If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why do we treat it like a teensy, annoying blip on our daily snacking radar? Sure, a container of yogurt or packet of instant oatmeal seem like easy, healthy options, but when you really take a look at all the sugar, preservatives, and other unwanteds in these store-bought foods, one truth becomes clear: it’s a whole lot healthier—and oftentimes much more economical—to make your own breakfast.
Now, before lamenting your lack of time or energy first thing in the morning, keep in mind that two of these recipes (One Bowl Carrot-Spice Oatmeal Muffins and Gingerbread Breakfast Cookies) can be made entirely in advance—even on the weekend!—and stored for grab-and-go goodness throughout the week. You can also make biscuits and pesto, plus slice the cheese and tomatoes in advance for the Egg, Roasted Tomato, and Pesto Biscuit Sandwich, then cook the egg a few minutes before you leave for the day. And does it get much easier than tossing a few items in a blender to make the Hide Your Kale Smoothie? (Yep, you can even prep the banana and measure out the juice, frozen fruits, frozen veggies, and hemp seeds in advance.) To the kitchen we go . . .
With their mix of fiber-rich oats, antioxidant-packed carrots, and warm spices, these muffins are the perfect finger-food breakfast. Even better: they’re low in sugar. Need more convincing? We were able to substitute a flax “egg” for a real egg, canola oil for the butter, and a mix of half all-purpose and half wheat flour with no problematic effects on texture or flavor. We only wish we’d made a double batch. . . .
This one requires a little extra advanced prep, but once all the components are ready, it’s a cinch to fry, poach, or scramble the egg, assemble the sandwich, and go. These sandwiches—a breakfast twist on the classic grilled mozzarella, tomato, and pesto—are perfect for folks who prefer savory tastes first thing in the a.m. Keep the dry and moist components separate until you’re ready to eat, or wrap your sandwich in an eco-friendly linen or cotton napkin for road-trip noshing.
We get it: kale is ridiculously healthy, and we should work it into our recipes whenever possible. The problem with most kale smoothie recipes that they taste pretty similar to chugging a glass of grass. But what if we told you there’s an honest-to-goddess real recipe out there that can hide 2 cups of kale behind a sweet, berry-and-banana veneer? It ain’t pretty—the color comes out somewhere between rusty patio furniture and baby-food brown—but you need to try this uber-healthy and really tasty (no joke) recipe. Bonus: it even contains fiber- and protein-rich hemp seeds, plus antioxidant powerhouse pomegranate juice. Prep your fruit and veggies the night before, and get ready to whirl just before you leave the house.
We could go on and on about the health-giving benefits of the rolled oats, whole-wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and fresh apples, but we’re going to skip all that and say two things: Cookies. For breakfast. Run, don’t walk to the oven.