All across the country, in one-bedroom walk-ups and mansions alike, people are bounding out of bed in the morning, chipper and alert, ready to take on the world and the task of providing a nourishing breakfast for themselves and their families.
I am not one of them.
For those of us who find waking up hard enough without the added burden of flipping fried eggs or whipping up muffins, breakfast options are abundant. Here's the trick: finding fast morning meals that are solid enough to sustain energy, without lots of fat, sweeteners, sodium, or gluten-sadly, Pop-Tarts are not considered an actual meal.
However, as long as you're deft with boiling water and willing to wield a sharp knife on a piece of fruit, you can have any of a series of satisfying breakfasts.
8 Fast, Healthy Breakfast Ideas
1. Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix with Milled Flax Seed.
Made with millet and sugar free, these muffins are a cinch to make; bake several dozen ahead of time, and freeze them for quick breakfasts. Load them up with healthful ingredients-applesauce instead of sugar, ground nuts, pumpkin purée, chopped prunes-for extra nutrition, and serve them with a cup of yogurt or a hard-boiled egg made the night before. Easy.
2. Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt.
This traditionally made yogurt is free of fat and sugar, low in calories, and impossibly rich and creamy. For dairy-free options, try So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt-it's light, creamy, and soy-free. Or try Old Chatham Sheepherding Company Sheep's Milk Yogurt; it's surprisingly fresh and mild in flavor, and dairy-free folk find it easier to digest. Sweeten any of these yogurt choices with a bit of agave or fresh or frozen berries, and serve with oatmeal, cold cereal, or muffins.
3. Nature's Path Organic Instant Hot Oatmeal.
It's hot, it's fast, and kids love it. As with muffins, you can sneak in extra nutrients and protein in the form of chopped walnuts, ground flaxseed,or hemp protein powder. Sweeten with a dash of agave nectar, a splash of apple juice, or a handful of raisins for a quick-and-easy morning meal.
4. Bob's Red Mill Organic Scottish Oatmeal.
This takes a little longer to cook than instant oats, but is still quick, far less processed, and delightfully dense in flavor and texture. Add a handful of chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds, stir in a spoonful of coconut butter, and top with fresh or frozen peaches. Or try the company's Organic Creamy Buckwheat hot cereal; it's a fiber-rich, gluten-free option.
5. Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Flourless Almond Cereal.
As far as cold cereals go, this one's a super bowl. It's sugar-free and made entirely of sprouted grains, almonds, and lentils. If you can't give up your morning flakes, try Arrowhead Mills Organic Amaranth Flakes Cereal; it's wheat-free, and sweetened with fruit juice. Add some banana slices and chopped walnuts, serve with almond milk, and a boiled egg, and feel virtuously nourished all day.
6. Miso Master Red Miso.
In Japan, the traditional breakfast was based on miso soup; a breakfast of miso soup, vegetables, and rice is still common in macrobiotic cuisine. Miso alkalinizes the body, provides essential enzymes, and may help protect against breast cancer. If you're up for something other than the standard morning fare, try this: bring a cup of filtered water to a boil, then add a handful of chopped greens, cooked fish, and brown rice. Warm through, remove from heat, and stir in a spoonful of miso and a small handful of wakame sea vegetables. It's unconventional, but surprisingly satisfying.
7. Amy's Organic Brown Rice Bowls.
Made with organic rice, vegetables, and black-eyed peas or tofu, they are another unconventional selection. They're not intended for breakfast, but should be. With their high fiber and protein content from beans, Amy's bowls are guaranteed to keep blood sugar levels steady. Amy's Organic Breakfast Burrito is another substantial morning choice.
8. Nature's Path Organic Buckwheat Waffles.
As far as fast breakfasts go, this one's a winner for kids. Made with brown rice and corn flour, these gluten-free toaster waffles are convenient and reasonably low in sugar. For a protein boost, skip the syrup and spread them with almond butter and a drizzle of agave nectar.
If you have a little more time and want a breakfast from scratch, try making muffins, biscuits, pancakes, or waffles with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit and Baking Mix. Substitute this directly for wheat flour. It is high in fiber and protein and has a low glycemic load, as it contains chickpea flour.