Here are two surprising healthy breakfast ideas

THE WASHINGTON POSTJune 11, 2014 

NUTRITION4

These gluten-free and vegan breakfast cookies are portable, healthful and satisfying.

THE WASHINGTON POST

What if you could start your day with a cookie?

We're not suggesting raiding the pantry for Oreos and Thin Mints. These homemade cookies are made with healthful and wholesome ingredients such as almond meal, ground flaxseed, raw almond butter and old-fashioned oats.

Alongside a piece of fruit, they can easily fill in as a quick breakfast or post-workout snack. They also make a great travel treat or light dessert.

These cookies are also gluten-free, oil-free and butter-free. You can make them ahead and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

The second recipe, a smoothie, takes more time to prepare than grabbing a cookie you made earlier. But it's a cool, nutritious way to start a warm morning.

SOFT-BAKED CHOCOLATE CHIP ALMOND BREAKFAST COOKIES

20 to 23 small cookies

1/2 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal

1/4 cup mini non-dairy, semisweet or dark chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder, double acting

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup raw, unsalted almond butter

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or plain)

2 tablespoons light agave nectar or your favorite liquid sweetener

1 teaspoon almond extract (may substitute alcohol-free almond flavor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mini food processor, grind the oats into fine flour.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, almond meal, flaxseed meal, chocolate chips, baking soda, baking powder and salt).

Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated. The dough should be sticky.

Using a tablespoon and your fingers, scoop one heaping tablespoon of batter at a time onto baking sheet, leaving 2 inches or more of space between cookies. This should be about 23 cookies. Using your fingers, shape the cookies into round flat saucers. If fingers start to stick to the batter, rinse them with water and dry.

Bake in oven for 7 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer with a spatula to a wire cooling rack and cool for an additional 5 minutes.

Once cooled, serve immediately or store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Nutrition per cookie (based on 23): 90 calories, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar

BERRY ALMOND SMOOTHIE

2 servings (makes 2 1/2 cups)

1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries

1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk, or more as needed

1 cup frozen unsweetened mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, or more as needed

1/4 cup slivered almonds

2 tablespoons raw almond butter

2 tablespoons hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seed; see headnote; optional)

1 tablespoon chia seed (see headnote; optional)

Combine the frozen strawberries and the cup of almond milk in a blender; puree for 1 minute or until smooth.

Working in two or three batches, add the frozen mixed berries, pureeing for 1 minute between each addition. Add splashes of almond milk if the mixture becomes too thick to blend.

Add the almonds, almond butter and hemp hearts, if using; puree for 15 seconds. Add the chia seed, if using; blend at low speed for 5 seconds.

Taste for texture; the consistency should be smooth and thick. If the smoothie seems thin, add frozen berries. Serve right away.

Nutrition per serving: 270 calories, 7 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 10 g sugar

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