10 easy, delicious, nutritious breakfasts

March 16, 2017 Providence Health Team

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” All meal choices matter, but it does make sense to choose healthy fuel to prepare your body and brain for the day ahead.
A good breakfast doesn’t need to be a full restaurant-style meal, but it should include portions of the essentials – with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Since most of us are in a hurry in the morning, it’s easy to let nutrition slip through the cracks.
Here are some nutritious morning meals that take just a few minutes to prepare but will make a real difference to your whole day.

1. Avocado Toast. Crispy-creamy avocado toast is not just an easy breakfast-on-the-go. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamins C and E, and cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats. When you add a touch of olive oil and spice, this is fast food that feels like a full meal.

2 servings:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 slices whole wheat or multigrain toast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •  pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper or red pepper flakes

For full instructions, see here.

2. Overnight Oatmeal. Soak a portion of oats overnight, and stir in your favorite energy-boosting toppings in the morning. This healthy breakfast saves time on the way to work, and keeps you feeling full for hours.

4 servings:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 2 apples
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Almonds or walnuts
  • Cranberries or raisins

For full instructions, see here.

3. Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie. Smoothies are one of the fastest meals you can make, and they can be customized with whatever nutritious ingredients you like best. Bananas deliver potassium, vitamin B-6 and manganese, and that spoonful of peanut butter alone provides about 4 grams of protein. For most people, this recipe makes two or three servings, depending on your daily caloric needs.

  • 3 bananas, frozen in chunks
  • 1 ½ cup soy or regular milk
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts

For full instructions, see here.

4. Quinoa and Chia Porridge. When you cook with quinoa instead of the usual hot cereals, you
boost the protein and energy content, and get more of the amino acids essential for tissue growth and repair. Simply boil it with soy, almond or reduced-fat cow’s milk, add sweet-tasting spices and fruit, and you have a hot, yummy meal that sticks to your ribs.

2-4 servings:

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 “empty” vanilla pod (after scraping the seeds for use in other recipes, keep the pods and use them to flavor porridge and other liquids)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 slices fresh turmeric (or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • ¼ cup raisins or currants
  • 1/3 fresh peach, roughly sliced/chopped1/3 fresh nectarine, roughly sliced/ chopped
  • Toppings (e.g., coconut flakes, chopped nuts, fresh figs, the rest of the peach and nectarine, fresh thyme)

For full instructions, see here.

5. Grab-and-Go Cranberry Granola Bars. With your own make-ahead granola bars, you won’t be tempted to skip breakfast – and you won’t be eating any processed ingredients or added sugars. Both the oatmeal and the egg whites in this recipe provide healthy protein. The dried fruit are packed with energy-boosting vitamins and minerals.

16 bars:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup wheat germ
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries

For full instructions, see here.

6. Open-Face Breakfast Sandwich. For some of us, it isn’t breakfast without eggs. You can have a rich-tasting breakfast sandwich while getting your greens, too. Quick-cooked arugula and reduced-fat ricotta cheese make this recipe seem positively luxurious.

4 servings

  • 4 slices whole-wheat bread
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

For full recipe, see here.

7. South of the Border Breakfast Wrap. There’s nothing more portable than a sandwich wrap (or burrito). When you fill it with heart-healthy avocado and egg whites, you’re fueling up with low-calorie energy. Add tomato and cilantro, and wrap in a whole-wheat tortilla for a light yet satisfying meal-on-the-go.

1 serving:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 whole-grain tortilla or wrap
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • ¼ avocado, chopped

For full instructions, see here.

8. Double Berry Breakfast Parfaits.
Combine strawberries and blueberries with creamy Greek yogurt, and you’ve got a breakfast that tastes like dessert but delivers high-quality nutrients. These “superfood” berries are packed with vitamin C, folate, niacin and antioxidants while the yogurt delivers plenty of calcium and protein.

2 servings:

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • Honey (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

For full recipe, see here.

9. Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets. These make-ahead microwavable oatmeal portions are not only super-handy to cook up at work, they don’t have all those extra sugars and additives usually found in the store-bought kind. Heart-healthy oatmeal is high in protein and low in fat.

24 servings:

  • 10 cups quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1-1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 20-24 snack-size zip bags

For full instructions, see here.

10. Fruit and Cheese. For the ultimate quick breakfast, there is nothing simpler than bagging up a handful of healthy foods to enjoy at work or nibble in the car. Sliced apple, low-fat cheese cubes and fresh walnuts offer excellent amounts of fiber, vitamin C, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium and protein to get your engine revved up until lunchtime.

1 serving:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 to 2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup walnut halves

For full instructions, see here.

Talk to your health care provider about a healthy diet plan. You can find a Providence provider in our multistate directory.

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