In my family I am famous for avoiding traditional breakfasts. Pancakes, waffles and French toast don’t agree with me; they leave me feeling really sluggish for the rest of the day. Occasionally, I’ll have an omelet, but rarely eat bacon, sausage, ham or cereal. I often grab some whole-grain toast on days when I have a long to-do list – or on days when I’m not feeling particularly creative. And there’s always my go-to of finishing off take-out Chinese food (or whatever else I may have brought home if I dined out the night before).
So what’s a girl to do to have a healthy breakfast? Increasingly, I find that I’m turning to making my own version of hash. Typically, hash is a dish of cooked meat cut into small pieces and recooked, often with potatoes. And that’s what I often think of since my dad served corn beef hash with a poached egg for Sunday breakfast when I was growing up.
However, I find I crave a healthier version these days – a vegetable hash. And it’s so easy to make You basically cut up vegetables, sauté them in a frying pan until tender, season to your liking and you’re ready to go. If you want a little protein, cook an egg or heat up some beans and then plop them on top of the veggies.
One thing I would suggest when making hash is cutting vegetables the same size so they cook at the same rate. Here’s a good video to help you learn knife skills:
The good part about hash is you can easily create it based on what you have in your refrigerator – and you’ll be reaping more health benefits than eating some of the more traditional breakfasts. For instance, the hash I made this morning included the following vegetables:
- Sweet potato, which is a great source of beta carotene as well as a good source of vitamin C, manganese and copper. This vegetable is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Sweet potatoes also may help with blood sugar regulation.
- Red onion, which is packed with quercetin, which has antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps fight cancer. The vegetable also has allicin, which promotes cardiovascular health and reduces high blood pressure.
- Crimini mushrooms, which are a great source of vitamin B12 and support the immune system and the cardiovascular system. These mushrooms also may offer protection from certain types of breast cancer.
- Spinach, which is rich in iron that supports the functioning of red blood cells. It also is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B12. Spinach has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties and protects eye health.
In case you’re not comfortable freelancing a hash recipe, here’s a good recipe to get you started. Enjoy!
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Primary Sources for This Sharepost:
George Mateljan Foundation. (ND). Mushrooms, crimini.
George Mateljan Foundation. (ND). Sweet potatoes.
Healwithfood.org. (ND). Health benefits of eating red onions.
Lewin, J. (ND). The health benefits of…spinach. BBCGoodFood.com.
Dorian Martin writes about various topics for HealthCentral, including Alzheimer’s disease, diet/exercise, menopause and lung cancer. Dorian is a health and caregiving advocate living in College Station, TX. She has a Ph.D. in educational human resource development. Dorian also founded I Start Wondering, which encourages people to embrace a life-long learning approach to aging. She teaches Sheng Zhen Gong, a form of Qigong. Follow Dorian on Twitter at @dorianmartin, Facebook or Instagram at @doriannmartin.