Sweet Potato / Apple / Oat Nuclear Incident: Fast veggies with the Sunrise

It is a constant challenge to introduce vegetables to the breakfast table.  It is in the US anyhow… I’m sure there are places where veggies are more regularly eaten as part of breakfast but it is a struggle here.  I partially solve the problem with smoothies – throw some fruits and veggies in with milk or vegetable juice, hit the button and my child has actually eaten kale before 7 in the morning.  But I do like to find other ways to increase the intake of produce in the morning without relying solely on fruit.

One recent morning (when my good camera was not working, nor was my planning) I looked in the pantry and saw 2 sweet potatoes.  They were close but not touching, clearly having a little trouble getting along and both of them wanted to transform their molecular energy into a new form…. perhaps new cells for my ailing brain?  So I chopped them up fairly small. chopped up a big apple, and nuked the whole lot of red, orange and yellow bits until getting soft.  Although I am dimly aware (especially on the particular morning in question) of objections to microwaving food, I have to say that getting more veggies down the hatch seems to me to over-ride them.  I could be wrong, but I’m sticking to my Veggie-ful approach, and sometimes it needs a little help!!

Okay so now I have sweet potato and apple.  Where to go from here?  Well, after my son reported to the neighbor who gave him a ride to school one morning that he had a big bowl of nuts and seeds for breakfast, I decided we would forego the neighborhood report on the big bowl of potato and apple and add some morning normalcy…..

thus was born the Sweet Potato / Apple / Oat Nuclear Incident

1 – 2 sweet potatoes
1-2 apples
1 cup oats (I do not use quick oats – should be fine)
1 1/4 cups milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp – 1 Tbsp. cinnamon (I use a lot because it lends sweetness without sugar and is so darn good!)
handful of chopped walnuts
optional: sweetener, raisins, other nuts, broccoli (just kidding)

Chop the sweet potatoes small
Place them in the microwave in a large bowl for a minute or two while chopping the apple
Add the apple to the bowl and nuke again for a minute
Add the oats, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and walnuts and stir
Nuke for a minute and then stir again.
You can stop and eat this now if you like crunchier / more raw oats or you can nuke it again, but don’t go more than a minute at a time – or even 45 seconds til you see how your microwave does so that it doesn’t boil over the top.
You can also add more milk or water if you want your oats softer.
Add any optional delights!  I encourage you to taste before sweetening as the cinnamon and apple might just do it for you!

If you’ve never eaten soaked oats you may be surprised at eating oats that aren’t completely soft and mush-ified.  It’s perfectly fine – in fact some would argue that they are better for you…. less cooking, less altering of enzymes (uh-oh, the microwave is coming up again)
If you’d like to try some truly soaked oats (no cooking – throw it together at night, ready in the morning) check this out!
And if you’d rather not nuke the veggies you could cook them the old fashioned way the night before and mix in with soaked oats, or pot cooked oats in the morning.  But if you forget – don’t have time, whatever….. you can resort to the nuclear incident.

Here’s my one lame picture from the phone.  

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I was very pleased with this concoction and we will have it many times in the future.  It is much faster than some other hot cereals I make PLUS it has a glorious vegetable making it’s way down the gullet prior to 7am…. on weekdays that is.

Oh What a Veggie-full Morning!

It can be challenging to fit a healthy breakfast in.  My 11 year old just began middle school which requires us to be out of the house at 6:50am.  Days I work at the hospital I am out by 6:00 but that is only 3 days a week and my boys are not exactly morning people.  Cooking breakfast is not always going to happen.  And just at this juncture I have decided that we need to incorporate more vegetables into our breakfasts.  I’ve been working on this and wanted to share a few ideas for speedy veggie-full breakfasts.  I would LOVE to hear any ideas you all have as well.

There is of course the green smoothie and with everyone getting up early it is possible to run the blender at full tilt without getting hit by a shoe or some other missile.   Little Sis and I have both written about kale smoothies (spinach works as well) and you can find green smoothie recipes here and there

And of course, sauteed veggies can be added to scrambled eggs or tofu for a quick veggie add.  I recommend sauteing extra veggies when preparing a meal and saving some for the next morning to mix in with eggs or tofu.  I also rarely make an actual omelet.  It takes too long for the egg to set – I am not that patient and don’t always have that time in the am, so I just scramble them all together.  It’s all going the same place anyway, right?  Adding good salsa to eggs is another way to slip in the veggies.

Adding sliced tomato to toast or bagel with cream cheese fits in a bit more veggie… and there’s still fresh tomatoes for awhile!

Lastly, and finally some recipes… there is the glorious sweet potato.  A fine ol’ tuber packed full of vitamins A & C and fiber.  Here’s a lovely way to start your day with a veggie.

Sweet potato and rice:
1/2 – 1 cooked sweet potato (I always leave skin on) per person
1/2 – 1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 – 2 Tbsp. raisins (optional but highly recommended)
1 – 2 Tbsp. pecans or walnuts (optional but highly recommended)
A splash of milk of whatever kind for those who like moist (optional)

Place together in a bowl.  You can chop the sweet potato if you wish – I just cut it as I ate and mixed in the other stuff.
Re-heat and eat.  Very satisfying, healthy and delicious – and it’s really already made if you cook the potatoes and rice the night before!

Incorporate sweet potatoes into baked goods including pancakes.  I cut up a cooked sweet potato into small chunks (leaving the skin on) and mixed it into my gluten free pancake recipe.  I used one medium sweet potato for 1.5 pancake recipe.  I also used less almond milk as Hubby is not doing dairy and threw in a little cinnamon.  It was the best pancake I ever ate in my life.  I loved encountering the chunks of sweet potato.

Here are links to a couple of recipes that use sweet potato or pumpkin for breakfast that I’m going to try as well.  All of the recipes on this post are gluten free as well.  Bonus!

Healthy Pumpkin Bites

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins

Oh what a veggie-full morning!
Oh what a veggie-full day!
I’ve got a veggie-full feeling…
I’m getting healthy today!