I’m a night owl who also somehow likes the morning vibe. As long as it’s not too early, I relish the relative quietness of the day’s beginning. I like the pottering around feeling of getting ready for work. I enjoy the morning light filtering through half-open blinds. I like the routine of getting my zombified self to look half human. And I love love love breakfast foods.
I love breakfast foods to the level of Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson, my favourite characters from TV’s Parks & Recreation. If you’ve ever seen them wax lyrical on the topic, you’ll understand the reverence in which I hold that first and most important meal of the day. If you haven’t, here’s a prime example:
“Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” Leslie wonders, as the world’s biggest waffle is placed on the café table in front of her.
“People are idiots, Leslie,” Ron replies, chomping down on a rasher of crispy bacon.
I know just what they mean. Breakfast is the perfect meal. Simple but hearty, it’s a great meal to meet up with a friend over. And let’s be honest: breakfast food really is the best food.
The challenge for me is that because I’m a night owl, I’m not a fan of getting up before dawn to prep food. So I like my breakfasts healthy but fast, too.
Here’s a compilation of some of my favourite quick and healthy breakfast ideas.
Eggs are breakfast magic. They’re easy to prepare and full of good protein. You can simply crack an egg into a frypan heated with one tablespoon of oil (coconut or olive are two oils that are good for you) and fry away. But there’s so much more you can do with eggs. You can have them:
- Poached and served on a piece of wholegrain toast with chopped avocado and slices of smoked salmon.
- Scrambled with cream and chopped spinach.
- Made into a hash with leftover cooked veggies from a previous meal (we call this Bubble & Squeak).
- Fried with bacon and grilled vegetables.
- In an omelette. (Whisk together two eggs and then pour into a thin, crepe-style layer on a hot frypan. Cook gently until the top side has just set. Then, sprinkle fillings over half the omelette (you can really use anything: ham, chicken, turkey, red onion, spring onion, spinach, avocado, tomato, grated cheese), top with salt and pepper, and flip. Cook a little further, covered, until the egg has completely set and the fillings have warmed. Slide onto a plate and FEAST.)
I try not to eat a lot of bread, but sometimes it’s great for a treat or if you’re in a tearing hurry. Because bread tends to be high on carbs but low on filling, I recommend pairing it with protein of some kind so it fills you up and provides energy for longer.
- Sprinkle a tortilla with grated cheese (plus optional ham and tomato), fold in half, and cook both sides in a non-stick pan for a delicious breakfast quesadilla.
- Spread wholegrain sourdough bread with smushed feta cheese and avocado, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top. So good.
- Spread toast with natural nut butters (I really dig Mayver’s Dark Chocolate spread, which has no sugar and no nasty sugar substitutes, just good nuts, oils, and cacao) and then top with sliced strawberries and bananas for a dessert-style brekky that’s good for you.
- Make French toast by whisking eggs and a little milk together, then dip thick-cut bread into the mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds then fry both sides of the bread in a little good oil. Top with sliced fresh banana if desired.
Smoothies are the ultimate quick and healthy breakfast. You can use whichever milk or milk substitute is healthiest for your body, and you can often squeeze in random veggies that don’t overwhelm the palate. My favourite base smoothie mix is almond milk, baby spinach, and ice. I add all my other flavours on top of that.
(Excuse the terrible smoothie names. I had far too much fun with this.)
- Mango Magnificence: blend mango (fresh or frozen), whey protein, spinach, ice, and water.
- Choc Berry Bomb: blend mixed frozen berries (very low GI), almond milk, ice, cacao powder, and pure vanilla extract.
- Nut Your Average Smoothie: blend a big spoonful of your favourite nut butter (I recommend Mayver’s Crunchy Peanut Butter or Mayver’s Dark Chocolate Super Spread), almond milk, maca powder, cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, ice, and a handful of cashews.
- Tropicana Banana: blend one banana, a teaspoon of chia seeds, a handful of baby spinach, pure vanilla extract, ice, and your preferred milk. Sprinkle with cacao nibs.
So there you have it – a few of my favourite fresh and fast breakfast ideas. If you’re feeling inspired, do try them. And if you’re uninspired, also try them. Because, to quote the hyperbolic Ron Swanson once more:
“There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.”