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Four Fast, Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas


Four Fast, Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas

When it comes to breakfast, there’s no doubt it’s important – jump-starting your metabolism, better concentration throughout the morning, and not overeating later in the day are all reasons to include this meal everyday.  But we know that it’s not always easy to spend the time in the morning making it.  Ensure that you have a healthy breakfast daily, even on the most hectic mornings, by planning ahead. These four make-ahead breakfast ideas are super simple to put together, and will keep you feeling satisfied all morning long.

Overnight Oats

This version of oatmeal eliminates the cooking aspect, since soaking the oats overnight in liquid has the same softening effect.  There are many different combinations and fun delicious additions that you can use, so feel free to experiment with your favorite ingredients.  Here are the basics:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup rolled oats (or steel cut oats) with 1/2 cup low-fat milk (almond or soy milk also work well!).
  2.  Stir-in 1/2 cup plain yogurt or use a lower sugar flavored yogurt, such as Chobani 0% Greek yogurt in your favorite flavor.
  3. Add 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds. Chia seeds give the final product a more pudding-like consistency and also add protein and healthy omega 3 fats.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons dried fruit, 1/2 of a sliced banana, or 1/2 cup berries (this can be added before refrigerating overnight or in the morning if you prefer your fruit not mixed in with the oats.)
  5. Stir all ingredients together and store covered overnight in the refrigerator.  In the morning, simply grab and eat!

Other delicious additions for flavor include cinnamon, cocoa powder, and pumpkin pie spice. You can also add coconut flakes, nut butter, and seeds, but be sure to keep your portion size of those additions to about 1 – 2 tablespoons.

Egg Muffins

These require a tiny bit of prep beforehand, but freeze really well and are such an easy way to get quality protein in the morning, when you’re short on time.  You can really get creative with your muffin flavors, as the veggie ingredients and seasonings in this recipe are completely flexible. Grab an egg muffin and a piece of fruit for a satisfying, filling breakfast.

Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine 8 eggs with 7 egg whites.  Add 3/4 cup chopped onion, 3/4 cup chopped peppers, 3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.  Whisk all ingredients together until eggs are well beaten (about 2 minutes).  Pour egg mixture evenly into muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.  Expect this recipe to make 12 egg muffins — a few more if using a smaller tin, less if using jumbo muffin tins.

Hard Boiled Egg + Crackers + Fruit

This is a great grab-and-go breakfast that’s easy to eat anywhere. Pair a hard cooked egg with 1 ounce of whole grain crackers or a whole grain pita, and a piece of portable fruit like an orange, banana, or apple.

DIY Trail Mix Bags

Combine 1 cup whole grain cereal with two tablespoons dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, chopped prunes, or cherries) and two tablespoons of nuts or seeds (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, etc.).  Store the mix in sealed bags (one serving per bag) and use as a quick, no utensils needed, breakfast!  To inject some calcium into your morning, grab a nonfat latte to sip along with your mix.

Does anyone else make their breakfast the night before?  Tell us if you try one of these, or if you have your own recipes/ideas to share! 

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30 Comments on “Four Fast, Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas”

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  3. Cat

    My favorite healthy breakfast is tomato melts. 2 slices of toasted light whole wheat bread, a thick slice of tomato put on each piece of bread, then a slice of lowfat American cheese on each, then broiled til the cheese is melty.

  4. deb

    I tried the oat cereal breakfast twice and forgot the yogurt both times but did like the cereal. Plus it saved me time in the mornings.

  5. Christine

    I like to have a high protein whey chocolate shake w/ banana for my on the go breakfast. 27 grams of protein, great way to start my day!

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      Christine, that sounds delicious! We love the chocolate-banana combination, too. Another delicious option is to stir the banana and chocolate protein into oats. Keep up the awesome breakfast habit and thanks for sharing the idea!

  6. Dave Melbourne

    Love the oatmeal suggestion. Also huge fan of omlette with fresh veggies a few days a week…definitely a weekend morning “go to” for me.

  7. Paul

    Egg muffins sound good. I have a fruit smoothie for breakfast every weekday, and make 2 one morning, drink one that day, the other the next day. Frozen strawberries, fresh blueberries & raspberries during season, banana, whey protein, and milk. Been losing weight and this seems to be the only things that have changed since the Cheerios & Oj for breakfast.

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      Paul, what a delicious and nutrient-packed way to start the day! We love your tip for making 2 breakfasts at once — why dirty the blender twice if you don’t need to?!?!?! Starting your day with a combination of protein and fiber, which your smoothie provides, is a great way to ensure that you’re well fueled for the entire morning and have steady energy. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Pat Kinahan

    I am now retired but even when I worked my breakfast was pretty much the same every morning – 1 scrambled egg, glass of skim milk and a container of low fat yogurt. Sometimes I will change it and have 1/2 mini bagel with either peanut butter or humus instead of the scrambled egg. These are pretty fast and easy. Since I do the same thing each day I really don’t have to think about breakfast. I like to have a snack mid morning – some walnuts and almonds or raw veggies or fresh fruit. I do like the egg muffin idea and may give that a try soon. Thanks

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      Pat, if you try the egg muffin, let us know what you think. A fun way to change up your breakfasts and snacks without a hassle is to add a different color of fruit every couple days. This is a tasty way to add a variety of color to your daily food choices. Your breakfast and snack sound delish!

  9. Andranel Brown

    I usually have three egg whites, plus one whole egg scrambled, with a slice of whole grain toast (like Ezekiel bread) and a cup of berries (blackberries are my favorite!). If I know I will be short on time, I will separate the eggs the night before, but it really doesn’t take much time. I crack all 4 eggs into a bowl and then gently lift out three of the yolks. If find this to be much easier than pouring the yolk back and forth between the shells. I always break at least one yolk.

    I also put a large glass (16oz+) of water next to my bed and drink it as soon as I wake up. I have had problems not being hungry in the morning, but this seems to trick my stomach into being hungry, I get hydrated, and I eat breakfast! Win, win, win!

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      Andranel, what a great egg separation tip! We love Ezekiel bread too :) Also, your water plan is SO smart. Doesn’t it feel fantastic when you find those healthy habits that just stick and become a part of your daily routine? It’s certainly a win-win-win situation!

  10. Corey

    I love the oats but my favorite breakfast is a bean burrito mixxed with chard, tomatoes, jalapeños, and some cilantro. On wheat tortillas.

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      Corey, we love a good breakfast burrito — your version sounds delicious! Burritos are so versatile because you can put many different types of ingredients in them. They offer such a great way to squeeze veggie servings into breakfast too.

  11. Mary

    The oatmeal sounds interesting but I really like my oatmeal warm :) I usually go with a bowl of cheerios and some fresh fruit or frozen (I pick and then freeze blueberries during the summer season) with skim milk. As I have a young child I am normally making him breakfast anyway it is just as easy to do the cereal or sometimes I will have eggs with cheese with him.

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      If you soak the oats overnight (especially steel cut), it only takes a minute or two in the microwave to turn them into creamy hot cereal! We agree, sometimes warm cereal sounds better and sometimes it’s a cold cereal kind of morning ;) Love that you freeze your berries — such a great way to use them even after the season’s over! And so wonderful you eat breakfast with your son – sounds like you’re setting a really healthy eating example.

  12. Anna

    I’ve just discovered chia seeds, and I love them! I’ve tried a variation of the overnight oats, but I’m not completely sure I like it. I was wondering if I could use steel cut oats, because I think I might like the texture better – but I hadn’t tried it yet. I’m doing that next!

    I like making a batch of muffins early in the week and having those to grab for breakfast. These Oatmeal Apple Muffins are some of my favorites.

    1. Willow & Stephanie Post author

      Anna, You can definitely use steel cut oats — in fact, that’s one of our faves, too! Just make sure you stir the milk in thoroughly at night, so the oats at the bottom of the bowl get fully saturated. Let us know what you think! And your muffin recipe looks fantastic! Packed with fruit and nuts — just the way we like ’em. We’ll have to give it a try.

      1. Anna

        I finally tried the overnight oats with steel cut oats this week. They’re really chewy. I like them better than old fashioned, but I’m still not completely sold on this idea. I’m thinking about cooking some oats first and then combining them with some yogurt and fruit and refrigerating. It adds an extra step, but I think I’ll like the texture better in the end.

  13. Willow & Stephanie Post author

    Hey Stephanie! If you add chia seeds to your overnight oats, they have the consistency of pudding in the morning. Soooooo good. Let us know what you think once you try them!

  14. BeeWell for Life Admin

    That sounds great Lisa! Thanks for sharing. Stephanie, have you tried the overnight oats yet?

  15. Lisa

    Make the best breakfast protein shake — vanilla greek or probiotic yogurt, whey protein, skim milk, frozen fruit, ice and water! Amazing way to start the day and great after workouts too!

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