A healthy breakfast doesn’t require a lot of time or energy every day. All you need to do is stock up on good ingredients when you’re at the grocery store each week. Then, take a few minutes each morning to put it together. These few changes in shopping and morning habits can help you to establish a lifetime of healthy eating.
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Preventive cardiology dietitian Katherine Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, offers five tasty, hearty and heart-healthy breakfast ideas that take no more than 10 minutes to prepare.
They can be eaten at home or on the go, so you won’t miss a beat in your busy day — and you won’t miss any flavor. Each incorporate carbohydrate, protein, and fat to ensure you start the day with a satisfying, balanced meal to fuel you all morning long.
Measure a ½ cup dry serving of old-fashioned or steel cut oats oatmeal into a microwave-safe bowl (quick cook or instant versions are okay if you need to save more time). Pour enough water over the oatmeal to cover, and stir. Microwave on high for 2½ to three minutes until done. If you prefer a sweeter taste, try adding fresh fruit or a dash of vanilla extract. To balance out this complex carbohydrate containing meal with protein and healthy fat, add chopped nuts and/or seeds like chia or ground flaxseed.
An alternative oatmeal option is soaking oatmeal overnight or for as little as 30 minutes in the morning. Start with ½ cup of your favorite oats and ½ cup of water or your favorite milk. Mix together and let soak. (Original oats need to be soaked overnight, instant can be soaked for ~30 minutes). Eat cold or warm up in microwave if desired.
Ever cook an egg in the microwave? It’s fast and, unlike frying an egg in a skillet, you don’t have to add fat. Whisk one large egg (for extra fiber add chopped veggies like peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms) in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 45 to 55 seconds until firm. Set the cooked egg on a slice of whole-wheat English muffin and top with extras for more flavor: sliced avocado, tomato, onion, a slice of 2%-fat cheese or salsa. Top with remaining half of English muffin and serve with a cup of fresh fruit.
Spread one tablespoon natural almond butter on one toasted or untoasted sprouted grain bread (or waffle) and a tablespoon of fruit preserves or sliced banana on another. Press the two slices together to make a sandwich. Enjoy with a 8 ounce glass of your desired milk — skim, 1%, soy or almond.
For a quick on-the-go meal, prepare single-serving sandwich baggies filled with your favorite low-sugar, high-fiber (at least 3 grams of fiber) cereal, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Making your own mix allows you to customize to your taste buds and change it up from day to day. Don’t have time to make your own? Turn to a pre-packaged single serving trail mix.