How to Make Your Breakfast Healthy

How to Make Your Breakfast Healthy

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The saying goes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But why is it so important, and what we can eat in the morning to ensure that we get the most out of this essential meal?

Click here to see the 8 Healthy and Delicious Breakfast Ideas (Slideshow)

Laura Pumillo, RD MA CDN, suggests a breakfast composed of 25 grams of protein and 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates, totaling around 400 calories, for a balanced, healthy meal. For an idea of what that looks like, think 8 to 12 ounces of fat-free Greek yogurt with blueberries, a small handful of almonds, and 1 slice of whole-grain toast with peanut butter. Or, a whole-wheat breakfast wrap with eggs, beans, and low- or reduced-fat cheese.

For the carbohydrates, Pumillo recommends whole-grain cereal or toast, or oatmeal or cream of wheat that is low in sugar. Adding fresh or dried fruit to the whole grains or mixing in items like chopped walnuts or sliced almonds is beneficial for extra nutrients and protein.

But why is it so important to eat breakfast, anyway? While there's no guarantee that breakfast-eaters will lose weight faster than those who don't eat breakfast, there have been several studies that show that people who do eat breakfast tend to weigh less and have an easier time losing weight and keeping it off. Pumillo notes that studies also show that breakfast-eaters have fewer occurrences of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Additionally, people who eat breakfasts that are high in protein are better able to control their appetite throughout the day and have higher energy and better concentration. The nutritional benefits of eating breakfast is a diet higher in vitamin C, calcium, protein, zinc, iron, and fiber.

So the next time you think about skipping breakfast, think again — it’s easy to achieve a healthy, balanced breakfast, and the health benefits are definitely worth it.

31 Healthy and Fast Breakfast Recipes for Busy Mornings

We admit it: There are some (OK, many) mornings when it’s all we can do to will ourselves out of bed and grab a fistful of cereal or a granola bar on our way out the door.

A gourmet breakfast isn’t a realistic everyday goal. But that doesn’t mean we should settle for a sugar rush that’ll leave us sad and hungry a half-hour later. You’d be surprised how many healthy breakfast ideas require very little effort when put into practice.

We’re about to blow your mind with everything from über-easy, make-ahead breakfast muffins to lots of delicious vegan breakfast ideas and healthy smoothies you can whip up in just minutes. Overnight oats recipe? Oh, yeah. We’ve got a killer one of those.

There’s also no need to limit these healthy breakfast recipes to the morning hours, friends. Expand your horizons and try these 31 healthy options to satisfy those breakfast-food cravings all day long.

1. Tomato Toast with Macadamia “Ricotta”

Here’s a vegan take on a classic summer breakfast sandwich. Instead of mayo, a fluffy, rich mixture of nuts, garlic, miso paste, and nutritional yeast is spread on hearty whole-grain bread. Then slices of ripe tomatoes are layered on — we love to mix red and yellow heirlooms.

Season this open-faced sandwich with ribbons of basil or shiso, kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.

2. Avocado Toast with Egg

Sometimes simple is just better. Top two lightly toasted slices of whole-grain bread with smashed avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Layer on two sunny-side up eggs for a healthy dose of protein and you’ve got a well-rounded breakfast.

3. Nut Butter, Banana, and Chia Seed Toast

Try this superfood twist on classic PB and banana, using sunflower seed butter (or your favorite seed or nut butter) and a sprinkling of whole raw chia seeds, which are packed with an amazing array of nutrients.

4. Berry and Yogurt Smoothie

Here’s a simple and delicious smoothie for the morning rush. It takes less than five minutes to blend fresh or frozen fruit (banana and berries work well) with Greek yogurt and a liquid of your choice (milk, juice, coconut water — whatever you like).

This recipe makes two servings, so freeze one overnight and let it thaw throughout the day to enjoy in the afternoon.

5. Berry Breakfast Parfait

One of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest breakfasts out there is a classic fruit and yogurt parfait. The best part? It can be made with any toppings you like. Choose fruits that are in season to get the best flavor. But in a pinch, (thawed) frozen will do.

6. Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go snack any time of day. Blend frozen bananas, peanut butter, soy milk, Greek yogurt, honey, and a few ice cubes and you’ll swear you’re sipping a milkshake.

If this is a morning snack, keep it in a tight-sealing container and secure it in a pocket in your gym or work bag. For an afternoon boost, prep it the night before and freeze it. Remove it in the morning, and it will be thawed and ready when that 3 p.m. lull sets in.

Tip: Add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein powder for an extra shot of protein.

7. Pumpkin Granola Yogurt Parfait

This one’s perfect to try out as fall sets in. In your favorite small container (with a reliable lid!), layer rich pumpkin pie cashew cream with plain Greek yogurt and a handful of granola, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.

The best part? Pumpkin is a bona fide superfood rich in beta carotene, which is essential for eye health.

8. Quinoa Fruit Salad

A fruit salad of berries and mango gets extra texture, body, and protein from a scoop of quinoa. Toss the whole shebang around until the quinoa is evenly distributed. Then drizzle on a sweet-tart dressing of honey, lime, and basil and toss to coat evenly.

This recipe makes 4–6 servings, so you can prep in advance and throw together a serving or two as you need.

9. Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

This is the ultimate busy-bee breakfast. Combine oats, chia seeds, blueberries, vanilla, almond milk, and maple syrup in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with slivered almonds and half a sliced banana and you’re ready for breakfast. If you’re in the mood for something warm, heat in the microwave for 1–2 minutes.

10. Savory Oatmeal with an Egg

Savory oatmeal? What the… ?! Yes, this recipe takes oatmeal to a whole new level. Quick-cooking steel-cut oats (or regular rolled oats) are cooked in the microwave, mixed with white cheddar cheese, sprinkled with diced red pepper and onion, and topped with an over-easy egg.

Bonus: This recipe has useful tips for cooking in the microwave without making a mess. (We admit it: We’ve wreaked havoc a few times. Sigh.)

11. Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups

Here’s a new way to enjoy quinoa: Make mini quinoa breakfast quiches! These two-bite mini muffins are light and fluffy. And this recipe can be adapted to include your favorite

veggies (spinach or zucchini works well) and cheese (ummmm, cheddar).

12. Quinoa and Chia Porridge

Cooking quinoa in milk (dairy, soy, or almond) with healthy spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric infuses flavor into this great substitute for a classic hot breakfast cereal. Plus, it’s high in protein.

Simply put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer, stir, and top with your favorite seasonal add-ons.

13. Banana Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Try this superfood twist on the classic combo of PB and banana. It tastes like breakfast for dessert, if dessert were healthy. All you need is love — in the form of chia seeds, a banana, some PB, and milk of your choice. And time: The pudding can rest in the fridge for four hours, but overnight is better.

14. Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

Turn a classic summer quick bread into oatmeal with this recipe. Adding shredded zucchini and chia seeds to the simmering oatmeal pumps up the nutritional value and starts your day with a serving of veggies. Throw on a handful of toasted walnuts for added crunch.

15. Coconut Yogurt Quinoa Muffins

By this point, it’s obvious we think quinoa makes anything better. So when it comes to muffins, it’s a no-brainer (especially if you add flaxseeds, oats, banana, and applesauce, too). Try these moist little bites for breakfast or an after-lunch treat.

16. Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please. While Oreos or Chips Ahoy may not make a balanced breakfast, these soft, thick, chewy cookies are a top-notch choice. The recipe calls for carob chips, but you can substitute semisweet chocolate chips.

Plus, you can pick and choose what you like to mix in for flavoring — go for almond butter and raisins in one batch and peanut butter and chocolate chips in another.

17. Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Cups

With oats, shredded zucchini, and maple syrup, this vegan breakfast will start your day with veggies and grains. Make a batch of these baked oatmeal cups in advance, keep them in the fridge, and grab one for breakfast on your way out the door.

18. Apple Crisp Oatmeal Squares

Oatmeal is a great option for a hearty snack or breakfast, but what’s the best way to make it more convenient and portable? Bake it into squares! In this recipe, a crisp topping covers a layer of apples over a base of banana and oats.

Tip: Individual servings can be frozen and later thawed or warmed in the microwave.

19. Morning Glory Muffins

These oat-based muffins (pssst… it’s a Martha Stewart recipe) are packed with healthy carrots and zucchini and lightly sweetened with raisins and a pinch of sugar. Use a mini muffin tin for smaller portions and cut back on the brown sugar or choose a healthier substitute).

20. Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

These tasty, easy no-bake granola bars will remind you of your morning oatmeal, but you can eat them anywhere you like. This recipe calls for honey, but we like to replace it with maple syrup to make the bars vegan.

21. Zucchini, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Any recipe that fits a serving of veggies into a delicious baked good is a winner in our book. These muffins are jam-packed with better-for-you ingredients — coconut oil, zucchini, banana, and whole-wheat flour — plus chocolate chips for an extra bit of sweetness.

22. Breakfast Egg Muffins

Finally, a muffin without allllll that sugar. These are simple to make ahead of time, and they last all week — great for grab-and-go breakfasts. Blend or whisk eggs with spinach, bacon, and cheese, and then pour the mixture into muffin tins. Bake for 15–20 minutes before serving.

Tip: Once they’ve cooled, store them in the fridge. They’ll warm up nicely in the microwave in your office (sorry it smells so good, co-workers).

23. Spinach and Cheddar Microwave Quiche

Yes, it’s possible (and easy) to make a quiche in the microwave! Cover half a cup of spinach with water in a mug and microwave it for a minute. Drain the water and add an egg, milk, cheese, and a crumbled slice of bacon. Mix thoroughly, and then microwave for three more minutes.

Transfer it to a container to eat later or enjoy it right away.

24. Slow-Cooker Sausage and Egg Casserole

Wake up to a house smelling like sausage and effortlessly put breakfast on your plate, all thanks to the beauty and benefits of a slow cooker.

Layer the vegetables, sausage, and cheese in the slow cooker top with a mix of eggs and cream (you’d be fine using regular or nondairy milk for a lighter option) and you’re just one sleep away from a delicious and hearty meal. (And yes, of course you can omit the sausage.)

25. Cheesy Spinach Baked Eggs

Fried eggs are great, but how about baking a whole egg in a muffin tin or ramekin with veggies and cheese, using a lot less oil? A batch of these babies will feed the whole family for breakfast and make Monday feel like Friday. (Yes, you’re a star and they appreciate everything you do.)

30 Healthy Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes

Save time and take some stress out of your busy mornings with make ahead breakfasts! Meal prep one of these easy, healthy ideas to make your mornings smoother.

The #1 way that I can make mornings easier is by having breakfast ready ahead of time! Taking some time to meal prep breakfast at the beginning of the week or the night before can make for a smoother morning for sure.

Here are 30 healthy make ahead breakfast ideas that you can choose from! You’ll find healthier breakfast bars and muffins, chia seed puddings, overnight oats, egg bakes and more. All of these ideas are on the healthy side with nutritious ingredients, low in sugar or naturally sweetened, and some are low carb, keto or gluten free.

My Healthier Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars have been super popular on my site this past year. Everyone loves to prep them for a grab-and-go breakfast to enjoy throughout the week, so I thought I would gather more meal prep breakfast ideas to share!

25 Fast, Healthy (and Delicious!) Breakfast Ideas

Mornings can be a hectic time. Between putting last-minute touches on homework or presentations and finding where you took off your shoes the day before, taking time to eat a healthy breakfast before you rush out the door may be easily overlooked. But it doesn&rsquot have to be.

A quick and healthy breakfast can take just a handful of minutes, be made the night before, or even a few days in advance. There&rsquos no need to flip omelets or bake fresh granola in the name of healthful meals every morning. Instead, build a healthy breakfast menu for your week from this collection of easy breakfast ideas. As you&rsquoll see, many healthy breakfast ideas can be speedy and quite tasty.

A few of these quick breakfast ideas are so good, you may decide to just repeat them daily to take away the worry of crafting a whole new breakfast menu each week. After all, whatever is easy enough for you to make and eat before you get to the office or drop the kids off at school is the right choice for a healthy morning meal.

"The mint and watermelon complement each other well. I used peach yogurt and added some ice to thicken it up. It was a great refresher after my run!"

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Healthy Breakfasts You Can Make in Your Hotel Room

Yes, the “free” breakfast might be alluring in theory, but we all know that the greasy, processed food served up in most chain hotels are not something you should start your day with. Here's how to cook up a better meal, all in your hotel room.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t treat yourself while on vacation or business trips – there is nothing more amazing than breaking free from the daily hum-drum of your kitchen and noshing on dishes you normally wouldn’t at home.

While on vacation, in particular, it can be so easy and comfortable to drop some extra cash on meals right on your accommodations’ property, and there are many hotels where I would say you should do so.

Struggling to cook healthy? We'll help you prep.

But don’t be upset with me when I tell you that you should probably skip that free hotel breakfast – especially if you find yourself at a chain hotel, motel or inn.

You might be asking: what kind of well-traveled vacationer would opt out of free things? It’s the self-respecting tourist who understands that you should start your long day of activities with a wholesome, satisfying yet light meal, and you’re not going to get that at the hotel buffet.

Some hotel groups are putting emphasis on trying their best to offer eyebrow-raising, alluring upscale options like cinnamon-glazed French toast or a Santa Fe ham-egg-and-spinach bagel (yes, that’s available at Hyatt hotels).

But more often than not, the promise of a free hotel breakfast is the reality of pre-prepared “just add water” items that really can do a number on you before you’ve even stepped out your door.

Cooking while on vacation might not be the first thing on your to-do list, but I’m here to convince you that you can put together a satisfying and healthy breakfast without even leaving your room. And it’s going to be so much better than anything you𠆝 ever pick up in the hotel lobby.

Honestly Delicious Breakfast Salads for a Healthy Start to Your Day

With eggs, fruit, bacon, and/or whole grains tossed in the mix, breakfast salad just makes sense.

It often feels like I’m in the minority, but I deeply love salads! I pay the upcharge for side salads instead of fries or chips when dining out. We eat homemade salads for dinner regularly. Heck, my birthday dinner this year was a steak salad from a local restaurant. Salads are colorful, flavorful, filled with a variety of textures, and (as long as I don’t overdo unhealthy mix-ins like croutons or fried tortilla strips) they’re nutrient-rich to boot. That’s why I’m enthusiastically embracing breakfast salads. Eating salad for breakfast is a trend I’ve just seen starting to bubble up, but I know if more of you try breakfast egg salads and breakfast fruit salads, you’re gonna be hooked, too. All you other salad lovers out there, try serving these breakfast salads to naysayers to prove that salads deserve a spot on the breakfast menu.

How to Cook Eggs The Easy Way

There are a variety of methods to cook eggs and achieve the same result for adding to your breakfast sandwich. If you prefer a harder cooked egg, pierce the yolk with a sharp knife before cooking so it spreads into the white.

How to cook eggs (poach) in the microwave: This is likely your fastest route to on-the-go breakfast. Simply break an egg in a ramekin with 1/4 to 1/2 cup water depending on the size of the ramekin so the egg is covered with water. Poke the whites around the egg yolk 3 times with a sharp knife so the whites cook thoroughly. Cook on high for 1 minute in the microwave with an extra 15 seconds blasts if the egg isn’t cooked to your liking. Strain from the water.

How to cook eggs on the stovetop: Spray a small non-stick pan with canola oil cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Crack an egg into the pan and drop the heat to medium. Poke the whites with a sharp knife 3 times around the outside of the yolk to break up the whites to set as they cook. If you want a hard cooked egg, gently pierce the egg yolk with a sharp knife. Cook to desired doneness for sunny side up eggs, or flip with a spatula or a flick of the wrist for over easy eggs. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

How to cook eggs in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 6-tin, non-stick muffin tin with canola oil spray then crack the eggs into the tins. Poke the whites with a sharp knife 3 times around the outside of the yolk to break up the whites to set as they cook. If you want a hard cooked egg, gently pierce the egg yolk with a sharp knife. Cover with 2 tablespoons of water and bake for 8-10 minutes or until desired doneness

Why a low carb breakfast is the way to go

When you think of breakfast, you probably think of “typical” breakfast foods like cereal, bagels, muffins, toast, oatmeal, and orange juice. But these sugar and carb laden breakfast foods are missing key nutrients, such as protein and healthy fat.

Sugar and carbs might temporarily give you an energy boost, because they quickly spike your blood sugar, but they also lead your blood sugar to quickly crash. As your body rides this blood sugar roller coaster, you’re more likely to have sugar and carb cravings later in the day.

Every time your blood sugar dips, the sugar and/or carb cravings will become strong as your body searches for a quick energy hit.

Studies find that keeping your biggest carbohydrate intake to dinner can reduce hunger levels, lower inflammation, and support weight loss, so low carb breakfasts are great if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight.

They’re also good if you usually wake up still feeling tired and groggy, because it’s likely that your cortisol is low in the morning when it should be at its peak. A low carb breakfast increases cortisol levels, which can help you feel more energized in the morning.

7 Healthy Pancakes and Baked Goods for your next Breakfast Meal Prep

Pancakes, muffins, cookies, and other baked goods don’t have the best reputation when it comes to healthy eating. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them! Here are some delicious recipes that fit into your healthy eating lifestyle. If you are a fan of Bisquick, these 32 Easy Bisquick Recipes might just be perfect for you.

34. Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes with Wild Blueberry Maple Syrup

These delicious pancakes are great for those on a Paleo diet. I’m surprised at how good coconut flour is as a substitute to traditional flour!

To meal prep these, you can prep the pancakes and sauce separately and assemble each morning.

35. 5-Ingredient Banana Egg Pancakes

Pancakes tend to be loaded with added sugar, but that’s not the case with these banana egg pancakes. It also is gluten-free. You can make a big batch on Sunday and heat them up throughout the week!

36. Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

Who doesn’t love a good granola bar?! A homemade granola bar is perfect for breakfast or a snack. The options are endless when creating your ideal mixture packed with nuts or nut butter for protein and oats for carbs. Check out these recipes for some inspiration!

37. Clean Eating Healthy Pancake Recipe

This recipe doesn’t abide to any specific “diets” but is great for those trying to eat cleaner in general. It avoids any highly processed ingredients such as sugar or all-purpose flour. As a result, it also is gluten-free! I wouldn’t freeze these pancakes, but they are still great for meal prepping a week’s worth of breakfast.

38. Breakfast Muffins with No Added Sugar (Paleo)

If you’re looking for a healthier version of a muffin, I suggest trying these. They also happen to be paleo-friendly. These are more nutrient-rich than traditional muffins and have all naturally occurring sugars (like dates and honey). Like all muffins, these are excellent grab-and-go foods for busy mornings.

39. One-Bowl Berry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal cookies are also a good choice for those really busy mornings. I wouldn’t say this is a stand-alone breakfast but you can combine this with a fruit or smoothie depending on your calorie goals. These cookies are gluten free and the recipe also includes a vegan option by subbing out eggs in favor of coconut oil.

40. Vegan Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

Eggs are often the trickiest things to exclude when baking since it is what binds everything together. This recipe uses water and ground flaxseeds as a substitute and it works well. These cinnamon muffins are topped with oat crumbs and make a delicious breakfast / snack for the fall time!