For some reason or another I’ve really been struggling to get into any kind of morning meal routine lately. And honestly, it makes sense, breakfast and I have always had a hot and cold kind of relationship.
Before meeting my Carrot, I wasn’t really much of a breakfast person. I was very much a “grab a bagel and head to class” type of person. I have always loved mornings and I have always loved waking up and jumping right into my day. I have the most energy in the a.m. and sometimes breakfast feels like such a distraction. I sip my water. I sip my coffee. I get shit done. And then, when I have those first pangs of hunger, I don’t want my flow to get interrupted.
But then I met my sweet, breakfast-loving, literally shaking with hunger an hour after waking husband. He taught me how to love the finer things in life like hash browns, pancakes with real maple syrup, and eggs Benedict. Going out for breakfast and making epic spreads quickly replaced any morning work flow and I treasured those days early in our relationship.
Big breakfasts continued as we started our farming careers. In fact, it became essential as we struggled to figure out how to consume as many calories as humanly possible. It was a steep learning curve figuring out how to keep our working bodies happy.
As our little farm grew and my role at the farm changed, big breakfasts no longer seemed to work for me on a regular basis. I was doing more and more computer work and spending less and less time in the fields. It no longer made sense for me to start my day with next to a thousand calories. In fact, those big breakfasts were seeming to do more harm than good– slowing me down, weighing me down, and making me way less effective during my favorite hours of the day.
That transition of less physical work began a couple years ago and I’ve been searching for an easy breakfast that fills me up without weighing me down ever since. Finally, thanks to some late night Instagram scrolling, I’ve discovered my new favorite morning treat: Apple Hazelnut Toast.
Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt shared this delicacy during her Local Thirty Challenge. She proudly proclaimed that everything from the bread to the nuts were local and suddenly I realized I had all the same local goods sitting on my own counter.
A loaf of sourdough from my favorite baker. A bag of apples from one of my favorite farmers. A stick of Organic Valley butter. A vat of local maple syrup that our friend Keller brought over. A jar of locally grown hazelnuts. I had all the fixings for a perfect breakfast. I played around with the butter, syrup, and cinnamon– finding just the right ratio to fuel my warnings. I’ve been eating it on repeat pretty much every day since.
It’s warm. It feels decadent. It goes perfectly with my second or third cup of morning coffee. It’s heavy enough to fuel a busy farming morning and light enough that I can continue working at my computer without dozing off. In other words, it’s the morning meal I’ve been searching for.
APPLE HAZELNUT TOAST
Inspired by Andrea Bemis
Takes 10 minutes
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon butter
1 apple, cut into a small bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 slices favorite Sourdough toast
2 tablespoons favorite nut butter (I have been all about Justin’s lately)
Flaky sea salt, optional
- In a small pan, toast hazelnuts until they darken a bit and begin to smell fragrant. Remove to a cutting board and roughly chop.
- Wipe out the small pan and then add butter. Cook over medium heat until it is just beginning to smell nutty and brown. It should take about three minutes. Add apples, cinnamon and salt. Saute gently for 5 minutes until the apples have softened. Add syrup and cook 1 minute longer.
- Toast bread slice then top with nut butter, sauted apples and hazelnuts. Finish with your favorite flaky sea salt.