Welcome to a dietitian's breakfast adventure where we explore the delicious fusion of American and Arabic flavors! Hi I'm Rosemary, I'm a registered dietitian and stay at home mom. I combine my American heritage with my husbands Arabic heritage for an incredible food experience.
I'm going to go beyond the basics of just a recipe post today, and will delve deep into the art of making breakfasts that resonates with the authenticity of both American and Arabic cuisines. Get ready to discover a fusion of tastes that I've carefully curated, infusing a hint of cultural richness into every one of my dietitian made recipes.
Imagine waking up to the aroma of Arabic spices dancing with the familiar comforts of an American breakfast. My Arabic-American breakfasts combine the heartiness of traditional American dishes with the aromatic and nutritious elements of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Let's make each morning a celebration of health, culture, and the joy of savoring the perfect bite.
WHY A HEALTHY BREAKFAST MATTERS
Now more than ever we are expected to do so much. To work more, to achieve more, to earn more to spend more. It is so easy to get caught up with being busy and forget how important it is to nourish our body.
WHY A HEALTHY BREAKFAST IS CRUCIAL:
- Fuel for the day ahead. A healthy breakfast gives you energy first thing in the morning, which helps you have a productive day without crashing.
- Boost your Metabolism. After an overnight fast, your body is hungry for nutrients. Give your body a healthy nourishing breakfast and it will help you lose weight in the long term.
- Better Gut Health. You can either feed your gut the good stuff... or the bad stuff. The most important time is breakfast, which sets the tone for the entire day.
- Hormone Balance. Ever feel fatigued or dizzy by mid morning? Then you think back and realize.. oh yeah all I had was coffee. Eat a healthy breakfast, especially with protein for better hormone balance.
- Improved Concentration. Healthy breakfasts will also help improve your concentration.. no more focusing on your empty growling stomach!
Why I fuse Arabic and American traditions at Breakfast:
- Culture Celebration. I want my daughter to enjoy both sides of her cultures. In our household it is so important to embrace a fusion of Arabic and American flavors into breakfast and really all of our meals.
- Just so much Fun! There is nothing that I love more in life than food and travel. As a multi cultural household, sometimes we don't have to travel very far to explore the Middle East.
THE ROLE OF BREAKFAST IN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Breakfast isn't just about breaking the overnight fast.. it is also extremely important in health and weight management. I want to teach my daughter about healthy breakfast early on, so that she doesn't even have to think about forming new habits later in life.
1. Caloric Distribution:
Distributing calories more evenly throughout the day is linked to better weight control. If you start with a good breakfast of healthy protein, fat, and some produce, you're less likely to over eat later in the day.
2. Metabolic Kickstart:
Eating a nutritious breakfast revs up your metabolism. This kickstart is crucial in efficiently using calories and preventing the body from storing them as fat instead.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation:
A balanced breakfast, particularly one rich in fiber and protein, helps regulate blood sugar levels. Which in turn, helps to balance hormones and your mood. It will also help prevent sugary breakfast energy crashes and then the subsequent cravings for sugary, calorie-dense snacks again as the cycle repeats.
4. Satiety and Portion Control:
Consuming a breakfast that includes proteins and healthy fats helps you feel full. This satiety can lead to better portion control throughout the day, reducing the likelihood of overindulging at dinner and during the evening time.
5. Consistent Energy Levels:
A nutrient-dense breakfast provides a steady release of energy, combating mid-morning slumps and reducing the temptation to reach for high-calorie snacks.
6. Arabic-American Fusion for weight management:
Introducing the fusion of Arabic and American flavors into breakfast adds a unique dimension to weight management. The cultural diversity of so many unique ingredients to choose from helps us to eat more mindfully and have fun eating experiences rather than forcing ourselves to eat something.
What all of this means is that the role of breakfast in having a healthy weight is so much more than counting calories and food groups. It means crafting a morning routine that is not only healthy but also enjoyable! Try out foods from other cultures, you might just find them more delicious than your standard American breakfast!
DIETITIAN'S BREAKFAST TIPS
My top tips as a registered dietitian for a breakfast that is not only nourishing, but also enjoyable and delicious! My motto in my household is that the food we eat should be first and foremost healthy... but also enjoyable! If you don't like something don't eat it. But you better bet that I'll find a healthy alternative. There is SO much food out there to try.
I'm not much for counting calories, portion sizes, macro nutrients, micronutrients.. really we don't count anything in our house. But that is because we've been practicing mindful eating for years. And mindful eating, especially in the sense of eating plenty of nutrient rich foods, takes practice and sometimes you have to start with the basics.
So I want to briefly talk about main foods (macronutrients) that you should try to balance in your breakfast. Balance means some of each and not just a carbohydrate breakfast.. or just a protein breakfast. Foods, just like in nature, all work together in your body and they need eachother.
Try to have one from each of these three food groups at every main meal:
Protein- eggs, Greek yogurt, turkey sausage, cottage cheese, smoked salmon, tofu, cheese
Carbohydrate- whole grain bread or bagel, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables
Healthy fats- any kind of nut or seed, grass fed butter, olive oil, cheese
Yes, some of the foods overlap! And that is okay! The better you get at recognizing the food groups, the more it will become second nature to you and you can think well I have full fat Greek yogurt with berries and nuts. Greek yogurt gives you protein healthy fats and carbs; berries give you carbs and antioxidants and fiber; nuts give you a bit of each too!
Portion Control: Let's ditch it!
In our house, we eat until we feel full and honor what our body is telling us. Some days we eat more, and some days we eat less.
I don't recommend portion control, but what I do recommend is to:
- Use smaller plates
- Eat mindfully (no screens while you're eating)
- Don't ever eat straight from the bag
- Eat slowly, take time to chew your food and pause between bites
Variety is essential at meals because it really helps you to feel full and nourished! Each food you eat is giving you different nutrients to process and digest food. So don't be shy in trying a new food in your healthy breakfast routine!
Incorporating Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber is my most favorite thing ever! Not only does it help keep you full but it also promotes a healthy gut.. and gut health is like the golden key that unlocks so many benefits in your body. I could talk about fiber all day long and how great it is for you, but I'm going to give you a list of some of my favorite fiber rich breakfast foods and leave it to you to see how you feel after eating them:
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
- flax seeds
Tip: when increasing fiber in your diet, don't go from 0 to 100. If you don't typically eat fiber rich foods, start with a little then increase as your body starts to handle it. You will know you're eating way too much fiber at once if you get really bad bloating or gas after eating.
Also, make sure to drink at least 8-10 cups of filtered water spread evenly throughout the day.
The Power of Hydration
First thing in the morning, drink about 16 ounces of room temperature or warm filtered water. Water helps to replenish the fluid lost during the night, but it also helps to flush the toxins from your body. You can also add some fresh lemon juice for a fun twist.
Try to drink water before your morning coffee, it will help you so much!
Embrace my dietitian-crafted breakfast tips to transform your breakfast into a balanced and satisfying affair. Whether you're savoring an Arabic-American fusion dish or a classic breakfast favorite, these strategies lay the foundation for a morning routine that supports your health and wellness goals!
HEALTHY DIETITIAN MADE BREAKFAST RECIPES
My blog is filled to the brim with healthy and delicious breakfast recipes, but I wanted to share with you some new recipes that I've been working on. These recipes are a fun twist of Classic American with Traditional Arabic breakfast.
Let's revitalize your traditional American breakfast favorites with a dietitian's touch.
Infusing the Authentic blend of American and Arabic Flavors into Healthy Breakfast Recipes
Delight your senses with a fusion of American and Arabic culinary traditions, bringing a touch of the Middle East to your morning routine.
Jordanian Breakfast Delight: Mansaf Omelet
Embark on a culinary journey with the Mansaf Omelet, a fusion of the classic Jordanian dish and the versatility of an omelet. Packed with protein and the unique flavors of Middle Eastern spices, it's a breakfast experience like no other.
This is also a great recipe to use up leftover Mansaf!
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup cooked lamb, shredded
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- 1 teaspoon za'atar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk eggs and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour into a hot, greased pan.
- Add cooked lamb, yogurt, pine nuts, and za'atar to one half.
- Fold the omelette and cook until eggs are set.
Za'atar Avocado Toast:
Upgrade your avocado toast with the aromatic blend of Za'atar, a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. This simple yet flavorful dish combines the creamy texture of avocado with the earthy, herby notes of Za'atar for a breakfast that's both satisfying and exotic.
- 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
- ½ ripe avocado, mashed
- 1 teaspoon Za'atar
- Cherry tomatoes, sliced (optional)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Spread mashed avocado on toasted bread.
- Sprinkle Za'atar over the avocado.
- Add sliced cherry tomatoes if desired.
- Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
Foul Medames Breakfast Bowl: Explore the nutritional benefits of a Middle Eastern favorite, Foul Medames, in a hearty breakfast bowl. Packed with fiber, protein, and a medley of flavors, it's a delicious way to infuse authenticity into your morning routine.
- 1 can fava beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cherry tomatoes, chopped
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté garlic until fragrant.
- Add fava beans, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until warmed through.
- Transfer to a bowl and top with cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley.
Breakfast Pita with Grilled Halloumi and Avocado
Start with a hearty breakfast pita, merging Arabic halloumi's richness and avocado's creaminess for an authentic yet satisfying dish.
- 1 whole wheat pita
- 4 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- Olive oil for grilling
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.
- Lightly brush halloumi slices with olive oil.
- Grill halloumi for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- While grilling, warm the whole wheat pita.
- Layer grilled halloumi and sliced avocado inside the pita.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and savor the delightful blend of textures and flavors.
Enjoy a quick, satisfying breakfast with the rich goodness of grilled halloumi and creamy avocado.
Date and Nut Overnight Oats
Fuse Arabic sweetness with nutty goodness in overnight oats for a twist on American breakfast.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup milk of your choice
- 2-3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- Handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts)
- In a jar, combine rolled oats and milk.
- Add chopped dates and mixed nuts.
- Stir well and refrigerate overnight.
- Wake up to a delightful blend of Arabic sweetness and nutty goodness.
These dietitian-crafted breakfast recipes blend the best of American classics with the rich, diverse flavors of Arabic cuisine, ensuring a breakfast experience that's not only good for you but also a delight for your taste buds.
DIETITIAN'S HEALTHY SMOOTHIE FOR BREAKFAST
Creating the ultimate breakfast smoothie is so easy! Follow these simple tips:
- Choose a Fruit Base:
- Pick your favorite fruits like bananas, berries, or mango.
- They're tasty and packed with vitamins.
- Add Leafy Greens:
- Toss in a handful of spinach or kale for extra nutrients.
- They blend well and won't overpower the taste.
- Pick a Liquid:
- Use water, coconut water, or nut milk for a smooth consistency.
- Keeps you hydrated and adds creaminess.
- Boost with Protein:
- Add Greek yogurt, almond butter, or protein powder.
- Makes your smoothie a satisfying meal.
- Create the Right Texture:
- Include ice cubes or frozen fruits for thickness.
- Throw in oats for an extra fiber kick.
- Enhance the Flavor:
- Sprinkle in cinnamon or drizzle honey for sweetness.
- Add a splash of citrus for a zesty twist.
Ready to blend? Try these recipes:
Arabic Spice Infusion Smoothie
Blend together the richness of Arabic flavors in this exotic smoothie that will transport your taste buds to the Middle East. Embrace the warmth and vibrancy of traditional spices for a unique twist on your morning routine.
- 1 cup chopped dates (for natural sweetness)
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
- ½ cup almond milk
- Ice cubes
- Add chopped dates, Greek yogurt, cardamom, cinnamon, tahini, and almond milk to the blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add ice cubes and blend again for a refreshing chill.
- Pour into a glass and savor the aromatic blend of Arabic spices.
This Arabic Spice Infusion Smoothie not only tantalizes your taste buds with its unique flavors but also provides a nutritious start to your day. Enjoy the Middle Eastern charm in every sip!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY COFFEE FOR BREAKFAST: DIETITIAN'S TIPS
Now that we've explored the art of crafting a satisfying breakfast, let's delve into the world of beverages, starting with the morning staple – coffee. Making a healthy cup of coffee doesn't have to be complicated; it's about balance and mindful choices. Here's my simple guide to elevate your coffee experience while keeping it nutritious.
Brewing the Basics:
Begin with high-quality, freshly ground coffee beans. We always buy organic coffee beans so there's less pesticides for your liver to process. Pick a brewing method that suits your preferences, whether it's a French press, pour-over, or a classic drip machine. Experiment with different beans and find the roast that resonates with your taste buds.
I personally use a French press after learning about how much plastic leaches into your morning cup of coffee with a drip machine.
Tip: Consider grinding your beans just before brewing for maximum flavor.
While it's tempting to drown your coffee in sugar and cream, consider healthier alternatives. Swap out refined sugars for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Experiment with plant-based milk options for a creamy texture. When using dairy milk, make sure that it is full fat and organic so that you are getting all the benefits of a dairy milk.
Tip: Gradually reduce the amount of added sweeteners to allow your taste buds to adjust to the natural flavors.
Arabic Tea Elegance:
For those looking to diversify their morning beverage, consider the elegance of Arabic tea. A simple recipe involves steeping black tea leaves with a hint of fresh mint. This aromatic blend not only wakes up your senses but also offers antioxidants and a touch of Middle Eastern charm.
How to Make Arabic Tea:
- Boil water and add loose black tea leaves to a teapot.
- Pour the hot water over the tea leaves.
- Add a handful of fresh mint leaves.
- Allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Strain and serve with or without sweetener, depending on your preference.
Arabic Coffee Richness:
For those who prefer a caffeine kick with Arabic tradition, Arabic coffee is a delightful option! Known as "qahwa" in Arabic, this coffee is often lightly spiced and served in small cups. It's a symbol of hospitality and warmth.
How to Make Arabic Coffee:
- Roast green coffee beans and grind them to a fine consistency. Or, purchase Arabic coffee from your local Arabic coffee market (it is made of finely ground coffee beans with cardamom)
- In a traditional dallah (coffee pot), combine the coffee grounds, water, and a pinch of ground cardamom.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
- Pour the coffee into small cups. The coffee grounds will settle to the bottom of the cups.
- Enjoy the rich flavors of Arabic coffee, and savor the moment.
The key to a healthy coffee routine is embracing variety. Experiment with different brews, explore new flavor profiles, and appreciate the rich cultural diversity that beverages bring to your morning ritual. Whether it's a robust cup of coffee or a fragrant Arabic tea, find what resonates with you and make it a part of your daily routine.
In crafting the perfect cup for your breakfast, remember that simplicity often leads to the most satisfying experiences. Experiment, savor, and make your morning beverage an integral part of your wholesome breakfast ritual.
If you try any of my healthy breakfast recipes, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube!
How to Make a Healthy Smoothie for Breakfast
- 1 cup frozen banana or frozen fruit of choice
- 1 cup frozen mango or frozen fruit of choice
- ½ cup frozen zucchini or fresh vegetable of choice
- ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 1-2 tablespoon almond butter or nut butter of choice or ¼ cup of nuts
- 1 ½ cups milk of choice or coconut water
- In a blender, add all of the smoothie ingredients.1 cup frozen banana, 1 cup frozen mango, ½ cup frozen zucchini, ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt, 1-2 tablespoon almond butter or nut butter of choice, 1 ½ cups milk of choice or coconut water
- Turn blender on medium and blend until your smoothie is completely pureed and no chunks of fruit or vegetable remain.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!