Avon chefs suggest healthy breakfast to shed holiday pounds
AVON, Colorado The gyms are packed this week with commitments to the ever-popular New Years resolution of losing the holiday weight gain and getting back into shape. You can speed the process of weight loss by starting your day with a healthy breakfast. A simple combination of cereal grains, nuts and fruits, homemade muesli is a great source of fiber and slow-burning complex carbohydrates. Mix it with homemade yogurt for a taste treat and a breakfast that will keep your energy levels stable over the duration of your day.Enjoy your yogurt-fortified muesli with half a grapefruit. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, when included in a balanced eating plan, grapefruit can help to lower the risk of heart disease. Texas and Florida grapefruit are in season now, and the ruby red variety has a sweet-tart flavor. Indulge in an occasional treat by sneaking Allison Helfers Bruled Grapefruit into your healthful plan. Helfer, pastry chef at Restaurant Avondale, keys in on the simplicity of the ruby red grapefruit by topping a cut half with brown sugar and candied ginger and giving it a few seconds under the broiler.Avondales Executive Chef Jeremy Kittelson, suggests making your own yogurt as an inexpensive way to weight loss and digestive health. The process is easy and, when paired with homemade muesli and fresh fruit, makes a delicious, healthy, hearty breakfast.Why bother to make your own yogurt? Besides being simple to make, you can control all the variables make it thicker by using milk with higher fat content. Make it sweeter by adding honey or maple syrup. Lactose issues? Use soy, goat or sheeps milk. To ensure great taste and sustainable production, buy your milk from a local farmers market, and ask for unhomogenized and organic, hormone and antibiotic-free product.
1 quart milk1/2 cup powdered milk (optional, use if thick yogurt is preferred)1/2 cup live culture yogurt (like Dannons Activia) or use a powdered yogurt starter (and use the amount specified on the directions)Honey and/or maple syrup, to taste (optional)*You will need some mason jars and an instant read thermometer or candy thermometer.Stirring slowly, heat the milk and powdered milk in a double-boiler to 180-degrees F and cook for one minute; remove from heat and cool to 115-degrees F. Add the live culture or starter and the sweetener, if desired. Stir well and pour the mixture into mason jars. The mixture must be kept at 110-degrees for the next 4 to 6 hours; drop much below that, and the bacteria wont be warm enough to do their job and higher than about 110-degrees will kill them, leaving you with not much more than boiled milk. Chef Kittleson recommends using a well-insulated cooler. Pour hot water (115-degrees) into a cooler and place the mason jars in the water. The water should come halfway up the side of the jars. Check every so often that the temperature does not go below 110-degrees, and if it does, just replace with more hot water. The yogurt is finished when it has firmed.Remove from the cooler and refrigerate and it will continue to thicken as its temperature drops.
1 cup rolled oats or oat flakes1 cup rolled rye flakes1 cup rolled bran flakes1 cup rolled wheat flakes1/2 cup dried dates, apricots, cranberries or other dried fruit1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or sliced almonds1/4 cup whole flaxseeds or flaxseed meal1/4 cup sunflower seeds1/3 cup raisinsMix the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to an airtight container. (may be kept in the freezer or refrigerator for longer shelf life).To serve hot: Add 1/2 cup Muesli to 1/2 cup water, milk or soy milk and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Makes two servings.To serve cold: Soak 1/4 cup Muesli in 1/2 cup yogurt, milk, soy milk or fruit juice for 5 to 10 minutes, or soak overnight. Makes one serving.
2 grapefruits1/4 cup brown sugar3 tablespoons Candied ginger1 tablespoon Fresh mint, choppedCut each grapefruit in half. Using a serrated knife, loosen segments in three of the halves, leaving them in the rind. Remove the segments from the fourth half. Sprinkle brown sugar and candied ginger on the three half grapefruits. Toss the loose grapefruit segments with remaining brown sugar and ginger, and mound on the half grapefruits. Place on a baking sheet and under the broiler flame for about a minute until golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped mint.Makes three grapefruit halves.Sue Barham is the marketing director for Restaurant Avondale and Larkspur Restaurant. Avondale recently opened in The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon. The restaurant features a West Coast inspired, seasonal menu and the chefs use time-honored cooking methods, such as slow roasting and braising, to create simple dishes rich in flavor. The wine program focuses on small production wines to compliment the straightforward cuisine. For more information visit http://www.avondalerestaurant.com.