Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, is also the most neglected one. Not only have countless studies found that skipping breakfast is detrimental to health in the long run, there is also enough evidence that links nutritious breakfasts to successful long term weight loss. Here at Healthy Living India we have perfected the art of 5 minute breakfasts and in this post we share our top breakfast quick fixes, along with our once-a-week grocery shopping list for 5-minute breakfast meals. Each breakfast idea mentioned comes with a rough calorie count estimate. So leave those excuses aside, make a 30 minute shopping trip to your neighborhood store once a week, wake up just 10 minutes before you absolutely need to every day, and start eating a healthy, quick and nutritious breakfast…
What is a healthy breakfast? According to mayoclinic.com, a healthy breakfast must include whole grains (bread, cereal, rolls), low-fat protein (hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter, lean meat and poultry, fish, pulses), low-fat dairy (skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat cheeses), fruits and vegetables (fresh fruits or vegetables, or vegetable juices that contain no added sugar). So while eggs, pulses, sprouts, dairy products and peanut butter, etc will provide you with ample protein, make sure to include some cereal, whole grain and fruits and vegetables as well.
Shopping List for Healthy Breakfast Products
- Low-fat, fibre-rich cereals.
- Skimmed milk and low-fat dairy products. Most stores sell flavoured skimmed milk that you can just gulp down on your way out each morning.
- Sprouts – While non-vegetarians get their protein quite easily from eggs, vegetarians need to focus more on dairy, peanut butter and sprouts to get their share of proteins. Stocking up on sprouts that you can stir-fry in 2 minutes or simply add to a cold salad is a great solution.
- Whole grain bread – Most stores sell brown breads, 6-grain breads, and other whole grain preparations that you can store easily. An average sized person can benefit from just one or maximum two slices of good whole grain bread daily.
- Oats – While quick cooking oats are brilliantly simple to whip up, they do have a sizable caloric value. You can balance this out by reducing added sugar to your bowl. Try sprinkling some cinnamon instead, and replace the whole milk with low-fat milk too.
- Bran muffins or whole grain crackers
- Peanut butter
- Tomatoes – These will make up your breakfast’s vegetable content.
- Bananas or apples – Both of these fruits are excellent for fibre and energy supplies. Include them in cereal, or eat them raw on your way out.
- Material for quick breakfast spreads and dressings – Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, salt, mustard sauce, ketchup.
Once a Week Fixes for Everyday Breakfast Comfort –
- For quick boiled egg sandwiches – boil and store 4-6 eggs. These will keep easily in the refrigerator for up to 6-10 days.
- Shopping trip to the neighborhood provisions store with the list of healthy breakfast products to buy.
Store products –
- Unopened dairy products will keep in a cool, dry place. In warm places, this will end up being your refrigerator. Once opened, they need to be refrigerated.
- Bananas will keep for 2-3 days only. Apples will keep for 1-2 weeks, if not more.
- Sprouts need to be refrigerated in a loose perforated bag or an open bowl.
- Quick cooking oats will come in a tin can, and can stay on your kitchen counter. But make sure the lid is secure.
- Cereals can also stay on your counter, but with the lid closed firmly.
- Peanut butter doesn’t need to be refrigerated, unless 100% organic.
- Whole grain bread can sit on the counter, but once you open the pack make sure you wrap it well and refrigerate it – otherwise it might get crumbly and stale.
Every day Quick Breakfast Ideas –
Eggs and toast – Approximately 370 calories – perhaps the easiest breakfast to eat, without spending too much time on whether you’re getting all your nutrients or not. The eggs (two egg whites and one egg yolk) are excellent protein sources, while the whole grain bread with a little bit of butter or cheese is a great fibre and fat source. You can even grill a tomato on the side, and lightly sprinkle it with some cracked pepper and salt to add taste.
Oats with skimmed milk, cinnamon and fruits – Approximately 320 calories – Half a cup of quick cooking oats with one chopped banana, a sprinkling of cinnamon for natural sweetness and flavour, and some low-fat milk is a very nutritious breakfast that will keep you full till lunch time comes around. Here are the three easy steps to prepare this breakfast meal:
- Step One: Add the quick cooking oats to a microwave friendly bowl. Add just enough water to cover the oats.
- Step Two: Bung the bowl into the microwave, and cook for exactly two minutes on the regular (mostly medium) setting.
- Step Three: Remove bowl from microwave and add just two shakes of cinnamon powder, one chopped banana or apple and 1 cup low-fat milk. Done!
Boiled egg salad – Approximately 300 calories – Boiled eggs are perhaps the best appetite controllers in the breakfast food kingdom. Make a quick cold salad with mustard vinaigrette for a quick breakfast with this simple recipe:
- Step One: Chop (or shred) two egg whites and one egg yolk, a handful of sprouts, a fresh chopped tomato, and a chopped ham slice (if you’ve been a good boy or girl with exercise and diet) into a bowl. Don’t bother with chopping and dicing, remember that the best salads are shredded salads – so shred the eggs, ham and a lettuce leaf or two without bothering about perfect pieces.
- Step Two: Make a quick mustard vinaigrette – add one teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive oil, two teaspoons lemon juice, cracked pepper and salt to taste and one teaspoon mustard sauce. Whisk well and add to the salad bowl. Mix in with all salad ingredients.
- Step Three: Pour a glass of skimmed milk on the side and you’re ready to rock this egg salad breakfast.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can add more sprouts or even another vegetable to the salad to make it as nutritious.
The Absolute Last Breakfast Resort: Remember those bran muffins and whole wheat crackers? Take exactly one tablespoon peanut butter (approx. 100 calories per tablespoon) and layer it on two bran muffins (about 50 gms each) or the whole wheat crackers (4-6 depending on size). Pour some skimmed milk on the side, and grab an apple on your way out. This simple and quick as a cracker breakfast will make sure that come lunch time you don’t end up hogging on yours, your neighbor’s and that new intern’s lunch supplies. Happy healthy breakfasts to you!