When it comes to breakfast, this what I share with my patients as a board certified naturopathic endocrinologist to help them optimize their hormonal balance every day. The first meal of the day is a substantial opportunity for you to support insulin sensitivity, reproductive hormones, and reduce stress levels on your body.
Research shows a healthy breakfast sets the stage for hormone balance throughout the day, which is critical for women at all stages of life. You can use breakfast as part of a hormone-balanced diet to address PCOS, PMS, perimenopause, and overall hormonal health.
However, not all breakfasts are created equal. This article will cover how to balance hormones with what you choose for breakfast, including the most and least supportive choices. I’ll discuss the following:
- Effects of unhealthy breakfast choices
- How to build a nutritious, energizing breakfast
- Health benefits of eating a healthy breakfast
- Healthy breakfast ideas
- What is insulin resistance?
- Balancing hormones with PCOS, PMS, and perimenopause
- Insulin and adrenal hormones as the foundation of hormone balance for women
When it comes to nutrition topics, you’ll hear many different opinions. And thoughts on breakfast are no exception. Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Others say to skip or delay breakfast for intermittent fasting benefits.
Food companies promote quick, easy breakfasts like premade shakes, bars, and cereals. But as we'll discuss, eating these types of meals as part of your daily diet can do more harm than good to your hormones.
Let’s get to the bottom of the breakfast debate and learn why switching up your breakfast routine might be the best thing you can do for your hormones!
Hormone Imbalance and Diet
If you're experiencing drops in energy following breakfast or feeling “hangry” attacks hit just hours after eating, it is time to investigate how your hormone imbalance and diet are connected.
In the morning your cortisol, a stress hormone, spikes to help wake you up. This is the right time of day for it to be elevated. As the day goes on, cortisol gradually declines—reaching it's lowest point at bedtime. As I've shared in other articles, cortisol imbalances can lead to fatigue and issues with our periods.
Insulin, a hormone that enables glucose (blood sugar) to enter the cell, is intimately connected with cortisol levels. In fact, higher hormone levels of cortisol in the morning are associated with higher fasting blood sugar levels and a higher probability of developing type 2 diabetes.
Both cortisol and insulin levels create the foundation of your hormone health and are necessary for healthy hormones and a healthy weight. Unfortunately, what we've been taught to eat for breakfast can sabotage all our hormones, including thyroid hormones, sex hormones, and hunger hormones.
Most common breakfast foods are ultra-processed convenience items that deliver a lot of calories (from sugar, refined carbohydrates, and industrial fats) without a lot of nutrition.
These everyday breakfast items include:
- Pancakes and waffles
- Bagels and toast
- Muffins and pastries
- Breakfast bars and protein bars
- Juice or fruit-only smoothies
- Sweetened yogurt
- Sugary coffee beverages
After eating a simple carb or sugary coffee-only breakfast, blood sugar spikes quickly, producing a significant insulin response and increasing stress levels. Insulin enters your blood stream and signals the cells to take up blood glucose. Then, blood sugar dips, leaving you hungry and irritated. In this case, your breakfast sets you up for a blood sugar rollercoaster and hormonal imbalances, making it hard to manage weight loss or feel your best.
Skipping breakfast isn’t always the better choice. While some people benefit from intermittent fasting, research suggests that missing breakfast increases the risk of weight gain, obesity, and metabolic dysfunction. Skipping breakfast also leads to lower energy expenditure (i.e., you burn calories slower) for the day, which can have a negative impact on your body weight.
Effects of Sugar
It’s no secret that excess dietary sugar is harmful to health. Sugar consumption increases the risk for:
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
- Mood disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Microbiome imbalances
- Menstrual cycle irregularities
Dietary guidelines propose limiting added sugar intake to 25 grams per day for women, about six teaspoons (the amount in half a can of typical soda). However, there are benefits to going even lower.
Effects of Carbohydrates
Carbs get a bad rap in the current nutrition climate, but not all carbohydrates are created equal. Whole food carbohydrates, like whole grains, legumes, starchy veggies, and fruit, come packaged with fiber and micronutrients that dampens the blood sugar response. Carbohydrates are not just good for you, the right ones are essential for your hormones and health.
Refined carbohydrates on the other hand, like the flour and sugar in many processed breakfast items, don’t provide this built-in protection and can cause higher spikes in blood sugar. A high-refined carbohydrate diet may affect physical and mental health, increasing the risk of chronic disease and mood disorders.
It’s not necessary to go low-carb, but carbohydrate quality maters.
Effects of Processed Foods
Ultra-processed foods frequently contain refined carbohydrates, added sugars, inflammatory fats, preservatives, colors, flavors, and other additives. They likely have few ingredients that you recognize as real food. Processed foods are highly palatable and scientifically developed to keep you craving, buying, and eating more.
These foods come with high health consequences, so much so that Harvard Public Health has called for the FDA to ban them and other countries have cited the significant increased risk of developing cancer.
If you notice increased hunger and cravings after a processed breakfast, it's time for a different approach.
Building Your Healthy Breakfast
The alternative to a standard American breakfast is choosing real food and building a meal around protein, fresh produce, and fiber. This formula is part of a blood sugar-balancing breakfast and diet for hormone balance.
Recommended Protein Intake
The RDI for protein (recommended protein intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound woman, this is around 55 grams of protein. While this is the recommendation, it’s the minimum and often far too low for the many women. In fact, knowing we lose muscle mass starting in our 30's, it's important for any one nearing perimenopause to increase their protein intake.
Research suggests health benefits with higher protein intake for women, such as weight management, hormone balance, and muscle mass. One hundred grams per day (or more) may be a more helpful daily protein recommendation, depending on body size and physical activity.
I recommend prioritizing protein and shooting for a minimum of 25 to 30 grams of protein with breakfast for most people. Research shows that eating more protein with breakfast can help you optimize your daily protein intake, and it can help keep your energy steady throughout the day.
Recommended Servings of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health. A higher intake of produce is associated with lower mortality. From a women’s health perspective, these foods help support hormone production and estrogen metabolism. They are also an essential part of a blood sugar-balancing diet.
The recommended servings of fruits and vegetables is 5 to 9 servings daily. Typically, a serving is 1 cup raw veggie, ½ cup cooked veggie, or one medium piece of fruit. Adding fruit and vegetables to breakfast helps you meet your daily needs.
Recommended Fiber Intake
Fiber is an essential carbohydrate that isn’t absorbed and doesn’t contribute to calories, but is considered a prebiotic food. However, there are many benefits of fibrous foods, including supporting digestive health, feeding beneficial bacteria in the gut, balancing blood sugar, supporting hormone balance, and reducing the risk of chronic disease. It also contributes to the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.
The recommended fiber intake is 25 grams daily for adult women and 38 grams daily for adult men. However, only around 5% of Americans meet this goal, with most only getting around 16 grams per day.
Closing this “fiber gap” can do wonders for your hormones. One way is by meeting the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables and including other high-fiber plant foods in the diet, including legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Try it, and see if you notice any fiber benefits from breakfast! Here's a free recipe guide to help you get started.
The Benefits of Eating a Healthy Breakfast
Now that we’ve covered the importance of including protein, fiber, fruit, and vegetables in a nutritious breakfast, let’s cover some of the benefits of this breakfast for hormonal balance.
Balanced Blood Sugar
A high-protein, high-fiber breakfast promotes blood sugar balance throughout the day. Not only will you see a smaller blood sugar spike after a healthy breakfast, but research suggests the beneficial effects continue after lunch and dinner.
Balanced blood sugar means better metabolic health, which translates to all areas of health, including shifting poor sleep into restful sleep that leaves you with more energy.
When you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast with protein and fiber, you’ll be running on your body’s natural energy. You might notice that you’re less likely to reach for caffeine, sugar, and other quick energy sources.
With a processed, unhealthy breakfast, you’ll likely notice unstable energy with highs and lows throughout the day compared to more stable energy between meals that comes from balanced blood sugar.
The hormonal response to breakfast, especially in terms of insulin and adrenal gland hormones (especially cortisol), sets the foundation for overall hormone balance, including sex and thyroid hormones.
Your breakfast plays a profound role in hormone production, regulation, and clearance by influencing blood sugar and providing nutrients. Breakfast can promote hormone balance, estrogen metabolism support, fertility, and support a reduction of symptoms from PCOS, PMS, and perimenopause, which I’ll discuss more below.
Eating a whole-food breakfast with sufficient protein and fiber increases satiety and helps manage hunger. Research suggests that those who skip breakfast or don’t eat much early in the day have increased hunger. Chances are you’ve experienced this connection in your own body.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
When choosing healthy breakfast foods to balance blood sugar, energy, and hormone health, keep in mind protein, fruits and veggies, and fiber-rich options. You can download my free recipe guide designed to support those struggling with hormonal issues to help them keep their hormones in check. You'll also find sample recipes if you keep reading.
Nutritious, energizing breakfast ideas include:
- Scrambled eggs or omelet with onions, spinach, mushrooms, and a side of fruit
- Breakfast hash with ground meat, sweet potato, and veggies
- Full fat unsweetened yogurt, cottage cheese or coconut yogurt, with hemp seeds, nuts, and blueberries
- Overnight oats with quality protein powder, chia seeds, and nectarines (see recipe below)
- Breakfast burrito with almond flour tortilla, eggs, black beans, arugula, and salsa (see recipe below)
- Gluten-free toast with avocado and 2-3 eggs
- Smoothie with quality protein powder, berries, cauliflower, almond butter, and non-dairy milk
- Dr. Brighten’s Super Antioxidant Smoothie
What is Insulin Resistance?
Eating processed breakfast foods that spike blood sugar can contribute to insulin resistance over time. With repeated blood sugar spikes, the pancreas needs to pump out more and more insulin to help move the sugar into cells. Over time the cells become resistant to allowing sugar inside, and instead, sugar stays in the bloodstream, contributing to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.
Because of this process, the message of eating less and exercising more doesn’t capture the whole picture. It’s more important to eat in a way that balances blood sugar and supports the underlying hormonal systems.
Complications of Breakfasts with High Sugar and Carbohydrates
A high-sugar and refined carbohydrate diet could contribute to insulin resistance and a stressed adrenal system. Changing breakfast supports foundational hormonal health and can support women with PCOS, PMS, and going through the perimenopausal transition.
What is PCOS? Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorder among women. It’s a complex condition that affects each woman differently, commonly including insulin resistance and elevated testosterone.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular or absent periods
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Male-pattern hair growth (hirsutism)
- Miscarriage and infertility
Addressing PCOS symptoms requires a multifaced approach, including developing a personalized PCOS diet to reduce inflammation and insulin. Starting your day with a high-protein, blood sugar-balancing breakfast is immensely supportive.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is common but not normal. Symptoms like pain, bloating, and irritability before your period disrupt the quality of life. Luckily, nutrition strategies can be very supportive. Decrease sugar and refined carbs and increase fiber to balance excess estrogen that contribute to symptoms.
One study of Japanese women suggests that skipping breakfast or infrequent breakfast correlates with increased menstrual pain. Try a hearty, quality breakfast throughout the month and notice if it helps to shift PMS.
Perimenopause is the transition to menopause, where women experience estrogen fluctuations and a host of hormone-related symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood changes, and more.
Interestingly, there is a connection between insulin resistance and perimenopause. Because of the eventual decline in estrogen, women naturally become more insulin resistant in perimenopause and menopause. This metabolic shift makes it even more important to use food as a tool to balance blood sugar and support hormones. Start with breakfast to set up the day!
Is This Normal? The Foundation of Hormone Health
As I’ve been discussing, insulin and adrenal hormones (like cortisol) are the foundation of hormonal health. Your breakfast choices significantly influence these hormones throughout the day. The “worst” breakfast foods create imbalances, while the “best” choices support balance.
In most cases (excluding diabetes and other metabolic issues),managing insulin has everything to do with balancing blood sugar. Insulin resistance is an underlying contributor to hormone imbalances and disease, from PCOS to heart disease, and as we get older, thinking about the insulin response is essential.
Research shows eating a low glycemic breakfast that doesn’t spike blood sugar benefits those with insulin resistance. The same approach helps prevent insulin resistance as well.
Adrenals—Release of Cortisol
While insulin helps bring blood sugar down when it’s high, the adrenal hormone cortisol helps bring blood sugar up when it’s low. If you’re on a blood sugar rollercoaster because of skipping breakfast or a high-refined carb breakfast, stress increases, and the adrenals need to produce more cortisol.
When addressing adrenal imbalances, called HPA-axis dysfunction or “adrenal fatigue,” breakfast is critical to regulating balance and establishing a healthy circadian rhythm. Eating a high-protein breakfast, minimizing sugar, and meeting nutrient needs help to stabilize adrenal health.
Ready for Action
If you’re ready for hormone support that starts at the breakfast table, check out my 21- Day Hormone Revolution Detox. I designed this gentle, food-based program to address hormonal symptoms, energy, cravings, mood, and metabolic health. You’ll enjoy delicious, nutrient-packed meals (including breakfast) that help you let go of processed, sugar-rich foods and embrace more protein, fiber, fruits, and veggies. Consider it a loving reset for your body.
It's easy to get caught up in complicated protocols, but don’t neglect the foundation of health which includes healthy eating. Start with breakfast to set up each day for more balanced hormones, now and into the future.
Hormone Balance Diet Plan
Sometimes we need grab and go. Other times, we've got time to make a nutritious and healthy meal. Here's some recipes to help you get started and if you love food is medicine like me, definitely check out the Hormone Revolution Detox, which is a food based approach to getting rid of excess hormones, address irregular periods or painful periods, eliminate hormone disruptors, and boost your sex drive.
Protein-Packed Nectarine Overnight Oats
Start your day right with these delicious and nutritious overnight oats featuring quality protein powder, chia seeds, and the sweet goodness of nectarines. This recipe is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast that will keep you energized throughout the morning.
For the Overnight Oats:
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your preferred milk)
- 1 scoop quality protein powder (I use our Paleo Detox powder)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 ripe nectarine, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Sliced nectarines
- Fresh berries (e.g., blueberries, strawberries, or mixed berries)
- Chopped nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts)
- Drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)
- Combine the Ingredients:
- In a mason jar or airtight container, add the rolled oats, almond milk, quality protein powder, chia seeds, diced nectarine, honey or maple syrup (if using), vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix Well:
- Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Make sure the protein powder is fully incorporated into the mixture.
- Seal and Refrigerate:
- Seal the container or jar and refrigerate the mixture overnight or for at least 4-6 hours. This allows the oats and chia seeds to absorb the liquid and create a creamy, thick texture.
- When ready to eat, give the oats a good stir to ensure everything is evenly mixed. If the mixture seems too thick, you can add a little more almond milk to achieve your desired consistency.
- Add Toppings:
- Top your protein-packed overnight oats with sliced nectarines, fresh berries, and chopped nuts for extra flavor and texture.
- Sweeten (Optional):
- If you prefer your oats sweeter, drizzle a bit of honey or maple syrup over the top.
- Dive into your Protein-Packed Nectarine Overnight Oats and relish the delightful combination of creamy oats, juicy nectarines, and the added boost of protein from the protein powder and chia seeds.
This hearty breakfast is not only delicious but also provides a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, making it an excellent choice to keep you full and energized for your day ahead. Plus, it's a great way to enjoy seasonal nectarines!
Almond Flour Breakfast Burrito with Eggs, Black Beans, Arugula, and Salsa
Indulge in a satisfying and nutritious breakfast burrito using almond flour tortillas (gluten free friendly). Packed with protein from eggs and black beans, along with the peppery kick of arugula and the zesty flavor of salsa, this burrito is a delicious way to start your day. Arugula is in the cruciferous vegetable family, which means it is supports estrogen metabolism and helps balance hormones to prevent estrogen dominance. Plus, this recipe contains about 38-44 grams of protein.
For the Breakfast Burrito:
- 2 almond flour tortillas (store-bought or homemade)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh arugula
- 1/2 cup salsa (your choice of heat level)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil or cooking spray for cooking
For Garnish (optional):
- Avocado slices
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Sliced jalapeños (for extra heat)
- Prepare the Eggs:
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs until well beaten. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the Eggs:
- Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray.
- Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet and cook, gently stirring with a spatula, until they are soft, creamy, and just set. Remove from heat.
- Warm the Almond Flour Tortillas:
- Place the almond flour tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave for a few seconds to warm them up.
- Assemble the Breakfast Burrito:
- Lay one warmed tortilla on a clean surface.
- Spoon half of the scrambled eggs onto the center of the tortilla.
- Add half of the black beans, arugula, and cheddar cheese (if using) on top of the eggs.
- Drizzle salsa over the fillings.
- Fold the Burrito:
- Fold the sides of the tortilla in towards the center.
- Fold up the bottom of the tortilla over the fillings.
- Roll up the burrito tightly from the bottom, ensuring all the ingredients are enclosed.
- Repeat for the Second Burrito:
- Repeat the assembly process with the remaining tortilla and fillings.
- Place the breakfast burritos seam-side down on a serving plate.
- Garnish with avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro leaves, and sliced jalapeños if desired.
- Serve your Almond Flour Breakfast Burritos immediately while they are warm, along with extra salsa for dipping.
These breakfast burritos are not only gluten-free and packed with protein but also bursting with flavor and freshness thanks to the arugula and salsa. Customize them to your liking with additional ingredients such as diced tomatoes, onions, or hot sauce for an extra kick.
Omega-3 Rich Salmon and Avocado Breakfast Bowl
This high-protein, low-carbohydrate breakfast bowl is packed with omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the inclusion of salmon and avocado. Plus, it is offers a variety of amino acids to support metabolic health. It's a delicious and nutritious way to start your day with a focus on healthy fats and protein.
For the Bowl:
- 4 ounces (about 113 grams) cooked or canned salmon (wild-caught is preferred)
- 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
- 2 large eggs, boiled or poached
- 1 cup baby spinach or arugula
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Assemble the Bowl:
- Arrange the baby spinach or arugula as the base of your breakfast bowl.
- Flake the cooked salmon over the greens.
- Add the Avocado and Eggs:
- Place sliced avocado on one side of the bowl.
- Cut the boiled or poached eggs in half and arrange them on the other side of the bowl.
- Scatter Tomatoes and Herbs:
- Scatter the cherry tomato halves and chopped cilantro or parsley over the bowl.
- Drizzle with Dressing:
- Drizzle the prepared dressing generously over the salmon, avocado, and greens.
- Season and Garnish:
- Season the entire bowl with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with lemon wedges for an extra burst of flavor.
- Serve your Omega-3 Rich Salmon and Avocado Breakfast Bowl immediately, accompanied by the lemon wedges for an added zing.
This breakfast bowl is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and still provides a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon and olive oil. Enjoy this delicious and nutritious breakfast to kickstart your day on a healthy note.
Hormone-Boosting High Protein Collard Green Scramble
This high-protein breakfast recipe features collard greens, a nutritional powerhouse known for its hormone-balancing properties, especially in relation to estrogen levels. Collard greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them an excellent addition to your morning routine. This scramble combines the goodness of collard greens with protein-packed eggs and flavorful ingredients to create a hormone-boosting breakfast that's as delicious as it is nutritious.
Collard greens are a cruciferous vegetable, and they contain compounds like indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is converted to DIM and can support hormonal balance, particularly estrogen metabolism. Maintaining healthy estrogen levels is crucial for overall well-being, as imbalances can lead to various health issues. Including collard greens in your diet may help promote hormonal health.
For the Collard Green Scramble:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup chopped collard greens (about 4 large leaves)
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for cooking
For Topping (Optional):
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (for added protein and flavor)
- Fresh herbs (e.g., parsley or cilantro) for garnish
- Sliced avocado
- Prepare Collard Greens:
- Wash the collard greens thoroughly and remove the tough stems. Stack the leaves, roll them up, and thinly slice them into ribbons.
- Heat Olive Oil:
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
- Sauté Vegetables:
- Add diced onion and red bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add Collard Greens:
- Stir in the minced garlic and chopped collard greens. Sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes until the collard greens wilt and become tender.
- Scramble Eggs:
- Push the sautéed vegetables and collard greens to one side of the skillet.
- Crack the eggs into the empty side and scramble them with a spatula.
- Combine Ingredients:
- Once the eggs are almost cooked through, fold them into the cooked collard greens and vegetables.
- Season the scramble with paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning to your preference.
- Add Toppings (Optional):
- If desired, top the collard green scramble with crumbled feta cheese, fresh herbs, and sliced avocado for extra protein and flavor.
- Plate your Hormone-Boosting High Protein Collard Green Scramble and enjoy the delicious and nutritious benefits of collard greens to support hormonal balance.
By incorporating collard greens into your breakfast, you can harness their hormone-balancing properties while savoring a protein-rich and flavorful meal. This scramble is a tasty way to kickstart your day with a nutrient-packed, hormone-boosting breakfast.
Beef and Spinach Protein-Packed Stir-Fry
This Beef and Spinach Protein-Packed Stir-Fry is a delicious and nutritious meal that combines lean beef, leafy greens, and fiber-rich vegetables. It's high in both fiber (approximately 7-10 grams) and protein (approximately 20-30 grams), making it a satisfying and wholesome dish that's perfect for a balanced meal.
For the Stir-Fry:
- 1 pound lean beef (sirloin or flank steak), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (e.g., cremini or shiitake)
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)
- 2 tablespoons water
- Cooked gluten-free brown rice or quinoa (optional)
- Marinate the Beef:
- In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos sauce or tamari. Allow it to marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare the Sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos or tamari, honey or maple syrup, grated ginger, cornstarch (or arrowroot starch), and water. Set aside.
- Heat the Oil:
- Heat the olive oil or sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Sear the Beef:
- Add the marinated beef to the hot skillet and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes until it's browned but still slightly pink in the center. Remove the beef from the skillet and set it aside.
- Sauté the Aromatics:
- In the same skillet, add the thinly sliced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the Vegetables:
- Add the sliced red and yellow bell peppers, along with the sliced mushrooms, to the skillet. Stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Return the Beef:
- Return the cooked beef to the skillet and mix it with the sautéed vegetables.
- Add the Sauce:
- Pour the sauce mixture over the beef and vegetables. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the ingredients.
- Toss in Spinach:
- Add the fresh spinach leaves to the skillet and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until they wilt and become tender.
- Season and Serve:
- Season the stir-fry with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve your gluten-free Beef and Spinach Protein-Packed Stir-Fry hot, either on its own or over cooked gluten-free brown rice or quinoa for added fiber.
By using coconut aminos or tamari and ensuring all other ingredients are gluten-free, you can enjoy this delicious stir-fry without worrying about gluten-related concerns. Enjoy your gluten-free, protein-packed meal!
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