How to Make Healthy and Easy Breakfasts
Breakfast is always the hardest meal of the day to plan during a busy week. The mornings are rushed and no one has time to actually sit down and eat. Planning for easy and healthy breakfasts may seem impossible. But I have a few tricks and tips as well as recipes that will make your weekday breakfasts the easiest part of the day.
The saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is really true. By eating something for breakfast, it helps stop overeating later in the morning or at lunch. Also, there are studies that show eating breakfast can support a healthy memory, better concentration, low levels of LDL cholesterol and lowers your chances of being overweight, getting diabetes and heart disease. Plus when you eat breakfast, you will have more energy to manage everything you have to get done in the morning.
When meal-prepping for breakfast, try to create meals that balance protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. This is how you will stay fuller longer and it makes breakfast more satisfying. Carbohydrate ingredients to focus on are fruits, oats and whole grains. Contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of protein in vegetables that will help keep you full. However, if you think you need to have meat to make breakfast more satisfying, you can add eggs or a lean meat like chicken. Avocado is one of my favorite healthy fats. They are so versatile. They can be added to smoothies, used on a breakfast sandwich or in a breakfast bowl. Other sources of healthy fats are nuts and chia seeds.
Here are some tips on how to plan for healthy and fast breakfasts:
#1 Stock Frozen Fruit and Vegetables for Smoothies
Making smoothies is one of the easiest, healthiest and quickest breakfasts. I keep frozen fruit and vegetables in the freezer, which means I can make a smoothie whenever I want. Customize your smoothie with add-ins such as oats, nuts, nut butter, yogurt, protein powders and spices, such as cinnamon. When you find a smoothie combination that is your favorite, pack freezer baggies with measured portions. Then you don't even have to think about how much of any ingredient you need to add.
#2 Make Breakfast Sandwiches
I don't think we give sandwiches enough credit for being a fast and healthy breakfast food. It doesn't have to be two pieces of bread. You can cut one piece in half or use a pita or a wrap. You can even make egg sandwiches and freeze them! Try this great recipe from Budget Bytes. Some other ideas to try:
Sliced hard boiled egg with smashed avocado spread
Hummus with sliced veggies, such as carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers
Nut butters with sliced fruit. Don't think just bananas - how about apples, peaches, nectarines or pears?
Cottage cheese with fruit or vegetables
#3 Fruit Salad
One of my favorite fast and healthy breakfasts is fruit salad. Since it can be made over the weekend, I buy whatever fruit is in season and start chopping. If I want to add a little more to the fruit, I may put in some nuts or granola or even top the fruit with a drizzle of nut butter. I will add frozen fruit to the fresh fruit if there isn't a lot of fruit on sale for the week. You don't have to defrost the frozen fruit separately. You can just toss it in with the fresh fruit and it will defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
#4 Protein and Snack Bars
Protein bars can help break up the routine of breakfast. There are so many varieties available you can find one for even the pickiest of eaters. My favorites are Health Warrior Organic Pumpkin Seed protein bars and Navitas Organic Superfood Snack Bar. If you don't like store bought protein or snack bars, you can always make your own. Well Plated has a recipe guide to learn how to make No-Bake Protein Energy Balls. Click here for the recipes.
Now that I've shared some ideas for making quick breakfasts, let's get to some recipes.
Muffins make a quick breakfast. The recipes below come together quickly so you won't spend all weekend in the kitchen!
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfasts. But I don't have time to cook oatmeal in the morning. I'm betting you don't either! I love making overnight oatmeal. I will make 4 individual servings on Sunday, which means I have 4 breakfasts made for the week.
Breakfast bowls can be made ahead of time and finished with yogurt, milk or warmed up. They are portable which makes them a great option when you need to be at work or school early.
I hope you are inspired to start making breakfast a priority during busy weeks! If you try any of the tips or recipes I shared, don't forget to tag me on Instagram as @heather_lee_donahue and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
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