My post of today may sound a little bit like “Tell me something new!” to a lot of readers around the world, but this Red Love breakfast experience that I had a few days ago definitely is something new to me. This is what we call cultural differences, I guess. In other parts of the world, my experience relates to other people’s routine and common sense. To me, it is referred to as extra-ordinary. This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month’s theme is Love in All its Forms and is hosted by Chinelo at Good Cake Day.
In France, the most typical urban breakfast is coffee (black or latte) with French toasts, butter and jam (or chocolate paste). When you’re a child or a teenager, you’ll have a bowl of packaged cereals with milk – and by packaged cereals I mean the industrial ones, with no regards to sugar or fat abnormal levels that only kids can handle because their body consumes lots of energy to comply with fast growth (i.e. Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops, Rice Crispies, Fruit Loops, and so on). When you live the rural life in France, you may go for coffee, baguette or cereal or wholewheat bread, cheese and perhaps charcuterie (cured smoked meat) from your region, if you prefer a savory breakfast in place of the traditional butter and jam. When you are me, you have been on a strict diet a few years ago and you kept your habits of having light proteins in the morning, avoiding rapid sugar at breakfast by all means to prevent the 10.00 am cravings. For that matter, my breakfast consists of a slice of wholewheat bread spread with a thin layer of butter, topped with a slice of chicken breast, and a coffee (latte) to drink.
Last Saturday the 6th of Feb., my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. The weekend has been filled with Love and Laughter, as well as new experiences, including for breakfast. Just for you to know, a fifth year anniversary is called a Wood wedding anniversary. For that matter, we decided to go and celebrate at a Japanese restaurant entirely decorated of wood (floor, walls, shelves, tables and stools), ate dinner with wooden chopsticks (of course!) and had all kinds of Japanese foods that were new to us. I found out right after our dinner that Feb. the 6th coincidentally also is Chopsticks National Day! I mean, what were the odds? Given the date of our anniversary just a week ahead of Valentine’s day, the atmosphere all over town seemed to be all about Red Love these days in all the shops, malls, restaurants and cafés (coincidentally, that Japanese restaurant aside, haha!). I like red color a lot, especially during Winter when the weather is unstable and grey, I think it brings joy to a place. For that very reason, my wedding flower bouquet was mainly made of red flowers back at that time, to cheer up everyone. So for this special weekend of 2016, I decided to try a brand new type of breakfast, and to make it red colored, as a way to remember more of our real wedding day in 2011. I’ve made a refined sugar-free energy bowl with Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and a fine mix of almonds, soy sprouts, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. In a red ceramic bowl to add-up to the photo coloring set-up!
I know it sounds very simple, effortless, no baking required, no long and tiresome preparation needed, it’s just a basic Greek yogurt with cereals and fresh fruits. This breakfast type might well only be new to me though, I concede that, because it’s actually all over Pinterest and the Web in general, as it seems to be quite a regular thing in many other countries for lots of people (I see posts about this all the time). But still, I thought I could finally give it a try myself and talk about it with you here.
Behind that brilliant idea of using a red bowl, throwing in red strawberries and red cranberries, there’s the Love for my husband (aren’t strawberries eaten with Champagne on a typical romantic night?!). But there’s also more to it, because Health matters, and after all Champagne was skipped for our breakfast, thank G-d! Love feeds the soul but does not fill a hungry stomach on a busy day. I would narrow down all my thoughts on the topic to only 2 main ideas and purposes for trying that Energy Bowl of Red Love Breakfast.
- I am nowadays more and more into consuming seasonal produces that I’ve ever been before. I would love to say I only consume local seasonal produces, but – unfortunately – living in Southern Europe does not always help with that. Not that there is no wide choice of beautiful vegetables and fruits, on the contrary we have plenty of choice. It’s just that our close by neighbors do experience a slight gap with our seasons when it comes to produces. And in the name of regional (if not saying global) commercial cooperation, we find ourselves buying produces on our markets a little bit ahead of time in the year, while our own seasonal similar produces have almost reached their maturity (but not yet). For instance, I hate to say that the beautiful, tasty, sweet, juicy, superbly red colored strawberries that I’ve bought over last weekend are not locally cultivated in Southern France, but they are imported from Morocco. It’s almost just across the Mediterranean sea, you would say. Yes, it is, that’s right, but that’s another country, even another continent, hey ho! The climate there is warmer, and our Spring fruits can be available in February there again. So why am I buying Moroccan strawberries in place of other seasonal local produces, I’m sure you want to ask. Well, folks, because of their very low price! Who would resist a kilo of strawberries for less than 2.60 euros when even the price of French locally produced apples is already rising up so early in the year? Something is really wrong in our economy. But before getting too political here, let’s move to the second reason why I’ve finally got to try the Energy Bowl breakfast type.
- I still believe in the positive effect of having proteins in the first meal of the day in place of sweet items. It is very healthy and it does prevent your body from a hypoglycemia drop down in the morning 2 hours before lunch, which would give you cravings and possibly the feeling of even being dizzy some days. Over last weekend, I thought that, once in a while, I could move from a meat protein based breakfast to a vegetarian breakfast that still brings the proteins that my diet requires. Reading blogs about energy bowl breakfasts made me figure out that an “adult” seeds mix is actually a real good source of proteins. The only thing is that it must be calibrated to the right portion size, otherwise it can quickly spin around and fall to the bad downside of its original desired effect and turn your breakfast into a high calorie meal – which most people don’t want except if they plan to work out for an hour or two in the morning. Now how about the sweet of the strawberries? Well, a little carbohydrate doesn’t kill a woman, it’s actually necessary for her brain to function, and when we get fruit-based carbs, it’s fructose, which is suitable to a weight-loss diet and pretty harmless to the body if once more it’s calibrated properly on a daily basis. It also brings vitamins, and contributes to a balanced diet. For more insight on how to replace refined sugar by fruits natural carbs in lots of baked goods, check out my post about The Healthiest Carrot Cake Recipe that uses a trick to make it refined-sugar-free and still tastes absolutely delicious and healthy. All for the love of food!
To find out about more recipes with tips and cooking techniques this time (he he!), please visit my Cookbook’s page by clicking here. The book can be delivered worldwide at reasonable cost.
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2016 All Rights Reserved.