Besides changing how we work there has been a major shift in the way we are living. According to the United States Postal Service, San Francisco has lost ten percent of its population since shelter in place orders. New York has had almost a 500% increase in moves compared to 2019 numbers. When there is no pressure to work in the office, and amenities like live music venues, bars, and amazing coffee shops where people used to go to work have closed (some permanently due to COVID, and one in particular due to a car crash) many people are moving out of big expensive cities and into smaller suburban environments where buying a house is actually an affordable option.
I have learned that cooking is a skill learned through practice and patience; trial and error and have found that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to cook. Often, I am tired and sleepy, and wake up right before the first meeting of the day. The first thing we eat is what kick starts our digestive system for the day and has the biggest impact about whether we are going to feel energized and ready to take on the day, or sluggish and temperamental.
Below are some of my favorite breakfast drinks and meals – recipes included!
Dragonwell Green Tea + Perfect Oatmeal
This is my favorite way to start the week, and my go-to meal Mondays through Fridays. Weaver’s Dragonwell Green Tea, has leaves that when brewed, open into a mellow chestnut flavor and slightly sweet finish.
Green tea is an amazing way to start your day because the main substances in tea are polyphenols, in particular catechins and epicatechins. Lab and animal studies say these molecules have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which promote heart health and metabolism. Studies of large groups by Harvard over time found that tea drinkers are at lower risk for diabetes and possibly cardiovascular disease.
I always pair this with my Perfect Oatmeal – a gentle breakfast that is easy on the stomach with no artificial sugar added.
Perfect Oatmeal (serves 1)
1 cup water or unsweetened milk
½ cup dry, rolled old-fashioned oats (gluten free oats to make this GF)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup raisins
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp chia seeds
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. For a creamier oatmeal that is thicker, use an unsweetened milk (almond milk is my preference).
Once boiling, add dry oatmeal and reduce heat.
Stir occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes until the oats have completely sucked up the liquid.
Serve topped with walnuts, raisins, banana, chia seeds, and banana.
Black Coffee + Make-ahead Egg Bites
While tea is a great way to start the day, let’s face it, sometimes we really need coffee. We have all had the Monday where you wake up and know that tea is just simply not enough caffeine to get you through the day. Black coffee is the perfect way to start the day.
Photo Vincent Distrola Weaver's Original Blend Coffee
There is a reason why coffee roasters taste test coffee black. To understand the full flavor profile of one of our single origin coffees or blended coffees we would not add milk or sugar to the taste it on the tasting table as it would negatively impact the coffee tasting and the coffee would be diluted. And unlike a cup of over-roasted and burnt coffee at my local large chain coffee company, I do not need to add milk or sugar to a cup of Weaver’s Original Blend Coffee. I drink Weaver's Coffee black.
When I need the little extra pep in my step, I pair my coffee with egg bites that I make ahead, making it an easy breakfast I can enjoy all week.
Make-ahead Egg Bites (makes 12)
Recipe by Hannah Williams courtesy of Tasty
15 oz frozen hash brown, thawed
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon oil
3 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
In a bowl, combine hash browns, cheese, salt, pepper, and oil. Pack into the bottom half of the cups of a greased muffin tin.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with the bacon, salt, and pepper. Pour into the top half of each muffin cup.
Bake 15 minutes.
Let cool completely before storing in a freezer safe bag and removing any air from the bag. Freeze up to 2 weeks.
When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave or oven until hot all the way through.
Café au Lait + Blueberry Waffles
After working all week, what a better way to kick off your weekend than with a special treat?
Instead of a cup of tea or black coffee, I like to make my partner and I café au laits at home with blueberry waffles. While we miss going to brunch with our best friends, this homemade weekend treat is way better than any box mix, and has gotten us through until it is safe to meet with others again!
Café au Lait Recipe
½ cup of strong coffee. I use one of Weaver’s Original Blend Coffees.
½ cup of milk of choice
Pour your milk into your mason jar, and give it a good shake for about a minute until bubbles form.
After shaking, transfer to a small saucepan and warm until desired temperature on the stove
Once hot, pour it over coffee and mix with spoon.
Healthy Blueberry Waffle Recipe
½ cup flour (whole wheat flour if you are looking for something healthier!)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Blueberries (fresh is best!)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
¼ cup agave
1 cup unsweetened almond, soy, or oat milk
Start heating up waffle iron
Mix together all flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt, and blueberries.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, almond extract, agave, and milk.
Slowly add the wet ingredient mixture into the dry mixture and combine.
Spray your waffle iron with coconut oil spray, and add mixture. Take out and enjoy once fully cooked.
Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness!
Mocha Banana Smoothie Recipe for On-the-Go
While working from home has been a nice change in pace for most people, that does not mean life has totally stopped. We still have doctor’s appointments, dentist check-ups, etc.
On busy days I simply do not have time for a full breakfast and settle for something quick that I can bring on-the-go that will still provide me with the energy I need for the day. While I used to love Starbucks Frappuccino’s when I was young, before I worked as a Barista, I have matured and understand how these drinks are packed with sugar.
The answer to my problem? A simple, yet very healthy, mocha banana smoothie!
1 cup of milk
1 shot of espresso or strong cup of brewed coffee
1 large banana
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Handful of ice cubes
Blend all together for the perfect on-the-go drink!