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Food

3 Latin-Inspired Breakfast Recipes With A Healthy Twist

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Latin American cuisine is a delightful, vibrant universe of its own. The ingredients, flavors, and unique combination of spices and condiments are a powerful reflection of the region’s far-reaching history and gastronomic heterogeneity — from fresh tropical edibles to Precolumbian grains.

But within this broad culinary landscape, there’s one particular tradition celebrated and nurtured across most Latin cooking: breakfast. Beyond providing taste and fuel for both mind and body, healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day and cultivates a sense of harmony to handle life’s daily stressors better.

From a Latin perspective, breakfast is also a beautiful opportunity to share a meal (coffee in hand!) with loved ones and create a much necessary pause before diving into the rhythms of the day ahead. Whether you are looking to broaden your healthy eating horizons or boost your culinary genius, here are three of my favorite Latin-inspired breakfast recipes with a wholesome spin that makes my body and heart smile. From my Latin kitchen to yours: 

Tropical Morning Bread

Ingredients

  • One ¼ cup of coconut sugar, brown sugar, organic stevia, or monk fruit
  • Three eggs
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • One ¾ cup of preferred flour (gluten-free alternatives abound!)
  • Two tablespoons of organic cinnamon
  • 3 cups of shredded carrots
  • ½ tablespoon of Greek yogurt or another dairy-free option
  • One can of unsweetened mashed pineapple, drained
  • One teaspoon of organic vanilla extract

 Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender, combine sugar, eggs, and oil.
  3. Add the baking soda, flour, and cinnamon, and thoroughly mix. 
  4. Gently fold in the carrots, pineapple, yogurt, and vanilla with a spatula into the mixture. 
  5. Spoon into a floured, greased loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean. Cool completely.
  6. To serve, top it with mashed bananas, diced fresh mango, or a drizzle of honey and tahini for an extra nutritious punch!

Homemade Arepas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pre-cooked cornmeal
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • Two cups of shredded vegan cheese (you can substitute for Mozzarella or Panela cheese).
  • One tablespoon of coconut oil, ghee, or vegan butter for cooking

Method of Preparation

  1. Combine pre-cooked cornmeal, salt, warm water, and cheese, and whisk until well-mixed. If comfortable, use your hands! Allow the mix to rest for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into little balls and carefully flatten them with your palm or a dish. If it cracks on the edges, feel free to add a bit of water to your dough.
  3. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the arepas and cook for about 6-7 minutes per side or until golden brown. Set them on a paper towel to drain and cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. To serve, cut them in half and enjoy as is or stuff them with your go-to healthy fillings: hard-boiled egg, sliced avocado, black beans, leafy greens, scrambled tofu, or homemade jam! 

Quinoa & Uchuva Smoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of almond milk (you may substitute with your milk of choice)
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • Lime juice (optional)
  • One teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
  • Two tablespoons of organic coconut sugar, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice
  • ½ cup of Cape gooseberries or uchuvas

Method of Preparation

  1. To cook quinoa, combine it with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 15-18 minutes or until fully tender. Drain well.
  2. Return quinoa to the saucepan, and stir in the almond milk, lime juice, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and gooseberries. 
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and let it stew for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. You may serve as is or transfer the mix to a blender for a smoother, velvety-like breakfast drink.
  5. Serve hot and sprinkle with an extra dash of cinnamon.
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