Fall is rolling around, the kiddos are back in school, and work schedules are becoming more hectic than ever. For many of us, making time to whip up a healthy, satisfying breakfast is much easier said than done.
Even if your mornings are a whirlwind of activity, you don’t need to rely on bananas, yogurt cups or (worst of all) a single cup of coffee to get you going. With a quick trip to the store to stock up on the right ingredients, or a bit of planning the weekend before, you can guarantee a quick, healthy breakfast on even the busiest of mornings.
Make Ahead Grab-n-Go Breakfasts
If you’re able to plan ahead, there are a multitude of easy breakfast recipes that you can make in advance and bag up so they’re ready to grab as you head out the door. Below we list some of our favorites. None of these takes more than a half hour of cooking time, and several can be made in giant batches to keep you stocked up for weeks to come!
Recipe #1: Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets
Unlike packaged instant oatmeal, which is either full of sugar or too plain (boring!), assembling your own packets ensures you’ll have a healthy, delicious bowl of morning porridge. All you need is the right proportions. Put 1/3 cup instant oats into a baggie, and add a variety of nuts, fruit, seeds, spices and natural sweeteners to suit your preference. To make a large batch, assembly-line the baggies, measure out oats into each bag, then add a selection of toppings to each, making different varieties to keep it interesting!
- 1/3 cup plain instant oats
- Dried fruit: dried cranberries, currants, chopped dried apricots, cherries, chopped figs or goji berries
- Nuts: slivered almonds, pecans or walnut pieces
- Seeds: sesame, sunflower, chia or flax
- Protein: dried milk or protein powder
- Spices: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, or pumpkin spice powder, or a tiny pinch of cardamom nutmeg, allspice or cloves
- Salt: 1/8 teaspoon salt will round out the flavors
To make: Pour oatmeal packet into large mug or bowl, add 2/3 cup hot water, stir and let sit for 3 minutes.
Recipe #2: Greek Yogurt Parfaits
Yogurt cups are a quick breakfast, but they can get old day after day. What’s more, a simple cup of yogurt lacks fiber (which helps keep you full longer) and the vitamins and nutrients that fresh fruit provides. To get all that goodness, make layered parfaits in mason jars (they won’t leak) the night before, and you’ve got yourself a grab-n-go treat!
To make: In a 1-pint mason jar, stack as many layers as you like:
- 1 cup plain low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup cooked grains, such as farro, quinoa or brown rice. You can also use good old-fashioned oats (they will absorb the liquid and plump overnight)
- 1/2 cup fresh berries or sliced fruit (chopped pears, apples or even segments of orange work well)
- Seasonings of choice: ground cinnamon, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Nuts are also good, but they will lose their crunch.
Recipe #3: Frittata Muffins
These protein powerhouses can be baked up in muffin tins, cooled and stored in the fridge for later in the week, or frozen in Ziploc bags for up to a month. To eat, simply reheat for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave. Experiment with different veggies depending on what’s in season. In early fall, use up the end-of-season bounty of zucchini, corn and cherry tomatoes with a little basil and feta. As the weather turns colder, try cubed cooked winter squash, sautéed kale or spinach, diced apples and sharp cheddar. The possibilities are endless!
- 6 eggs (try to find local eggs; you can substitute egg whites, but you’ll lose all the good nutrients in the yolk)
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 ear of corn, cut off the cob
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup slivered basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
To make: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin (12 regular, or 24 mini muffins) with olive oil. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in veggies and cheese. Divide evenly into muffin tins and bake 20 to 25 minutes for large muffins, 8 to 10 minutes for mini muffins. Cool on a wire rack, remove from tins and refrigerate or freeze for up to one month.
5-Minute Grab-n-Go Breakfasts
Forgot to plan ahead? No worries! There are plenty of healthy breakfasts you can whip up morning-of in less than 5 minutes.
Recipe #4: ABC Wafflewich
Tired of the traditional PB&J? Try the AB&C: almond butter, banana and chia on a waffle! The almond butter and chia seeds are loaded with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and the banana provides sweetness, vitamins and fiber without the sticky fingers of jam.
To make: Toast two whole-grain frozen waffles (gluten-free are also a good option), top each waffle with one tablespoon almond butter and a teaspoon of chia seeds. Slice up a banana onto one slice, and sandwich with the other (eat the rest of the banana that won’t fit in the sandwich). Wrap in a paper towel and take it to go if you’re short on time.
Recipe #5: Avocado Toast
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. For avocado lovers, this is a decadent way to start the day.
To make: Simply toast up a hearty slice of whole-grain bread, cut open one avocado, cut the flesh on one half with cross-hatches, then mash onto the side of the toast. Sprinkle with some sea salt — or, for an extra kick, add Tabasco and a squeeze of lime. For those craving more protein, slice up a hardboiled egg on top as well.
Recipe #6: 1-Minute Breakfast Burrito
Quite possibly the easiest way to make eggs for breakfast is — yes — the microwave. The tortilla provides a no-clean-up wrapper for the eggs, and with a bit of shredded cheese or salsa (and, if you have time, diced bell pepper, black beans or tomato) — voila! You’ve got a filling breakfast in no time.
To make: Line a medium microwavable bowl with a paper towel, then place one 8-inch whole-grain or sprouted tortilla on top. Crack one egg into the center of the tortilla and gently beat with a fork to break the yolk. Microwave 30 seconds. Remove, stir egg, and microwave another 20 to 40 seconds until egg is set. Remove from microwave, top with 2 tablespoons grated cheese, salsa, beans or tomato. Wrap the tortilla around the egg, and then wrap a paper towel around the tortilla to eat on-the-go!
Want more? Here are a few other great breakfast ideas to make ahead or grab on-the-go: