February 23, 2015


February 23, 2015
Many of us grew up thinking breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it provides fuel to the brain and body after an overnight fast (thus the name: “breaking the fast”). There is, however, an ongoing debate about good food habits, and some studies indicate that skipping a cereal, toast and jam may not – metabolically speaking – be as noxious as believed. It would be interesting to know how many of these researches are done with a weight loss rather than a healthy and balanced lifestyle in mind.

Arguments aside, my personal experience is that more regular way I live, hungrier I feel in orderly intervals. Every three or four hours the acoustic signals of my stomach are pounding like a heavy metal band, making me cranky and disoriented, if I don’t turn down the volume by eating a wholesome snack or meal. Such sensation of hunger is the body’s way to communicate the need for energy and, despite of being a nuisance, it is a healthy sign. When the metabolism becomes too weak to send out a distress call, the belly no longer growls in the absence of protein, carbohydrates and fats. By then, there are probably other silent malfunctions related to the liver, hormones and glands, too.
An ideal breakfast depends on a person; there is not only one way to start a day. I approach it as the most exciting and nutritious meal of the day because I have a ferocious appetite, and I also see how much strength and vitality it gives. Actually, I “break the fast” already upon waking up by drinking two cups of hot water with lemon juice as a liver and kidney tonic. Then, after my morning duties and meditation, I eat an apple or two. Apples are high in malic acid, pectin, dietary fiber and potassium, and tend to kick stagnant bile, increase digestive flow and slow down insulin response. For the main breakfast, around 8 or 9am, I choose homemade dairy, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and gluten-free grains such as buckwheat, quinoa or basmati rice.

I recently – and finally – bought a pressure cooker which makes it so effortless to prepare chickpeas and other beans and lentils in a jiffy! Instead of boiling the legumes for an hour, it takes from five to ten minutes, and saves energy. I recommend it to every vegetarian.

To make seeds and nuts more digestible, soak them overnight in clean water because, like legumes, they have enzyme inhibitors that otherwise force the pancreas to work overtime and use its own enzyme reserve, causing bloating and heaviness in the abdomen. In a long run, “un-sprouted” nuts may weaken digestion. Germination will increase the availability of additional enzymes, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.

To activate the enzymes:

  • Soak the seeds for 12 hours
  • Rinse the seeds several times to remove any liquid containing enzyme inhibitors
  • Eat the seeds immediately or store in the refrigerator for a couple of days. It may be a good idea to aerate or dry them before storing because, as wet, they are more susceptible to spoiling.
BREAKFAST (serves 2 to 4)

125 ml (1/2 cup) chickpeas
500 ml (1 cup) different nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts
1 liter milk for paneer + lemon juice
2 avocadoes
100 g (4 oz) baby spinach and other greens (2 – 3 generous handfuls)
2 handfuls of sprouts (alfa alfa, mung, broccoli)
Coconut slivers
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Black pepper powder
Hing powder
Cayenne powder
Kala namak powder
Himalayan salt

Cooking method
Wash and soak the chickpeas for 8 to 12 hours. Rinse and cook them in fresh water until soft but not mushy.

Wash and soak the nuts for 8 to 12 hours. Rinse and chop them coarsely.

Make paneer from 1 liter of milk and lemon juice. Strain it for 10 to 15 minutes and break it into chunks. Save the whey for a later use.

Mix the cooked chickpeas, nuts, paneer, peeled and cut avocadoes, baby spinach, sprouts and coconut slivers in a bowl.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, spices and salt in a separate bowl or jar, and add it to the salad just before serving.

Thank you.


  1. What a fabulous breakfast dish! So fresh, healthy and tasty.



  2. That's a gorgeous plate of breakfast. I cannot skip breakfast, I feel weak in my knees if I do so. I didn't know soaking nuts make them more digestible. Do you think roasting does the same thing? (probably not). I like walnut, peanuts and couple other nuts toasted rather than soaked.

    1. Somaji, roasting makes them taste much better :-) but also diminishes nutritional value. Soaked or “sprouted” nuts are healthier. People with strong metabolism have no problem with nuts in any form – even raw.

      Some nuts, like cashews look very bad when germinated – they turn purplish. I bet kids would stay far away from them.

      I’m giving my liver a break – that’s why all this “health food”. The funny thing is that it makes you feel so good that it’s hard to go back to anything unhealthy! Haven’t touched sugar for 6 months, can you believe that?!!

    2. I like some nuts soaked and some raw/toasted. I like almonds soaked but walnut toasted. See, I didn't know that brief toasting diminished the nutritional values :( I never had any problem with nuts though but cannot say that I have a strong metabolism. My metabolic hormones are doing their job efficiently for a while too. :P

  3. OMG, such a nourishing breakfast!

  4. I love your thoughts and ideas on breakfast.
    Personally it is my favourite meal of the day, so there's no way I'd skip it ;)
    Thanks as always for your beautiful words and stunning recipes.

  5. What an inspiring breakfast. Refreshing and healthy. I am super excited to see the new tab about your book up in the menu. Congratulations, Lakshmi.

  6. Such a healthy breakfast! Love the fresh look makes me hungry ! :)

  7. Now I know what they mean when they say "health in every bite" :-) Beautiful breakfast!

    Congrats on your new pressure cooker. It's truly a blessing - I couldn't do without mine!

  8. Wow, it's interesting how different people's eating habibts can be. For example my favourite breakfast is apple or two as you said, but thats it. A few years ago I tried eating diary sweets for breakfast (when I started following ayurveda), but I found even that to strong for the morning. So now I left just fruits or even just water. If I have to eat savory dishes for breakfast, or sweets like pies, pancakes or something it's like a punishment for me as I have not too much appetite then. Buuuut lunch is my favourite meal of the day, so I never skip it, and if I do, I become really angry. :)

    1. You’re right, we are all different and there isn’t one diet for everyone. I usually wake up quite early, between 3 and 5 am; therefore I get really hungry by 8 or 9 am. During those times that I’ve had a less steady lifestyle, I could go without eating until late afternoon, without any signs of hunger. Nowadays, I must eat – at least a bite of something – every three hours or else the hunger affects too much my mental capacity. Our metabolism seems to change according to the lifestyle. When we are busy, stressed out and irregular; the soul – mind – body dialogue seems to become weak.

  9. What a clean and refreshing breakfast. A perfect way to begin the day :)

  10. FoodGeekGrazeMay 30, 2015

    i titled this beautiful serve, "laksmi's breakfast salad". lovely lovely lovely way to start the day. thank you :-)

  11. FoodGeekGrazeMay 30, 2015

    well, of course, sans the misspelling... "lakshmi's breakfast salad".

  12. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Although, it turns out that ti takes a little more ingredients than I would have thought when I first looked at it. I have never tried one of those spices before. It should be interesting to find out what it tastes like in other vegetarian dishes as well.