Let me tell you, I am not at my best in the morning. You could say that I’m actually the opposite of a morning person. Unfortunately, it is also one of the busier times in my household, so each moment counts. To help things run a little smoother, I try my best to make a plan, and do some of the food preparation ahead of time. Meal prep saves time, takes daily decision-making out of the equation, and makes consuming a nutritious meal more likely. Below you will see some of our favorite nutrition specialist-approved choices for breakfast that are both easy to prep ahead, and packed with nutrition!
Smoothie Freezer Packs. Do you love the idea of a smoothie in the morning, but end up making a less complicated choice when it comes down to it? Make it easier on yourself by preparing your ingredients ahead of time. Grab a variety of nutritious smoothie add-ins, like spinach, beets, cooked squash, berries, flaxseeds, oats, or protein powders, and a few freezer-safe bags (or airtight storage containers). If necessary, chop your produce into bite-sized pieces. Next, simply portion the amount of each that you’d put in a single smoothie, place in a bag, and store it in the freezer. When those busy mornings inevitably pop up, simply combine one of your smoothie freezer packs with your liquid of choice (milk, kefir, coconut water, or even plain water) and blend away. Added bonus: all those frozen goodies yield a thick, milkshake-like smoothie!
Hard-Boiled Eggs. This one seems almost too easy, because it is! Hard-boiled eggs are super portable, and a superior choice when it comes to nutritional value (containing 7 grams of protein each). They also contain tons of vitamins and minerals. Since they can be stored for up to seven days in the refrigerator, you can prep a big batch to last you all week, then simply grab and go!
Chia pudding. If you’ve ever used chia seeds, you know that they become gelatinous after sitting in liquid. High amounts of dietary fiber give chia this quality, but the tiny seeds are also a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron. Because they absorb liquid and expand, they can be used to make a pudding-like dish. Combine 3 tablespoons of dry chia seeds per cup of liquid into a container that can be sealed and shaken, such as a large mason jar or blender bottle. Any liquid can be used, but something with protein, such as milk, or a protein shake, will help boost the nutrients in the finished product. Play around with what you use, and feel free to also add extras ingredients like chopped fruit, shredded coconut, cocoa or collagen protein powder. For the first 20-30 minutes after combining, give your jar a good shake every five minutes or so until you notice the seeds stay suspended after shaking. Chia pudding will keep for about five days in the fridge, so make this on Sunday and have breakfast for the whole work week.
Egg muffins. Looking for a little kick of protein and vegetables early in the day? Make a batch of egg muffins to store in the fridge or freezer, and simply pop in the microwave to reheat on busy mornings. For a standard size 12-muffin tin, combine 9 raw eggs, plus 1-2 cups of chopped veggies like spinach, peppers, carrots, or cauliflower, ⅓ cup of milk, ⅓ cup of shredded cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper. Coat your muffin tin in non-stick spray and fill each cup about ¾ full. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
A little planning and prep can go a long way! Check out the recipes section of the media library for more nutritious and delicious breakfast ideas!