10 Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Mornings
It’s not always easy to start your day off with a wholesome, nutritious breakfast – especially when you’re pushed for time. But with a little planning and forethought, you can start your day off right with a healthy, pre-prepared breakfast just by spending a little time prepping your food the night before. Here are ten fool-proof recipes for tasty meals that you can just grab and go with on those busy, hectic mornings;
Filling and fuss-free, overnight oatmeal is as easy as pouring some oats, milk and whatever toppings you fancy into a jar. Seriously, that’s it! Just combine oats, milk (unsweetened almond milk or low fat soya milk is a good choice if you’re counting calories) and layers of fruit, nuts or seeds and then leave overnight in the refrigerator. Throughout the night the oats will soak up the milk to become the consistency of regular porridge by the morning, and you can then stick them in the microwave to heat them up, or simply enjoy them cold. Plus, putting them in a jar means you can screw the lid on and take them out with you, if you’re really pushed for time.
Smoothies are a great way to get your recommended daily intake of five pieces of fruit and veg per day. The only problem is they require a certain amount of prep work, in the form of peeling, chopping and de-seeding the ingredients. But by prepping all of your fruit and veggies in one go and then portioning them out into freezer bags you can save yourself a lot of time in the mornings. Simply take a bag from the freezer, pour the contents into your blender and add a little milk, water or fruit juice before blending. An easy, quick way to get your five a day!
If you want to up your protein intake then these are a make-ahead breakfast must-have! Combine eggs (you can use just the whites if you’re watching those calories) with whatever other ingredients you like and then pour into greased muffin tins before baking. Chopped onions, ham and spinach works particularly well with these, but feel free to be creative. Once the muffins are golden brown on top and cooked through you can allow them to cool and then refrigerate or freeze them ready for the morning ahead.
Who knew that pancakes freeze so well? But it’s true. Most bread or flour-based foods will do well in the freezer. This is great if you want the comforts of a ‘weekend-style’ breakfast during the week, with minimal amounts of hassle. You could make a traditional treat such as blueberry pancakes and syrup (try using Walden Farms sugar-free pancake syrup for a healthy option), or enjoy a savoury breakfast such as wholemeal crepes with smoked salmon and low fat cream cheese. Simply microwave the pancakes in the morning to defrost them and then add your chosen toppings.
Banana Oat Muffins
These are great for making in batches, and you can enjoy them warm or cold. Simply combine half a cup of oats (the quick-cooking variety usually works best), one or two ripe bananas, some sweetener to taste and a dash of cinnamon. Scoop the mixture into muffin tins and then bake for ten minutes, or until the muffins are set. You can pep these up by sprinkling with goji berries, pumpkin seeds or chia seeds before refrigerating for the morning.
While tasty and convenient, store-bought granola is usually packed with sugar and high in calories. By making your own you can cut out a large portion of the sugar and still be left with a delicious breakfast that’s great when you’re in a rush. Mix together oats, a handful of dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas and chopped dried apricots, a spoon full of coconut oil (or olive oil if your budget won’t stretch that far) and a dash of honey. Next, spread the mixture out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the mixture is golden brown. You can then store this in a mason jar or other airtight container, ready for those busy mornings.
Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches
These are so easy and super filling. Get your hands on some wholemeal breakfast muffins and then assemble your perfect sandwich, remembering to choose fillings that will freeze well. A good choice is ham and cheese (using reduced-fat cheddar of course), or smoked salmon and low fat or fat-free cream cheese such as Quark. Wrap your sandwiches in cling film and then store them in the freezer. In the morning just pop them in the microwave and enjoy.
Ham and Egg Cups
This delicious all-in-one dish is a great savoury treat. Make a batch of these up and put them in freezer bags or Tupperware boxes in the fridge and you’ll have a healthy breakfast option all week long. To make them all you need to do is place pieces of your favourite ham into a greased muffin tray to form little baskets or ‘cups’. Next, crack an egg into each one, season and pop into the oven to bake until the eggs are cooked through. Alternatively you could whisk up the eggs and add a couple of extra ingredients such as chives or spring onions for a little extra flavour. These microwave well, so you can eat them warm or cold in the morning.
Protein-Packed Energy Bars
Another great way to inject some protein into your diet. Homemade energy bars are filling breakfast that you can eat on the go, and taste great when you mix in a scoop or two of whey protein when you make them. Combine oats, nuts or seeds and dried fruit with a little oil and honey, then mix in some protein powder (vanilla flavouring works well as it goes with most sweet ingredients). The consistency should be a thick batter that you can spread out onto a baking tray, ready to be cut into squares once baked. For best results, put the mixture into a preheated oven at around 300F and bake until slightly golden on top.
Mason Jar Fruit Salad
One of the most fool-proof make-ahead breakfasts you will come across. All you need to do is dice up your favourite fruits and layer them in large jars (mason jars work pretty well). For an even more fuss-free effort you could use frozen fruit pieces – but don’t be tempted to use canned fruit as this often contains excess amounts of sugar and preservatives. For a little bit of texture and variety you can top each jar with a little homemade granola or pumpkin seeds to give your breakfast some crunch!
Eating a good breakfast is essential to help your body get enough energy for the 7 Minute Workout.