Are you someone who routinely skips breakfast? Do you feel like the morning hour is simply too busy to put aside ten or fifteen minutes to have a bite to eat? How many times a week do you stop to pick up a fast-food breakfast sandwich, muffin or donut on the way to work or school? If you agreed with any of the above questions, you might want to consider the long and short-term health consequences of NOT starting your day with a healthy meal. Breakfast does not have to require a great deal of pre-planning and preparation – in fact, with many of the staple foods and suggestions listed below, you can make several servings at once and either freeze or refrigerate for the following days. Here are a few of our favorite delicious (and easy) ways to include healthy breakfast foods into your morning routine:
Sweet or Savory Oatmeal
With oatmeal, there are several varieties to choose from and many different recipes to try. Steel-cut oats, which take the longest time to cook, contain the most fiber. Rolled oats or instant oatmeal contains less fiber but also requires less cooking time. The only oatmeal you want to avoid are the “flavored” varieties, which can be loaded up with unnecessary sugars. Instead, sweeten your oatmeal with milk or nut-milk, honey or maple syrup, nuts, and fresh or frozen fruit.
The combinations are endless, and if you like to start the day with something sweet, this is a much healthier option than sugary cereals, donuts or muffins!
But what if you don’t want a sweet breakfast? Try a savory oatmeal!
For this variety, add a little salt, pepper and your favorite herbs to the oatmeal, and mix-in leftover grilled or sauteed veggies (we think our Root Fusion medley would work nicely). It’s delicious and guaranteed to keep you filled and fueled until the lunch hour!
Almond Butter Banana Toast
If you’re following a vegan diet, it’s important to find healthy plant and nut-based sources of protein. Almond butter is an excellent choice and is also jam-packed with monounsaturated fat (that’s one of the “good” fats your body needs).
Almond butter can be added to smoothies, used as a spread on bread, crackers, or fruit slices, baked into cookies and cakes, and as a sauce on your favorite frozen desserts. For a hearty and nutritious breakfast, try almond butter with sliced bananas and ground chia seeds on your favorite whole wheat or seven-grain style toast. It’s so good you might just want to pack a second one for an afternoon snack!
Don’t want the bread? Try this version instead:
Berries and Smoothies
Fresh or frozen, berries provide antioxidants our bodies need. Whether it’s strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or any other colorful berry that is native to your region (hint: your local Farmers’ Market can be a great place to find these!) these fruits are a delicious and nutritious addition to your morning toast, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or smoothie. When it comes to smoothies, mix up a full blender so you’ll have multiple servings you can share with other family members, or pour into travel containers for a few days of “to-go” breakfasts. One of our favorite smoothie recipes for berries is to simply blend a generous serving of frozen fruit with a Greek or nut-based yogurt, and enough liquid (water, juice, milk…) to provide a smooth consistency.
Whole Wheat Open-Face Veggie Breakfast Sandwich
The key thing to remember when it comes to breads is that whole wheat and other grains provide more fiber and nutrients than bread made using refined white flour. In addition, what you put on your bread also matters – you can either make choices that add lots of unnecessary processed sugars (like many commercially available jellies) or you can use whole grain breads as a building block for a breakfast that will taste great and keep hunger away for hours.
One of our simple favorites is a piece of whole wheat bread with a scoop of leftover veggies (FYI: our Asparagus and Kale is perfect for this!). Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of your favorite grated cheese, toast until warm, and enjoy!
In a diet filled with vegetable-based or lean protein, eating eggs can provide variety and an additional source of protein and Vitamin B12. Be sure to use eggs that are free of antibiotics and are labeled USDA organic. Also be on the look-out for pasture-raised eggs at your local farmers market. For breakfast, instead of scrambled eggs with veggies, try sautéing some mixed greens (our organic Super Greens medley is a great choice!) and then cracking an egg on top. It’s a delicious way to get your recommended daily allowance of vegetables and a serving of protein.
Eating a healthy and delicious breakfast doesn’t have to take a lot of your time or energy. By keeping these few staples in your kitchen, you can quickly create a number of breakfast meals that you’ll never get bored of and will enjoy eating every day.