Life is busy. It’s a universal fact. It’s even more busy on the weekday mornings when everybody is trying to tackle life, work, and school. What do most people do to get the day started? They skip breakfast. Statistics vary widely depending on the source, but everyone agrees that a sizable percentage of people skip breakfast (between 28 - 40 percent of adults, and 20 – 30 percent of adolescents).
Break the fast
There’s an old saying that goes like this – “Eat like a King for breakfast, a Prince for lunch and a Pauper for dinner”. It was widely believed that consuming your biggest meal earlier in the day gave you more opportunity to use those calories.
Randomized control trials show breakfast eaters tend to be healthier and leaner than breakfast skippers. This may be due to the fact that breakfast eaters have other healthy lifestyle habits. But studies also show that whether you eat or skip breakfast has no effect on the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. Skipping breakfast is also a part of many intermittent fasting protocols and intermittent fasting can have numerous health benefits.
At the end of the day, breakfast is optional, and it all boils down to personal preference. Some of us simply can’t face the idea of an early breakfast. If that’s you, you can blame your chronotype – new research has found that evening types just don’t feel hungry early in the mornings. If you feel hungry in the morning and you like breakfast, go ahead and eat a healthy breakfast.
(Interested in the medical studies on skipping or eating breakfast? Read it here.)
Some portable breakfast foods requiring almost zero prep time include dried fruit, fresh fruit, granola or breakfast bars or even dried cereal. I keep a few granola bars in my desk if must run out of the house in the morning with only coffee in hand. But, let’s take this a step further. Is there something you can prepare ahead of time, say the night before, for breakfast that will save you time in the morning? Of course, there is!
I came across some recipes on line for make-ahead breakfasts and will share a few that got my taste buds watering. A rich dark chocolate smoothie is easy to prepare – it’s non-dairy, and very portable. Coco-zucchini bread is healthy, can be prepared days ahead, and uses up some of that abundance of zucchini currently stacking up in the garden.
Don’t like zucchini for breakfast, then how about chocolate-Tahini Banana bread? I freeze my extra ripe bananas for this kind of recipe. But if you are seeking eggs and bacon, let’s make mini broccoli and bacon muffin tin frittatas. If broccoli isn’t your thing, you can substitute bell peppers or mushrooms just cut them small enough to fit the muffin pan.
I hope these recipes, all of which came from myrecipes.com, make your mornings a bit easier or at least keep you from skipping breakfast. If you have any quick or make ahead breakfast ideas, please send them to me and I will include them in my next breakfast article. Live, Laugh, Love and Eat your Breakfast!
Rich Dark Chocolate Smoothie
- 3 pitted dates
- 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
- 1 cup ice
- 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
- One 5.3oz container vanilla soy yogurt
- ½ banana, sliced and frozen
- Dash of instant coffee or expresso granules (optional)
Soak dates in hot water for about 3 minutes and drain. Place milk and dates in a blender and puree about 30 seconds. Add ice and remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
Variation: You can make this with dairy products, just use chocolate milk and Greek vanilla yogurt. You can also make it with Peanut or almond butter or with raspberries. Play with it or refer to original recipe on-line for exact measurements.
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 ½ cup shredded zucchini
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup light coconut milk (look in Asian food section of store)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 8oz (or 2 cups) whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine zucchini, brown sugar, coconut milk, coconut oil, and eggs. Set aside. Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add zucchini mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into a greased 4 by 8-inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- Cooking spray
- 1 ½ cups (3 whole) ripe bananas mashed
- 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt (not Greek style)
- 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), well stirred
- 3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 6oz white whole-wheat flour (about 1 ½ cups)
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2oz bittersweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9 by 5-inc loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium until combined. Add sugars and beat until combined.
Combine dry ingredients (except chocolate) in a bowl and mix with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to banana mixture and beat until just combined. Fold in the chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top with seeds.
Bake at 350F for 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan and cool completely.
Broccoli-and Bacon Muffin-Tin Frittatas
Serves 6 (2 mini frittatas per serving)
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups small broccoli florets, cooked until crisp tender (or blanched)
- 3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- 8 large eggs
- ¼ cup 2% reduced fat milk
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about ½ packed cup)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide broccoli and bacon evenly among muffin cups.
Crack eggs into a large bowl. Add milk, salt and pepper and stir with a whisk until well combined. Divide egg mixture evenly among muffin cups (use a small measuring cup like a ¼ cup size). Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of all cups. Bake at 350F for 18 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack for 2 or 3 minutes. Carefully run an offset spatula or butter knife around the edges to loosen the frittata and serve.
You can download the recipes of the week HERE!