Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Sometimes we're introduced to something, and we immediately wonder how we have survived this long without it. That was me, sitting with a friend in Morocco, sipping coffee and enjoying what she termed a "breakfast bowl." It's similar to a parfait, and is an incredibly simple marriage of a few standard breakfast ingredients, yet somehow I had never had one before. In the years since, however, it's become a staple in our home, and now, maybe it'll make its way into yours, too!
The beauty of this simple meal is how incredibly versatile it is. While I typically don't cater to each of my children's taste by preparing different meals, which would be both exhausting and unrealistic, these breakfast bowls are easily customizeable to suit each individual's taste preference. And best thing is, it's a great way to use up whatever it is you have in the fridge and pantry!
These are relatively carbohydrate- and calorie-dense, so perhaps not a good option for those looking to loose weight. However, the ingredients can be adjusted to be a bit lighter, which I typically opt for for myself, or more calorie-dense, which I focus on for my daughter who needs a bit more calories per meal as she doesn't have a big appetite.
So the basic premise of a breakfast bowl is yogurt, toasted oats, sliced fruit, and nuts or seeds. Yet the options are endless! Here are a few of the combinations that are seen regularly in our home:
Here's just a few of the many ingredients you can use to build your breakfast bowl:
Skip all together for a grain-free bowl.
toasted oats (melt ghee or coconut oil in pan, stir in oats until slightly brown)
We use goat's milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt when available. Any type or flavor yogurt can be used, though I highly recommend buying unsweetened, full-fat yogurt and sweetening it yourself with coconut sugar, real stevia, or even honey. This can be left out completely for those who despise yogurt, like my son, and even replaced with applesauce!
I personally think that softer fruits are best to use here, but feel free to try crunchier options like apples or halved grapes!
Soft, ripe pears
Soft, ripe mango
Carmelized bananas (my personal favorite! Sauteed sliced bananas sprinkled with cinnamon in ghee or coconut oil for 2-3 minutes her side)
Sauteed apples (saute diced apples sprinkled with cinnamon in ghee or coconut oil until softened)
Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
Nuts & Seeds
My kids and I are fans of these crunchy gems, so we tend to use whatever it is we have on hand.
Slivered or chopped almonds
Nut butter, including almond, peanut, and cashew
Seeds, including sunflower, chia, flax, and hemp seeds
Seed butter, like sunflower butter
Candied nuts or seeds, for a decadent treat!
The sky's the limit here, y'all! Some of the add-ins that have made their way into our breakfast bowls include:
Jam or jelly (preferably no sugar added)
Mini dark chocolate chips
Dried fruit (including raisins, chopped dates, chopped figs, and cranberries)
Drizzled toppings, including date syrup, honey, and real maple syrup
Our personal favorites
And last but not lease, here are some of our favorite combinations:
Apple-raisin: Toasted oats, vanilla yogurt, sauteed cinnamon apples, raisins, walnuts, drizzle of honey
Lemon-blueberry: Toasted oats, lemon-flavored yogurt (simply mix stevia, lemon juice & lemon vest into plain yogurt), blueberries, cashew butter, chopped almonds
Pear & walnut: Granola, vanilla yogurt, pears, walnuts, chopped dates
Chocolate-peanut butter: Granola, vanilla yogurt, bananas, peanut butter, cacao nibs
Peanut butter & jam: Toasted oats, vanilla yogurt, carmelized bananas, peanut butter, strawberry jam, walnuts, drizzle of honey
Tropical: Granola, vanilla yogurt, diced fresh figs & mango, pineapple or orange marmalade, hemp and sunflower seeds, drizzle of date syrup
Now it's your turn! If you're ahead of the game and make breakfast bowls already, what are your favorite combinations? If you're new to the game, stop back in after you've tried it out and let me know what you think!