Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Let’s face it, all of this time at home has left us feeling burnt out on cooking and eating from home. It’s a constant concern over what and when to cook, let alone that dreaded grocery store trip. To top it all off, we just got done with the holidays where we probably found ourselves resorting to holiday treats. Honestly, what your body might be craving the most is something simple and healthy. Something that you can prepare in advance and pay no worry later on. So, here are a couple do it yourself healthy breakfast ideas for those of us needing something different.
Healthy Breakfast Idea #1: Granola Recipe
This delicious healthy granola recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup (or honey). It’s made with oats, coconut oil, and your favorite nuts and fruit. Recipe yields about 8 cups granola, enough for about 16 half-cup servings.
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- 1 1/2 cups raw nuts and/or seeds (I used 1 cup pecans and ½ cup pepitas; sunflowers, almonds, cashews, or any other kind of nut will work)
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (if you’re using standard table salt, scale back to ¾ teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2/3 cup dried fruit, chopped if large (I used dried cranberries, cherries, and candied ginger)
- Optional additions: 1/2 cup chocolate chips or coconut flakes*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt, cinnamon, and coconut flakes (if using), and stir to blend.
- Pour in the oil, maple syrup, and/or honey and vanilla. Mix well, until every oat and nut is lightly coated. Pour the granola onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
- Bake until lightly golden, about 21 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway (for extra-clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). The granola will further crisp up as it cools.
- Let the granola cool completely, undisturbed (at least 45 minutes). Top with the dried fruit (and optional chocolate chips, if using). Break the granola into pieces with your hands if you want to retain big chunks, or stir it around with a spoon if you don’t want extra-clumpy granola.
- Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dried fruit can freeze solid, so let it warm to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. To serve, granola is great on its own or with milk, yogurt, fresh fruit, etc.
***Recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate.
***To make gluten free, use certified gluten-free oats. To make nut free, use seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seeds instead of nuts.
Healthy Breakfast Idea #2: Overnight Steel Cut Oats
Overnight oats are a simple, healthy breakfast option. You can make tons of variations by switching out the optional add-in ingredients to change it up frequently.
- 1 3/4 cups milk (I use unsweetened oat milk, but any kind you like works)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter (I use cashew butter, but any kind you like works)
- 1 cup uncooked steel cut oats or quick cooking steel cut oats for a softer, less chewy texture
- Chia seeds, flaxseeds, or hemp seeds
- Protein powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Citrus zest (I use orange zest)
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruit (frozen or thawed fruit works too)
- Toasted or untoasted nuts (I use almonds or pecans and put in just before serving for added crunch)
- An extra drizzle of honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, or other sweetener
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, nut butter, and any protein powder you may be adding until smooth. Stir in the oats, salt, and any other optional additions (wait to add fresh fruit or nuts so that they stay fresh and crisp). Cover the bowl tightly with plastic (or transfer it to an airtight storage container), and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days.
- When ready to serve, stir the oats and portion the desired amount into your bowl. At this point, you can also divide the oats into individual containers and refrigerate for the week. Top your oats with any desired fresh fruit, nuts, or other toppings. If storing as a single larger batch for the week, I find it is best to wait to add the fresh toppings until just before serving so that they don’t all sink to the bottom. Enjoy cold or warm in the microwave for a few minutes.
***Recipe adapted from Well Plated by Erin.
***Oats may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before they should be consumed. The texture will continue to soften as they sit so let the oats sit longer if they are too chewy on first attempt.
***On the first day, your oats will contain more liquid, and they will continue to absorb liquid throughout the week, so you are welcome to add more liquid as desired.