Three South Asian Breakfast Ideas to Kickstart Your Day

By on March 12th, 2012 27 Comments

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Photos clockwise from left: José Carlos Cortizo Pérez, Denise Carrasco and Katie Wagner/Creative Commons

Photos clockwise from left: José Carlos Cortizo Pérez, Denise Carrasco and Katie Wagner/Creative Commons

One of my favorite things about going home or to the Motherland is the food—it’s always better than anything I can concoct and is made with a secret ingredient: lots of love. But those homecooked meals aren’t something I can replicate on a daily basis, and the race against time in the morning to get to work never helps either.

As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many of us shove cereal down our throats and run out with travel mugs full of various steaming liquids in our hands and, in doing so, we end up saying “So long!” to the idea of a nice morning sit-down meal. But with the pressure to get out the door and to work, how can you concentrate on having a healthy and filling morning meal? Here are some quick tips for starting your day in a healthy way.

Smooth Moves
Try replacing a meal with a fruit smoothie. Make it healthy by leaving out extra sugar and replacing vitamin D milk with low fat or soy milk. You could even add a pinch of cinnamon, some cloves, or cardamom to give your smoothie a flavor hinting of your beloved chai. Also, to save time, try making smoothies on Sunday night to last you the rest of the week.

Cereal Thriller
If you absolutely have to have your cereal, try taking a page out of my dad’s book with some dood, bhaat and kela (milk, rice and banana). He has this every morning without fail. What better than fat free milk to get your body moving, starch to get your brain stimulated, and some banana pieces to add sweetness and vitamins to the meal? Give yourself about a fist-sized portion of rice, fill the rest of your bowl with low fat or soy milk, and add in a chopped regular-sized banana. And if rice isn’t something you want to eat in the morning, you can use Rice Krispies or another cereal. Either way, the most important component to add is fruit. This will keep you full for several hours and, as any nutritionist will tell you, it’s best to start the day off with a big, healthy breakfast.

Coffee Swap
Worried that you wouldn’t have enough caffeine to get you started in the morning without your usual coffee or tea? Even though apples are lower on the caffeine spectrum, they do have the sugar to give you the equivalent energy boost that you get from your beverage of choice. By replacing your morning coffee with an apple, you can get check off 12 percent of your daily fiber intake and 10 percent of your vitamin C as well. And for those of you who need that extra 10 minutes of sleep, you can grab an apple to go and replace the coffee or tea in your mug with milk. Milk and apples anyone?

Sound off! Let us know in the comments which of these food tips you’ll be putting to use to get your day off to a healthy start.

Munia Islam is a contributing food writer at