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Healthy Breakfast Choices in Greece
Eating a healthy breakfast in Greece is simple. Most Greek Foods are full of fresh, bright ingredients with very strong flavors, but a few of the foods are much closer to home. In Greece breakfast is not a hearty meal, it is more it is considered to be a quick way to start the day. It is usually supplemented later in the day with a snack.
One of the easiest and healthiest foods to have for breakfast in Greece is simple, fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is a main staple and it is served at all meals, even as an after dinner snack. Some of the fruits that are indigenous to Greece are watermelon, known as karpoozi, and honey dew, known as peponi. Apricots and cherries are also readily available and are fresh and delicious. Fruits are usually served with a crusty bread, known as horiatiko psomi. A nice compliment to this meal this is the soft spreadable cheese native to Greece that is known as katiki.
Of course, no trip to Greece would be complete without trying a few olives. Olives are eaten at many meals and are considered a simple dish and are also served with horiatiko psomi. Also, Greek yogurt is a main staple of the breakfast diet.
Healthy breakfast beverage choices do not differ much from the American choices. The Greek people tend to enjoy a cup of black tea, usually of the Keemun or Assum variety. Coffee is another simple beverage choice for the morning. Though, unlike American coffee styles, there is usually no milk or cream involved. Though, sugar is usually added.
The traditional Greek breakfast may not be a filling one, but it is flavorful and delicious. Healthy choices are available everywhere in the morning, but be prepared to snack later. Even though the main staple is fruit, Greeks do have their own unique healthy breakfast dishes. I have included a few recipes below.
Spinach Feta Quiche
When the citizens of Greece do decide to have a nice and healthy breakfast that is more substantial, the staple is eggs, vegetables, and cheese. While an omelet is the quickest and easiest choice for breakfast, a nice quiche can be even better and can be made the night before and warmed in the morning to still satisfy that feel of a quick meal served with olives and fruit.
Spinach Feta Quiche
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup green onion, chopped
Some fresh parsley, chopped
Some fresh basil, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, brushed and chopped
1 bag of fresh spinach, stems removed
6 large eggs
½ cup half and half
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup parmesan cheese, fresh
9 inch prepared deep dish pie crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add in spinach, green onions, mushrooms, parsley, and basil.
Keeping stirring until spinach has wilted, about five minutes.
Whisk together eggs and half and half. Add in feta cheese and seasonings.
Place spinach mixture in pie crust and top with egg mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake around 30 minutes until center is set and lightly brown.
Roasted Eggplant Salad
Remembering that a regular Greek breakfast consists of fruits, olives, and quick things on hand, having a roasted eggplant spread on hand, hot or cold, goes great with pita or some crusty bread to fill and satisfy that morning hole. This dish can be made in advance or on the spot for a hot treat to go with some cool olives and fresh fruit.
Roasted Eggplant Salad
3 large eggplants, cubed
½ cup olive oil
½ cup green onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and pat dry eggplant. Remove outer peel and seeds then chop into cubes.
Drizzle olive oil over eggplant and sprinkle salt and pepper.
Place in the broiler until golden brown.
Add eggplant into a boil with olive oil and mash with a fork until slightly chunky.
Add remaining ingredients and mix with fork.
Serve immediately or chill for an afternoon dip.