By alfat. healthy breakfast easy. Published at Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 - 21:41:28 PM.
They call breakfast the most important meal of the day for a reason. In a recent survey by the National Weight Control Registry, women who ate breakfast were more successful with long-term weight loss than those who regularly skipped the first meal of the day. This is because eating breakfast revs your metabolism for the day ahead and can help prevent overeating later on. As a bonus, a healthy first meal has been linked to boosted brainpower and mental performance throughout the day.
And breakfast doesn't have to be time consuming and complicated: All you need to start your day off right is a little protein and a little fiber. You can either make these recipes day-of and dash out the door, or if you like to plan your meals in advance, spend some time on Sunday whipping up our make-ahead recipes for fast and filling breakfasts you can heat and serve all week.
"There are an endless variety of healthy breakfast smoothies, and the beauty of all of them is they are mobile," Melinda Johnson, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in Chandler, Ariz., and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says. Pour into a blender: 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat milk or plain nonfat yogurt, 1/2 cup orange juice, half a banana, 4 to 6 frozen strawberries, and 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or whey protein powder. Blend until smooth -- if you want this breakfast recipe thicker, add more frozen fruit. To make your fast breakfast smoothie more interesting, try other add-ins, such as frozen blueberries, oatmeal, peanut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, mint, lime, or instant coffee.
That old fast breakfast standby, cereal, doesn't take long to eat. Make your bowlful a healthier breakfast by choosing a cold cereal that has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (be sure to check the nutrition label to see how big a serving size is). You can make your cereal "to go" by mixing it into a container with nonfat yogurt rather than milk. Hot cereals can be part of a fast breakfast too; stick a low-sugar instant variety in the microwave, and take care of other morning chores as you wait for it to cool. Top your cereal with berries or banana slices to get some fruit in your morning meal.
Here's a family breakfast every member can customize. On kabob sticks, thread chunks of your favorite fresh fruits -- try a mix of grapes, peaches, mango, cantaloupe, apples, bananas, and pears -- and your favorite low-fat cheeses. Stick the kabobs in the refrigerator, and grab one or two on your way out the door and go, Johnson says. The fruit in this healthy breakfast provides fiber that helps fill you up, not out, while the cheese provides protein. Johnson recommends about 20 grams of protein every morning to keep you full longer.
If you're not a fan of breakfast foods, make a mini pizza in minutes by topping a whole-wheat English muffin with tomato puree, low-fat shredded cheese, and any chopped vegetables you like. Then, pop it in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Like your pizza authentic? There's nothing wrong with heating up a slice of last night's whole-wheat veggie pizza for a fast breakfast either, Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RD, an instructor at the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago and an ADA spokeswoman, says.
"Peanut butter and jelly makes the perfect fast breakfast," Johnson says. It's also an ideal family breakfast for kids who love traditional PB&Js. Use whole-wheat bread (toasting optional) for added fiber and sugar-free preserves made from whole fruit to keep down the calories and added sugar. If you crave a more traditional morning meal, skip the preserves and add sliced bananas to your sandwich. For a really fast breakfast, prepare them the night before -- the bread won't get soggy.
For a make-ahead breakfast recipe, whip up a batch of basic waffles that call for oil, and swap the oil for vitamin-rich pureed sweet potatoes. Prepare them on Sunday night when you're organizing your food for the week, and all week long, simply pop a waffle in the toaster for a healthy, hot breakfast.
"Baby food sweet potatoes work like a charm," Johnson says. Add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon, which has been shown to regulate blood sugar and reduce disease risk, to taste. Because of the sweet potatoes in this breakfast recipe, the waffles will be sweet on their own and you can skip the syrup, cutting down on added sugar and calories. Add a glass of low-fat or nonfat milk for protein and a dose of healthy calcium and vitamin D.
For this do-ahead family breakfast, make your favorite quiche recipe the night before, adding extra veggies like spinach, onions, and red and green peppers for more fiber. Rather than pouring the entire mixture into a baking dish, divide it into muffin tins and bake. Come morning, everyone in the family can grab his or her own fast breakfast from the fridge, pop it in the microwave, and enjoy. Make the mini quiches in muffin wrappers, so you can save calories by going crust-free. The eggs and dairy in the quiche recipe are both good protein sources, and the vegetables will provide a dose of fiber and vitamins, Dobbins says.
Breakfast burritos made with eggs, sausage, and cheese are a good way to include protein in your family breakfast to keep you feeling full longer and to help you eat less the rest of the day. For a fast breakfast burrito recipe, scramble eggs and low-fat cheese, then add salsa and pre-cooked turkey sausage. Zap a whole-wheat tortilla in the microwave, and fill it with the egg mixture and toppings. You can even make this breakfast recipe ahead of time and warm the burritos to grab on the way out the door.
Quinoa is a whole grain like oatmeal, but it provides a more powerful protein punch, Johnson says -- 8 grams of protein in just one cup. For this breakfast recipe, cook the quinoa ahead of time as directed on the package. When it's almost done, add a cup of milk, and then simmer until it thickens. Then, store it in an air-tight container in your refirgerator until it's time for breakfast. When you're ready to eat, warm the quinoa and milk in the microwave, and add your favorite hot-cereal mix-ins, like raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, fresh bananas, or blueberries. For a spice accent, try a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped apples. If you pour it into a travel cup and grab a plastic spoon, you can eat this healthy breakfast on the bus or train.
Two large, hard-boiled eggs add up to just 160 calories and pack 12 grams of protein. The best part is, all you have to do is peel the eggs, and go. To make eggs ahead of time, cover them with water in a sauce pan, and bring the water to a rapid boil. Once it starts boiling, remove the pan from the heat, and keeping it covered, let it sit for 15 minutes. After the eggs have cooled, you have the perfect on-the-go meal or snack. Add a piece of whole, fresh fruit for a filling, balanced meal. With these easy and fast breakfasts, Dobbins says, there's no excuse to skip this most important meal of the day.
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