You have three options to get your day started: skip breakfast and drag yourself through the morning without fuel, stop at the coffee shop and pick up something quick and lacking in nutrients, or make yourself a delicious breakfast (either that morning or the night before) using healthy ingredients that will help you to power through the rest of your day. Trust me: you want to choose the third option. The following breakfasts contain ingredients that are good for your heart, mind, skin, blood pressure, bones and well-being. Whip these recipes up and you’ll feel energized, satisfied and ready to conquer the day.
1. Quinoa and Oatmeal Breakfast
What exactly is it about oats that makes them so good for you? For starters, the beta-glucan in oats is a type of fiber that can help lower cholesterol. Also, oats are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium. Adding them to your breakfast repertoire can really kick up your health a notch. This recipe, which pairs oats with the superfood quinoa, gives you a hearty breakfast that’s guaranteed to fuel your morning. With fresh fruit, nuts and cinnamon on top, you’re basically starting your day in the healthiest way possible.
2. Make-Ahead Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits
If you like your breakfast to be grab-and-go, whip up a few of these one evening and pop them out of the fridge on your way to work in the morning. This recipe combines the afore-mentioned mighty oats with Greek yogurt, another breakfast superstar. Greek yogurt is filled with calcium and has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Parfaits are also fun because you can customize them with your favorite fruit. They’re a cool, fresh, filling way to start your day.
3. Yogurt and Grapefruit Parfait
Now that you’ve got your parfait-building skills down, mix things up by trying this recipe that combines Greek yogurt with grapefruit. Grapefruit has fat-burning properties that may help your blood sugar and insulin levels. It’s also hydrating, filling and full of antioxidants. This recipe also contains wheat germ, which is high in vitamin E and folate.
4. Egg Muffins
If you’re craving the hearty flavor of egg but don’t want to get up early to make a scramble or omelet, try these healthy egg cups that you can make the night before. Eggs are your friends in the morning because they contain protein and vitamin D. Combine them with vitamin-rich veggies and a little bit of meat and cheese for a yummy way to start the day.
5. Almond Butter and Banana Open Sandwich
It doesn’t get any easier than cutting a banana in half, adding some almond or peanut butter, and topping it off with honey, nuts and raisins. If you want something healthy and delicious but fast, fast, fast to prepare, this is the recipe for you. Bananas are the kings of breakfast because their resistant starch keeps you full longer; they’re naturally sweet without added sugar; and their potassium acts as a natural blood pressure reducer. Bonus: Almond butter is a great source of protein and good fats.
6. Oatmeal Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes
We’ve already talked about how wonderful oats, yogurt, bananas and eggs are. This recipe includes all of them and adds another superfood: the blueberry. The antioxidants in blueberries can help with memory motor skills, blood pressure and metabolism. Blueberries are also super low-cal at only 80 calories per cup, so feel free to throw a few extra into your pancakes.
7. Strawberry Shortcake Muffins
This recipe again combines super healthy ingredients we’ve already discussed like oats, Greek yogurt and eggs. Then it takes things one step further by bringing in strawberries. Strawberries are another fruit that contains high levels of antioxidants for few calories. A cup of strawberries gives you all the vitamin C, folic acid and fiber you need for the entire day. If you’re looking for a breakfast that eases your sweet tooth but supports your waistline, try this sweet little recipe that makes delicious 93-calorie muffins.
8. Watermelon Smoothie
It’s summer, it’s hot, and sometimes the best way to get the day started is with a delicious smoothie. Now, what should you put in that smoothie? Maybe you should use a fruit that has only 40 calories per cup and contains a high level of cancer-fighting lycopene. Cold, refreshing, delicious watermelon! This recipe shows you how to quickly whip up a smoothie using only watermelon, water, strawberries and banana. Talk about a low-calorie treat!
9. Crispy, Nutty, Chewy, 100% Flax Breakfast Cookies
If you’re used to starting your day with a bagel, muffin, scone or other pastry, suddenly switching to a healthy flaxseed breakfast may seem like too big of a jump. Ease the transition by making yourself a breakfast cookie (that’s right, a cookie!) that’s equal parts healthy and delicious. The natural ingredients in this breakfast cookie are nothing like the ingredients you’ll find in a typical cookie recipe, so you don’t have to worry about a sugar crash or calorie explosion. Also, flaxseed contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber and lignin, an antioxidant that may help guard against breast cancer.
10. Sunshine Smoothie
Since it’s summertime and the sun is out, let’s end this list with a delicious kale and kiwi smoothie. High in vitamin C, potassium, copper and fiber, kiwis are great ingredients to include in a breakfast to get your day going. This smoothie will energize you more than a cup of coffee while ridding your body of harmful free radicals. Drink up!