Do you desperately want a healthier start to your day, but are too tired and busy to even think about putting together a fancy, nutritious breakfast in the morning? You may have a demanding job, a heavy course load, several kids, or perhaps you’d just rather spend your morning time doing anything other than preparing food. It’s tempting to reach for a bowl of cereal to satisfy your hunger, but most of them are high in sugar and fat, leaving you prone to blood sugar crashes mid-morning and feelings of ravenous hunger by lunchtime. Instead, try these 10 ideas for a better breakfast. Some of them can be made ahead, and most take just 10-20 minutes to prepare.
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Health Benefits: Eggs are packed with protein that will help keep you satisfied until it’s time for your next meal. Add in some vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Make It: Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Pour two beaten eggs into the pan and cook on a medium heat until the eggs are set. In a separate pan, gently fry some mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes for the filling. Place it in the center of the omelette, fold over, and serve.
2. Green Smoothie
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Health Benefits: Green smoothies are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This recipe is delivers an iron boost from the spinach, which helps maintain your energy levels.
Make It: Grab 1 1/2 cups spinach, a few ice cubes, 1 small banana, 1 orange, and 1/4 cup coconut water and combine in a blender until smooth. For a protein boost, add a spoonful of seeds or protein powder.
3. Fruit Salad
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Health Benefits: If you have only a light appetite in the morning, stick with a classic fruit salad for a gentle start to the day. Use a variety of fruits for the best possible range of nutrients. For example, you can include bananas for potassium, kiwi for vitamin C, pomegranate for folate and vitamin K, and grapefruit for heart-friendly choline. Eating whole fruits rather than just drinking the juice is a great way to fit more fiber into your diet.
Make It: Chop or dice at least three different fruits and mix together for a refreshing and healthy breakfast.
4. Protein Bars
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Health Benefits: An easy and tasty way to raise your protein intake, these bars will give you a steady release of energy throughout the morning. The nuts and seeds provide fibre, and dried fruits add sweetness without too many calories.
Make It: Make these in advance and they will last in an airtight container for at least one week. Alternatively, you can freeze them until needed. Take 1 1/2 cups almond meal, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup protein powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 3 eggs, and 1/4 cup of honey and mix together. Bake at 350F in a 8″ x 8″ dish for 25-35 minutes. Cut into ten bars and allow to cool.
5. Pita Breads
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Health Benefits: Wholemeal pita breads are high in fiber, which is vital for maintaining stable blood sugar and intestinal health. Together with a combination of protein and vegetables, this is a perfect quick breakfast.
Make It: Pick your preferred filling and start stuffing or dipping! Try lean ham and spinach, scrambled egg and mushroom, hummus and salsa, or chicken and avocado. For a high-protein vegan option, try tomato and lightly fried tofu, seasoned with salt and pepper.
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Health Benefits: Combining potato with egg, a frittata makes a more filling alternative to an omelette, so is a good option for those hectic mornings when you need something substantial to keep you going. The carbohydrates in the potatoes will also raise your energy levels.
Make It: This easy recipe takes under 20 minutes, or you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge. Take 4 potatoes (cubed), 1 cup of diced onion, 6 eggs, some oil, and seasonings of your choice. To make a basic frittata, first heat a generous splash of olive oil in a non-stick pan until hot. Next, cook the potatoes until they start to fall apart. Add the onion and cook the mixture until it is soft. Meanwhile, beat the eggs together in a bowl. Mix this with the onion and potato mix. Add more oil to the pan and tip everything back in, cooking until golden brown and firm on both sides. You may have to flip the frittata a couple of times to ensure it is cooked evenly. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, or any other vegetable you prefer.
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Health Benefits: Low in sugar and tremendously filling, oatmeal is the perfect cold cereal replacement for cold winter mornings (or for any other time of the year). Increase the protein by adding nuts and seeds, and for an even greater health boost, add some fresh fruit.
Make It: Top your oatmeal with a range of nuts and seeds. Consider making your own concoction and storing it in the cupboard so that all you have to do is make your oatmeal, sprinkle a handful of your own mix over the top, and get ready to enjoy breakfast! Try a hemp seed, flaxseed, linseed, brazil nut, hazelnut, and walnut mix to raise your Omega-3 levels, which may help in overcoming low mood.
8. Breakfast Banana Split
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Health Benefits: Have you ever wished you could have dessert for breakfast? You can! Load up on vitamins, minerals, and proteins by making over the traditional banana split in a breakfast-friendly fashion.
Make It: Cut a banana in half and put on a plate. Now you’re going to make some clever, healthy substitutions. Instead of ice cream, add a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese. Instead of sugary sauces, use a little honey or agave nectar. Top with flaked and chopped nuts and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.
9. Yogurt With Extras
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Health Benefits: Along with its high protein content, natural yogurt is an excellent food for promoting gut health as it contains natural probiotics that help keep your digestive system in balance.
Make It: Start with a natural yogurt base and add a mixture of nuts, seeds, and fruit (either fresh or dried). If you feel the need for a sweetener, try using a teaspoon of honey or agave nectar instead of regular sugar.
10. Low Sugar Granola Bars
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Health Benefits: Much healthier than store-bought bars, these tasty breakfast snacks are a simple, easy-to-make morning treat. Their high seed content means that this breakfast delivers a decent amount of protein, and adding a few dark chocolate chips provides sweetness without lots of sugar or fat.
Make It: The following recipe makes approximately 10 servings. Take 1 cup pitted dates, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of creamy salted natural peanut butter, 1 cup roasted and chopped unsalted almonds, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, and some dark chocolate chips. Blend the dates in a food processor until they form a dough-like consistency before combining with the oats and almonds in a large bowl. In a pan, warm the peanut butter with the honey. Combine the two mixtures, stirring to gain an even distribution of ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Finally, spread the resulting mix in a lined baking dish and press down to flatten. Place in a cool place for a few hours and allow to set.
Featured photo credit: Jules via flickr.com