According to random sources, September is designated as “Better Breakfast Month.” I’m not sure who decided this or if it’s even legit but I thought I’d use it as a way to share some of my top breakfast ideas. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Growing up my before-school breakfasts consisted of orange juice, a bowl of Cheerios, and a piece of toast with, depending on the season, peanut butter and jelly, honey, cinnamon and sugar, or peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Yes, that’s right, I said marshmallow fluff. The marshmallow fluff was saved for “special occasions,” namely the holiday season. Marshmallow fluff aside, I was actually eating somewhat healthy for a kid. My mom never let me have cereals like Captain Crunch and Pop Tarts, still a weakness to this day, were reserved for after-school snacks. I am glad my mom made me eat breakfast and I’m glad it was relatively healthy. Here are some of the breakfast staples I’ve matured to in recent years:
Fruit – Always incorporate at least one serving of fruit into your breakfast. I find the easiest way to do this is by adding fruit to cereal, pancakes, oatmeal, or toast. A new favorite of mine is peanut butter banana toast. Another way to get a serving of fruit is by having juice. This is a very popular way to get both fruits and veggies and while this isn’t something I do regularly (I enjoy eating over drinking my breakfast), it works for many busy people.
Vegetables – If you can get some veggies in for breakfast, pat yourself on the back! The easiest way to do this in my opinion is my making some kind of omelette or scramble. Occasionally I’ll slice up a green pepper and have it as a side to my eggs and toast. I never crave a salad this early in the morning but adding spinach to a smoothie or juice would be a perfect way to get your greens! This recipe for an apple, spinach, and avocado smoothie is definitely on my list of things to try!
Eggs – Eggs are one of my main sources of protein. Depending on how much time I have I try to get an egg in for breakfast. If I’m in a hurry a hard-boild egg will do the trick. If I have time, I like omelettes loaded with veggies, an egg sunny side up on a piece of toast, egg cupcakes, or a favorite and maybe the most delicious egg treat ever, an egg baked inside an avocado! Here’s a quick how-to:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
Hollow out half an avocado so you have enough space for an egg
Place raw egg in avocado. I find I need to remove some of the white so it all fits
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little cheese
Place in cast iron skillet or other oven safe pan and cook for 15 minutes or until your egg is at the desired firmness
Buckwheat Batter – I eat a lot of buckwheat pancakes as I find they hold me over and and can be very satisfying for my first meal of the day. Remember, buckwheat is not a grain so it is gluten-free! What I usually do to save time is make batter on Sunday night and then whenever I’m feeling up for a pancake I have everything ready so it really takes about the same amount of time as toasting a slice of bread. I use honey instead of maple syrup and include berries and other fruits as a side.
Oats, Seeds, Cereals – I commonly have one type of cereal around the house and it is usually high in fiber and low in sugar. I strive for at least 5 grams of fiber and no more than 5 grams of sugar. If you read labels that really narrows down your options in the cereal aisle but Grape Nuts, a personal favorite, is within those boundaries! Another favorite of mine is to take wheat flakes, more commonly known as Wheaties, and add my own dried fruit for a less sugar-packed raisin bran!
I keep steel cut oats on hand for crock pot oatmeal, which is great to make on Sunday nights and will last most of the workweek. If I’m having a bowl of cereal or oatmeal I usually top it off with ground flaxseed for a little extra fiber and Omega 3’s.
Magazines – Yeah, kind of a funny staple to have on hand but I love reading while I eat. Build a better breakfast by making it something you look forward to each day and reduce stress by planning your breakfasts in advance! And remember, don’t get stuck in a rut. Many people eat the same breakfast every day but I doubt you’d ever do that for dinner, right? Mix it up, experiment with new ideas and recipes, and let me know what you find out!