I frequently get questions about breakfast. I guess our American breakfast culture hasn’t done much to encourage paleo-friendly type foods. Between breakfast cereal (Captain Crunch to Barbara’s Puffins), waffles, pancakes, grits, muffins (i.e. cake for breakfast… Jim Gaffigan anyone?!), donuts, scones, english muffins, and the ever-popular “toast”; its understandable that newbie Paleo followers have a hard time with their morning meal. Especially in the athletic community which almost always proclaims OATMEAL! for breakfast (gotta get those complex carbohydrates).
Interestingly enough, people in other countries eat all kinds of things for breakfast that don’t include oats, flour or sugar. Here are a few examples:
Traditional breakfast includes Haloumi cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and fruit juice.
A “full english” breakfast will have bacon and sausage, baked beans, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast with butter.
Boiled eggs, salami and cured meats, with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, local cheese and fresh sourdough bread.
Almost always have rice, seafood and fermented foods. Oftentimes breakfast will just be leftovers from the day before.
Oftentimes includes omlettes, boiled eggs, rice with meat (beef) or spinach. They also have breakfast cakes or biscuits.
A typical breakfast would be tea with cooked bananas in a stew with meat or vegetable sauce.
“El desayuno” as it’s called, contains tortillas with spicy eggs and sausage, often accompanied by local fruits.
As you can probably tell, breakfast choices are not limited by the grocery store aisles of the United States, your toaster, or a gallon of milk. So try branching out. Take a hint from the cultures of the world and eat your leftovers, grill up some sausages, and reach into your produce drawer. It’s hard to change your food culture, but paleo breakfast doesn’t have to be an arid desert of scrambled eggs and bacon. And while both of those items are quite delicious, the monotony will get a bit taxing after a while. Especially when you go out to brunch with the fam and everyone’s got a stack of pancakes and french toast next to your little a la carte portions of eggs, bacon, and tomatoes (which unfortunately end up costing 4-5x more than if you had made them yourself).
When it comes to MY breakfast, there really is no standard. I generally fast between 8 pm and 12 pm the next day (16 hours). I’m not super committed to it, but left to my own devices it’s what happens more often than not. This is because I don’t like to eat before I work out and I usually work out in the morning. I’ll wake up, have some coffee with coconut cream, and go about my usual morning routine. The coconut cream is dense enough that I usually don’t get hungry. After my workout, I’ll either run errands or come home to cook. It’s around noontime by then so it becomes more of a lunchtime breakfast.
So here’s my (not so typical) typical breakfast:
I’ll usually have eggs (scrambled or over easy) with a bunch of vegetables sautéed in coconut oil (peppers, onions, mushrooms, greens). Sometimes I’ll have some fruit but not too often. I usually eat fruit by itself if I need something on the go. Many times I will make sweet potatoes or yams, either grated or sliced and baked with some coconut oil. Every once in a while I’ll get into a smoothie phase in which case I’ll blend up some variation of coconut juice, coconut meat, avocado, cocoa, kale, tahini, half a banana, and cinnamon.
I also have some breakfast ideas posted on my recipes page and today’s recipe is an excellent suggestion for people who don’t have time to cook in the morning. It employs the celebrated yet often neglected “crock pot” or slow cooker. Prepare this dish the night before and wake up to a pot full of breakfast for 2 or 3 days (depending on who’s eating… and how much they eat).
Crockpot Egg Casserole (original idea from Sweet Cheeks)
1 lb. of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. coconut oil or bacon fat
2 medium-large yams, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. coconut milk
1 tsp. dill
a pinch or two of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
avocado for garnish
- Grease crock pot with coconut oil, butter, ghee, or bacon fat.
- Mix grated sweet potato with a little crushed red pepper
- In a skillet, heat coconut oil or fat and saute onion, garlic, and pepper until onions begin to sweat.
- Begin your casserole in the crock pot by first layering 1/3 of the grated sweet potatoes, then 1/3 of the onion mixture, then 1/3 of the bacon. Repeat 2 more times.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs with coconut milk and seasonings. Pour the egg over all the layers in the crock pot.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours. It’s done when the internal temp is 160 or it doesn’t “jiggle”when you shake the pot.
- Cut into squares (or rectangles) and store leftovers for breakfast the next day!