Have you ever thought about how many different variations of flour + dairy + sugar make up our breakfasts in North America? It’s pretty astounding! Whether it’s a bagel & cream cheese, a bowl of cereal, toast with jam, eggo waffles and “maple syrup” (i.e. corn syrup + maple flavour), a muffin and a double double from Tim’s – it’s all the same thing, in a different form. And most importantly, it’s all crap. None of the foods we consider breakfast foods are actually food. They’ve all gone through an incredible amount of processing, and we’re left with nutrient-poor, albeit incredibly tasty, food-like products.
The one exception is eggs so boy oh boy do I capitalize on those when I’m working with clients!
Interesting side note: someone can eat a bagel and cream cheese, or toast and PB every day for breakfast and not get bored of it, but try suggesting eggs every day for breakfast and you’ll immediately get a firm “but I couldn’t eat them every day, I need some variety”. Very interesting…
Anyways, eggs are super awesome in so many ways. They’re full of incredible nutrients, healthy cholesterol (yes I said healthy!) and lots of protein. Still worried they’re causing heart disease? Think again my friends and go read Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe from Real Food Liz.
As awesome as eggs are for you, they’re also, sadly, a super common allergy. Not to mention they must be eliminated if you’re in the early stages of recovering from an autoimmune condition. And since we’ve already eliminated the other normal breakfast foods, once we eliminate eggs, we’re pretty much without breakfast foods.
Now, when you’ve been following a real food diet for long enough, you start to think of food as food, and meals as meals, instead of breakfast food and breakfast. Heck, my favourite breakfast these days is soup – but that’s probably because bone broth makes my body feel so much better. Oh and soup’s awesome.
However, I can absolutely appreciate when my clients are a little hesitant about eating regular food for breakfast. I used to be a strict “breakfast food before 11am” person – it took me a while to get to soup and leftovers for breakfast. So with that in mind, I’ve created a delicious breakfast hash brown recipe, made with foods that are often consumed at breakfast and is egg-free! I bring you: Harvest Breakfast Hash!
This beautiful dish is filled with delicious goodies. Roasted sweet potatoes, smoky bacon, sweet apples and (this is going to floor my mom) fennel! Let me explain that comment in parenthesis…I hate fennel. Like absolutely despise it! I have always hated the flavour of black licorice, even as a kid, and fennel tastes like black licorice. Interestingly enough, black licorice is in the legume family, and since I have such a severe intolerance to legumes, I like to think my fierce aversion to licorice was my body’s attempt at protecting me! Now if only it had done that with milk…
So last week our food bin brought us a beautiful fennel bulb and I felt sick about throwing it straight in the compost. I had also read recently that roasted fennel is a much more mellow flavour. Also, I had used up all my eggs making banana muffins, so we had no eggs for Sunday brunch. So I figured I’d use the fennel in an egg-free breakfast hash – something I’ve been meaning to try for all my egg-free clients! And heck, if I hated it, I knew my husband would happily eat it all. So what happened?
I loved it!!
If you’re not sure, or you think you hate fennel, try it roasted in this recipe. If you really don’t like it, this recipe is still awesome with out it. Also, if you are lucky enough to tolerate eggs, slap a fried egg on top and let this hash soak up all the yolky goodness!
- 8 cups sweet potato, diced
- 1 bulb fennel, chopped
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 2 apples, cored and chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- sea salt
- black pepper (omit if strict AIP)
- 1 lb pastured bacon, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Combine sweet potato, fennel, red onion, apple and garlic in a large roasting pan. Alternatively you can use 2 smaller pans or baking sheets.
- Add a liberal amount of sea salt and black pepper (if not strict AIP) and stir to combine
- Top with bacon pieces.
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.
- Broil for the final 5 minutes before serving.
- Omit fennel if you don't like it!
- Substitute butternut squash for SCD.
- Top with a fried egg if tolerated!