflower and the like. With the emphasis on the raw, muesli is known for being rather hard work to eat. From a health perspective, this is kinda the point.

Commercial muesli has a slightly different image and can be full of sugar. Designed to be sweet, creamy, and way more easy to eat, it can focus on cheaper grains such as wheat flakes to make up its bulk. Fruit and nuts may be at a minimum, and there can be a high proportion of milk powder. Premium commercial muesli is more likely to contain higher quality ingredients, with a higher proportion of the good stuff like nuts and fruit, but can still come with a hefty dose of sugar.

To answer the question, yes a good quality muesli is a healthy breakfast choice that fits current health recommendations.

Is granola healthy?

is granola healthy

Granola has been around as long as muesli and also has its roots amongst the health conscious. The major point of difference is that where muesli is raw, granola is baked. Unfortunately though, the thing that makes traditional style granola so crunchy and moreish is the fat and sugar that sticks it together.

Gourmet granola still needs some kind of fat and some kind of sweetener to make it granola, but is made up of a wider variety of unrefined grains, nuts, seeds and fruit. Good granola, like ours, uses healthy fats and minimal amounts of natural sugar to create the moreish crunchy breakfast cereal that we all know and love.

When you are looking for healthy granola, check the label for high quality ingredients, and a low sugar content. And stick to the recommended portion sizes.

Vegan granola

A lot of granola is vegan by nature, but you will want to check the label for added honey. It is unlikely, but some granola may contain butter or milk solids, so look out for that too.

Is porridge healthy?

is porridge healthy

You would think that this wouldn’t need to be a question but with pre-packaged ready-to-go cereals on the rise, you just never quite know.

We know that oats are a wonderful thing. Some are more refined that others. Which is actually fine. Some oats are refined more than others yet still come with most of their nutrient credentials intact. They just cook more quickly. Some oats are milled out of all existence, so maybe avoid those.

Porridge is now available as ready to go (already wet) and also as ready to make (dry). Watch out for the ingredients in these, as they may be bulked up with powders, sugars, flavourings, and all manner of extra things.

Then there’s the question of what you put in/on your porridge. If you are partial to half a pint of double cream and a few spoons of crunchy demerara sugar as oppose to a spoonful of yoghurt and a handful of berries, then who are we to judge. The good news is that oats are always awesome. The bad news is that it can be easy to offset all the good stuff with a ton of extra calories. Keep nutrient density top of mind and you will be fine. Redefine decadence.

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A healthy oat breakfast

Of course, what all of these breakfast cereals have in common is oats. Possibly the most super of all the superfoods, oats really are one of the best things you can eat to support your health and wellbeing.

There is ongoing debate about whether oats contain gluten or not. It is commonly believed that any gluten contamination in oats comes from the processing yet there may be more to it than that. Find out what we discovered in our article ‘are oats gluten-free?’.

What makes oats so great?

Oats are composed of over 10% fibre, most of which is a soluble fibre known as beta-glucan. Digested slowly, this soluble fibre keeps us feeling fuller for longer. Overall, oats are easy to digest, which makes them an ideal food for breakfast.

Beta glucan helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels (the ‘bad’ cholesterol that you don’t want) and helps to prevent blood sugar spikes. Magnesium in oats also helps in regulating insulin secretion.

Oats are a unique source of antioxidant aventhramides which are thought to help prevent heart disease. They also contain a natural sedative called gramine.

Gluten-free cereal

Whether or not you tolerate oats will depend on your individual circumstances, but if you are looking for gluten-free cereal then you do have options. Look for breakfast cereal made from gluten-free grains such as buckwheat or quinoa. These are often puffed and make a delicious addition to granola so you won’t feel you are missing out.

Choose low-sugar cereal

We have talked a lot about the good things that go into breakfast cereal, and mentioned (quite a bit) about the bad. But just in case you didn’t quite catch the point, here it is again.

Choose low sugar breakfast cereal. 

A lot of breakfast cereal, even the so called healthy types and premium options, will come with a higher proportion of sugar (even natural ones) than you would like. Some breakfast cereals contain as much as 40% sugar.

Ideally you want to aim for less than 5% sugar, and at least 3% fibre.

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How to build a healthy breakfast

With our breakfast formula of 30g wholegrains + 250ml milk/100g yoghurt + 150g fresh fruit + 20g (a small handful) of nuts and seeds, you can’t really get it wrong.

We have already thrown in the nuts and seeds for you, so with our muesli and granola aim for a 50g serving.

Here’s some examples of how you can switch it up…

Classic crunchy granola, milk and a handful of berries

Yoghurt, gluten-free granola, and a sliced peach

Bircher muesli made with a bircher muesli blend, yoghurt and a grated apple

Smoothie bowl made with yoghurt, frozen berries and low-sugar granola

Porridge made with 5 grain porridge mix, milk, and a sliced banana

Breakfast shake made with rolled oats, milk and a banana

 

Why not explore our range of healthy cereal and start your day in the best possible way?


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Bulk Cereal Suppliers”.
See original article:- What is a Healthy Breakfast

Blueberry baked oats recipe

baked oats

There is a version of baked oats doing the rounds that involves blitzing all of the ingredients before baking. Once cooked, it is more like cake or pudding than a traditional oat breakfast dish. Add in some cacao and you have literally got chocolate cake for breakfast. We hear you.

Yet there is something to be said for classic baked oats – great for breakfast, like porridge on steroids, but equally good for pudding or dessert. There are few foods as comfortingly moreish as whole oats and we think they deserve to remain centre stage.

Baked oats for breakfast

Healthy baked oats are a great way to start your day. In fact, oats in any form are one of the best ways to fill up in the morning. Nutritional advice consistently agrees that the best ingredients of a healthy breakfast are a portion of wholegrains, a portion of dairy, and one or more portions of fruit. Oats in particular have many health credentials. One of the most nutrient dense foods around, they are packed with vitamins and minerals, including some uniquely powerful antioxidants. A good source of soluble fibre, oats are said to help with weight loss, blood sugar control, and lower the risk of heart disease. To name just a few of their many benefits.

How to make baked oats

Baked oats are simpler to make than porridge. You just stir all the ingredients together and bake in the oven. It does have a few more ingredients though – eggs, baking powder and butter all help create a pudding-y texture.

You can make a chocolate version by adding a tablespoon of cacao powder to the mix. Raspberries go well with chocolate so consider switching out the blueberries with fresh or frozen raspberries. Sprinkle the top with raw cacao nibs for extra crunch.

The recipe is easily adapted to use pretty much anything you like. Add in a handful of chopped almonds or stir in some homemade almond butter. Go for grated apple, or tinned peaches. Experiment with yoghurt instead of milk, or get creative with sweet spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.

Try using our 5 grain porridge mix for extra grainy goodness.

Blueberry baked oats recipe

You can cook up a batch of baked oats and make it last all week so you always have a healthy breakfast to hand. . This recipe makes 6 generous servings.

2 cups oats

2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 cups milk 

2 eggs

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and tip into a greased baking dish.
  2. Bake for about 50 minutes at 180C.

Vegan baked oats

You can make a vegan version of this recipe by switching out the eggs for one or two mashed bananas and using your favourite alt-milk. Replace the honey with brown sugar or miss it out entirely.

 

Choose from our range of healthy cereal, including our organic rolled oats, available to buy online now.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Online Healthy Cereals Supplier”.
See original article:- Blueberry Baked Oats Recipe

Can you eat granola on keto?

keto granola

We all know that cereals are carbs, right? And that carbs are the enemy of ketosis. But can you eat granola on keto?

What is the keto diet?

Keto is short for ketogenic. The keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that may help you lose weight and benefit your health.

How does the keto diet work?

As the name suggests, the aim of the keto diet is to put your body in ketosis. A metabolic state that enables the body to become more efficient at burning fat for energy, ketosis is said to reduce blood sugar and regulate insulin levels. In ketosis, your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, yet normally the metabolism relies on glucose for energy. Limiting intake of carbs reduces the availability of glucose, causing the metabolic pathways to shift direction and burn fat for energy instead.

Keto macros

The principles behind keto are not quite as simple as just reducing carbs. Successful ketosis relies on a ratio of macronutrients that will not only be slightly different for each individual but will also alter over time and according to changing variables. Measuring the macronutrients of carbs, protein and fat ensures optimal calorie intake but also affects the equilibrium of ketosis. You can start your keto diet on a certain ratio but from there it is all about observation and fine-tuning.

The standard ratio for keto is 10% carbs, 20% protein, 70% fat. Guidelines recommend levels between: 5-10% carbs, 15-30% protein, 60-75% fat.

Although foods are generally classed in groups according to the main macronutrient, most (if not all) foods contain a proportion of each. So, when calculating, the entire macronutrient composition must be taken into account.

How many carbs per day on keto?

To get from a percentage to a usable measurement, such as grams, you need to do some calculations based on your overall daily calorie target. You also need to know that carbs provide 4 kcal energy per gram.

For instance, on 2000 kcal a day, 10% carbohydrate would be 200 kcals. Divide 200 by 4 and you get a carb goal of 50g per day. When calculating carbs, you need to use the figure for net carbs, as oppose to total carbs. The numbers for net carbs do not include fibre, as this is not absorbed by the body and therefore provides no energy. On the other hand, the numbers for total carbs include the grams of fibre.

Healthy fats for keto

A successful keto diet is as much about quality as it is quantity. A diet based around whole natural foods, with a focus on nutrient density and macronutrients is as important on keto as any other eating plan.

Whilst saturated fats are accepted as vital sources of nutrients, there are a wide range of plant-based fats that support overall health. Nuts and seeds, and their derivative oils, as well as coconut oil and olive oil are all healthy fats for a keto diet.

How much protein on keto?

It can be easy to get too much protein on a keto diet. When you eat too much protein it may inhibit ketosis as the body can convert amino acids (the building blocks of protein) into glucose. As protein releases the same amount of energy as carbohydrates, the calculation for optimal intake is the same. Again, nuts and seeds are recommended sources on the keto diet. A pretty much perfect food, they are low in carbohydrate, and high in protein as well as healthy fats.

Did you know that almonds are one of the most versatile nuts for a keto diet?

Keto breakfast

Breakfast is hard enough when you are gluten-free, but low-carb? A potential minefield.

Nutritionally speaking, the best foods for  a healthy breakfast are believed to be grains, dairy and fruit, and the benefits of cereal and milk are widely accepted. Eggs are the go-to ingredient for a keto breakfast, closely followed by pork products such as bacon and sausages. But what if you want a keto breakfast with no eggs? What if you are mindful of saturated fat and excess protein? Not to mention sodium. It’s an Atkins nightmare all over again. And then there is time. Or not. Very few people can manage to cook, let alone eat, a hot meaty breakfast before heading out the door in the early morning. Sure, where there’s a will there’s a way but that’s why breakfast cereal was invented yeah? Convenient, crunchy, and easy on the digestion.

Keto cereal

Breakfast cereal is generally made from grains. Aka cereals. Aka carbs. Which of course are a big nay-nay for the fat-burning bod.

What cereal can you eat on the keto diet?

Some breakfast cereals are lower in carbs than others yet will still use up your entire weekly carb allowance in one glorious bowl. The market has got wiser as far as individual dietary preferences are concerned and the available range is far wider than it once was. You do need to check your labels carefully though. Grain-free is your best bet, but may come with whopping amounts of sugar. Better still would be a breakfast cereal labelled keto. Imagine that 😉

Can you eat granola on keto?

The short answer is pretty much no. But keto granola does exist. Based on nuts and seeds, with a handful of healthy fat thrown in, keto granola is just the thing for a cold and crunchy keto breakfast.

Try Almond Blueberry Keto Granola which is also a Gluten free Vegan granola. Check out our article ‘muesli vs granola’ for a comparison of the two.

Can you have milk on a keto diet?

But what about the milk? It is that combo of cold cold milk and crunchiness that makes granola such a lovely thing. Can you have milk on a keto diet?

Dairy milk, from cows or goats, might be chock full of nutrients including protein and fats, but they also come with a moderately high amount of carbs. One cup of cows milk has 12g net carbs. Goats milk has marginally less.

And it is not just dairy. Many alternative milks come with a ton of carbs too. Oat milk (unsurprisingly) has 17g net carbs per cup. Rice milk is even higher at 21g.

Also unsurprisingly, almond milk is THE milk of choice for keto, with just 1g of carbs per cup. Yay. If you make your own almond milk it tastes better and has no sweeteners of fillers that you didn’t put there yourself.

What about keto-friendly fruit?

A bowl of granola needs a bit of fruit, but unfortunately this is also a keto minefield. Our advice is to go for berries, some of the lowest carb fruit around. At between 6-9g carbs in half a cup of raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries, they certainly aren’t for everyday but make an excellent nutrient boost to breakfast a few times a week.

 

Watch out for our keto granola coming soon…

In the meantime, check out our other low sugar granola or buy healthy cereals at wholesale prices from our online bulk food store.

 


This Article was reproduced with permission from Opera Food’s article:- “Can you eat granola on keto?” dated 22nd June 21

 

 

 

What is Bircher muesli and how easy is it to make?

What is bircher muesli title

The forerunner to overnight oats, Bircher muesli is a healthy breakfast favourite.

The soaked oats take on a softly different texture to porridge, in a dish that is easy to eat and easy to digest. Which is ideal for the first meal of the day.

Closely related to both muesli and granola, it can be oddly decadent in spite of its wholesome credentials.

What is Bircher muesli?

Bircher muesli was created in the early 1900s by Maximilian Bircher-Brenner. A Swiss doctor, he created the recipe as a way of getting more fruit into his patients. More specifically, apples, which he considered particularly nutritious. A simple recipe of oats, milk, nuts and apples soaked together overnight, it was a soft and easily digestible breakfast for his sanitorium patients. So of course Bircher Muesli is another one of the low sugar cereal products.

Is Bircher muesli healthy?

Like most foods, it can only be as healthy as the ingredients that you make it with. Made with cream and lots of nuts it will be more heavy on calories than if you soak it in water. Made with the four basic ingredients, this healthy breakfast comes with a range of benefits.

Oats are full of fibre, some of which is soluble, that gives an extended feeling of fullness and prevents blood sugar spikes. Magnesium present in oats helps to regulate insulin secretion and they also contain a natural sedative. With plenty of vitamins and minerals, oats are a great source of all round goodness.

Maximilian was right about apples; an often overlooked fruit. They also help to regulate blood sugar levels and are a source of soluble fibre. Many of the compounds found in apples improve metabolic balance. Always eat the skin as it contains fibre and may help prevent osteoporosis. Apples are waxed for shelf life, so wash them thoroughly in warm soapy water and rinse well before eating. Allowing the apple to brown a little after grated can help it become more easily digestible. Apples are also a source of vitamin C and iron.

Adding nuts increases the protein content as well as the fibre. Always eat nuts with the skin on to keep the nutrient profile intact. Nuts also provide many essential fatty acids. Almonds are rich in zinc, magnesium, and potassium as well as antioxidant vitamin E. Hazelnuts are rich in antioxidants and contain biotin, a substance that is really good for strong healthy skin and hair.

Using dairy milk, from cows, sheep, or goats, adds the benefit of calcium and vitamin D. Dairy foods also provide vitamin B12 which is essential for a healthy brain and nervous system. Vitamin B3 in dairy milk can also help to burn more calories. Choose full fat milk as it retains the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Can you eat Bircher muesli without soaking?

Bircher muesli by default is soaked. Not soaked, it becomes, well, muesli. The soaking process not only makes the oats more digestible by softening them, but helps to break down a substance called phytic acid. Present in all grains (which is why grains are not part of a Paleo diet), phytic acid binds to certain minerals and reduces the uptake of minerals present in the food. You can also include the nuts in the soaking process for the same reason, but they do take on a softer less crunchy texture.

Is Bircher muesli gluten free?

Oats themselves are not gluten free yet low in gluten and are often processed alongside wheat and other cereals so tend to be avoided by those with serious issues around gluten, such as coeliacs. Oats that are not 100% gluten free although some are  labelled as such, and some commercial muesli blends will contain other gluten-containing cereals.

How to make Bircher muesli

Jar of bircher muesli

Jar of bircher muesli

Bircher muesli is made by soaking oats in a liquid overnight, and then adding grated apple and nuts. It will keep in the fridge for about 3 days and can be frozen if required.

Vegan Bircher muesli

Making this soft creamy breakfast vegan is easy. Simply use juice, water or non-dairy milk. Nutty almond milk works particularly well, as does creamy oat milk.

Paleo Bircher muesli

Strictly speaking, the Paleo diet is open to personal interpretation depending on the foods you feel your body can tolerate. But in general, whether they contain gluten or not, grains are eliminated from the Paleo diet. You could experiment with some combination of coconut flakes, almond meal, and chia seeds but the results will be a vague approximation rather than a substitute. We think you are far better off with Paleo muesli or granola of nuts, seeds and fruits instead.

Basic Bircher muesli recipe

Soaked overnight, it becomes a soft and simple moreish thing. For the liquid you could use water, apple juice, milk, or for a touch of luxury, mix of half milk/half cream. The classic nuts would be hazelnuts, but you could use almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

You could make bircher muesli with our multigrain porridge oats, or try a bircher muesli mix instead of just oats.

Serves 1

25g oats

90ml liquid

1 apple, coarsely grated

1/4 cup nuts, chopped

  1. Mix the liquid with the oats and soak in the fridge overnight.
  2. Stir in the grated apple.
  3. Top with the nuts and enjoy.

 

Have you tried Bircher porridge? Make it just like you would regular porridge, but use a Bircher muesli like our Hinterland Bircher Muesli. It’s ideal for winter and packed full of yummy things that will make your morning porridge a bit more interesting.

Bircher muesli not your thing? Here’s some of our other low sugar cereals.  Or head on over to our online gourmet grocery stores where you can buy healthy cereal in bulk.