Breakfast Healthy Foods
Healthy foods to have for Breakfast7:05:00 PM
Breakfast – “the most important meal of the day”. Truer words have never been spoken. What you ea...
Breakfast – “the most important meal of the day”. Truer words have never been spoken.
What you eat for breakfast matters!
Yes, eating breakfast brings with it a lot of benefits, but what you eat for breakfast is equally important.
Having some biscuits with a cup of tea is not going to do your body any good. All that will do is spike your blood sugar and have you crashing within an hour or so. An ideal breakfast should contain adequate amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
If you don’t have time to prepare breakfast in the morning then make it a habit of doing so the night before. Ideally you would want to wake up 15 – 30 minutes earlier so you can peacefully prepare and enjoy your breakfast.
However, if you are strapped for time, preparing breakfast the night before means you can grab it and eat it on the way to work / school.
Healthy breakfast options
All that a smoothie is, is various ingredients blended up together, to form a tasty and nutritious drink. This makes them very easy to transport and consume. There are hundreds of smoothie recipes out there, and you can also make up your own.
You need to make the smoothies at home though, so that you have full control of what goes in them. Many store bought smoothies do contain healthy ingredients but also contain preservatives and added sugar, which makes them much less healthy.
You can make a smoothie at home very quickly – it takes me between 5 and 10 minutes, including washing up the blender. There are a lot of blenders out there (including the famous NutriBullet, see our review here) – you should be able to get a good quality one without having to part with too much money.
Try and include a variety of healthy ingredients in your smoothies to make them both tasty and nutritious. Ideally, you want them to contain a source of protein, complex carbohydrate and fat.
For example for:
- protein you can add in some chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds and Greek yogurt.
- carbohydrate you can add your favourite fruit, oatmeal (it also contains protein!) and various nuts
- fat you can add avocados, nuts and seeds
The smoothie I drink 2 – 3 times a week contains one scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, two scoops of oats, a mixture of fruit (bananas, strawberries, grapes, mango and papaya), hemp seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon and almond milk. It is extremely filling and absolutely delicious!
Eggs are considered to be one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. That is probably the reason why they have been eaten for breakfast for a really long time. They are also very versatile and can be cooked in a large number of different ways.
If possible, you want to try and get fresh organic & free range eggs as these provide the most nutrition. To tell if an egg is fresh, simply fill a bowl with cold water and gently drop your egg in.
If it sinks to the bottom and lays horizontally on its side, its fresh. If the egg is still good to eat but a few weeks old, it will stand vertically. If it floats to the surface, throw that egg away!
Here are a few different ways to enjoy your eggs:
1. Avocado and eggs on toast
This breakfast recipe is incredibly easy and quick to prepare. It also provides you with generous portions of all 3 macro nutrients that your body needs; the eggs provide protein, avocado provides healthy fat and toast the carbohydrate.
For the toast, you want to use brown or wholemeal bread, instead of white bread as these two are much healthier. You can cook the egg any way you want (fried, scrambled, boiled). I personally prefer poached as I can cook the eggs in water and also love the taste of runny yolk.
Whilst the eggs are cooking, scoop out the inside of an avocado into a bowl and mush it up. Then simply place the avocado paste onto your toast and add the eggs on top.
You can season with salt, pepper, fresh herbs and even cheese. I have this on Monday mornings as it’s very easy to prepare. For a more detailed recipe, check out this link.
Omelettes are also very straightforward to make and filling at the same time. You can make an omelette from eggs and mushrooms alone or add a whole host of other ingredients. I prefer the latter option as it adds more taste and nutrients to your breakfast, whilst making it more filling at the same time.
To make my omelettes, I crack two large eggs into a bowl and mix them up with a fork until they are a smooth yellow consistency.
Next I chop up some shiitake mushrooms, red onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, spinach and red bell peppers. I add these to the eggs, together with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything up until all the ingredients are spread out evenly.
As an additional protein source, you can add some ham or feta cheese.
To a frying pan, add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and heat on a medium flame. When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture to it. This will start to cook immediately and the eggs will begin to bind with the other ingredients. The base of the omelette should be cooked in anywhere from 2 – 4 minutes, depending on how much heat you are using.
Gently check the underside of the omelette to see whether it is cooked; if it is, the base will look brown and firm. Now comes the fun part – cooking the top. You can try flip the omelette over but unless you are a professional chef, chances are you’re going to end up having scrambled eggs and vegetables, for breakfast!
A better option I have found is to place the frying pan under an oven grill for roughly 5 minutes or so. This will cook the top part evenly, without making a mess.
3. Breakfast quiche
My breakfast quiche uses similar ingredients to the omelette above, however I also add some almond milk. Once you have prepared the egg, vegetable and almond milk mix, pour it into a baking try or non stick skillet.
Place under an oven preheated to 220 degrees C and let it bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 175 degrees C and bake for a further 20 – 25 minutes.
If you are pressed for time in the mornings, this is definitely a dish you want to prepare the night before and then reheat.
4. Breakfast burrito / taco
The great thing about this recipe is that once I have made it, if I am getting late for work, I can carry it with me and eat it on the way. To make it, you will need some whole wheat tortillas or taco shells, two or three eggs, onions, mushrooms, salsa and some hot peppers (if you are able to handle the heat, señor / señorita!).
Mix up the eggs in a bowl and scramble them over low heat. Whilst the eggs are cooking, gently warm up the tortillas in a frying pan, but make sure not to overheat them or they will become hard and difficult to fold.
When the eggs are ready, place them on the tortillas, add the vegetables and a tablespoon or so of salsa. Roll up and enjoy!
Yogurt parfaits are so easy to make, you really have no excuse to skip breakfast. It’s a wonder that people buy these at the supermarket when they can make a much healthier and cheaper version of the same thing at home.
You will want to use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt as it has a thicker consistency and double the amount of protein. You can easily make your own plain yogurt at home instead of having it to buy it. Then, to make Greek yogurt, all you need to do is strain the plain yogurt through a cheese cloth, to get rid of most of the liquid.
To make a parfait, layer around a cup of Greek yogurt in a tall bowl or glass, together with various berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries go great together) and granola. You can also add raisins and various nuts and seeds to give it more crunch. And that’s it… you have a yogurt parfait!
A word of caution – don’t go overboard with the raisins and granola as they are high in sugar and calories. You can make your own granola at home, and decide exactly what goes into it, for a healthier option.
Ahhh, good ol’ oats. They contain adequate amounts of protein and complex carbohydrates, making them a great choice for breakfast. I’m talking about steel-cut oats over hear, of course.
The only problem is that a lot of people find them too bland to eat and so end up buying instant oatmeal. I admit, instant oatmeal does taste great, but most of the time it is loaded with sugar and artificial flavourings. I much rather prefer the natural stuff.
Some people enjoy eating uncooked oats, but I am not one of them. Instead, I soak my oats in milk for half an hour or so, before heating the mixture on low heat. I then let them cook for 4 – 7 minutes, tasting at regular intervals until they are just right.
To get rid of the bland taste of plain oats, I add a lot of different toppings, including: bananas, cinnamon powder, dried apricots, dried mango, raisins, hemp seeds and a little bit of honey. I find that oats are able to fill me up and keep me going without food for at least 3 to 4 hours.
I admit that I have only recently come across chia seeds very recently and am amazed at the powerhouse of nutrition they bring with them. They have 16.5 g of protein per every 100 g, are packed with fiber and also contain vital nutrients such as manganese and phosphorus.
When chia seeds are added to liquid, they swell up and form a viscous gel like consistency. This means that chia pudding is very filling and at the same time very nutritious.
Making it, like making a yogurt parfait, is incredibly easy. All you have to do is add 1/4 cup of chia seeds to 1 cup of coconut milk in a bowl. To add some sweetness, mix in 1 teaspoon of honey. You can also throw in some fruits to add extra flavour.