Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that people who eat a low-calorie, high-protein, high-fiber breakfast end up consuming fewer total calories throughout the day, making it easier to maintain a healthy body composition. It's not just body composition that matters, though. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts should view breakfast as their opportunity to restock glycogen stores and prepare for a day filled with activity.
That said, not everyone is a morning person who wants to start the day off with a hearty breakfast meal. That's okay. Sometimes our bodies know best and need to follow their own natural rhythms, but it's still important to eat something in the morning. Claire Thomas, the host of ABC's Food for Thought and the creator of popular food blog, The KitchyKitchen understands this dilemma first-hand, "I have a love/lazy relationship with breakfast. Sure, when it's covered in syrup or served at 11:00 am on a Sunday, I am all for it, but come 7:00 am on Monday, sometimes all I can do is rustle up a cup of coffee.
"This obviously isn't the best for my snack-y, grazer ways. To get on track, I devised two recipes: one perfect for guests or the weekend, and another perfect for a morning on-the-go. Either way, they're both balanced and will get me through my day with everything I need."
Check them out here and start your morning off right!
Mixed Berry Parfait with Walnut Coconut Granola
You can eat prepare the Mixed Berry Parfait with or without the Walnut Coconut Granola, but the granola will boost the whole grain and fiber content of your meal. If you tend to be in a rush in the morning, prepare a batch of granola on Sunday and store it in a sealed container to use throughout the week. If you start preparing the Yogurt Parfait when you first wake up, it will be ready to eat right before it's time to walk out the door.
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Pinch orange zest
- 2 tablespoons good honey
- 2 cups non fat Greek yogurt
- Combine the berries, orange juice and orange zest in a bowl, and let them sit in your fridge for about 30 minutes, until the juices start running out.
- Serve in a glass bowl, and layer with Greek yogurt and granola giving each layer a drizzle of honey.
Walnut Coconut Granola
- 3 cups oats (slow cooking kind)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg white (optional)
- 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Mix the oats, brown sugar, honey and oil together. Fun tip: Pour the honey into the oil for no sticky mess!
- Add the vanilla, and if you prefer clumpy granola, the egg white.
- Add the walnuts, flax seeds and coconut, mix, and pour everything onto a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil or a silicone mat. Spread over the entire cookie sheet.
- Pop the granola in the oven for ten minutes.
- Remove the cookie sheet and with a spatula, break up the granola, flipping pieces over to let the sides brown.
- Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let the granola cool for 10-15 minutes, then gently break it up using the back of a spoon. Enjoy!
The Farmer's Frittata is a hearty, healthy meal that is perfect for company or a lazy Saturday brunch. Pair it with a cup of fresh fruit for a truly balanced meal.
- 8 egg whites
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup corn
- 2 large asparagus stalked chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 handful arugula (or spinach)
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and a big pinch of salt and pepper.
- In a 9-inch pan (a skillet is great for heat distribution), warm the olive oil, and add the corn and garlic, and sauté until slightly golden.
- Add the tomatoes and let them cook until just warmed, about 1 minute.
- Add the egg mixture and the asparagus, and cook for a minute or two until the frittata is just set.
- Pop in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes.
- Carefully remove the frittata and place it on a plate. Gently toss the arugula in some olive oil and top the frittata.
- Slice it up while still warm and serve with you favorite whole wheat toast.