Diet and nutrition experts don’t agree on everything, but on the topic of breakfast there’s generally consensus: A healthy breakfast is THE most important meal. It provides energy to take on one’s day, it improves cognitive performance, and it aids weight loss by reducing hunger pangs throughout the day. A breakfast that includes both lean protein and whole grains is particularly beneficial in that they tend to increase satiety and vitality as well as lead to the development of lean muscle mass. Here are five healthy breakfast recipes to kick-start your busy days:
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes (from www.wholeliving.com)
4 large eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
½ cup spinach
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Two toasted pita halves
Whisk the eggs; season with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook eggs, stirring frequently, until just set, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and cherry tomatoes. Spoon mixture into pita halves.
Yields 2 servings; 283 calories per serving
Banana-Nut French Toast (from www.health.com)
3 egg whites
Dash of banana extract
3 tsp maple syrup, divided
1 slice of whole grain bread
2 Tbsp blueberries
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
Whisk together egg whites, banana extract and 1 tsp maple syrup (add a dash a cinnamon for a little extra flavor); dip both sides of bread into egg mixture. Lightly coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook bread over medium heat until both sides are brown. Drizzle with maple syrup; sprinkle blueberries and walnuts on top.
Yields 1 serving; 230 calories per serving
Walnut-Yogurt Parfait (from www.wholeliving.com)
2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh berries
½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts
½ Tbsp honey
Divide yogurt, berries and walnuts between 2 small glasses. Drizzle each with honey and serve.
Yields 2 servings; 316 calories per serving
Make Ahead Recipes:
Caramelized Onion Breakfast Casserole (from www.bhg.com)
2 strips bacon
1 sweet onione, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/3 cups skim milk
½ tsp dried basil, crushed
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cups sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 oz Muenster or Swiss cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 2 Tbsp drippings in the skillet. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion to skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook over medium heat until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook broccoli for 3 minutes in enough lightly salted water to cover; drain.
In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir in bread, broccoli cooked onion, cheese, and bacon. Transfer to a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325°. Bake casserole, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 to 30 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Yields 4 servings; 302 calories per serving
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup Reduced Fat Bisquick mix
1/3 cup grated Parmesan chest
¾ cup skim milk
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 egg whites or ½ cup fat-free, cholesterol-free egg product
Heat oven to 400°. Spray 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Layer zucchini, tomato and onion in pie plate. Stir remaining ingredients in medium bowl with wire whisk or fork until blended. Pour into pie plate.
Bake about 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yields 6 servings; 130 calories per serving