It's an easy one: Eat a complete breakfast each morning.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who skip breakfast, you could be sabotaging your health goals.
Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gives your body energy to think more clearly while preventing overeating later in the day.
Plus, it provides an excellent opportunity to consume foods high in vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breakfast helps with brain function, attention span, concentration and memory. It can also reduce irritability and tiredness. So, forget the caffeine and opt for a complete meal packed with the nutrients your body needs.
Serve these warm or at room temperature with your favorite nut butter. Ground chia seeds are available at Whole Foods Markets.
-- Elaine Gordon, Special to The Washington Post
Banana-berry nut muffins with chia seeds
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking or instant)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (may be substituted with your choice of raw, unsalted nuts)
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
11/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/4 cup cinnamon-flavored applesauce
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 ripe banana, mashed well
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use paper baking cups to line the wells of a muffin pan with regular-size wells.
Whisk together the brown rice flour, oats, walnuts, chia seeds and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Stir in the applesauce, agave syrup, almond milk, mashed banana and oil; leaving some lumps in the batter is okay. The consistency will be quite thick.
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Divide evenly among the paper liners, filling them no more than three-quarters full. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned.
Let them sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 12 muffins. Per muffin: 130 calories, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar.
MAKE AHEAD: The muffins can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days. They can be frozen in freezer-safe resealable plastic food storage bags for up to 1 month. Defrost in the microwave (HIGH setting) for 10 seconds.
Adapted from a recipe by Elaine Gordon, master certified health education specialist and creator of EatingbyElaine.com.
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