Updated: Jul 16
I am about to share with you a simple breakfast recipe so you could start your whole-food, plant-based diet. But before doing so, let us discuss breakfast.
There are varying beliefs about the importance of breakfast. Is it really the most important meal of the day? Does skipping breakfast help you lose weight? Is drinking coffee first thing in the morning considered breakfast? These kinds of questions continue to challenge what we know about breakfast.
Breakfast is defined as the first meal of the day after waking up from sleep, usually eaten in the morning. It is a compound word that literally means breaking the fasting period of the previous night.
History of Breakfast
Nothing much has changed throughout the history of what is eaten for breakfast. However, so much has changed throughout history of our attitudes toward breakfast itself. To understand how breakfast came to what we know now, there are four factors that influenced its evolution.
Back in the Middle Ages, overzealous moralists associated breakfast to gluttony for eating too soon. Although breakfast was granted to children, the elderly, the sick, and the laborers, the rest of the population do not eat breakfast for fear of committing a sin.
By the 17th century, tea, coffee, and chocolate were introduced in trade across the globe and people started drinking them in the morning. In 1662, Cardinal Francis Maria Brancaccio justified this with "liquidum non frangit jejunum", meaning "liquid does not break the fast".
The Industrial Revolution changed the way we eat breakfast. Train transportation across the U.S. made salmon from Oregon and oranges from Florida could be available for breakfast in New York. Electricity changed the way we do things. And increasing wealth among people influenced the creation of morning parlors or breakfast nooks in houses.
By the end of the 19th century, breakfast cereals were created. Because of convenience, housewives fell in love with electric kitchen appliances and anything that could be poured into a bowl.
After World War II, all four factors have come together into what we know now as breakfast: easily available, easy to prepare meals that could give you energy to start the day right.
Types of Breakfast
There are two types of breakfast: traditional and quick.
Traditional breakfast varies from country to country. For Americans, traditional breakfast is often eaten on weekends. It consists of any combination of eggs, preserved meats (ham, bacon, sausage, etc.), potatoes or hash browns, breads (pancakes, waffles, toast, or biscuits), and a beverage (coffee, milk, or fruit juice).
Quick breakfast is often eaten on weekdays, before school or work, when there is no time or no need for a large breakfast. This type of breakfast includes foods like oatmeal, breakfast cereal, buttered toast, baked goods (