Thursday, February 27, 2014

Healthiest Fast-Food Breakfasts

When you think about heading out the door and grabbing breakfast on the go, where do you normally go and what do you get? I'd love to hear.

Breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out. Of course, that only happens about once a year. I'm not exaggerating, either. My favorite breakfast to get eating out is french toast. I never make it at home so on the extremely rare occasion I get my favorite, I enjoy each and every bite so, so much. It is a fun treat for me. What is your very favorite breakfast? How often do you eat out for breakfast?

Oatmeal with steel cut oats, chopped dates and cinnamon topped with banana or blueberries is my staple breakfast 80% of my mornings. Here's a tip: I get the Bob's Red Mill Organic quick cooking steel cut oats from Costco. (That's a mouthful!) A time saver and so very yummy. How about you? What do you eat at home for breakfast?

Fast-Food Breakfasts are really faster done at home. To be honest, fast-food creates a greasy film in my mouth just thinking about it, but that's just me. If you have 10-15 minutes to spare going to the fast food chain, you have 10-15 minutes to create a fast and nutritious breakfast at home. I recommend skipping eating breakfast out all together except those special occasions when you can really savor every bite instead of eating as fast as you can so you're not late for work or chewing as you walk into the office. I don't know many stay at home moms, such as myself, that are eating out for breakfast with their children. Burn some extra calories at night, even when you're ready to curl up in your bed at night, to prepare your breakfast. You can easily do this for the whole week on a Saturday or Sunday.

Fast-Food Breakfast Ideas:

1. Oatmeal: As mentioned above Bob's Red Mill Organic Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats from Costco is our usual morning breakfast around here. We sweeten it with chopped dates and sprinkle with cinnamon. Then you can top with bananas, blueberries, chopped almonds or other nut, or other fruit that is in season. A tip for sweetening with the chopped dates is to throw them in quickly right after the oats are done cooking and then replace the lid for 3-5 minutes. It helps to soften and spread the sugars throughout the oats.

2. Overnight Oats: This is my middle daughter's very favorite breakfast. She will complain about warm oats in the morning, but the oats overnight she practically begs for. Here is my method, though you can browse the internet or Pinterest for about 50 other variations.
I start with 1 Cup Rolled oats (I use regular and not quick, but it will work with quick cooking as well), plain full fat yogurt, and milk of your choice. The last two ingredients I do 1:1 ratio of. The amount depends on how dry or wet you like your oats. 1/3 cup is usually a good amount for both. Then I chop about 6 dates and sprinkle with cinnamon. I cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you can add fruit, nuts, raisins, or whatever you like. You can also add more yogurt and/or milk to get it the consistency you like.

3. Green Eggs and Toast with fruit: Another filling option that includes a vegetable is this yummy meal. It is super fast to whip up with a blender. Simply crack your eggs and throw about a cup of spinach or kale in with the eggs and mix it up. Scramble it up in a hot pan. Add some cut fruit and toast with real butter (nothing fake) and naturally sweetened jam or jelly if you like. Seriously fast. We even do this for dinners on the go. Make it a wrap with a homemade or sprouted grain tortilla. Top with salsa for some extra zip in your morning.

4. Individual Baked Oatmeal Cups from Pamela Salzman are quick to prepare for large batch cooking and then storing for out the door breakfast days.

5. Banana and Peanut Butter: Choose a nut butter of your choice. This is actually pretty filling depending on the size of the banana. If you want, dip the banana and nut butter in some granola. Cut up some carrot sticks to round off this quick and easy breakfast.

6. Apple Sandwich: Core an apple and then slice into rings. Top with nut butter and raisins or add some granola and put another apple ring on top. Take some carrot sticks or snap peas if you still feel like you could use some filler.

7. Hard Boiled Eggs: Keep some hard boiled eggs on hand in the refrigerator. Grab one along with some cut veggies and cut fruit. Or, slice them and make a breakfast wrap including spinach and tomato.

8. Arrowhead Mills Puffed Cereals are a good option if you are a cereal lover, like myself, but want to avoid chemicals and sugar and enriched products. We are huge fans of this on rushed mornings. Most requested in the household is Kamut, Millet, and Rice. A bowl with your choice of milk topped with banana or other cut fruit. Just like other cereals, be sensible about the amount, don't overdo it.

9. Yogurt, Fruit & Add-ins: Choose a plain, full fat yogurt with all real ingredients. This is our choice. We put some in a bowl and add strawberries or blueberries or other fresh cut fruit we have on hand (pineapple, peaches, etc.). Another quick choice would be natural unsweetened applesauce to add in. Then sprinkle with cinnamon. You could add in honey or maple syrup if you desire. Other add in would be granola, chopped nuts, or some of the puffed cereal from above, like rice or millet. The possibilities are endless. Have fun with it and mix it up. Kids love this one. Make your own parfait for brunch.

10. Breakfast Casserole Bites from 100 Days of Real Food are a superb choice for a fast, out the door breakfast. Make a batch of these ahead of time and freeze or if you will use them soon, store in the refrigerator. Warm up quickly or eat them cold. My husband LOVES these. He honestly asks for these before we head out to make sure I remember to make them. Before we go on a road trip and I know we will be needing breakfast, I make these ahead of time and bring them in the car with us.

Fast-food re-invented right in your home. It's really worth skipping out on your Taco Bell soggy waffle taco.

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