In the Kitchen: A Better Breakfast

January 26, 2018 pixelmark

Breakfast | Complete healthy breakfast meal on a plate
Start your new year off right, by starting your mornings healthy

Breakfast Basics

Marianne McLaughlin, nutritional head coach at our local Natural Grocers, breaks down the first meal of the day.

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

Yes, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. The first meal of the day sets us up for success or failure for healthy eating the rest of the day. If you start with cereal and skim milk, or a bagel, you’re likely to be hungry sooner and possibly go for more sugar or carbs mid-morning. Some people are doing intermittent fasting, and that’s fine as long as they break their fast with something healthy. A healthy breakfast will keep us satisfied, help balance blood sugar, and keep energy levels stable. It will also help us think, which is extremely important for everyone, but especially school kids.

What should we really be eating for breakfast?

A nutritious breakfast includes ample protein, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables. Yes, vegetables are for breakfast too. Healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, nuts, and seeds. Eggs are a great source of protein and fat as long as they are from pasture-raised hens. Check out this delicious recipe; it only takes 20 minutes.

Breakfast | Runny yolk from poached eggsSmothered Eggs and Greens


2 eggs
1 large leek, sliced thinly (white part only)
2 bunches organic kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1¼ cup green chile sauce

1. Poach or soft boil the eggs to your liking. While eggs are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Saute the leeks until they start to soften. Add the garlic and let heat for a minute, then add the kale and a few spoonfuls of water.

3. Cover and let the greens wilt. While the greens wilt, warm the green chile sauce in a small sauce pan.

4. Serve the eggs over the greens and smother with green chile sauce.

Mornings are hectic in our house.
What can we make for quick or on-the-go breakfasts?

Smoothies are always a fast option and can contain all the nutrients for a healthy meal in just minutes. Prefer to chew your food? Try a smoothie bowl. They take just 5 minutes to make. Or try make-ahead breakfast bars.

Smoothie Bowl

Breakfast | Smoothie bowl with nuts and berries on topIngredients
½ avocado
2 frozen bananas (bananas are easy to freeze—simply peel and toss a few into a freezer bag so you’ll always have them on hand)
1 cup frozen berries, or other frozen fruit of your choice
1 handful baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp. almond butter
1½ cup coconut milk, cow’s milk,
or other non-dairy milk

Toss all ingredients into a blender (for easier blending, break the frozen bananas into pieces) and blend until smooth. Pour into two serving bowls and add toppings of your choice.

Topping Ideas

• Sliced almonds
• Coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
• Hemp seeds
• Goji berries
• Cacao nibs
• Coconut flakes
Fresh fruit (berries, sliced kiwi, nectarines or peaches, chopped mango, etc.)

Flossie’s Pumpkin Seed Breakfast Bars

Breakfast | Pumpkin Seed Breakfast BarIngredients
½ cup coconut oil, liquid
½ cup Natural Grocers raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups almond meal or almond flour
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almonds, slivered
½ cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Mix in almond meal, salt, and baking soda.

2. Add coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slivers, and raisins. Stir well.

3. Grease a 9×13” baking dish with coconut oil. Wet your hands and press the dough evenly into the baking dish.

4. Bake 20 minutes. Let bars cool in pan for 2 hours, then cut and serve. Refrigerate to keep bars solid.

Want even more breakfast ideas?

Natural Grocers’ online Recipe Finder allows you to search by course. Breakfasts include everything from Veggie Frittata Muffins to Nut Butter Pancakes. There’s even a Green Eggs & Ham recipe.

Also check out their website’s Menu Planning section. It lists 14 couldn’t be simpler breakfasts that can be made in 10 minutes or less—think, cottage cheese topped with pineapple and nuts, or deli ham slices topped with warmed applesauce and walnuts. There’s also another 21 recipes that can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. Options include sautéed potatoes with a Greek frittata, huevos rancheros, and a breakfast chia pudding.

Natural Grocers also offers free nutritional education and cooking classes at the store. Visit in person or check out the local store’s webpage for upcoming events in January 2018, including a New Year’s Resolution Reset Day on Friday, January 19 to help keep you on track right about the time people start to fall off. Come in from 12pm to 2pm to learn how to “Hack Your Coffee” for health benefits.
3970 E. Lohman Ave.

Going Nuts for Breakfast

Start your day off Las Cruces-style with dishes featuring our favorite local nut, the pecan.
Recipes and photography courtesy of

Pecan & Veggie Brunch Salad
Recipe from Brenda McGranahan, Cinnabon and Benjamin Stanley, Baskin Robbins

This delightful brunch dish is full of color and flavor. The pecan oil is perfect for roasting vegetables at high heat, bringing out their earthy richness.

1 pound red beets
1 pound yellow beets
1 pound tricolored baby carrots
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
2 tbsp. pecan oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon
½ cup pecan halves, toasted
4 large eggs, cooked sunny side up
4 ounces baby arugula
1 (8-ounce) log of goat cheese, sliced into rounds

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cleaned and trimmed beets on a foil lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 to 60 minutes until beets are soft and can be easily pierced with a skewer. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and dice into 1-inch cubes.

2. Onto the same baking sheet, combine the diced beets, baby carrots, and diced onion. Toss with the pecan oil, salt and black pepper.

3. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. and roast the vegetables for 15 to 20 minutes until carrots are soft and onions are slightly charred. Remove from the oven and toss with fresh tarragon.

4. To serve, divide the Red Flannel Hash among 4 plates. Top with toasted pecans, sunny side up eggs, arugula and goat cheese rounds.

Breakfast | Yummy Pecan topped parfait

Pecan Topped Parfait
Recipe from Michael Coble, Aramark

Pecan Nut Crunch Ingredients
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup almonds, sliced
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
6 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Pecan Nut Crunch

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the nuts and seeds. Drizzle with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toss until well coated.

2. Spray a parchment lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the nut mixture in a single layer onto the baking sheet.

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown, being careful not to burn the nuts. Remove the nut crunch from the oven and let cool.

4. To serve Pecan Nut Crunch, break into pieces and enjoy!

Parfait Ingredients
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. honey
2 cups strawberries, sliced

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt and honey until well combined.

2. In a parfait cup or tall glass layer 1 tbsp. sliced strawberries, 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp. sliced strawberries and then 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt.

3. Top with ¼ cup of the Pecan Nut Crunch.

4. Repeat with 3 more glasses for a total of 4 parfaits.

For 3 more pecan-inspired breakfast recipes, visit
Breakfast Panini with Pecans
Spinach Pecan Quiche
Apple Pecan Pancakes

Indulge a Little….

Not every breakfast you eat in 2018 has to be super healthy. Enjoy a meal out on the town or spruce up your home breakfast with an adults only drink.

Breakfast Cocktails
Recipes by Daniel Gonzales

Breakfast | Breakfast cocktail in a beer mugThe Green Monster Maria
2 oz Hornitos Plata Tequila
3 oz. Green Monster Mix

Green Monster Mix (simplified)
16 oz. Tomatillo salsa
1 whole fresh tomato (peeled)
½ cucumber
1.5 oz lime juice
5-8 leaves of basil
Salt and pepper to taste

In blender, combine all ingredients and liquify, strain if desired, store in a sealed food safe container.

Blueberry Bellini
3 oz. Ruffino Prosecco
1 oz. Blueberry Lemonade (Simply brand works just fine)
1 barspoon peach puree

In champagne flute, add puree and lemonade and stir, then VERY SLOWLY add prosecco. Garnish with candied ginger and small lemon wedge.

Hot Buttered Coffee
Breakfast | Delicious hot buttered coffee with whipped cream 1 barspoon spiced butter
1 oz. Ron Zacapa Rum or Patron
XO Café liqueur
3 oz. hot coffee

In coffee mug or glass, add rum or liqueur and spiced butter, then pour hot coffee over the top and stir until butter is melted. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Spiced Butter
1 lb salted butter (room temperature)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground clove
½ tsp. ground anise
3 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. dark chocolate shavings

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate in food safe container until ready to serve.

Breakfast: Where to Eat Out

A Bite of Belgium
Opens daily at 7am
741 N. Alameda Blvd, #16

Chala’s Woodfire Grill
Opens daily at 8am
2790 Avenida de Mesilla

Indulgence Bakery & Café
Open at 7am Tuesday-Saturday,
8am on Sundays
2265 S. Main St.

Josefina’s Old Gate Café
Opens daily at 7am
2611 Calle de Guadalupe

Le Rendez-vous Café & French Pastry
Opens at 7:30am Tuesday-Sunday
2701 W. Picacho Ave.

Mesilla Valley Kitchen
Opens at 6am Monday-Saturday,
7am on Sunday
2001 E. Lohman Ave.

Nessa’s Café
Opens at 7am Tuesday-Friday,
8:30am on Saturdays
901 W. Picacho Ave.

Salud! de Mesilla
Opens at 9am on Saturdays & Sundays
1800 Avenida de Mesilla

The Shed
Opens at 7:30am Wednesday-Sunday
810 S. Valley Dr.

St. Clair Winery & Bistro
Opens at 9am on Saturdays & Sundays
1720 Avenida de Mesilla

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