Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Protein needs increase during pregnancy and lactation. Eating a good breakfast with good protein is a must (and really this is not just for pregnancy - this is a mom strategy to keep kids going, so it is definitely to your benefit to get a leg up on this now.) Sometimes I see pregnant mamas struggle with getting a good breakfast when I look at their Nutrition Worksheets. So, this is the start of a series designed to inspire you to both think outside the box (you know, what's customary for you) and to avoid the box (all boxed cereals - no bueno!) Popping a bagel in the toaster for breakfast or just eating fruit and running out the door - eeek! Your little one is growing every second and needs protein, vitamins, and minerals to do the job. Your baby is counting on you.
In many parts of the world, what was for dinner is for breakfast. So, this first entry is based around my left-over dinner. Well, actually it was dinner the other day, lunch the day before, and now the final portion is breakfast, which leaves me with the satisfactory victory of not wasting ('cause I really hate it when I do that - and it does unfortunately happen.) Soup: Potato Leek - full of healthy veggies (yes, leeks are a vegetable and full of good stuff) and carbs (potato - good starches and nutrients), mixed with a little dairy and good fats so you get your fat soluble vitamins and the cholesterol your baby's brain needs (I don't skimp on the sour cream!)
But, hey! Where's the protein you were just preaching about, you ask? Pork breakfast sausages - it was on my agenda to make a big batch, which I then freeze for future breakfasts for my family. I did cook up my batch. I had absolutely no idea when I was pregnant with my babies that one could even make these - never saw my parents do it. But, when I learned that my family needed to eat more animal proteins later during our family journey (another story for another day!) I was motivated to figure this out looking for quality breakfast proteins. Delicious. So much better tasting and better for you than store bought. I have the recipe down below, but if mixing it up is not for you, you can buy raw breakfast sausage premixed from you local farmer or butcher. I like to buy my pork from my favorite vendors at the Farmer's Markets in Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades.
You want to go for at least twenty grams of protein at breakfast. If you can't get all the way there at breakfast, remember to get your protein bump in at your mid-morning snack. I had three sausages - bingo! I know this soup for breakfast deal might seem a little strange if you are used to eating cereal and pancakes, but it is a great way to start the day. With leftovers, it's super easy to warm up and even rinse out the pan before you take off for your day. With pre-cooked sausages from the freezer, place them on foil in the oven - no clean up. You just need to remember to turn on the oven when you get up (I put it to 350 degrees). A hot breakfast with little effort in very little time. And you are already checking off the boxes on your Nutrition Worksheet. You've got this!
Pork Breakfast Sausage Recipe
3 lbs of ground pork
1 ½ tsp sage (dried)
1 ½ tsp thyme (dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary (snipped tiny, tiny)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 ½ Tablespoons salt (not heaping! – keep it level or a little under; I like Pink Himalayan – ground fine)
1 tsp fresh ground pepper (I actually just keep grinding and eye-ball it, so this is an estimate)
Ghee for pan
Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Take a good spoonful of raw sausage mix and roll into 1” or so ball. Place on wax paper. Fill up tray with the sausage balls. Heat up frying pan to medium heat. I like to spread a thin film of ghee on the bottom of the pan to keep the first round of sausages from sticking. Take a sausage ball, flatten slightly into a patty and place on heated frying pan. Continue in this manner adding the patties to the pan (I can usually get 7 or 8 in the pan). Let the patties cook until golden brown on one side, then flip. Cook until brown on the other and cooked through. Place on a separate baking sheet or plate lined with a paper towel.
I like to cook a large volume of sausages like this and then when they are cool, I place them in glass containers and freeze them for future use. If your sausages are still a little warm when placing them in the containers, make sure they are cool before placing in freezer or the glass storage container could break. You can put the container in the refrigerator first if needed and then transfer to the freezer later. Plastic bags can work to for storage if you don't have glass containers. Keeping the sausages in the freezer makes it easy for a quick high protein breakfast – simply warm up the oven and pop them in – voila!
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