Torch Delights

Breakfast is the most important meal of
the day.
A car can’t run without fuel.
If you eat in the morning, you’re less likely to overeat during the day.
I understand all this, but it doesn’t change the fact that my morning usually consists of sleeping through my alarm and scrambling out the door sporting mismatched socks and still-wet hair, usually forgetting at least three things I need for that day. During the semester, my breakfast more often that not consists of the cup of coffee I manage to gulp down as I’m printing out the assignment that’s due in 20 minutes. If that’s not one of the things I’ve forgotten, of course.
But recently, I was told that the types of foods you eat and when you eat them exerts a powerful influence on your body weight. Ok, so now I’m listening.
When we awaken from eight or more hours of sleep, our bodies are in starvation mode, and skipping breakfast tells our brain to hold onto existing stored fuel. Your body now has to work extra hard to break down stored fats or carbohydrates in order for your brain to function. My poor little starving brain! Here I am, selfishly running around until noon unnourished and dehydrated, forcing my brain to perform, not realizing I’m abusing my body like a slave driver!
Good news, though. We burn the first meal of the day rapidly, therefore allowing more caloric intake than if we were to eat a heavy meal in the evening. So let me get this straight– if you’re looking for a time of day during which you can eat everything your little heart desires, it should be at the start of your day. Hmm…fudge brownies, anyone? I have no absolutely no problem with these terms.
But it’s not that simple. Breakfast skippers are more likely to be deprived of vital nutrients in their diet, because so many breakfast foods are packed with significant amounts of vitamins C and D, calcium, iron, and fiber. So we should keep our eyes out for all that good stuff when selecting breakfast foods, keeping in mind that fiber not only keeps us from both mental and digestive blockages, but keeps us feeling fuller longer. Essentially, your waistline and your tummy will thank you.
Try making this recipe for a batch of oatmeal-raisin bran muffins on a Sunday night for a tasty and hearty breakfast you can grab right off the counter and, if you’re like me, enjoy the rest of the week while speeding to school at 8am!

Bran Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup water

What to do:
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a muffin tin, or line it with baking cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, wheat bran, sugars, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in dried fruit and oats. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla and water.
Add buttermilk mixture to oat mixture and stir until evenly combined. Let stand for 15-20 minutes.
Spoon about 1/3 of a cup of batter into prepared tins.
Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Add 5 minutes baking time if batter is cold.
Cool and enjoy!