What are healthy breakfast foods?
Everyone seems to be on a search for healthy breakfast foods.
As we learn more about the need for individual nutrition plans, suddenly plain old cereal seems to go out the window.
You need a healthy nutritious breakfast solution!
Breakfast is the meal that breaks your fast, but there are no rules when it comes to breakfast.
In other words, what is stopping you from eating soup, leftover dinner, fruit, a smoothie, vegetables or just a cup of tea for breakfast?
Healthy breakfast foods contain…
A balanced breakfast includes roughly equal portions of protein and carbohydrate, with a bit less fat.
The best healthy breakfast foods will have these traits:
- Contain low-fat protein – increases ‘satisfaction’ and reduces cravings;
- Are high in fiber (both soluble and insoluble) – increases ‘satisfaction’ and feeds gut flora;
- Contain moderate carbs – low GI, unprocessed carbs to provide energy and fiber;
- Contain low to moderate fat content from healthy sources; and
- Are low in salt (which is often hidden in the usual bread, spreads, and cereals).
Having a variety of breakfasts foods means better balance in nutrition and less likelihood of developing food intolerance.
Aim to have a different breakfast for three days in a row and you’re on track.
Top 10 healthy breakfast ideas
These top 10 healthy breakfast foods meet the criteria listed above.
They are simple and easy to make.
Mix them up and perhaps even use the ingredients from this list to create your own breakfast food ideas.
1. For a great high protein breakfast, try two poached eggs, 5 asparagus spears, 1 cup of spinach, 1 tomato, 2 tablespoons kidney beans.
Finish half a cup of fresh papaya chunks for added vitamins and digestive enzymes.
2. Protein shake – great breakfast idea for work! – use a good quality soy or whey protein powderwithout nasty additives (we like USANA’s Choc Whey Protein or Vanilla Soyamax) –blend the recommended amount with water, ice cubes, a cup of fresh berries, 1 tab of crushed walnuts. Stir in 1 tsp of flaxseed oil after blending, for vital omega 3 fatty acids.
3. Half a cup of steel cut oats, ½ tsp flaxseed, ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup strawberries and 1 tab almonds. Squeeze some fresh fruit over it for moisture and serve immediately. Full of antioxidants, quality carbs, and healthy fats.
4. Scrambled tofu. Scramble about 3 tablespoons of firm tofu with ½ a diced onion, ½ a red capsicum and a clove of garlic.
Add a handful fresh basil and oregano and serve with a slice of beautiful wholemeal and grain toast (or gluten free), spread with a little tahini or avocado. Vegan, high in protein, fiber, nutrients and…delish!
5. A cup of fresh mixed berries with a small tub of plain, low-fat yogurt, 1 tablespoon of steel cut oats, 4 chopped brazil nuts, and 1 tsp rice bran. Full of B vitamins and a nice mix of textures. This is easy, healthy breakfast food.
6. Mushrooms on toast – dry fry a cup of sliced mushrooms with ½ a diced onion and serve on a slice of wholemeal and grain toast (gluten free if desired), spread with a little tahini. Finish with a cup of strawberries for extra protein and antioxidant power. Tasty vegan breakfast option.
7. Capsicum-poached eggs – grab ½ red capsicum and lightly dry fry the cut side, then flip over, crack an egg into it and cover pan until egg is cooked. Serve with fresh spinach and basil. For extra protein, add a little left over bolognese sauce from last night’s dinner. YUM! Finish with two fresh apricots or a nectarine, for an extra nutrient and carb boost.
8. Veggie scramble – bubble and squeak – 2 cups of last night’s leftover veggies, dry fried and mixed up with leftover mince, an egg white or some red kidney beans. Serve on a piece of wholemeal and grain toast (spread with avocado), add 1 tab low fat grated cheese if desired.
9. Home made muesli. Make up a batch so you can quickly grab a healthy ‘fast food’ breakfast. My favourite recipe is 2 cups steel cut oats (use quinoa flakes for gluten free); ½ cup natural sultanas, 1 cup puffed rice, 1 cup puffed amaranth, 3 tab rice bran, ½ cup psyllium husks or USANA’s Fibergy, 3 tab slippery elm bark powder, ½ cup natural Goji berries, ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, and ½ cup chopped almonds.
Use as-is or oven roasts each of the cereals on a lined baking tray until golden brown. Store in an airtight container – serve with fresh fruit and some watered down ‘light’ coconut milk. A serve for most people is ½ cup.
10. Mexico-breakfast wrap – hubby’s secret recipe. Use a gluten free wrap or two mountain bread wraps and add a scrambled egg, a small 100% beef sausage (preservative and gluten free), 2 tbsp kidney beans, fresh coriander, a shake of tabasco sauce, a scrape of avocado and a whole diced tomato. You could throw in 1 tab low-fat ricotta cheese if you wanted, instead of or in addtion to the sausage. Or you could replace the sausage with tofu or bolognaise.
Ok, we couldn’t stop!
We I still have another at least five great healthy breakfast food ideas.
Like healthy banana and yoghurt pancakes (ok, ok, can’t help it, here’s number 11).
11. Serves two people – 1 cup wholemeal spelled flour, ¾ cup yogurt, 1 egg*, 2 tab maple syrup or honey, half a mashed banana, 1 tsp baking powder. Add water as required to get a thick consistency.
Lightly fry until bubbling, then flip. Makes about 4 large pancakes. Press down to make sure center mixture spreads and cooks properly. Serve with fresh strawberries.
*If you’re egg and dairy free, you could use 1 cup wholemeal spelled flour, 1 whole mashed banana, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tab maple syrup or honey, and enough light coconut milk to get desired consistency. The mixture should be thick.
Now if you’re scared of trying these breakfasts because you’ve only ever eaten Froot Loops, why not check out one of your local cafés or breakfast bars who make these kinds of meals – try something different?
That way, you can try before you buy.
A healthy nutritious breakfast is the best way to start your day!