Five Minute Healthy Breakfasts
You know the morning chaos routine—organize the carpool, pack lunches, walk Fido, get everyone including yourself out the door on time . . . and eat a nutritionally balanced breakfast. What? That last one didn’t make the cut? For many reasons, a good breakfast (the most important meal of the day, according to most sources) doesn’t always fit into our busy lifestyles. But it’s easier than you think to start your day off right. With these premade or practically effortless breakfasts, you can fuel up blissfully for your busy day with a healthy jolt of energy, even amidst the madness.
• Almost-Instant Oatmeal: We love oatmeal, but the sugary packets are enough to make even people skip seconds. How does a hot bowl of old-fashioned, peanut butter-banana oatmeal sound? Pretty good to me! Just put ½ cup of quick-cooking oats in a medium-sized or larger bowl (to avoid overflow). Sprinkle on a dusting of cinnamon and then pour 1 cup of your favorite kind of milk on top. Microwave for 90 seconds, then remove and stir in a big spoonful of natural peanut butter (I like Teddie All-Natural Super Chunky). Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, which will become all melty and delicious in your oatmeal. Now slice a banana into your bowl and any other fruit you want (thawed frozen blueberries are great in the winter). You can also toss on a handful of assorted nuts, sunflower seeds, granola, raisins, or other dried fruit. For an even faster fix, mix these toppings in a jar, and then just sprinkle on to give your oatmeal extra crunch, fiber, and nutrition.
• Premade Pancakes: Pancakes don’t have to be a weekend luxury! Stock up on Sunday, and you and your family can enjoy them all week long. On the weekend, make a double batch of buckwheat pancakes. Toss some frozen blackberries and pecans into the batter before griddling silver-dollar size pancakes (i.e., toaster size). After you have enjoyed your fill, freeze the remaining pancakes in a plastic bag. On weekday mornings, pop a couple in the toaster, scoop on some unsweetened applesauce, and enjoy with a big glass of milk.
• Eggs: Yes, you can have eggs in the morning! If you don’t have time to fry or scramble (or poach, my personal favorite), take the hard-boiled route instead. For an on-the-go breakfast, peel two hard-boiled eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a large orange and a steaming cup of tea or coffee, and you have a morning picnic!
• Yogurt Parfait: As fancy as it may sound, this breakfast can be assembled very easily. Instead of vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt, which is loaded with cane sugar, scoop out a cup of plain Greek yogurt. To this base layer add slices of strawberries, banana, and pineapple. Sprinkle some bran cereal on top for extra fiber. Add a spoonful each of flaxseed and unsweetened coconut flakes. Dig into your tropical parfait!
• Baked Apple: Apple pie for breakfast? I’d say so! Start with a sharp knife (an apple corer does the trick even better) and core a large apple and place it in a bowl. Fill the core with raisins, walnuts, almonds, granola, (as mentioned above, a mix of these toppings saves precious time in the morning), and a squirt of honey or maple syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and add a scoop of Greek yogurt or a glug of milk to your bowl to cool the hot apple. Sprinkle on some wheat germ, and your 3-minute apple pie is ready.
What simple solutions do you have up your sleeve to make healthful breakfasts fast and easy even on your most hectic days?