First week of September. First week back at school, for Calgary public schools at least. How did your morning go? Did you get a decent breakfast in before scrambling out the door?
I love September, but it does leave us with a little less time to linger over breakfast, doesn’t it? No problem. With a little planning, you can get your nourishment and be on your way.
Whatever you grab, aim to include some veggies or fruit along with a good source of protein or two, from peanut butter to leftover salmon. Here are 15 of our fast favourites:
Quick + nourishing at home
- Peanut butter & toast with fruit and milk or kefir
- Cold cereal.
- Cereal doesn’t have to be a nutrition pariah. Look for whole-grain with at least about 4 grams of fibre and less than about 8 grams of sugar per serving. Here are 16 cereals that meet that criteria.
- For most of us, a fist-sized serving is plenty. Pair with fruit, nuts, and/or seeds… think less cereal, more toppings.
- Yogurt with fruit and a sprinkle of almonds or granola
- Ideally use plain Greek yogurt, paired with thawed frozen mango or cherries or a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you like.
- Homemade granola is preferable, or read the label if you buy – look for the lowest sugar you can find.
- Throw a couple of slices of cheddar on a whole-grain tortilla for a filling, definitely better-than-nothing start.
- Pair with an orange and you’re good to go. Or tuck in pre-washed spinach or cherry tomatoes for a jumpstart on your veggies.
- If you have some leftover beans, chicken, or salmon, even better.
- There’s no rule that says you have to eat breakfasty foods in the morning. If you prefer to heat up last night’s leftovers, go for it.
Make ahead, eat all week
Most of these are cooking in just a few minutes, and they can simmer or bake while you catch up on Netflix.
- Cooked oats, reheated (or cold!)
- The longer it takes to cook, the longer it will satisfy. Steel-cut oats > traditional rolled oats > quick oats.
- Try these Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Lentils from Dinner with Julie.
- Whole-grain pancakes, reheated or cold
- Frittata, aka crustless quiche.
- Try these Mini Breakfast Frittatas.
In the car (if you must!)
You wouldn’t eat and drive, right? But if you’re the passenger, these travel well:
- Energy balls or bars with a banana and a latte.
- Try these granola bars — one of our favourites because they don’t include any added sugar. Ripe bananas provide sweetness and stick them together.
- Or the energy balls in this picture (dark) and (light):
- No time to cook? Storebought is definitely better than nothing, especially if you can find one with ~10g of protein and <8g of sugar. Here’s one I like.
- Homemade whole-grain muffin with fruit and a cup of Greek yogurt.
Hard-boiled eggs with fruit, cheese, and whole-grain crackers, like Triscuits.
- Smoothie in a travel mug. Basic recipe:
- Liquid base – ~1 cup – milk, soy milk, or plain yogurt
- Fruit – ~ ½-1 cup – frozen or fresh with ice cubes
- Protein boost ~ 1-2 tbsp tofu, peanut butter, or protein powder
- Optional extras – ~2 tbsp ground flax, hemp hearts, chia seeds, cocoa powder
- Sweetener, if needed – honey or maple syrup
Nibble while you work
No shame in waiting until you sit down at your desk.
- Packaged oatmeal, preferably with no sugar added, with a handful of trail mix and an orange.
- Overnight oats or chia pudding. Put it in a mason jar and you’ll be one of the cool kids.
- Cottage cheese with nuts and berries. Cottage cheese is high in sodium, but also a great source of protein. 1/2-cup or so along with unsalted nuts and berries is a reasonable compromise.
- Cereal (as above). Could you keep a bag of frozen blueberries at work to sprinkle on top?
What are you having for breakfast on busy weekday mornings? I’d love to see! Share your pictures, recipes, comments, and questions via Facebook.