A staple in our household: my favorite, super quick, brain-healthy breakfast that combines the crunchiness of toasted bread with the sweetness of raw honey.
This recipe provides a good amount of dietary fiber, healthy vegetable fats, and sugar from the naturally anti-bacterial honey, while keeping an eye on the glycemic index.
Of relevance for brain health is the use of coconut oil vs. more traditional butter or margarine. Though coconut oil was believed by many to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, research shows that the fat in coconut oil is unique and different from most all other fats and is now gaining recognition as a nutritious health food. In a nutshell, the difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of fatty acids. There are two scientific methods of classifying fatty acids:saturation, and fatty acid length.
Saturation. According to the first method, saturation, there are saturated fats (like butter), monounsaturated fats (like olive oil), and polyunsaturated fats (like the omega 3 fats in salmon). "Saturated" means that these fat molecules are saturated with hydrogen molecules. Which is why butter is solid at room temperature - that’s typical of saturated fats. Saturated fats are believed to be bad for you because they raise the level of cholesterol in your blood, therefore increasing risk of heart disease and stroke. Coconut oil — which, like butter, is solid at room temperature, is also a saturated fat. So by some measures, it might be suspect. But that’s not the whole story.
Fatty acid length. The other classification system is based on the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. According to this method, there are short-chain, medium-chain, and long-chain fatty acids. The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated, whether they come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids. There is increasing evidence that medium-chain fat molecules don’t have a negative effect on cholesterol, and can actually help to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, which in turn increase risk of dementia.
Prep time: 5 minutes; Difficulty: low
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack
- 2 slices vegan, sprouted whole wheat bread (my favorite brand is Alvarado Street Bakery)
2 teaspoons local raw honey (I usually get the Clover, creamed honey variety from the Farmers’ market. Manuka honey is another great option - you can find it in any proper Health Food store)
2 teaspoons extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil (at room temperature)
Toast bread. Spread honey.
Spread coconut oil on top. Coconut oil is liquid at room temperature but becomes solid if you put it in the fridge (as in the picture). In that case, just scrap a little with a knife and wait till it melts.
I always have a cup of green tea or herbal tea for breakfast too. Enjoy!