Breakfast is called the most important meal of the day for a reason: it kick-starts your metabolism, boosts your energy levels, provides you with key nutrients, and gives you the fuel to go about your day. However, around one-fifth of us skip breakfast and don’t eat our first meal until midday – which can leave us feeling low in energy, and more likely to eat unhealthy food later in the day. On the flipside, eating an unhealthy breakfast packed with sugar and fats can be worse than not eating any breakfast at all!
The good news is that even if you’re always in a rush in the morning, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a delicious and healthy breakfast. There’s a tasty recipe for every palate, schedule, budget, and dietary requirement, so to get you inspired, here are eight healthy breakfast ideas to kickstart your day.
1. Breakfast burrito
If you’ve got a bit of time in the morning and want to cook up a healthy yet delicious breakfast, then why not make a breakfast burrito? The beauty of breakfast burritos is that they’re incredibly versatile, and you can use up whatever ingredients you have in the fridge: potatoes, eggs, rice, cheese, beans, tomatoes, sausages, avocados, spinach… the list is truly endless. Ideally, a breakfast burrito should contain a mix of protein, good fats and carbs – and for maximum health points, why not choose a wholemeal tortilla to wrap your burrito in?
Breakfast burritos can also be easily adapted for all dietary requirements – just have a look at these 12 different breakfast burritos recipes by Self to see how diverse this dish can be. While some more indulgent breakfast burritos are packed with eggs, cheese and meats – these aren’t always the healthiest option, due to the amount of fat they contain. But you can knock up many healthier alternatives, like this tasty breakfast burrito from Love and Lemons, which is packed with eggs and plenty of fresh veggies. If you’re plant-based, simply swap eggs for scrambled tofu for a protein-packed vegan alternative.
To see what goes into three very different breakfast burritos, have a watch of the video below.
2. Chia pudding
If you’re pushed for time in the mornings, you might want to think about preparing your breakfast the night before – and if you have a sweet tooth, chia pudding might be for you. Because chia seeds are packed with protein, fibre and health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, they’re a great way to start your day – and they also contain plenty of essential minerals and antioxidants. Plus, studies show that eating chia seeds can boost digestive health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Even more good news is that in spite of how healthy chia puddings are, they taste delicious and are surprisingly indulgent – plus they’re incredibly simple to make, too. All you have to do is mix chia seeds with your choice of milk, and after an hour or so, the liquid starts to thicken and forms a rich, creamy pudding. You can add countless other ingredients to chia puddings to give it a boost, but berries and nut butter work really well: just check out these tasty chia seed pudding ideas on Greatist.
To see five different chia puddings being made, have a watch of the video below.
3. Nut butter and fruit on toast
Peanut butter and banana on toast (or in a sandwich) is a breakfast staple, and for good reason. Peanut butter is high in many important nutrients like copper, which is good for bone health, and oleic fatty acids which can help maintain healthy blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Bananas also contain plenty of vitamins, fibre, potassium, magnesium and copper, and can improve both digestion and heart health. When eaten with healthy wholemeal bread, this simple breakfast supplies plenty of protein, fibre, vitamins and good fats, and is a great way to start your day.
But nut butter and fruit on toast is also an endlessly customisable breakfast. Why not try swapping peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter? Both are very high in zinc, which is vital for improving memory and cognition? You could also swap bananas for berries, or try adding shredded coconut, or a handful of goji berries. Alternatively, why not skip the bread altogether and make this sweet potato toast with nut butter and fruit recipe by Tasty? Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and can help protect your body from free radicals that are linked to health conditions like cancer and heart disease.
If you fancy having a go at making your own nut butter, you might want to watch this video.
4. Protein bars
Another great breakfast to make if you’re in a rush in the morning and need to eat on the go is protein bars. As the name suggests, protein bars are packed with protein, and they’re quick and simple to make; you can even make a batch on the weekend and they’ll last all week if you store them in the fridge. You can make protein bars based on your own taste preferences, but they usually contain nuts, protein powder, a natural syrup like maple or agave, and dates, seeds or oats.
These five ingredient peanut butter protein bars by Minimalist Baker are salty, naturally sweet, and take only 20 minutes to make – and because they contain chia seeds as well as hemp seeds, they pack a seriously nutritious punch.
If you’re not a fan of peanuts, there are dozens of other tasty protein bars you can make: what about these cranberry and almond protein bars, or these no bake apple pie protein bars from Eat This, Not That? For more inspiration, check out these 11 healthy homemade protein bar recipes from Daily Burn.
Alternatively, to see how to make some superfood protein bars, check out the video below.
5. Rye bread open sandwich
If you enjoy eating bread in the morning but don’t fancy nut butter on toast, why not think about making a rye bread open sandwich? Rye bread is considered more nutritious than wheat bread,and studies show that it can help you feel fuller for longer and help regulate your blood sugar. Other studies show that people who eat whole grain rye bread also produce significantly less insulin – and having too much insulin in your blood is associated with obesity and may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
This poached egg, asparagus and avocado on rye bread by Tasting Table is a great breakfast for the weekend; the rich egg and creamy avocado is deliciously offset by fresh asparagus and peppery watercress. Or why not try this Scandinavian-inspired recipe by Olive Magazine, which features smoked mackerel with punchy horseradish cream and pickled radish? Or alternatively, you can keep things veggie with these avocado hummus rye toasts topped with chickpeas by Simple Vegan Blog.
If you love avocado on toast, why not check out Jamie Oliver’s video below, where he shows you four different ways to make avocado toast on rye bread?
6. Banana and oat pancakes
Pancakes are a popular breakfast dish, particularly on the weekends, or if you’re eating breakfast or brunch in a restaurant or cafe. But because pancakes are high in refined flour, they’re linked to conditions like insulin resistance and obesity – and when they’re doused in syrup or sugar, they lose even more health points. The good news is that you can easily make healthy pancakes at home – ones that are tasty, high in protein, and ready in just a few minutes.
There are dozens of delicious pancake recipes that use rolled oats instead of flour: all you have to do is blend up the oats until they’re ground into a flour-like consistency, then mix with bananas, eggs and baking powder to make a batter. Why not try this pancake recipe from Simply Delicious Food, which is packed with protein, fibre, potassium and many other essential vitamins?
If you eat a plant-based diet, then you don’t have to miss out: why not make these super quick vegan banana oat pancakes by Minimalist Baker (these are a good choice if you’re watching your cholesterol levels, too).
To see how easy it is to make banana pancakes, have a watch of the video below.
7. Breakfast smoothie
For some of us, eating a proper meal in the morning isn’t always that appealing – especially if we have to get up really early. But not being in the mood for a meal shouldn’t mean you have to miss out on a healthy breakfast and fueling up for the day. If you aren’t always very hungry in the morning, then why not make yourself a breakfast smoothie? Not only are these healthy and delicious, they’re also quick and easy to make, and can be consumed on the go.
Whether you like fresh, fruity flavours or the rich, creamy taste of nuts and chocolate, there’s a breakfast smoothie recipe out there to suit you. This breakfast smoothie by Fit Foodie Finds contains fruit, oats, almond milk and peanut butter, and because it contains 12g of protein and 6g of fibre, it’ll definitely keep you full until lunch. For more breakfast smoothies recipes – and delicious flavour combinations – check out these 21 healthy breakfast smoothie recipes by Delish.
Or, to see 12 very different smoothies being knocked up, you might want to watch the video below.
8. Breakfast muffins
If you enjoy baking, why not try making some breakfast muffins at the weekend, and eating them throughout the week? The great thing about breakfast muffins is how adaptable they are: you can make them savoury, and fill them with eggs and veggies like tomato and spinach, or keep them sweet, packed with fruits like banana and blueberries, and your choice of nuts. Plus, you can easily make them gluten-free or vegan too, depending on your dietary requirements.
If you’d like to make savoury breakfast muffins, why not head over to Taste to check out their recipes for 36 different savoury muffins: from courgette, carrot and honey muffins to pumpkin, polenta and chilli muffins, there’s hopefully something for every palate here. For something sweet, why not try making these mashed banana and applesauce muffins by BBC Good Food, which also contain rolled oats and yoghurt? For a plant-based alternative, you may want to try these vegan cinnamon muffins by The Worktop – and to keep things gluten-free, why not try these healthy carrot apple muffins by Minimalist Baker?
For more inspiration, why not check out Jamie Oliver’s breakfast muffins in the video below?
Whether you’ve always made time for breakfast or you have a tendency to skip or rush it, we hope these recipes have whetted your appetite – and showed you that having a healthy breakfast doesn’t mean compromising on taste! Some of these breakfasts need a bit of cooking and are great to enjoy on the weekend, whereas others are really quick to knock up – or can even be prepared days in advance.
Whether you prefer sweet or savoury flavours for breakfast, hopefully these recipe ideas have inspired you and got you looking forward to morning! For further breakfast inspiration, you might want to check out our recent article, 10 best bread recipes to bake at home.
Do you have a ‘go-to’ breakfast that you make most mornings – or are you tempted by any of these healthy breakfast ideas? We’d love to hear about your favourite ways to begin the day – and see photos of your culinary creations! Leave us a comment below, or share your photos and join the conversation over on the Rest Less community.