You don't eat "breakfast"? Sure, you may not eat right after wakening but, whenever you eat it, consider your first meal breakfast.
Many people have a tendency to rush out of the door every morning with little consideration of what they will eat for their first meal of the day. Once they get to work or wherever they are going, they grab a doughnut or anything that is quick and in easy reach. Or, maybe a drive-thru breakfast sandwich has become part of your morning routine. This practice can be time-consuming, expensive, and a quick way to add a few inches to your waist line!
The first meal of the day serves as the foundation and sets the tone for the rest of the day. A sugary, high-fat, nutrient-void "meal" that many people reach for might fill the stomach for a bit and gives a quick burst of energy. In just a short time, however, you are hungry again, low in energy, and craving another quick burst. You feel famished and grab whatever is around - maybe another doughnut, maybe a trip to the vending machine, or maybe that candy bar that is stashed in your desk drawer. And the cycle continues.
Starting the day with a healthy meal will fuel you through the morning and provide you with a healthy dose of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It will sustain you through the 10:00 a.m. slump and keep you energized and productive throughout your morning.
No time for a healthy breakfast? I have compiled 20 simple, quick, and healthy breakfast options that you can enjoy at home, at work, or on the go.
Smoothies offer a simple way to quickly load up on nutrients. Milk (animal or plant-based), yogurt, kefir, juice, or water can serve as a base. Add in fruit, veggies, flax, hemp, or chia seeds, and your favorite protein powder if desired for a complete and heathy meal. Blend with ice or frozen fruit for a more shake-like consistency.
Don't be afraid to experiment - spinach, kale, and avocado are all terrific blended in a smoothie. Canned pumpkin puree, cooked butternut squash and beets all add nutrients and creaminess. Tahini, nut butter, and soaked grains or nuts add thickness and healthy fats. Below are some to get you started!
Pineapple Green Smoothie
Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
Spinach Berry Beet Smoothie
Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Think you have no time for eggs for breakfast? Think again. Egg muffins, egg wraps, omelets in a jar, and frittatas are easy make-ahead egg dishes that you can grab on your way out the door.
Of course, hard boiled eggs are a simple option. Make them a bit more exciting by slicing them and using them on top of a piece whole grain bread that has been spread with hummus or soft avocado. A bit of hot sauce, pesto, or a simple sprinkling of salt boosts the flavor and satisfies the taste buds.
Healthy fat, a good dose of protein, and whole grains will keep you nourished and satisfied.
If you prefer your eggs warm, try some of the recipes below. As always, experiment a bit to add your favorite ingredients.
Omelets in a jar are simple to mix at home and then throw in the microwave when you get to work for a protein-rich, delicious breakfast.
Egg muffins are basically scrambled eggs that you cook in muffin tins. These can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until you need them. Warm in the microwave and breakfast is served! Use your favorite chopped veggies and a sprinkling of cheese to change them up to suit your taste. I love spinach, roasted red pepper and feta cheese.
A frittata is simply a baked omelet that you don't have to flip (bonus!!). I make mine in a cast iron skillet and place it under the broiler for a minute or 2 to brown the top. Then I slice it and package it into portions I can grab in the morning. Warm in the microwave and enjoy. Replace a few whole eggs with egg whites for a lower calorie option.
I find many uses for egg wraps. I use them as a tortilla and wrap around some guacamole; as a crepe with some goat cheese and herbs; or filled with seasoned ricotta and topped with marinara for a grain-free, high-protein take on cannelloni. These can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. Be sure to separate with wax paper so you can easily grab just the amount you need.
Love your breakfast sandwich? Simple egg cups are a delicious alternative. Basically you will line a muffin cup with a slice of deli ham or Canadian bacon, crack in an egg and bake until the egg is cooked through. Fill the whole muffin tin and freeze the extras. You will prepare 6 breakfasts (2 muffins) in about 20 minutes at a cost of less than 50 cents each (cost obviously varies depending on what eggs/meat you buy).
Breakfast in a Jar
Grab a jar and fill it up with your favorite ingredients for a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast. Overnight oats, fruit and yogurt parfaits, and chia breakfast puddings are just a few ideas.
I prepare a few batches of overnight oats (without the liquid) and keep them on hand at all times. I add oats, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices such as cinnamon or ginger. I keep them in my pantry then top one with almond milk the evening before I will be having it for breakfast. I like to warm mine a bit, but many enjoy them right out of the fridge.
Yogurt parfaits are another great option that you can make ahead. Fill a jar about half way with yogurt then add your favorite toppings. Berries, nuts, granola, and honey are some delicious options. Be creative!
Though I enjoy a warm serving of oatmeal, I find it doesn't always keep me full. So, I have started having quinoa for breakfast. I often treat it just like oatmeal, but I have also created a quinoa and roasted veggie salad that I love. I put cooked quinoa in the bottom of a jar and top with roasted butternut squash and beets, walnuts, goat cheese and sometimes a bit of chopped apple or dried cranberries. I drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and have a sweet, tangy breakfast "salad". It is delicious warm or cold and keeps me full all morning long!
If you want something a bit more savory, check out this recipe for a Turkey Breakfast Burrito in a Jar from Jennie-O.
Chia breakfast pudding is another delicious idea, and it also serves as a delicious snack. Add your favorite fruits and flavors to customize to your liking.
Ditch the Doughnut
For those of you who enjoy baked goods for breakfast, switch it up for something healthier. Oatmeal breakfast cookies are simple, delicious, and healthy. Whip up a batch to fuel your morning all week long.
These tender banana muffins from Running With Spoons are made with only 7 ingredients and are quick to prepare. Greek yogurt adds plenty of protein to keep you full.
Homemade granola bars are delicious and let you choose the ingredients. Healthy nuts, seeds, and dried fruits will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you energized. Bonus - you don't have to worry about chemical additives, food dyes, or fillers!
I like these copycat Kind bars from Eat yourself Skinny when my sweet tooth is craving chocolate.
Love cinnamon rolls? Who doesn't? This delicious cinnamon roll mug cake from Happy Healthy Motivated is a healthy and nutritious alternative. Pack up the dry ingredients in a jar and pack the yogurt to bring to work. Mix it all up, microwave, and you have a tasty breakfast treat right at work! That should be a mood-booster!
An afternoon snack that I enjoy on occasion has turned into a breakfast standby. Here I spread goat cheese on a rice cake and topped it with sliced pears, cinnamon, and honey. Delicious with a steaming cup of coffee!
I make many variations - sometimes using ricotta cheese, berries, sliced banana, sliced apples, maple syrup, whole fruit jam and a sprinkling of nuts or seeds.
Mixing the goat cheese with honey and storing it in a jar simplifies the morning prep and makes it easy to bring with you to work.
Rather than a rice cake, you could use a whole grain English muffin, your favorite nut and seed bread, or crunchy crackers.
There you have it - twenty quick, easy, delicious, and healthy breakfasts. Mix and match throughout the week and you have plenty of variety for 4 weeks of breakfasts.
Breakfast, no matter what time you have it, should consist of healthy, nutritious ingredients to fuel your day. A healthy breakfast can boost your metabolism, improve your mood, increase alertness, and reduce your urge to snack on unhealthy foods.
Thanks for reading! I enjoy your comments, ideas, and suggestions, so please share! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.