Homemade trail mix, with chocolate, adds a protein punch to your mornings,
Every morning I eat a coconut yogurt (100 mL) with a handful of trail mix, chopped up banana, a few dark chocolate chips and a steaming cup of black coffee. Is it OK to eat chocolate at breakfast? What can I be doing differently?
There is always room for a little chocolate, even at breakfast. I preach the 80-20 rule — 80 per cent of the time focus on tasty, good-for-you foods. The rest of the time — indulge!
This teaches balance and prevents overindulgence by setting aside small planned treats.
To make your breakfast healthier, increase the protein by replacing the coconut yogurt with 3/4 cup (185mL) of plain 2-per-cent Greek yogurt, or plain soy yogurt if you’re avoiding dairy. Although tasty, your coconutflavoured yogurt is contributing just one gram of protein to your meal.
Coconut has been in the spotlight because of its saturated fat composition of medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs), which are metabolized differently and more immediately than other saturated fats.
Let’s also decrease the sugar content. Store-bought trail mixes are often high in sugar. It’s easy to make your own by mixing unsweetened coconut flakes with whole almonds, sunflower seeds, pepita seeds and a pinch of chocolate chips. Here’s how to switch it up:
In addition to replacing the coconut yogurt, as described above, switch out the banana for1/2 cup (125 mL) mango (fresh or frozen). The high vitamin C content in the mango will help you absorb the iron from the nuts and seeds in the trail mix.
In addition to your coffee, add a hydrating tropical low-sugar drink to your breakfast, such as pineapplemint-infused water.
Make your own tropical trail mix. Homemade trail mix
Star Tested 1/4 cup (60 mL) almonds, whole or slivers 1/4 cup (60 mL) sunflower seeds, shelled 1/4 cup (60 mL) pepita seeds 2 tbsp (30 mL) chocolate chips 2 tbsp (30 mL) coconut flakes
In a medium bowl mix almonds, sunflower seeds, pepita seeds, chocolate chips and coconut.
Makes four servings. Nicole Osinga is a registered dietitian. Want to pump up your breakfast? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
This pumped-up breakfast provides more nutrients with fewer calories.