It’s long been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and whether you consider that to be true or not, it’s still worth pointing out that any morning food choices involving complex carbohydrates plus a generous helping of protein can give you a boost in brainpower, keep you fuller for longer, and prevent you from overeating later on.

Everyone is busy these days, and there’s never enough time to prepare elaborate breakfasts before heading off to work or school. So, with that said, here are 20 nutritious and easy breakfast ideas you can whip up in as little as a few minutes to help start your day off on the right foot.

(Please keep in mind that calorie counts will vary depending on the type, brand, and serving size that you choose to incorporate into any of the following recipes.)

1. Greek yogurt with apple slices, granola, and cinnamon (327 calories)

Plain Greek yogurt is packed with protein to keep you full while offering a nice dose of calcium to keep your bones, heart, and muscles healthy. Adding some crunchy granola and fresh apple slices will give you the boost of energy that you need in the morning. Make sure to use plain granola without any added sugar!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (95 calories)
  • 1/3 cup granola (110 calories)
  • 1 apple, sliced (116 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (6 calories)

Directions:

Scoop the Greek yogurt into a bowl and crumble the granola over top of it. Add your slices of apple and sprinkle the cinnamon over it to finish it off.

2. Whole grain oat bran with vanilla whey protein powder and blueberries (280 calories)

Oats are a complex carbohydrate that are great for the heart, and oat bran in particular is very high in fiber, which is great for digestion and for staying full. You can add vanilla protein powder for a better-tasting bowl that will keep you full until lunch time, topping it off with antioxidant-rich blueberries for some added sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain oat bran (118 calories)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein whey protein isolate powder (120 calories)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen blueberries (42 calories)

Directions:

Cook the oat bran in the microwave with water according to the directions given on the packaging (generally 2 to 3 minutes on high). When cooked, stir in the protein powder until fully combined. Top with blueberries.

3. Rye toast with avocado slices and fried eggs (385 calories)

Avocados are one of the healthiest sources of fat and are loaded with filling fiber too. An egg will give you some nutritious protein to fill you up as well, while rye toast will give you the carb-induced energy punch you need to make your morning awesome.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces rye bread (165 calories)
  • 1/3 ripe avocado, sliced (76 calories)
  • 2 eggs (144)
  • Fresh pepper (optional)

Directions:

Toast the bread while you spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray to fry the eggs over medium to medium-high heat until they’re just how you like them (over easy, sunny side up, etc.). Place the slices of avocado on the toast and optionally spread them with a knife like you would with butter. Top each piece with an egg and optionally add some pepper.

4. Banana and ginger smoothie (312 calories)

If you’re someone who suffers from digestive problems in the early hours, the ginger in this morning smoothie may help soothe an upset stomach or heartburn. You’ll also get a blast of filling protein from the yogurt and some mood-boosting energy from the banana.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana (121 calories)
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (130 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (60 calories)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (1 calorie)
  • Ice cubes (optional)
  • Water (optional)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add optional ice cubes and/or water to get the texture that you want.

5. Egg, cheddar, and turkey bacon breakfast wrap (345 calories)

You can get a full helping of lean protein and healthy fat from an egg, some turkey bacon, and a bit of cheese–but you’ll need some carbs and fiber to balance it out. Choosing a whole grain tortilla will give you that boost of energy while still keeping your calories low.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small whole grain tortilla (90 calories)
  • 1 egg, scrambled or hard boiled (72 calories)
  • 2 pieces turkey bacon (70 calories)
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese (113 calories)

Directions:

Add the cheese to the tortilla followed by the turkey bacon and the scrambled egg (or slices of hard boiled egg). Roll it up and enjoy.

6. Whole grain English muffin with smoked salmon (280 calories)

Wild salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is excellent for your brain and heart health. It’s also a great source of protein too, which will keep you full throughout the morning. Add some cheese for some extra protein and flavor, with a whole grain English muffin for fiber and energizing carbs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole grain English muffin (134 calories)
  • 2 wedges light Laughing Cow Cheese (50 calories)
  • 6 slices smoked salmon (96 calories)

Directions:

Toast the muffin and then spread the cheese on each piece using a knife. Top each piece with three slices of salmon.

7. Healthy homemade trail mix (341 calories)

For a serious morning on the run, make this homemade trail mix (in a larger batch) the night before to grab it and reap the benefits of the healthy fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals that these nuts and seeds have to offer. The cranberries will give you an added carb boost and the coconut flakes are another excellent source of healthy fat. Remember to choose nuts and seeds without any added oils, salt, or sweetener.

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup raw almonds (80 calories)
  • 1/8 cup cashews (95 calories)
  • 1/8 cup walnuts (96 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (16 calories)
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries (49 calories)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (5 calories)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, a container, or a bag. You can multiply each ingredient portion listed above by five to have enough for every weekday.

8. Cottage cheese with orange slices and grapes (243 calories)

Like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein that will keep you full until lunch. It’s also packed with calcium for great bone and muscle health. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, while grapes offer up a range of vitamins and minerals to support your brain, heart, muscles, and overall health.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup full-fat cottage cheese (165 calories)
  • 1 Mandarin orange, peeled into slices (47 calories)
  • 1/2 cup grapes (31 calories)

Directions:

Scoop the cottage cheese into a bowl or a container and top with orange slices and grapes.

9. Quinoa with fresh berries (369 calories)

Quinoa is a healthy ancient grain that happens to be a great complex carb choice for gluten-free people. Switch your regular oatmeal out for it and add some kefir milk for a nice probiotic component with fresh berries full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked (166 calories)
  • 2/3 cup strawberries, whole or sliced (35 calories)
  • 2/3 cup blueberries (56 calories)
  • 1/2 cup kefir milk (60 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (52 calories)

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the packaging. Stir in the kefir milk and maple syrup before topping it with the berries.

10. Veggie omelette (400 calories)

Egg whites are really one of the most perfect sources of lean protein you can get, and the yolk is jam-packed with nutrients too. Add some cheese for some more protein (plus calcium), and then choose brightly colored raw vegetables like bell peppers and red onions to add some fiber and a bit of a carb boost.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (144 calories)
  • 1/3 cup cheese, shredded (120 calories)
  • 1/8 cup green bell pepper, chopped (4 calories)
  • 1/8 cup red bell pepper, chopped (6 calories)
  • 1/8 cup mushrooms, sliced (5 calories)
  • 1/8 cup, red onion, chopped (8 calories)
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter (68 calories)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Optionally cook the veggies in a pan on the stove first, or keep them raw. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until fully mixed and add some salt and pepper if you like. Place a skillet over medium-high eat, coat it with the butter until it melts, and then add the egg mixture. The eggs should cook in 1 to 2 minutes. You should gently push and drag it around to help it cook all the way. Add the cheese and veggies in the center of the cooked eggs, fold it in half and serve.

11. Green citrus energy smoothie (390 calories)

Spinach is one of the best sources of vitamin K, vitamin A, and lots of other vitamins and minerals that will nourish your body. For a smoothie that keeps you full, adding vegan-friendly hemp protein will balance out all the energizing natural sugars from the citrus fruits you’ll add in there as well. And for some added fiber plus healthy omega-3s, a tablespoon of chia seeds is the last ingredient you’ll need to finish it off.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach (14 calories)
  • 4 tablespoons hemp protein powder (120 calories)
  • 2 large Mandarin oranges, peeled and pieces separated (128 calories)
  • 1 red grapefruit, peeled and pieces separated (82 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (46 calories)
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if you want it thinner.

12. Peanut butter, honey, and banana wrap with dried fruit and nuts (374 calories)

For a crunchy, flavorful, and portable breakfast idea that has a good balance of protein, fat, carbs and fiber, simply wrap half a banana in a tortilla with peanut butter. That healthy dose of fat you’ll get from the nuts and peanut butter will boost your brainpower while the banana and tortilla will keep you invigorated throughout the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small whole grain tortilla (90 calories)
  • 1/2 large ripe banana, sliced (61 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (100 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts (52 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon cranberries (25 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (16 calories)
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey (30 calories)

Directions:

Spread the peanut butter over one side of the tortilla using a knife and add the slices of banana in the center. Sprinkle the nuts, seeds, and cranberries over the banana, drizzle with the honey, roll it all up and enjoy.

13. Warm spinach salad with egg and leftover potatoes (314 calories)

This breakfast is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe that incorporates fresh, nutrient-packed greens with protein from an egg, energizing carbs from potatoes, and some healthy fat from olive oil. It’s a fast one to make if you can take advantage of leftover potatoes from the previous night’s meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach (10 calories)
  • 2/3 cup potatoes, cut into cubes and ideally from a leftover meal (89 calories)
  • 1 egg (72 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (3 calories)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (60 calories)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (15 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese (65 calories)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir until mixed to make the dressing. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and fry the egg over medium to medium-high heat (or alternatively soft boil it). Make a bed of spinach on a plate, add the potatoes and egg to it, drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle the cheese over it.

14. Fast and flourless protein pancakes with maple syrup (399 calories)

Making pancakes doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, blood sugar-spiking mess! Instead of using flour, you can pump up the protein in your pancakes by using eggs and some vanilla whey powder. A banana and a little pure maple syrup will give you that carb-induced burst of energy that you need in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed (121 calories)
  • 2 eggs (144 calories)
  • 1/4 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate (30 calories)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (104 calories)

Directions:

Place a skillet on the stove over medium heat. In a large bowl, mash the banana using a fork and then add the eggs, protein powder, and baking powder. Whisk until it becomes a battery mixture. Spray the skillet with nonstick cooking spray and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pancake mix to the skillet, allowing it to cook for 20 to 30 seconds before flipping it over and cooking the other side for the same amount of time. Move the cooked pancakes to a plate and drizzle maple syrup over them.

15. Overnight chia pudding with granola and fresh berries (360 calories)

For a light breakfast that’s not too filling and quick to grab in the morning, you can take advantage chia seeds and coconut milk–both of which are extremely dense in nutrients and great sources of healthy fat. Prepare it the night before, grab it from the refrigerator in the morning, add some granola and fruit for a carb kick, and you’ll be good to go.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (183 calories)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (60 calories)
  • 1/4 cup granola (83 calories)
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced or whole (13 calories)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries (21 calories)

Directions:

Combine the chia seeds and coconut milk in a bowl or a mason jar the night before and leave it in the refrigerator until morning. Top with the granola and fresh berries.

16. Smoked salmon and cucumber wrap (276 calories)

Wraps are such a perfectly portable food that can be used as a carbohydrate shell for some good old protein and veggies. You’ll get protein and healthy omega-3s when you choose wild salmon and a crunchy, vitamin and mineral-enriched burst of water when you add cucumber to it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small whole grain tortilla (90 calories)
  • 8 slices smoked salmon (128 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese (50 calories)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped into cubes (8 calories)

Directions:

Spread the cream cheese over the tortilla using a knife. Place the salmon and the cucumber in the center. Wrap it up and serve.

17. Egg and avocado salad with zucchini and tomatoes (360 calories)

For more of a low-carb breakfast option, you can still get tons of energy by combining healthy protein and fat from eggs and avocado with nutritious veggies like tomatoes and zucchini. All that fiber will compliment the protein and fat to keep you full and alert for hours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, hard boiled (144 calories)
  • 1/2 California avocado (114 calories)
  • 1/2 cup raw zucchini, sliced (11 calories)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (31 calories)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (60 calories)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice the eggs in half (or into even smaller slices) and toss all ingredients together in a bowl.

18. Apple cinnamon oatmeal with flaxseed (317 calories)

Sometimes, you just can’t go wrong with oatmeal. Plain rolled oats made from heart-healthy whole grains don’t have any added sugars and are relatively quick to cook in the microwave. Flaxseed will give you some extra fiber and omega-3s (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid) while an apple with give you a burst of more plant-based nutrition and antioxidant power.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup plain whole grain rolled oats (127 calories)
  • 1 medium apple, sliced (95 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (37 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (52 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (6 calories)

Directions:

Cook the rolled oats with water according to the directions on the packaging. Stir in the flaxseed and top with the apple slices. Drizzle the maple syrup over it all and finish it off by sprinkling the cinnamon on top.

19. Peanut butter, banana, and chocolate protein smoothie (371 calories)

You can absolutely use chocolate as a healthy and a much needed pick-me-up in the morning. To keep it healthy, choose chocolate protein powder to fill you up and keep you going all the way until the late morning or lunchtime. The banana and peanut butter will give you that carb boost you need. It’s like dessert for breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe banana (121 calories)
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein isolate (120 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (100 calories)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (30 calories)
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add optional ice (or even plain water) to get your desired texture.

20. Homemade “Egg McMuffin” (364 calories)

McDonald’s gets at least one thing right—its famous Egg McMuffin actually isn’t terribly unhealthy! Of course, you can make a healthier option by making one on your own using a whole grain bun or muffin and lean Canadian bacon. You could even add some veggies if you really wanted.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole grain English muffin (134 calories)
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese (113 calories)
  • 1 egg (72 calories)
  • 1 slice Canadian bacon (45 calories)

Directions:

Toast the muffin while you spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray to fry the egg. Place the cheese on one piece of the muffin, and then add the bacon and the egg on top of it. Place the other muffin piece on top to form a sandwich and enjoy!

As long as you keep your portions under control and read the nutritional information on the ingredients that you plan to use for these awesome breakfast recipes, you really can’t go wrong. And best of all, they’re all pretty quick and easy to throw together when you’ve only got a few minute to finish getting ready, gather your things, and head out the door to be off on your day.

Featured image credits: Greek yogurt with granola and apple, oat bran with blueberries, toast with avocado and egg, banana ginger smoothie, egg and bacon breakfast wrap, English muffin with smoked salmon, homemade trail mix, cottage cheese with fruit, quinoa with berries, veggie omelette, green smoothie, peanut butter banana wrap, spinach salad with egg and potatoes, protein pancakes, chia seed pudding, smoked salmon wrap, egg and avocado salad, apple cinnamon oatmeal, chocolate smoothie, egg muffin.

Love this article?

Read full content