Here are 7 fast breakfast alternatives
#1 Last Night’s Leftovers
Breakfast for dinner is a real thing. Who doesn’t love a comforting plate of bacon and eggs or huevos rancheros for dinner?!
But, does the reverse hold true?
Is dinner for breakfast equally satisfying?
Before you say that you don’t have time to whip up an entire dinner entree in the morning (especially if you’re someone who loves to hit the SNOOZE button), we’ll allay your concerns by simply pointing out that “dinner” for breakfast can be leftovers from the night before!
We’ve talked numerous times about the benefits of meal prep and how cooking big batches of food can actually make it easier to eat a healthy meal no matter how short on time you are. As the temperatures drop outside, a warm, comforting bowl of soup, stew, or gumbo is a hearty, nutritious breakfast to start the day off right.
To jazz it up even further (and give it some breakfast vibes), fry an egg and add it on top! The healthy fats, b-vitamins, and choline (an essential nutrient for brain development) in the yolk only amp up the taste and nutrition of your morning fare.
#2 Microwave Egg Cups
Eggs are a breakfast staple; there’s no two ways about it.
But, what if you’re short on time?
Well, there’s a handy invention called the microwave that can prepare a delicious, nutritious, and fat-fighting breakfast in a jiff!
Spray a 12-ounce coffee mug with non-stick cooking spray and crack two eggs into it. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Then, add two tablespoons (2 TBSP) of water to the mug and whisk thoroughly.
Microwave in 30-second intervals until eggs are cooked and creamy. You can eat as is, or amp up your eggs with any number of healthy mix-ins, including:
- Pre-cooked bacon
- Diced tomatoes
- Green peppers
#3 Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is about as simple as it gets for preparing a healthy, filling breakfast (provided you can toast bread that is).
Use a fork to mash about ⅓-½ of an avocado (depending on its size and your calorie needs) onto a piece of toast. We’re partial to thick-cut sourdough bread toasted to a rich, golden brown.
Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on top along with a squeeze of lime juice over the top. One bite and you’ll swear you were at the pretentious neighborhood cafe’.
If you want to up the protein power of your avocado toast, you can have it alongside a protein shake and/or top your toast with a fried egg or two.
#4 Protein Pancakes or Protein Waffles
Even if you’re pressed for time, this recipe is quick-to-fix and absolutely delicious -- you’ll swear it’s the traditional pancakes/waffles you get from your favorite diner.
Combine the following into a 2-cup measuring cup or small mixing bowl:
- ¼ cup (56 grams) cottage cheese
- ¼ cup (56 grams) egg whites
- ½ cup (40 grams) rolled oats
- ⅛ tsp baking powder
- 1 packet of non-nutritive sweetener (Splenda, Equal, etc.) or 2 capfuls of sugar-free syrup (e.g. Torani vanilla or caramel)
Blend everything together with an immersion (stick) blender and let sit for 3-5 minutes while your waffle iron, griddle or skillet heat up.
Once heated, spray with nonstick cooking spray and pour the batter and cook until GBD (golden, brown and delicious).
This recipe can be double, tripled, quadrupled, and scaled to whatever size you want. You can also cook a whole mess of these at night or on the weekends and freeze the leftovers. Then, when you’re pressed for time, toss it in the toaster oven, heat, and EAT!
When you have extra time on the weekends, feel free to make a berry compote by tossing two servings (280 grams) of frozen berries in a nonstick skillet along with 2 tablespoons (2 TBSP) of water or sugar-free syrup (e.g. Torani or Da Vinci vanilla) and heat over medium-low heat until berries start to burst and thicken.
#5 Overnight Oats
Overnight oats were HUGE a few years back, and, while they may not have the same social media hype they once did, there’s no disputing that overnight oats are a can’t-miss, quick-fix breakfast option.
All you need to do is combine a few ingredients in a mason jar (or other resealable container) the night before and when you wake up in the morning…VOILA! You have the perfect ready-to-eat, no-hassle healthy breakfast.
Similar to the microwave egg cups we discussed above, overnight oats can be tailored, tweaked, and/or enhanced any way your palate pleases.
The “base” recipe for overnight oats is:
- ½ cup (40 grams) old-fashioned (rolled) oats
- ½ cup (4 ounces, 112 grams) milk of choice
- ¼ cup (56 grams) Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) honey or maple syrup (or non-nutritive sweetener)
- ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
After combining all the ingredients in the container, place in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours (preferably overnight). When ready to enjoy, remove from the fridge and ENJOY!
If the mixture is too thick, you can add a splash of milk (or water).
Some of our favorite mix-ins to the basic overnight oats recipe include:
- ½-1 scoop protein powder
- 1 ounce (28 grams) nuts of choice (walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, etc.)
- Shredded coconut
- Cocoa powder or cacao nibs
- Nut butter
- Powdered peanut butter
- Fresh, frozen, or dried fruit
If you’re looking for a healthy, filling, and quick-fix meal any time of day, there are few options that rival the smoothie.
Simply toss all of your ingredients into the blender, buzz on high, and consume!
Smoothies can be modified any number of ways, fit any flavor profile you’re craving (even indulgent desserts like pumpkin pie or cheesecake!), are an ideal way to sneak in more veggies for those picky eaters.
One of our favorite smoothie recipes is:
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (opt: vegan protein, egg white protein, etc.)
- ½-1 frozen banana (cut into chunks)
- 1 serving frozen strawberries
- 1 serving of powdered peanut butter
- 1 handful spinach
Blend on high until everything is thoroughly mixed and drink!
#7 Blueberry Protein Muffins
A cup of coffee and a muffin are the breakfast of choice for millions of on-the-go professionals and full-time college students. Unfortunately, this breakfast is pretty much devoid of any modicum of micronutrients, protein, or fiber.
But, with just a bit of planning on your part, you can easily bake a whole tray of protein muffins so that you have breakfast at the ready no matter how rushed you are in the morning!
- ¼ cup (60mL) milk of choice
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (225g) plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 cups (160g) rolled oats
- 4 Tablespoons (48g) sugar substitute (stevia baking mix, erythritol, sucralose baking blend, etc.)
- 2 scoops 1UP Blueberry Muffin or Tres Leches Whey Protein
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (105g) blueberries
- ½ tablespoon (6g) oat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour as well)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a mini-muffin pan with nine paper liners or cooking spray.
- Combine blueberries and ½ tablespoon of oat flour in a small bowl and toss to combine, then set aside.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour batter evenly amongst the nine prepared muffin molds and then evenly distribute the flour-dusted blueberries among them.
- Transfer muffin pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until muffins are golden brown and delicious
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before digging in!
- Leftover muffins can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature
And, if the thought of baking a tray of muffins is a bit too intimidating, you can always grab a box of 1UP Protein Muffins or Protein Bars and keep them on your desk at work, so that no matter what you always have a delicious, nutritious meal at the ready!