Morning Delights

By Ellen Swandiak / September 7, 2011


Bodum has come out with a very cool line of kitchen appliances in a gorgeous array of colors (chartreuse!) to liven up the table and to open sleepy eyes. The Bistro Flatbed Toaster not only makes classic toast, but you can also use it to heat a croissant, toast a halved muffin, crisp up a danish, or toast one side of a bagel. I like the communal, interactive aspect of the design, allowing guests to help themselves—especially if they do not rise at the same hour.

Sugar with Benefits

Knowing that diabetes was in his family genes, Stephen Richards went on a serious hunt for lower glycemic sugar substitutes. This hunt took him to Mexico, where he got in with the locals and developed Xagave, a special blend of organic agave and inulin—a water-soluble dietary fiber with some interesting health benefits (see the website for details on how it can aid digestion, bone health, and weight loss). His obsession with healthy eating didn’t stop there, Xagave has a full-range cookbook with tons of great breakfast recipes and suggestions—from chocolate protein oat shakes, to whole grain pancakes and waffles. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to try every recipe! Xagave can also be used in making cole slaw, dressings, salsas, cocktails, and all sorts of desserts.

Check out Richards’ Blueberry-Cranberry Granola Bar Muffins recipe!

(I suggest baking them in a mini pan for the cute factor.)

Great Crepes

I don’t think there is anything more decadent than serving your guests a great batch of crepes for breakfast with their choice of fillings: try farmer cheese with soaked white raisins and a drizzle of maple syrup, or pull out that special preserve you’ve been saving. I like to serve them one at a time, straight out of the pan to each guest. Bacheldre Watermill Flour company has been in the business since 1575, and they offer an amazing range of organic flours (as well as bread and cookie kits).

Coffee Klatch

I was happy to see that Melitta has come out with a fantastic line of Fair Trade organic coffees. Using only high-altitude Arabica beans sourced from Kenya, Sumatra, and Central and South America, Melitta supports the farmers who have been growing coffee in the same way for generations. There are three varieties, plus a decaf. Morning Bliss is the lightest of the group, Enchanted Evening is robust and smokey, and Sun & Moon is super-intense. Before brewing a pot, I cannot resist sticking my nose into the bag and taking a big sniff. Heavenly! I recommend using less for the smoothest taste, as the beans are finely ground and offer maximum flavor in small doses.

Liquid Gold

Mount Cabot Organic Maple Syrup comes to you from the pristine woods of New Hampshire, where Carl (a mechanical engineer and Bif (an artisanal home builder) run the show. They have teamed up to create an unbeatable, single-source maple syrup. Because of their love of all things natural, they process the syrup with wood-fired equipment powered by dead or storm-damaged trees from their sugarbush. How efficient! It is, by far, the best maple syrup I have ever tasted—a little goes a long way. Try it on pancakes or in plain yogurt. The elegant bottle looks great on the table. Added bonus: they have just launched a dry maple sugar.

Ellen Swandiak
Ellen Swandiak

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