KITCHEN DIVA: Resolve to shake up breakfast routine | Community Living

The most popular resolutions each year are “Exercise to Get In Shape”, “Diet To Lose Weight”, “Save Money” and “Eat Healthier In General”. If you’ve made up your mind to take responsibility for your health in the New Year, a nutritious breakfast is one of the best ways to start the day.

When you eat a healthy breakfast, you use less fat and cholesterol, eat more vitamins and minerals, be more productive all morning, and focus more on the tasks at hand. A healthy breakfast also helps with weight loss and appetite control, and can lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Breakfast is especially important for children and teenagers, according to the American Dietetic Association. Children who eat a healthy breakfast have better concentration and problem-solving skills, improved hand-eye coordination, are more alert and creative, miss fewer school days, and are more physically active.

If you skip breakfast because you are pressed for time, a vitamin, nutrient-rich, powerful smoothie is the answer. Smoothies are easy to prepare, can be customized to suit individual tastes, and are portable when you need a “take-away breakfast”.

These healthy smoothie recipes contain fruits, vegetables, wheat germ, soy milk, and soft, silky soy tofu, which is easier to use in most drink or sauce recipes. When choosing soybean-based products such as soy milk or tofu, look for a certified GMO label.

This means that the product was manufactured without genetic engineering and that its ingredients do not come from genetically modified organisms. The label also means that a product has strict regulations for testing, traceability and segregation. Only products verified by non-GMO projects can use the verification mark. The label also includes the project’s URL, which consumers can use to look up the product standard to better understand what it means.

Non-GMO soy milk and tofu add many health benefits to smoothie recipes. Tofu contains significant amounts of protein, omega-3 fats, calcium, selenium, and other minerals and antioxidants, all of which play roles in health. Tofu has a mild taste, but easily absorbs and enhances the flavors of anything you combine it with, adding creaminess to your smoothie.

Wheat germ is another way to add a dash of protein to your breakfast smoothie. Wheat germ is the embryo or kernel of wheat. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins E, B1, B2, B5 and B6, phosphorus, zinc, thiamine and magnesium. Wheat germ contains natural antioxidants and helps prevent heart disease, cancer and aging. It also protects the muscles, blood, lungs, and eyes, and helps prevent blood clots.

Wheat germ boosts your body’s immune system and increases your ability to deal with stress. It is also a reliable source of natural fiber, which is essential for maintaining regular bowel function and preventing constipation. Try these nutritious, vitamin-rich smoothie recipes to make sure you start your new year and day a healthy way!

BREAKFAST IN A MIXER

1½ cups of apple juice

1 cup of soft tofu

1 banana, sliced

1/2 orange, peeled and pitted, or 1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 small, raw sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes OR 1 small carrot, cut into rounds

1/4 cup chopped kale or spinach, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tablespoon of honey or agave nectar

Puree all ingredients together in small quantities until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered container overnight and shake well to mix the contents. Makes 4 (8 ounce) jars.

FRUITY TOFU SMOOTHIE

1 cup of soft tofu

1 banana, divided

1/2 cup of soy milk or orange juice

1/2 cup plain or vanilla soy yogurt

1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tablespoon of honey or agave nectar

1. Mix the tofu, half of the banana, soy milk or orange juice, yogurt, half of the strawberries or blueberries, and the wheat germ until pretty smooth. Add the remaining banana and strawberries and stir until smooth.

2. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered container overnight and shake well to mix contents. Makes 3 to 4 (8 ounce) jars.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian, and author of seven cookbooks. Their website is www.divapro.com. © 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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