For a meal considered the most important of the day, breakfast sure gets a bad rap. When you're half asleep, getting the kids ready for school, and rushing out the door, the last think you want to worry about it what you can have for a nutritious breakfast.
We turned to members of the Cooking Light Diet who have the whole breakfast routine down pat. We asked them via their community Facebook group for their best, brisk breakfast advice. Whether they're prepping for the week or throwing something swiftly together before that 9 a.m. meeting, they've learned a lot about preparing breakfast in a snap. Here's what they had to say.
Meal prepping takes away the guesswork throughout the week and keeps you on track. If everything is ready to go when it's time to make your morning meal, you're more likely to opt for your thought-out, healthy option instead of hitting the drive-thru on the way to work.
Many members find that preparing breakfast the night before makes early meals take on more of an express feel. Michele M. Handal-Werner says, "I keep chopped fruits separated in small bags in the freezer for our smoothies in the morning. Nancee Sims Maggioli also loves a snappy smoothie. When she's rushing out the door, she makes it the night before for an easy grab-and-go breakfast.
Eggs can also be a super prompt breakfast dish. Laura Dewar says, "I like to precook bacon or sausage and pre-chop veggies like peppers, mushrooms, green onions, etc., on the weekends, so I can throw together a scramble super quick." When it's breakfast time, Laura simply scrambles some eggs with her bacon and veggies, and if she needs even more time, she'll toss the scramble in a tortilla for breakfast on the go.
Be Flexible with Your Food
A common struggle when it comes to breakfast? People often assume it can't be done. Get the kids up and dressed, drop them at school, get to work, and look put together for your presentation? Yeah right! But the truth is, if you add a little flexibility to your routine, swap some common breakfast foods for easier ones, and use the freezer to your advantage, you'll be golden. Cooking Light Diet member Marlene Milligan recommends substituting hard-boiled eggs at breakfast time, which she can prepare in advance and grab from the fridge. She also loves to pop a frozen waffle in the microwave, and particularly enjoys these raspberry-ricotta waffles.
Cook for the Week
If you don't have time the night before for making smoothies or frying eggs the morning of, take advantage of the weekend as optimal meal prep time. By earmarking a Saturday or Sunday for prep, you'll wake up every morning looking forward to your microwavable masterpieces instead of skipping breakfast altogether. Chris Yocum says, "I make an egg casserole in a lasagna pan on Sunday. Between that and muffins that I make at some point...it keeps us covered for the week." Andrea Haight loves to use her muffin pan on the weekends for mini frittatas with eggs, meat, and veggies so she can warm them up and enjoy throughout the week.
You can also prepare different types of breakfast dishes for breezy mornings. Brenda VanderMuelen says, "I love the make-ahead shakshuka. I make six at a time, freeze them and then microwave when I am in a hurry." If eggs aren't your thing, though, Diane Vickers recommends making muffins for the week. "I make a dozen magic blender muffins on the weekend and we eat them for breakfast all week."
Keep It Simple
Meal prepping isn't always the best fit for everyone. If you fall into that category, have simple staples ready to go every day. If you keep complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fresh fruits on hand, you'll never have an excuse to skip breakfast again. Christy Lindberg-Price says, "I stick to a simple meal of scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast, with fresh pico de gallo. It's fast and filling. I'm terrible at pre-planning breakfast."
Mary Martini likes something quick she can pop in the toaster (toast, an English muffin, or a frozen waffle) and tops it with nut butter, fruit, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Some other favorites are Andi Bean's super simple breakfast of yogurt, toast, and fruit, and Yvonne Coyle's favorite of overnight oats.
Nancy Schuck Hawkins also recommends keeping simple ingredients on had to reuse. "I have a lot of breakfast 'staples' on hand so I can whip up something healthy in a hurry. English muffins, tortillas, eggs, peanut or almond butter, fruit, mini guacamole, salsa. More often than not, I can make one of the CLD breakfasts (or a close facsimile) with these basics."
Another super simple way to make breakfast in a snap is to prepare the same meal every day, or rotate a few great recipes. By finding a few staples that work for you and your life, you'll never have to think, "What healthy meal can I make for breakfast?" again. Rebecca Lake said the best advice she could offer is to find three or four breakfast recipes you like, print them out, and repeat. Eat what you like. Michele M. Handal-Werner agrees. "I have a few of the quick breakfast recipes from my plan that I use in my weekly rotations, so instead of trying something new, I already have the meals I rotate from week-to-week, that I know will get everybody out of the house quick without skipping breakfast."
This story originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.