Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Great Beginnings

You've heard it said, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", and, in many ways, that is very true. A nutritious and balanced breakfast is a terrific way to start your day by making a great decision. Many of us are "on the go" constantly, moving from place to place, with little time to fuss over a meal - especially in the morning! Sadly, that means that many of us opt for a high-carb, high-sugar pastry, or fatty breakfast sandwich because they are convenient and quick.

One of my favorite breakfast options is yogurt with some granola and fruit. One of the reasons I enjoy this is because it is a great way to pack some macro-nutrients into my meal without a lot of effort. Combining complex carbohydrates, protein, and sugar is important because it helps to keep your insulin levels even, without the "ups and downs" that are typically associated with eating meals that are not balanced.

When selecting yogurt, there are numerous options, but not all of them are healthful. Many brands of yogurt are high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors & flavors and other unnatural ingredients. Did you know that a Starbucks Strawberry Yogurt Parfait boasts 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates (nutritional information detailing sugar is not available on their website). Combined with a latte or other hot beverage, you might be looking at a 600 calorie breakfast (which could be half of what your daily caloric intake should be, depending on your specific needs).

However, there are many more varieties now than existed a few years ago. One of my favorite types of yogurt is known as "Greek style yogurt". Greek yogurt is packed with protein (it contains more protein than traditional yogurt), and has a thick, creamy texture. Plain varieties are delicious with a drizzle of honey, agave nectar, maple syrup - or, even plain. Plain Greek yogurt is also a great addition to dips & other dishes. There are also several types of flavored Greek style yogurt. Popular brands are "Fage" or "Chobani". Stonyfield Farm now also makes a Greek style option.

With the many options available now, it is easier than ever to enjoy a delicious and healthy option for your morning nosh.

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