Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Breakfast: the Fast and the Simple

We know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Your morning meal jumpstarts your metabolism, leads to healthier food choices throughout the day, and let’s be honest: it can be yummy! But fitting it in is challenging, and often, cheap, sugary pastries are faster.

Tempting though it may be, saving time by skipping breakfast isn’t ideal, either. We end up cranky, hungry, and our metabolism slows down during times of fasting – and we definitely don’t want that. So rather than miss our morning meal, or eat foods that aren’t a great choice, why not try some quick and easy recipes that will leave you full, nourished, and ready to take on your day?

For those who enjoy hot breakfast options:

Egg cups – think you don’t have time to get in some amazing protein? Think again! You can cook your eggs and still have time to eat them. And they don’t have to be boring, either. Check out this egg cup recipe along with some delicious variations. And if you love a side of bacon with your eggs, don’t forget that you can microwave bacon. Or if you have a toaster oven, pop a few slices in and set the timer! (Baked bacon is amazingly crisp!)

Quick frittata (or quiche) – this is an easy breakfast that you can make on Sunday evening to last you throughout the week. A frittata is a crustless quiche, so they are simple to whip up without much fuss. This recipe calls for a skillet, but you can also make them in muffin pans. Feel free to get creative with this dish – the more ingredients you add, the richer the flavor.

Oatmeal – If you are a fan of the sticky, textured taste of oats, fear not! There are other options out there besides the often sugar-laden instant oatmeal packets. And it doesn’t have to take precious morning minutes on the stove. Overnight oatmeal recipes abound. Feel free to warm your oatmeal in the microwave, if you prefer.

For those who like the cold – or on the go – breakfast options:

Greek yogurt Рwhile a small container of Greek yogurt by itself might not hold you over all morning, combined with fruit and some granola, it can be quite filling. While yogurts often contain quite a bit of sugar, you can buy plain yogurt, throw it in your blender with some frozen fruit and sweetener of choice, and voilà! You have a fruit-flavored yogurt.

Healthy muffins – What?! Muffins that are healthy and don’t come wrapped in cellophane? Baked goods are an American staple for breakfast, but the ones you buy at the convenience store have questionable ingredients, are high in sugar, and offer little to no nutrients. But try these high-protein banana bread muffins, and you’ll be converted! These can be made on Sunday night, so you have a ready-made breakfast throughout the week.

Homemade cereal – the upside: lots of healthy ingredients and a super crunch. The downside: they require some planning. Nonetheless, with a half hour or so set aside on Sunday (perhaps while you are catching up on your DVR recordings!), you can create some pretty amazing cereal. Love nuts? This easy, crunchy cereal might be perfect. If you prefer recipes without nuts, try this grain-free, nut-free version.

Breakfast can be tough to include when you are rushing around in the morning, but with a bit of planning, you can eat a healthy, satisfying, tasty meal, and start your day off right.

What are your favorite quick and easy recipes for breakfast?

Contributing Writer

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