Healthy Breakfasts in a Flash
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2022

Healthy Breakfasts in a Flash

You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true! Getting a healthy breakfast is a great way to acknowledge your body’s need for nutrition and fuel your efforts to make healthy choices throughout the day.

But so many people struggle with making healthy breakfast choices when they are pressed for time. Rather than turn to the prepared versions of food, make them fast and fresh. Here are some of my best quick or make-ahead breakfasts to shake up the menu and inspire health.

Don’t roll through the fast food line for a breakfast sandwich when you can put together a breakfast taco in 3 minutes. Choose a whole wheat tortilla and add scrambled eggs (cooked in the microwave), avocado, salsa, and a dab of non-fat cottage cheese.  If you happen to have some leftover sautéed greens, pile them on too. Add a piece of whole fruit for a healthy, delicious, and satisfying meal.

You don’t need to take the time or dirty the dishes to make a smoothie. Instead, make a super-fast one-layer parfait. The night before, take a 2-pint wide-mouthed Mason jar. Fill the bottom half with frozen berries. Fill the remaining with plain non-fat Greek yogurt or your favorite plant-based version. Sweeten with a half tablespoon of maple syrup or honey and leave it in the fridge overnight. By morning you will have a hearty, sweet, and delicious breakfast that is ready to stir and eat. It feels fancier and is also way healthier and cheaper than the store-bought version.

No time for oatmeal? Try overnight oats. This recipe is a winner for health and provides tons of flexibility to add your favorite things. With its pudding-like consistency, you will feel like it’s an indulgence. Make a few days’ worth at once to save on time.

If a granola bar is your go-to, I encourage you to try one of many recipes available for breakfast cookies. They are super quick and easy. The recipes make plenty and can be easily doubled, and the cookies store well in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer. You will find them just as good and way healthier than your typical granola bar.

When all else fails, rely on “speedy staples.” Keep whole fruit, cottage cheese, peanut butter, and hardboiled eggs on hand. A banana or apple cut into wedges spread with 2 tablespoons of peanut or other nut butter offers a hearty, healthy breakfast. Similarly, a cup of non-fat cottage cheese with sliced peaches or Mandarin oranges, fresh or canned in a low-sugar solution, combines sweet and salty at lightning speed. Whole fruit and hardboiled eggs win for most portable, so you can eat healthfully no matter how little time you have.

What do these breakfast-in-a-flash ideas have in common? They combine whole foods—whole grains, low-fat or plant-based dairy, plenty of whole fruits, and a few vegetables—in practical ways you can use to eat healthier and more deliciously every day.

Kristin Irace, RD, is a registered dietitian with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, in Bennington.

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