Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day. After all, you literally break a fast, fueling your body for the day ahead. Many people skip breakfast, especially if they're trying to lose weight, when in fact a more sensible strategy would be to skip dessert or late-night snacks. Others miss breakfast because they're 'just too busy.' Unfortunately, this sets us up to grab anything and everything when hunger pangs finally kick in. So begin your day right and spend a little time eating a healthy breakfast, even if it means a little planning ahead. Your body will thank you.
1. Whole Wheat Pancakes
Why settle for store-bought pancake mixes when you can so easily make your own, more wholesome pancakes? These whole-wheat pancakes are light and delicious. Add some chopped berries if you like, and serve with warmed fruit compote or maple syrup.
2. French Toast
French toast is one of my favorite weekend breakfast treats. If you're concerned about fat and cholesterol, use egg substitute or a combination of eggs and egg whites in place of whole eggs.
3. Morning Glory Muffins
Filled with shredded carrot, crushed pineapple and raisins, these make a great breakfast muffin to be enjoyed with a banana and a glass of ice-cold nonfat milk, or warm cocoa. If you're one of those who doesn't have time for breakfast, then pack one to take to work. For an extra nutritional boost, replace half the flour with whole wheat flour.
Crêpes are thin pancakes which can be eaten in the same way as pancakes or rolled up with a filling of your choice. These are the kind of "pancakes" I used to flip on Shrove Tuesday when I grew up in England.
5. Pumpkin Oatmeal
Dress up your oatmeal and add an extra nutritional boost with canned pumpkin puree. This makes a great dessert any time of the year, but especially in the fall.
6. Huevos Rancheros Wraps
For a slightly different spin on breakfast, enjoy this burrito-style huevos rancheros, or Mexican-style eggs in a wrap. It might not be authentically Mexican, but it's certainly delicious. Serve with some fresh fruit on the side.
7. Herbed Egg White and Spinach Omelet
If you're watching your cholesterol, you may need to limit your intake of dietary cholesterol, of which eggs are a notorious source. While you undoubtedly lose some flavor in ridding yourself of the yolks, you can add flavor and substance to an egg white omelet in many ways. This omelet is a great example.
8. Strawberry Mango Buttermilk Smoothie
If you can't 'eat' in the morning, perhaps you can drink your breakfast. This is a wonderfully refreshing way to wake up in the morning. I keep a supply of peeled, ripe bananas in my freezer to use in this and other smoothies. Another option is to cut and freeze the mango ahead of time. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, use nonfat milk or low-fat yogurt instead.
9. Yogurt Granola Parfait
This is less a recipe and more a way to prepare a nutritious, low fat, high-energy breakfast. I use strawberries and bananas with my yogurt and low fat granola, but you can use any fruit that takes your fancy, and embellish it with a tablespoon of heart-healthy sliced almonds or chooped walnuts, or a sprinkling of wheatgerm.
10. Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes
If you're a pancake lover, try adding a little extra fiber with yummy applesauce oatmeal pancakes. Resist the temptation to top them with butter. A little maple syrup is perfect, or try some warmed applesauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon.