By Carolina Santos-Neves
Mining other countries for their breakfast faves is always a good idea (g’day Australia, thanks for the avocado toast). Come along as we explore morning meals from countries like Israel, Iceland and Italy (and others that don’t begin with “I”), and get some new ways to start the day that are equally satisfying, healthy, full of flavor, easy to make, and energizing.
BRAZIL: GREEN GOODNESS ACAI BOWL
The Quick How-To: In a high-speed blender, combine 1 sliced frozen ripe banana, ½ cup blueberries, 1 3.5 oz. packet frozen acai, 1 cup raw spinach, 1 cup raw kale and ¾ cup non-dairy milk; blend until smooth. Top with sesame seeds, toasted coconut, Goji berries, hazelnuts, and a drizzle each of tahini and honey. Serves 1.
Why It’s Great: Rich in antioxidants, calcium and fiber.
ISRAEL: QUICK & EASY SHAKSHUKA
The Quick How-To: Warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet. Sauté ½ finely chopped sweet onion over medium heat until caramelized. Toss in 2 finely chopped heirloom tomatoes; cook, stirring, until a sauce forms. Add 1 Tbsp. chopped tinned anchovies; sauté until anchovies melt into a sauce. Fry 3 eggs separately or create 3 wells in the tomato sauce and drop an egg in each well to poach. Cover and simmer eggs for about 10 minutes until the whites are no longer translucent. Serve with warm challah bread. Serves 2.
Why It’s Great: Rich in protein, omega 3 fatty-acids and vitamin C.
SWEDEN: CINNAMON-APPLE OVERNIGHT OATS
The Quick How-To: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup dry old-fashioned oats, 1 cup almond milk, 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, add a dollop each of plain yogurt and apple butter; sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds. Serves 1.
Why It’s Great: Anti-inflammatory; rich in probiotics and fiber.
ITALY: CURRY FRITTATA WITH ONIONS, BROCCOLI & CHERRY TOMATOES
The Quick How-To: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet. Sauté ½ finely chopped onion until caramelized. Set a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water; steam 1 cup chopped broccoli until tender. In a metal mixing bowl, beat 8 large eggs with 1 Tbsp. curry powder. Whisk in ½ cup almond milk. Stir in caramelized onion, steamed broccoli, and ¼ cup sliced cherry tomatoes. Pour into a greased 6-inch cast-iron pan. Cook over medium heat for about 6 to 7 minutes until egg settles, then bake for 12 to 15 minutes longer. Serves 3.
Why It’s Great: Rich in fiber, protein, and potassium.
ICELAND: AMARANTH HAFRAGAUTUR WITH SKYRR
The Quick How-To: Combine ½ cup uncooked amaranth, 1 ½ cups water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until water is absorbed. Just before serving, mix in 1/2 cup warmed, non-dairy milk and 1 Tbsp. ghee. Top with ½ sliced banana, ½ cup skyrr (thick Icelandic strained yogurt), 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, 1 tsp. bee pollen, and 1 tsp. maple syrup. Serves 2.
Why It’s Great: Rich in protein, plus vitamins A, D, E.
EGYPT: LENTIL FUL MEDAMMES
The Quick How-To: Rinse 1 cup dried green lentils, pass through a colander and discard debris. In a medium pan, combine lentils with 2 cups of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are cooked thoroughly. Strain. In a saucepan, warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion, 2 tsp. cumin, and a large pinch of salt. Sauté for about 8-10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir in ¼ cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves. Mix and serve with 2 chopped-up boiled eggs (1 per person). Serves 2.
Why It’s Great: Rich in fiber, vitamins K and C, and iron.