Do you feel like you have to get up 30 minutes earlier than normal to eat a healthy breakfast?
Below are five shortcuts to breakfasts that will give you an extra 25 minutes with your pillow.
Smoothies were my original secret to racking up 40-grams of fiber a day when I started Full Plate Living.
I was the only one drinking them in the winter time. Sometimes that meant I was wearing my parka to the breakfast table. But come summer, the rest of the family is asking for smoothies, too!
An added benefit of smoothies is that in the right container (with a tight-fitting lid), they’re portable.
Easy Kid’s Smoothie
- 1 cup mixed berries (6g fiber)
- 1 banana (3g fiber)
- 1 cup milk of choice, soy milk (1.5g fiber), almond milk (1g fiber), etc.
- 1 Tablespoons flax seed (2.8g fiber)
- 1 cup spinach (.7g fiber)
Blend ingredients together in a blender until you quit hearing chunks getting caught by the blades, about 1 minute depending on your machine.
When creating your own smoothie recipes, look for fruits that provide natural sweetener so you don't have to add extra sugar. Bananas are great for that!
Eggs are not a Full Plate Superfood.
What?! How rude of me to get you all excited.
But they are an “egg-celent” (corny pun intended) Full Plate Superfood carrier.
In fact, my toddler-son won’t eat plain eggs. But he’ll eat eggs if they are cooked with lots of sautéed, shredded zucchini mixed in. And ask for more.
To keep this breakfast weight-loss friendly, the eggs should stay at 25% of your Full Plate. Therefore, I recommend making just one egg per person.
Option #1 Poached Eggs
This blog post from “the kitchn” makes it easy to learn how to poach your own eggs in the microwave. Plus, it has the brilliant idea of adding a poached egg to lentils or other beans. Talk about a huge fiber- and protein-rich start to your day!
A poached egg could also top any leftover vegetables from the night before for a twist on an omelette. The spring vegetables coming into season are perfect accompaniments.
Option #2 Scrambled Eggs
I learned the technique of microwaving eggs in college, and it had nothing to do with being a starving student. I was studying how to get certain medicines into patients. That’s when I learned about the brilliance of microwaving scrambled eggs.
If you have an extra minute, power up your eggs with shredded zucchini and chopped green onions.
Need another Full Plate Superfood for the eggs to carry? I’ve been thrilled with the way Mollie Katzen braises spinach in the microwave. In one minute!
Confession time: I'm a grits girl. (That part coming next.) I detested oatmeal for 30 years.
Turns out, I didn't like how most Southerners eat their oatmeal.
But after learning about Full Plate Living, I went on a training mission, and learned that I like my oatmeal rather dry. And with berries. Lots of berries. As in, at least one berry per bite.
There are tons of options for finding an oatmeal recipe that appeals to you. There are entire blogs dedicated to oatmeal!
(Keep in mind that not all the recipes on these blogs are weight-loss friendly even though they contain some Superfoods. I don’t want to distract you from your goal.)
Here are some basic recipes for making oatmeal. You’ll also find a list of my favorite toppings, too.
Option #1 Hot Steel Cut Oats
Five minutes put to good use the night before can provide you with a warm pot of oats the next morning. Here’s a slow-cooker option for warm steel-cut oats to wake up to.
Steel Cut Oats are the oat of choice for Full Plate Living. The fiber has not been stripped away by processing so it has the highest fiber count of the oat options. However, old-fashioned oats, oat flakes that have only part of the fiber removed are a solid alternative.
Continuing with the idea to plan your breakfast the night before, five minutes and a good shake of the jar can give you a portable, chilled breakfast to start hot summer mornings.
Ironically, this recipe also comes in handy when you have no time or desire to slave over a stove. There’s no limit to how many individual jars you can “put up”.
To up the Superfood value in this recipe, consider using half water and half your milk of choice. Or make it with only water! You still have plenty of ways to add flavor to your oatmeal with fruit or veggie power-ups.
Feel free to warm your oatmeal in the microwave to take the chill off.
Just in case you aren’t organized enough to get your breakfast together overnight we have…
Option #3 Hot Rolled/Old-Fashioned Oats
Here’s a morning option for microwave-cooking old-fashioned oats. Make note that the best method is stopping and stirring the bowl every minute or so. This way your cup doesn’t boil over and make a mess that takes more than 5 minutes to clean up.
My favorite oatmeal toppings:
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Frozen Raspberries
- Shredded Apples
- Southern Pecans
- Sprinkle of Nutmeg, Vanilla, and Cinnamon
Five-Minute Polenta (Whole Grain Corn Grits)
OK, back to the grits.
I’m a Southerner. I’m a Girl Raised in the South. Grits are a comfort food. And I adore them.
But this Southerner has two problems with grits. First, they aren’t a Full Plate Superfood. And second, it takes a long time to prepare grits because “No self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits…” (I can’t seem to eat grits without thinking of the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”)
Luckily we’ve found an alternative.
Whole grain cornmeal is called Polenta. And it is a Full Plate Superfood. Plus, it can be made in the microwave in its wonderfully grainy form. So, I can “take pride in my [whole grain] grits" any day of the week.
My favorite polenta toppings:
- Grilled Avocado
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Sunflower Seeds
- Chia and Ground Flax Seeds
- Lemon Pepper
However, eating avocado for breakfast can lower your cholesterol and help you lose weight!
Why? That high fiber! Full Plate Living is so logical.
Squeezing the avocado in at breakfast is easy. Avocados go with all of the above options. They can be added to smoothies, to poached or scrambled eggs or to hot cereals.
But avocados can stand alone, too. Warm a halved avocado over an indoor grill or sauté pan (both of which take more than five minutes on an electric stove I'm sorry to say) and fill the little circle vacated by the seed with salsa.
Here comes the five-minute secret.
Spread mashed avocado over a slice of high-fiber, whole grain bread, sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt, and serve.
I've had an open-faced avocado sandwich at work when I got three minutes to eat lunch whether I needed them or not.
And we've eaten it for breakfast in a hotel room because the meal didn't require access to a refrigerator.
Avocados have a buttery texture, but offer many options because they can be flavored with sweet or savory toppings. Sample both flavors for a treat that strikes the right chord on a sleepy morning.
Don’t forget the Pear!
Your 5-minute breakfast is not complete without a fruit. Fruits, of which pears are my current obsession, are Full Plate Superfoods.
Starting your day with a good fruit will help you stay full longer, cut cravings, and boost your fiber goal for the day. (You've heard this from us before, huh?)
Personally, I feel healthiest and lightest when I have a wide variety of fruit in the house.
Some fruits can be eaten as a quick snack on your way out the door. For example, do you get breakfast served at work? Start your day and your metabolism with a good fruit before you get there.
So remember to make fruit an addition to a successful Full Plate Living breakfast!