Whole Story

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Mighty Bowls: Healthy Breakfast for $2 or Less

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, January 3, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

In my household, breakfast is a prerequisite for a good start to the day.

In order to streamline the process of getting breakfast on the table, we adopted a weekly breakfast schedule.

Oatmeal. Eggs and toast. Bagels. Yogurt and toast. Cereal. Repeat.

It's not that these dishes are particularly exciting – they're not, are they? But they're fast recipes, and the ingredients are handy and inexpensive. Admittedly, it's time to jazz up our breakfast routine.

We want tasty recipes that are easy on the wallet and the waistline. So when I recently stumbled across these hearty healthy recipes that match my family's needs and my pantry's contents, I was thrilled.

Mighty Bowls of Goodness, tasty recipe suggestions from our Health Starts Here program, are filled with nutritious foods and cost less than $2 a bowl for breakfast.

The recipe is easy: grain (such as quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats or millet) + cooking liquid (move beyond water with almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk or coconut milk) + fresh or dried fruit (like apples, cranberries, bananas) + topping (try spices, seeds and nuts).

From apple spice oats to mango quinoa, there are weeks full of healthy breakfast options to fill you up without emptying your wallet. If you're looking to add nutrition, flavor and convenience to your morning routine without added costs, try these Mighty Bowls of Goodness breakfast combinations:

Almond Rice

1 cup brown rice cooked in 2 cups almond milk. Top with a sliced banana, an ounce of chopped raw almonds and a chopped date or two to sweeten.

Strawberry Sesame Millet

1 cup millet cooked in 2 cups soy milk. Add some honey and frozen sliced strawberries at the end of cooking. Top with toasted sesame seeds and a dash of cinnamon.

Spiced Apple Oats

1 cup rolled oats cooked in 2 cups almond milk. Mix in a shredded apple and nutmeg. Top with slivered almonds.

Mango Quinoa

1 cup quinoa cooked in 1 cup water, 1 cup coconut milk. Stir in ¼ bag frozen mango at the end of cooking. Toss in diced dried apricots, a sprinkle of dried coconut and a dash of vanilla extract.

Banana Cinnamon Quinoa

1 cup quinoa cooked in two parts hemp milk. Top with banana, raisins, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds.

Warming Wheat Berries:

1 cup wheat berries cooked in 2 cups water. Stir in some allspice and dried cranberries. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

The breakfast possibilities for Mighty Bowls of Goodness don't stop there, of course. What's already in your pantry, fridge and freezer? Oh, I spy pecans and frozen blueberries. I guarantee my family's breakfast routine is about to get much tastier!

Have you cooked up your own Mighty Bowl of Goodness recipe for breakfast yet? If so, we'd love to hear how you are warming up your morning without burning a hole in your wallet.




Susan says ...
It would be helpful if you would post calorie counts and nutrition breakdown for these recipes. (Also would like to see that done in the deli). It would be most appreciated!!
01/04/2012 9:24:17 AM CST
Shari says ...
My healthy oatmeal......1/4 whole oats cooked with 3/4 cup water...Add 2 TBS milled flax seed... 1TBS raw honey to sweeten....1/4 tsp cinnamon and a few walnuts
01/04/2012 9:49:20 AM CST
Bob Bara says ...
Eating eggs is NOT healthy. I wonder if WF could be held liable for such mis statements?
01/04/2012 9:56:21 AM CST
pat says ...
The quinoa dishes looking yummy. I will be making these. Thanks for sharing.
01/04/2012 10:02:37 AM CST
Elizabeth says ...
Can you cook the rice in coconut water instead of coconut milk?
01/04/2012 10:09:03 AM CST
Noopur says ...
Really liked the idea of using non traditional whole grains such as quinoa and millet for breakfast...I am going to try these..thanks for posting this!
01/04/2012 10:21:06 AM CST
Leen says ...
Organic egg consumption is indeed healthy in moderation. The recipes here certainly look great. Can't wait to try a few to mix up the morning routine.
01/04/2012 10:28:41 AM CST
Mar G says ...
WF said nothing about eating eggs...they were talking about whole grain breakfast bowls as alternatives to eggs & other more traditional breakfast foods. And, btw, eggs (especially egg whites) are considered by many to be a good source of protein & not unhealthy.
01/04/2012 10:42:52 AM CST
Captain Obvious says ...
They only claim eggs are handy, not healthy. Perhaps a re-read is in order...
01/04/2012 10:56:56 AM CST
Kristin Poppe says ...
What exactly about eating eggs isn't healthy? We buy the 365 omega 3 cage-free eggs from WFM all the time at home and seem to be doing fine... They're delicious, too. I love this article. Lots of good ideas for breakfast that I can't wait to try out!
01/04/2012 11:00:13 AM CST
Mary L says ...
Those look fabulous! I have been making steel cut oats in rice cooker with milk /water combo. Will add dried cranberries and cherries, sliced almonds or chopped pecans..need to try almond or coconut milk as alternative. @Bob, eggs are healthy! Especially from.chickens that are pasture raised. Not everyone is vegan, and knowing where your food comes from is more important.
01/04/2012 11:11:47 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Elizabeth The flavor and nutritional content will be significantly different but so long as you use the same amount of liquid, the rice should still be soft.
01/04/2012 1:25:32 PM CST
Neil says ...
Any suggestions for diabetics?
01/04/2012 4:15:05 PM CST
Judy says ...
I soak steel cut oats overnight in milk; cook in the morning & add natural PB
01/04/2012 4:15:50 PM CST
Adam says ...
I'll definitely have to try some of these, they sound great.. I love grains like millet and brown rice for breakfast as for the egg issue.. you can check out information from doctors like Caldwell Esselstyn, John MacDougall, Joel Fuhrman, Neal Barnard and others if you want to read more on it but the basics are that eggs are high in animal protein, which is actually a bad thing, not a benefit.. animal protein is highly acidic to the body, causes inflammation leading to disease, as well as damage to the lining of the arteries.. eggs could also affect prostate cancer due to their high choline content.. there are plenty of other high quality sources of protein for someone choosing to avoid eggs
01/04/2012 8:30:11 PM CST
Roberta's Real Food says ...
Breakfast Quinoa: 1c - TrūRoots Organic Quinoa 2c - Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened almond milk 2tsp - Tone's pure almond extract 2tsp - ground cinnamon 2tb - golden raisins 2tb - toasted slivered almonds Cook quinoa, almond extract & cinnamon in almond milk according to package directions. Divide into 2 portions, top with 1tb each golden raisins and toasted almonds. Enjoy!!
01/04/2012 8:32:15 PM CST
kathy says ...
can you use almond milk instead of hemp milk for the banana cinnamon quinoa recipe?
01/04/2012 8:42:53 PM CST
nik says ...
Banana Cinnamon Quinoa! Where have you been hiding all my life! Okay, not a raisin fan so I'm subbing dried blueberries but holygranola this is yummy...thank you!
01/05/2012 10:22:23 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Neil We have a whole section in our recipes catalog for the sugar conscious. I've copied the link below. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/search-results.php?specialDietTypeId=12
01/05/2012 12:30:48 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Kathy Yes you sure can! Just remember that it's going to change the nutritional content and the flavor.
01/05/2012 12:33:43 PM CST
Karina chapman says ...
Interesting! When we stay at any Hyatt Regency, and go down for one of their buffet breakfasts, every Hyatt we've been to from California to Boston has a Mighty Bowl option...they don't call it that, of course. But they always have oatmeal or cream of wheat, and they always have multiple choices of toppings. I've seen almonds, walnuts, pecans, almond slivers, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried pineapple, dried papaya, flax seeds, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries... I always, always have a mighty bowl there. Last Dec 30 we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Mass, and my mighty bowl was filled with all those berries, cranberries, golden raisins, pecans, and dried pineapple. Yum! Afterward, I told my hubby that I really need to start doing this at home. :)
01/05/2012 12:43:49 PM CST
Brie says ...
This sounds great for mixing things up! My son has allergies to dairy, eggs and nuts. Any suggestions for substitutes for theses item? It seems most recipes include one or the other:)
01/05/2012 3:40:39 PM CST
ASB says ...
I love oatmeal for breakfast. It's easy and economical, and I like a hot breakfast. My recipe is 1/2 c rolled oats, 1 c water, some sugar, and a splash of milk after microwaving. I like to add in dried fruit, diced apple, peanut butter & banana, berries...whatever I have on hand that seems appealing.
01/05/2012 6:47:11 PM CST
Bob says ...
I understand that Whole Foods is trying to be helpful when suggesting soy milk for breakfast, and I appreciate the attempt to make people eat healthier, but I'm afraid soy milk is not a healthy choice for breakfast or any meal, for that matter. Soy milk has been marketed as a health food in the past few years due to an excess of soy in US agriculture, much like corn subsidies have caused corn to be in everything from high fructose corn syrup to a cow's meal (as opposed to grass). The argument that Asian countries enjoy good health due to consumption of soy is false, as they only consume small amounts (no larger than two teaspoons) of FERMENTED soy products (miso, natto, tempeh) added as condiments to their foods. Excess of soy by way of soy milk, soy isoflavones, and soy "meats" leads to decreased thyroid function, slowed metabolism, and many other adverse health effects due to the trypsin inhibitors, large amounts of phytic acid, and phytoestrogens in soy. The following articles have more information on the matter: http://www.whale.to/a/soy2.html http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert Also, why in the world would eating eggs be unhealthy? Eggs are one of nature's most perfect and balanced foods. If your worried about fat and cholesterol, you may be surprised to find that we need both substances in our bodies unlike we've been brainwashed to think in the past few decades due to the lipid hypothesis, which has been debunked. http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/cholesterol-friend-or-foe If your argument is that animal foods are unhealthy, then please go and look up some information about cave paintings and see what the hunter-gatherers were hunting. Then research some more to find out about their incredible states of health and how degenerative diseases ware unknown. Heart disease, obesity, and cancer has only gone up in the past few decades when consumption of so called "heart-healthy" vegetable oils (that are really full of rancid trans fats) has increased, as well as processed, packaged, and denatured foods marketed as healthy and "low-fat" have increased. Prior to the 1920s, and most definitely before the Industrial Revolution, Americans ate whole, raw dairy, eggs, fatty meat, and many other whole, natural animal foods we've been brainwashed into thinking are unhealthy with great health nonetheless. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/04/sometimes-in-midst-of-protein-shakes.html
01/05/2012 7:37:30 PM CST
Sarah says ...
I always make a big batch of steel cut oats at the beginning of the week and refrigerate the leftovers. Then just warm it up each morning, and top with honey, cinnamon, coconut milk, shredded coconut, and sliced almonds. Delicious, and time saving!
01/07/2012 9:47:18 AM CST