Quick and easy weekday breakfasts shouldn’t mean pop tarts or frozen waffles. And a healthy breakfast shouldn’t mean half a grapefruit and a piece of dry toast. In about the same time it takes you to make frozen waffles, you can instead make yourself a healthy and nutritious breakfast that not only tastes better but is much better for you.
September is National Better Breakfast Month and is the perfect time to start a healthier approach to breakfast. Here are 10 quick and easy ideas to get you started. As a bonus, there’s also a recipe for healthy muffins at the end of this article. Enjoy!
Tomato and Cheese English Muffin
Toast 1 whole grain English muffin and top with 1 ounce thinly-sliced cheddar or other hard cheese and 2 slices of tomato. About 200 calories and 4 grams of fat.
Peanut Butter Crisp
Microwave 1 tablespoon peanut butter for 15 – 30 seconds. Drizzle over 1 cup Fiber 1 cereal and top with 1 banana, sliced. About 300 calories and 8 grams of fat.
Place 1 cup fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, etc.), 1 cup non-fat milk, one third of a 3-oz package of instant non-fat vanilla pudding mix, and 1 cup crushed ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. About 100 calories and 1 gram of fat.
Peel and section 1 red or pink grapefruit. Place the sections in a serving bowl and top with 2 tablespoons low-fat piña colada or vanilla yogurt and 2 tablespoons granola.
Cinnamon Apple Fake Bake
Peel, core and slice 1 medium-sized apple and place the slices in a microwave-safe serving bowl. Top with 1/2 cup raisin bran cereal and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. About 167 calories and 2 grams of fat.
Place 1 cup orange or pineapple juice, 3 & 1/2 ounces firm or silken tofu and 1/2 cup fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, etc.) in a blender. Blend until smooth. About 340 calories and 4 grams of fat.
Peanut Butter Melt
Toast 2 slices whole grain bread and spread each with 1 tablespoon peanut butter. About 300 calories and 14 grams of fat.
Yogurt Energy Shake
Place 1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, etc.), 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon flax seeds or meal, 2 tablespoons wheat germ and 1/2 cup crushed ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. About 370 calories and 3 grams of fat.
The night before, combine 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar and dash of cinnamon in a sealed container. Store overnight in the fridge. In the morning before eating, top off this mixture with 2 tablespoons Grape Nuts cereal. Suggestion: multiply the ingredients by five and make up a larger batch of the yogurt mixture at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge to last all week. Each serving is about 250 calories and 0.5 grams of fat.
Apple Danish Wrap
Place 1/2 half a medium-sized apple (peeled, cored and sliced) and 2 thin slices of part-skim mozzarella cheese on a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, a little cinnamon and a few raisins, if desired. Roll up like you would a burrito and microwave for about 30 seconds. About 225 calories and 7 grams of fat.
Suggestions for those super-busy weekday mornings:
Over the weekend, take a few minutes to hard boil some eggs. Keep them, unpeeled, in the refrigerator to have on hand during the week for those mornings when you just don’t have a minute to spare. Hard-boiled eggs are extremely portable and easy to eat in addition to being nutritious.
If you simply must stop for a bagel on your way to work, try a whole wheat bagel. And ask for non-fat cream cheese on the side so you can control how much you spread on your bagel. Or try peanut butter as most bagel shops offer this as an alternative to cream cheese.
Healthy Muffin Recipe
Most purchased muffins are empty calories and lots of fat. Take a few minutes on a Sunday evening to bake a quick batch of these healthy muffins and store in a sealed container to have on hand during the week. Each of these muffins contains about 78.6 calories, 2.4 grams of fat, 0.5 cholesterol, 136 mg. sodium, 14.5 total carbs, 1.9 grams of fiber and 3.6 grams of protein. That’s a much better nutrition report card than most purchased muffins.
2 & 1/4 cups oat bran
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 & 1/4 cups non-fat milk
2 eggs whites (or 2 servings of egg white substitute)
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
handful of raisins or blueberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat bran and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, milk, egg whites and mashed banana. Stir in the chopped almonds, raisins or blueberries, and shredded coconut, if using.
- Equally divide the batter between the 12 lined muffin cups.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 – 15 minutes until golden on top and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Local Trader Joe’s is a great source for raw almonds, raisins, oat bran, non-fat yogurt, natural-style peanut butter, granola, cheese and fresh fruit – all integral ingredients to make these easy, healthy breakfasts.
Try these other ideas for easy weekday breakfasts:
Strawberry Rhubarb Toaster Pies
Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Ricotta Banana Panini
Peach Melba Smoothie
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