Healthy and satisfying breakfast tips coming your way! Here are a few ways to bulk up your morning meal to kickstart your day, keep you full longer and make your body smile from the inside out 🙂
1. Add high-quality complete Protein
Most breakfasts are sorely lacking in protein – this is even despite numerous studies showing that including protein in your breakfast meal, such as having 2 eggs, keeps you feeling fuller, and prevents hunger much better than having simple carbohydrates (like a bagel). Higher-protein meal plans are also well-studied for their ability to promote greater fat loss and a quicker metabolism than less protein.
Ideas for your next breakfast to ensure you include a complete protein choice on your plate:
• Eggs (Tofu for vegan)- Eat them scrambled with fresh spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms and a side of fresh fruit and your day is off to a great start! If you are vegan, scramble tofu in place of eggs. If you aren’t a fan of scrambled eggs, poach or boil them for a quick meal – my new poached egg recipe below!
• Protein Powder – mix a scoop of protein with your favorite milk and pour this over your favorite bowl of low-sugar cereal. Or, add to your blender with flax seed oil, almond milk, and berries, for a high-protein smoothie. You can also add a scoop to plain oatmeal after cooking to give it a boost. My banana buddy shake fits the bill if you add a scoop.
• Organic cottage cheese – mixed with fresh chopped pineapple, strawberries, apples, or tomatoes is a perfect start to your day. Cottage cheese is also delicious in a quick and easy breakfast banana split!
• Organic plain Greek yogurt – combine this with organic fresh or frozen berries and slivered almonds,walnuts or pecans for a perfectly balanced meal. If you want some extra crunch, top it with my superfood buckwheat granola 🙂
• Natural almond or peanut butter – paired with a gluten free whole grain tortilla or gluten free bread. Two tablespoons of natural nut butter provide 8-10 grams of complete protein and plenty of healthy fat. You can make your own almond butter, it’s incredibly easy with the help of a food processor and tastes amazing!
2. Embrace Fiber
Another important aspect missing from most breakfast plates is fiber. I am not sure you want to count those specialty fiber breakfasts bars that are so loaded with sugar that any fiber they do contain (usually from wood pulp – ugh) is not worth it. High-fiber meals are more satiating and filling than low protein. An extra bonus, fiber is also associated with lower rates of cancer and diabetes.
Here are ways to include body-beautifying, belly-filling fiber into your breakfast:
• Beans – add 1/3 cup of beans to a breakfast egg burrito made with a sprouted-grain wrap, or toss with scrambled eggs or tofu and add 5 grams of fiber to your plate. My grain-free pumpkin pancakes use beans, oh yeah 🙂
• Berries – organic berries are a great addition to oatmeal, smoothies, low-sugar cereal, and yogurt, and can add 2-3 grams of filling fiber.
• Oatmeal – the problem with most packaged oatmeal is all the added sugar, but 1/3 cup of oats has 3 grams of fiber and no sugar! It’s perfect paired with eggs, organic cottage cheese or protein powder for a complete meal. Overnight oats are a great morning meal that packs a fiber punch as well!
• Sprouted-grain bread with nut butter – found only in the freezer section of your grocery store. Sprouted-grain bread has 3 grams of fiber per slice, and nut butter has ~2 grams for a total of at least 5 grams of fiber to start your day. My high-fiber and grain free flax bread would work as a great gluten free substitute too!
• Fresh Fruit paired with a higher protein dish (yogurt, eggs, tofu) – one apple provides about 5 grams of fiber, ½ a medium grapefruit provides 6 grams of fiber, and 1 kiwi provides about 2 grams of fiber.
• Ground Flax Seeds – toss a tablespoon or two in with your breakfast protein smoothie, or add to hot cereal. Two tablespoons have 8 grams of fiber, and can help balance your hormones while lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
• Avocado – this “skinny” fat food is great on almost anything but I love to spread guacamole or avocado slices over eggs. When cut in half, it packs in a whopping 5 grams of fiber and plenty of healthy monounsaturated fat that help promote a flat belly and a healthy heart.
3. Include Vegetables
Unless you have a vegetable omelet, most breakfast dishes include little to no vegetables at all. However, vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-dense and prevent many, many diseases that inflict us today.
Try these easy ways to add more vegetables to your meal and make your breakfast perfect:
• Spinach – add spinach to your eggs while cooking or stuff a large handful in with your favorite smoothie; it may make your smoothie green, but it also makes it thicker and more satisfying without ruining the taste. My green almond oat smoothie is delicious and filling!
• Tomatoes and cucumbers – add chopped to a bowl of organic cottage cheese for a crunchy, high-fiber breakfast.
• Baked squash – gourds such as acorn squash and butternut squash are delicious vegetables to include at breakfast. Just sprinkle with cinnamon once cooked and eat with eggs or tofu and you’ll be in breakfast heaven.
• Potatoes – Have a small side of homemade hash browns cooked with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, along with your favorite protein item, and you’re adding at least 2 grams of fiber, and plenty of hunger-fighting, fat-burning nutrients to your diet. If like sweet potatoes, they supply even more nutrients and fiber!
So what does a protein-packed, high-fiber breakfast with veggies look like in my world? Easy tomato sauce-poached eggs with cheesy amaranth grits. You could easily serve this for breakfast OR dinner as well. You could serve the eggs on a bed of cooked quinoa, millet, polenta or rice instead of amaranth if preferred. For all you morning toast lovers, these poached eggs could be served with slices of toasted whole-grain (and gluten free for me!) bread or english muffin.
Easy Tomato Sauce Poached Eggs over Cheesy Amaranth Grits
1/2 cup uncooked amaranth
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
2 – 3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese or other sharp cheese (or nutritional yeast for dairy free)
salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2 cups tomato sauce (homemade version or store bought but watch out for added sugar!)
fresh or dried herbs to taste (garlic powder, italian seasoning, oregano, basil, paprika, etc)
shredded cheese (your choice) or nutritional yeast for dairy free
a few basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
1. In a medium saucepan, add broth (or water), amaranth and pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer (low heat) and cover. Let amaranth cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. When amaranth grits only have 5 minutes left to cook, heat 2 cups of tomato sauce over low-medium heat in a small saucepan until it simmers. Carefully crack eggs one at a time and gently slide into the simmering tomato sauce, cover and let cook for 4-5 minutes or until eggs white are white and cooked through and the middle is still runny.
3. To serve, spoon grits into serving dish. With a ladle, carefully spoon egg over grits and top with remaining tomato sauce. Garnish with basil and additional cheese, if using and enjoy!
Serves two (you could easily cut in half for one or double/triple)