I’ve always been a big believer in breakfast. Here’s what goes down in my home: Within minutes of waking up, I turn on my drip coffee machine so I have a steaming cup of joe, along with a tall glass of water (because hydration).
While I sip my first cup of the morning—does anyone have just one?—I throw together something delicious and nutritious. It usually takes less than two minutes to prep my morning meal. No matter what, my breakfasts are always simple enough that I have time to make them before I head out the door, and they taste pretty darn good too.
I know, I’m weird, and I realize most people can’t relate. Snoozers don't care about eating a hearty breakfast if it means locking in an extra 10 minutes of shuteye. But here’s the thing: Research shows that eating a good breakfast is one of the simplest changes you can make for your health. And breakfast is actually the easiest meal of the day to make super healthy, super tasty, and super fast.
The key is to find breakfast ideas that excite your taste buds and can be prepped in minutes the night before or pulled together in the a.m. on the fly. Here are five delicious, nutritious options that fit the bill.
Fruit and Protein Super Smoothie
I used to shy away from smoothies for breakfast because they felt too labor-intensive. But a bit of prep can change all that. Load individual freezer bags with your chosen ingredients, then pop them all in the blender at once come the a.m. You’ll be 90 seconds away from pouring your smoothie creation in your to-go cup.
The smoothie bowl above packs a surprising amount of nutrients, thanks to a handful of frozen spinach and a quarter cup of frozen cauliflower (I promise you can’t even taste it). Frozen banana and blueberries, a scoop of vegan protein powder and peanut butter thicken it up, making it sweet and satiating. I blend my produce with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a dash of antioxidant-rich cinnamon. Don’t be surprised if you feel like Wonder Woman after downing it.
Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal Bars
I’m all for overnight oats, but baked oatmeal is my true love lately. Fiber-rich and just sweet enough, these apple pie oatmeal bars (recipe from Laura Lea Balanced) taste a lot like dessert. Also nice: The oat bars are the perfect make-ahead munch. Bake them on the weekend, then store them in your fridge or freezer. I love pairing mine with yogurt and nut butter for a hit of protein and fat, or eating it alongside a superfood smoothie.
Savory Egg Muffins
I’m rarely in the mood for a savory breakfast, but when I am, eggs make it on my plate—thanks in part to the B vitamins, vitamin K, selenium, vitamin D, and protein they provide. I like pairing an egg or two with a slice of fresh tomato on sprouted whole grain bread. If time is of the essence in the a.m., baked egg muffins are a great choice. Bake a batch of these portable protein bites on the weekend, then throw them in a container so you can grab one or two and munch while you commute.
To make, simply whisk eggs—I use three eggs for nine mini muffins—with your favorite mix-ins, like sauteed veggies and cheese, plus salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into an oiled muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the top of the muffins feel dense to the touch.
3-Ingredient Oat Muffins
The ideal breakfast consists of protein, healthy fat, fiber, and whole grains, and this bowl checks all those boxes. If you have 20 minutes on a Sunday, whip up my three-ingredient oat muffins by mixing mashed ripe bananas, oats, and raisins together in a bowl. Throw the batter in an oiled muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
During the week, combine plain yogurt, a spoonful of nut butter, fruit, and one of the muffins in a bowl for a well-balanced breakfast that will help keep your blood sugar levels stable until lunchtime.
Egg, Grains, and Veggie Skillet
Ideally, you'd eat this all-star breakfast straight out of the skillet (as I did here). But you can also turn this protein powerhouse into a make-ahead meal by hard boiling an egg the night before and throwing it over any cooked grains you have lying around. In a jar, layer grains (I used quinoa) with veggies, salsa, avocado, or some crumbled cheese, then pop your hard-boiled egg. Voila—a portable breakfast you can easily eat while on the go.