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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Breakfast

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: BelVita Breakfast Biscuits

At the beginning of the year, Nabisco launched BelVita breakfast biscuits, a nutritious alternative to cereal and bread products. They’re whole grain, calorie-friendly, and have been designed to release sustained energy.

We highly recommended them. We didn’t foresee then that these nutritious, slightly sweet, crunchy and flavorful biscuits would become our favorite grab-and-go breakfast and snack. (We also enjoy them as a sit-and-relax breakfast and snack.)

So we’ve promoted BelVita to Top Pick Of The Week. Read the full review and see of BelVita, which means beautiful life, can become part of yours.

The line is certified kosher by OU.

Find more of our favorite:

  • Cookies
  • Crackers and bread products
  • Cereals, pancakes, waffles and other breakfast foods
  •  

    Grab a packet of BelVita biscuits for breakfast. Photo courtesy Nabisco.

     

      

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Japanese Miso Soup For American Breakfast

     

    Asians drink soup for breakfast (Japanese miso soup and Thai pho, for example). Americans looking for something quick, hot, nutritious and comforting should consider the option.

    All you need to make a bowl of miso soup is hot water and a spoonful of miso paste, available in many supermarkets as well as in Asian food stores.

    You can add nutritious vegetables to your miso soup, as shown in the video, or have it plain, as it’s served at Japanese restaurants. The soup can be made in advance and microwaved in a minute, which is especially convenient if you want your soup with veggies.

    Beyond a quick cup of soup before you dash out, you can carry a thermos, thermal mug or a portable coffee mug full of soup as you leave. Your soup supply can also be part of a low-calorie, healthful lunch, snack or dinner.

    Here are more ways to use the miso paste.

       

       

    Find more of our favorite soups in our Soup Section.

    Want a more conventional breakfast? Check out our Cereals, Pancakes & Waffles Section.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Healthy Food, Fast Food

    Before we tasted McDonald’s berry healthy summer foods, we would not have imagined that we’d spend so much time eating under the golden arches.

    But surprise: We’re fans of two new items: Banana Nut Oatmeal and McCafé Cherry Berry Chiller.

    Now available nationally, these two limited-time “Flavors Of Summer” are nutritious options that are made to order from fine ingredients.

    Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal

    Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal tops brown sugar-laced oatmeal with fresh, plump blueberries and crunchy walnuts. There is a hint of banana—though we wish there wre more than a hint!

    Each portion contains two servings of whole grain* and 1/4 cup of blueberries, one of the highest-antioxidant foods.

     

    So good for you: oatmeal with walnuts and fresh blueberries. Photo courtesy McDonald’s.

     

    Those who like to keep track of nutrition should note that walnuts are arguably the healthiest nuts.

    People who prefer their oatmeal without sugar can order the year-round menu staple, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, with fresh apple, raisins and cranberries (it is available with or without brown sugar). If you want the fresh blueberries, just ask.

    *Why you need whole grains.

     

    Cherry Chiller: a refreshing fruit slush. Photo courtesy McDonald’s

     

    Cherry Berry Chiller

    McCafé Cherry Berry Chiller, a fruit slush, is made to order, with 100% fruit juice, natural cherry and raspberry flavors and crushed ice.

    Available through September 3rd, while supplies last, the suggested retail prices are $1.69 (small, 12 ounces), $1.99 (medium, 16 ounces) and $2.29 (large, 22 ounces). In hot weather, the large size will be a godsend.

    McCafé Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is also part of the summer menu. The McCafé line includes fruit smoothies and espresso drinks, as well.

     

    McDonald’s is the leading foodservice provider in the U.S., serving more than than 26 million customers daily at some 14,000 restaurants. More than 11,500 are wi-fi enabled.

    So, answer your email as you enjoy a leisurely bowl of oatmeal, followed by a Cherry Berry Chiller chaser.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Use An Avocado As A Bowl

    Turn an avocado into a bowl for eggs. Photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico.

     

    We love using avocados as an “edible bowl,” stuffed with salads (bean, chicken, citrus, corn, egg, rice, seafood, tuna), chili, as a shrimp cocktail bowl and as a salsa holder with a side of tortilla chips.

    But we hadn’t considered eggs until we received this avocado poached egg from Avocados From Mexico. It pairs an egg and a heart-healthy avocado with a smoky tomato sauce called Diablo Sauce. Make it as a delicious and fun dish for Easter breakfast.

    The recipe was developed by Chef Ina Pinkney of Ina’s Restaurant in Chicago. It yields two portions.

    AVOCADO POACHED EGGS WITH DIABLO SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 can (15-ounces) fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 medium eggs, room temperature
  •  

    Preparation

    1. Prepare Diablo Sauce at least 20 minutes before starting eggs. In a large skillet, heat oil until hot. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently. When sauce is almost finished, place a steamer basket over one inch of water; bring water to a simmer.

    2. Meanwhile, cut avocado in half and remove seed. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each avocado half to create a flat surface. Carefully scoop out about half of the avocado flesh without breaking through the flesh at the base; reserve for garnish, toast spread or later use. Season with salt.

    3. Into each avocado half, crack one egg; season with salt. Place avocado halves in steaming basket; cover until eggs are poached, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    4. Transfer each avocado half to a serving plate. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with Diablo Sauce.

    Find more egg recipes in our Egg Section.

    Find more avocado recipes at AvocadosFromMexico.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Easy Breakfast Pizza

    Pizza is one of our favorite foods. We’ve eaten leftover cold pizza for breakfast.

    But there’s a healthier way to start the day: with a breakfast pizza on a whole-wheat pizza crust with fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, scrambled eggs (egg whites or whole eggs) and shredded mozzarella cheese (lowfat).

    It’s easy to make breakfast pizza: It takes no more time than eggs and toast: time-to-table is 15 minutes.

    This recipe and two more are from AllWhites egg whites, which has many more delicious recipes on its website.

    This recipe serves four.

     

    A scrambled egg breakfast pizza. Photo courtesy AllWhitesEggWhites.com.

     

    SCRAMBLED EGG MARGHERITA BREAKFAST PIZZA

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) Better‘n Eggs or 8 large eggs
  • 1 package (10 ounces) 100% whole wheat thin crust prepared Italian pizza crust
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  •  
    Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 450° F.

    2. Spray a 10-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook eggs over medium heat. As egg starts to set, use spatula to lift edge of cooked eggs, letting uncooked egg flow to bottom of skillet. Cook until eggs are set but still moist.

    2. Place pizza crust on large cookie sheet. Top crust with cooked eggs, chopped tomatoes, basil and cheese.

    3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

     
    More Breakfast Pizza Recipes

  • Canadian Bacon & Swiss Crispy Pizza Recipe
  • Saturday Morning Pizza Recipe, with ham, bell pepper and onion

      

  • Comments

    PRODUCT: belVita Breakfast Biscuits, The New Breakfast Alternative

    Nabisco has introduced belVita Breakfast Biscuits: lightly sweet, whole grain, crunchy breakfast biscuits in Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry and Golden Oat. The concept is popular in Europe, and a welcome addition to American breakfast options.

    “Breakfast biscuits” may not sound sexy, but think of them as very nutritious and tasty cookies. Yum!

    According to survey data, 63% of Americans admit they are energy deficient in the mornings and 48% say that it is difficult to find a breakfast food that is both nutritious and delicious.

    Nabisco, part of Kraft Foods, worked with nutritionists to create a cereal and breakfast bread substitute that provides nutrition plus sustained energy to help fuel the body throughout the morning. The sustained energy release results from both the ingredients and a special baking process that helps preserve the integrity of the grain, so that the carbohydrates are slowly released.

    The company’s nutritionist spokesperson and author of The Sonoma Diet, Connie Guttersen, recommends the biscuits as a balanced breakfast with a piece of fruit and a serving of fat-free or low fat dairy—a banana, yogurt and nonfat latte or fresh strawberries and nonfat Greek yogurt, for example.

     

    A “sustained energy” breakfast includes these delicious oat biscuits. Photo courtesy Kraft Foods.

     

    Healthful food is always a good thing, but belVita biscuits taste great, too (although the Apple Cinnamon flavor could have used more apple and more cinnamon). The portion of four large, crunchy biscuits is very filling with a cup of coffee, tea or milk.

    More Ways To Enjoy belVita Biscuits

    The biscuits are also delicious with cheese; we’ve been serving them with Brie and goat cheese. All three flavors have a touch of sweetness and a rustic texture that work well with cheese. (The biscuits evoke Carr’s Whole Wheat Crackers, called Wheatmeal Biscuits in the U.K., a longtime favorite with cheese).

    More ways to enjoy belVita:

  • Spread them with peanut butter for nutritious snack.
  • Break pieces into yogurt for a “cookies and cream” effect.
  • Use them as a base for an open-face ice cream/frozen yogurt sandwich.
  • We love them as a comfort food snack with hot chocolate.
  •  
    Great taste and crunch, a bundle of nutritious benefits and the convenience of grab-and-go portioned packs should make these biscuits a winner. Nabisco only needs for you to try them and like them as much as we do. (The only thing we don’t like is the small “b” in belVita. It looks like a typo.)

    The biscuits are certified kosher (dairy) by OU.

    belVita Biscuits Nutrition

  • Fiber: 18-20g whole grains per four-biscuit serving
  • 10% daily value of iron, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin B6
  • No high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • A package of four biscuits has 230 calories
  •  
    There’s more information on the company website.

    Find more of our favorite crackers and bread products.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Unscrambling The Myth Of Cholesterol In Eggs

    Common misconceptions about dietary cholesterol and its impact on heart disease keep many people from eating eggs, despite their nutritional benefits and “comfort food” taste. However, almost 40 years of research* shows that healthy adults can enjoy an egg every day without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

    Since February is American Heart Month, if you’ve been limiting your egg consumption, it may be time to revisit it with your healthcare provider.
     
     
    *The research was analyzed by the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC), the health education and research center of the American Egg Board that provides science-based information to health promotion agencies, physicians, dietitians, nutritional scientists, media and consumers on issues related to egg nutrition and the role of eggs in the American diet.

     

    Is it time to add eggs back into your diet? Photo courtesy AEB.org.

    Cracking the Cholesterol Myth

    According to information provided by the American Egg Board and the Egg Nutrition Center, USDA data shows that:

  • Eggs now have less cholesterol. As a result of changing the feed, one large egg is now 14% lower in cholesterol, down from 212 mg to 185 mg, and is 64% higher in vitamin D, with 41 IU per egg.
  • Eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet. One large egg contains six grams of high–quality protein, 13 essential nutrients and 70 calories. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans support the role of eggs in a healthy diet, stating that consumption of one egg per day is not associated with risk of coronary heart disease or stroke in healthy adults. Enjoying an egg a day, especially as part of a heart–healthy diet balanced with fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy, falls well within current cholesterol guidelines.
  • Eggs are high-quality, inexpensive protein. Eggs provide high–quality protein that helps build muscles and increases satiety for all–day energy, which can help maintain a healthy weight, an important factor in promoting overall health. And all this for about fifteen cents per egg!
  • Eggs are better than doughnuts. Research shows that the saturated fat found in other breakfast foods may be more likely to raise a person’s blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol. Eating a balanced breakfast with high–quality protein foods like eggs, along with other nutrient–rich foods like fruit and whole grains, is the best way to start the day. Unlike sugary foods, eggs have no simple sugars and contain no carbs, providing steady and sustained energy.
  •  
    Visit EggNutritionCenter.org or NutritionScrambled.com for more information. For delicious recipes, visit IncredibleEgg.org.

    HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF EGGS HAVE YOU HAD?

    You’ll be surprised at the different types of eggs that are available. Check ‘em out in our most eggcellent Egg Glossary.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: The Best Granola & Muesli

    Our intrepid reviewer tasted her way through 49 granola and nine muesli brands to find the best—including gluten-free, kosher, organic and raw varieties. Wow, that’s a lot of fiber!

    The good news: Seven granolas and four mueslis were selected as “favorites.”

    In this review, you’ll discover:

  • The difference between granola and muesli
  • If granola is really “healthy”
  • A brief history (both products were invented by
    doctors at sanatoriums)
  •  
    Head for the review.

    Make your own granola at home: a video
    demonstration and recipe.

     
    Find more of our favorite cereals.

     

    Fiber-rich granola is a popular way to start
    the day. Photo by Lynn Seeden | IST.

     

      

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: It’s Easy To Make This Homemade Granola Recipe

     

    Our next Top Pick Of The Week will review 140 different granolas and mueslis. But you can make your own perfect mix of oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruits right now.

    If you eat lots of granola, you can save a goodly amount of cash by buying rolled oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruits in bulk and making your own.

    You can also tailor your recipe to a specific calorie count and/or sugar grams, and use lower-glycemic alternatives to honey and maple syrup, such as agave nectar and brown rice syrup.

    Homemade granola can even become your signature special gift (it’s healthier than brownies). Whether in a clear plastic treat bag tied with a ribbon, or in a reusable gift tin or canister, any cereal eater/snacker will welcome it.

    You can also buy gluten-free oats to make gluten-free granola—a wonderful gift for friends limiting their gluten intake.

    Check out the video below to see how easy it is to make your own granola.

  • Granola bar fan? Here are our favorite granola bars.
  • Cereal lover? Find more of our favorite cereals in our Gourmet Cereal Section.
  •    

       

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Hot Chocolate Marshmallows

    Make hot chocolate dippers. Photo
    courtesy Petrossian.com.

     

    As a child, we dreamed of being locked overnight in a candy store.

    As a young adult, we wanted to be locked in a sushi bar.

    As we mature, we realize there’s only one place in the world to be locked in: Petrossian’s New York restaurant and luxury food store.

    Petrossian is known worldwide for its fine caviar and other luxuries such as foie gras and smoked salmon. If we weren’t on a budget, we’d be there every week.

    But as we were scrolling down the company’s home page, fantasizing over each bite, we came across something any food lover can afford.

    The product is Hot Chocolate-On-A-Stick: cubes of the finest Belgian chocolate that are swirled into a cup of hot milk or cream. This is old-school hot chocolate. The Swiss originated* the process of shaving chocolate bars into hot milk to create the rich, chocolate drink.

     

    *The original chocolate beverage, made by the Olmecs in Mexico from around 1300 B.C.E., used ground cacao beans—cocoa powder and chocolate would not be invented, in Europe, for a few more centuries. Xocolatl (pronounced cho-co-lah-tay) mixed the ground beans with water and flavored it with local spices, including chile, cinnamon, musk, pepper and vanilla, and thickened with cornmeal; then frothed in a bowl. No milk was used. When the Conquistadors returned to Europe with cacao beans, water was still used. The English added milk in 1657. See the chocolate timeline.

    It inspired today’s tip (no, it’s not shaving chocolate bars into hot milk or cream—we suggested that a few hundred tips ago).

    Today’s Tip (Finally!): Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows-On-A-Stick

    We adapted the Petrossian product concept to something that works with conventional hot chocolate and cocoa mixes (the difference between cocoa and hot chocolate).

    We happened to have some artisan marshmallows from 240 Sweet. And we had those Recchiuti chocolate bars we wrote about on Monday.

    Steps 1 to 3 can be done a day in advance.

    1. Insert lollipop sticks into marshmallows. They’re also called cookie sticks and cake pop sticks. The six-inch size is best for large mugs; the four-inch side for standard-size teacups. You can also use thick bamboo skewers. Stand skewered marshmallows on a sheet of wax paper.

    2. Melt a plain dark chocolate bar in the microwave. Even if you prefer milk chocolate, dark chocolate adds a richer flavor. Cut the bar into uniform pieces, the smaller the better. Be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl that remains cool or just slightly warm. Melt at a 50% power setting, to avoid scorching the chocolate; or heat the chocolate in 30-second intervals and stir between each interval. If your microwave does not have a turntable, manually rotate the bowl’s position after each interval. The chocolate is ready when most, but not all, is melted. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted.

    3. Dip marshmallows into melted chocolate. Swirl to get an even coating on each marshmallow. Hold until the chocolate is firm; then set on the wax paper to continue drying.

    4. Make your favorite hot chocolate or cocoa (here are reviews of our favorites). Serve with a chocolate-covered marshmallow-on-a-stick on a service plate with the cup or mug. Each person can do as he/she pleases: Eat the marshmallow from the stick or swirl it in the cup to add rich chocolate flavor and creamy melted marshmallow.

    Or, buy the Hot Chocolate-On-A-Stick from Petrossian.

      

    Comments

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