So, you LOVE your morning cereal and think I’m completely nuts for suggesting you do away with it? It’s the easiest meal of the day, not to mention cost effective! Well, to start, let’s be clear that I am in no way suggesting you get up half an hour earlier just to fix a gourmet breakfast. I definitely don’t roll this way. In fact, I’m completely guilty for popping out of bed at the last minute and eating my breakfast on my commute to work. And if you know me and my views of food at all, you’ll also know that I’m a HUGE advocate of balance with food. I would rarely suggest completely giving up something you enjoy.
My challenge is this: If you generally consume cereal (whether it’s sugary or not) just give something else a try. I certainly have a bowl of cereal every now and then, but it’s not my norm. So what do I eat instead? Here are just a few options to switch up your morning breakfast cereal!
Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas
1. Have eggs already prepped and ready to go.
Eggs are the obvious breakfast choice. However, you don’t have to spend 10 minutes fixing them in the morning. There are so many different way you can prep eggs ahead of time. Just reheat in your toaster oven, microwave OR eat them cold! Check out these ideas for meal prepping eggs.
- Easy Egg Bake – My egg bake takes no time to whip up, and gives you a healthy dose of protein
- Hard Boiled Eggs – No explanation needed, but might I suggest use your imagination on what you eat these with? Sliced over toast? On top of an English muffin? Alongside some fruit? By themselves? So many choices.
2. Make a Quick Smoothie
A smoothie is a fast and easy way to start your day with some produce! Plus, who doesn’t love sipping a smoothie on your morning commute? Or even better, sipping that smoothie from the comfort of your home in your P.J.s!
- A green smoothie starts your day with a load of nutrients. You don’t have to stop at spinach or kale. Mix in any other veggies you have such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or celery.
- Use Avocado to add a healthy fat source! It will give your smoothies a nice creamy texture.
- Treat yourself to a fruit smoothie that will tantalize your taste buds such as my FAVORITE Cherry Lime Smoothie.
- Use greek yogurt to add a boost of protein or kefir to get in a healthy dose of probiotics. You can also add in a high quality protein powder. When I use protein powder, I use this Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder which has no sweeteners (not even stevia) and features sprouted grains.
3. Oat Bakes
Oat bakes (AKA Baked oatmeal) is easily one of my FAVORITE breakfasts taste-wise. Make sure the recipe you choose features whole oats and/or other grains and is sweetened using fruits or small amounts of honey or maple syrup.
- This Berry Baked Oatmeal by Happy Healthy Mama is a simple way to try baked oatmeal with old fashioned oats. This is really similar to the first oatmeal recipe I tried (except I also layered bananas on top.)
- This Quinoa Breakfast Bake from iFoodreal is my favorite oat bake. Okay, I know it’s called quinoa, but it’s actually only 1/2 quinoa and 1/2 steel cut oats. You’ve got to try it!
4. Whole Grain Muffins
While a traditional muffin you might get at Panera or Starbucks will certainly send you into a sugar crash, preparing some healthier muffins at home can be a fun and satisfying breakfast treat. Search for recipes that are made with whole grains and don’t use refined or artificial sweeteners. I love recipes that use bananas or applesauce, but recipes that are lightly sweetened with honey will work well too! If you are feeling adventurous enough you might check out my recent post on recipe substitutions to help you adjust or create your own. Here are a few recipes that would fit the bill nutritionally:
- These Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins by Health Inspiration definitely fit the bill! With ingredients you likely already have stocked at home these would be so easy to whip up the night before! They are sweetened with bananas and very minimal honey and are made with whole oats.
- Carrot Pecan Muffins by Avocado a Day Nutrition feature a variety of flours (oats, almond meal, and buckwheat flour) and are sweetened with dates and bananas! Not to mention they would give you a dose of vitamin A thanks to the carrots.
5. Yogurt Your Way
I typically buy plain greek yogurt in a large carton and fix it into my own parfait! I love the granola recipe on page 134 of this book. Top it with fruit of your choice and you are ready to go. You can even plan ahead and prepare several parfaits at once.
6. Oats: Traditional, Overnight, and Steel Cut
- Check out my Complete Guide to Oats to learn all about the benefits of different oats, cooking times, etc.
- Fix traditional oats using an overnight oats recipe and prepare for your whole week at once!
- The Instant Pot makes cooking steel cut oats FAST as compared to the crock pot! I love it because I throw everything in and they are done. Check out my MOST POPULAR RECIPE for Apple Cranberry Steel Cut Oats.
- Cook steel cut oats in the crockpot the night before and save your leftovers for the rest of the week. Healthy Inspiration has a great Blueprint Recipe for cooking Steel Cut Oats in your crockpot!
7. Homemade Pancakes or Waffles
Make whole grain pancakes or waffles and freeze them! The key is to making them a size that will fit in your toaster. You can pop them in the toaster and have quick pancakes and waffles. Here are a few recipes that work great!
- Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes by 100 Days of Real Food – This is Casey’s FAVORITE pancake recipe and it’s a great way to start introducing whole grains to your family if you aren’t used to baking with them!
- Yogurt and Flax Seed Waffles by Real Mom Nutrition – I would suggest making the whole recipe with whole wheat flour though. You could try white whole wheat which is less strong in flavor!
Or, the most common pancake recipe I make (on the weekends since it does take longer than grabbing something from the fridge and running out the door) is super simple and whips up a small 1-2 serving batch. I haven’t tried freezing it before, but you could probably make extra and freeze them too!
- 1/3 cup Oats, 2 eggs, 1 banana – Blend in blender and cook over stove in traditional pancake fashion. 😉 SO EASY, SO DELICIOUS.
A note on syrup: I recommend buying Pure Maple Syrup. However, even Pure Maple Syrup is an easy way to end up with added sugar in your diet. I definitely believe in balance with food and since pancakes aren’t our usual go-to breakfast I’m completely fine topping them with syrup. The most important thing is watching the amount you use. I will often heat some fruit over the stove and use it to top on our pancakes. This helps the syrup go further and makes for a tasty fruity syrup.
8. Avocado Toast
This can be as simple or fancy as you want! For me it usually just involves a piece of sprouted grain bread toasted with a mashed avocado on top! I will usually sprinkle a little seasoning on the avocado such as garlic powder, lime juice, or even a little salt and pepper. However, it can be so much fancier than this. Check out these 12 Ways to do Avocado Toast from Fannetastic Food.
Breakfast Can Still Be Simple
You can still have a simple breakfast that satisfies without digging into a box of cereal every morning. Most cereals are loaded with sugar and while there are a few that aren’t there are plenty of less processed breakfast ideas out there. If you work outside of the home or morning just isn’t your time, you might want to choose one of the ideas from the list that can be prepped ahead of time. However, even a breakfast such as avocado toast is really quick to prepare and will provide more nutrients (from the healthy fats in the avocado) than a bowl of cereal!
If you like this post you may like my post: A First Lesson In Nutrition: A Whole Food Lifestyle.