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7 Breakfasts a Dietitian Swears By

Start your mornings with these nutrient-dense, dietitian-approved breakfast recipes.
7 Breakfasts a Dietitian Swears By
7 Breakfasts a Dietitian Swears By
Start your mornings with these nutrient-dense, dietitian-approved breakfast recipes.

Breakfast skippers take note: Eating a nutrient-rich meal within two to three hours of waking up is a great healthy habit to establish.

That’s because breakfast’s benefits extend far beyond the morning hours; Research shows that the simple act of eating breakfast can actually improve your overall diet’s quality. That’s because you are more apt to make healthier food choices the rest of the day after eating breakfast.

So, when you wake up in the morning with a grumbling tummy what types of foods will help keep you satisfied until lunch? One of the best things you can do for your health is to always add a fruit or vegetable to every meal, including breakfast! Another important tip is to include high-quality sources of protein, naturally-occurring (not added) fiber, complex carbohydrates (like fruit or whole grains), and healthy fats. And remember quality ingredients matter. For example, go for real, whole milk yogurt rather than a low-carb version with fake sugar and no fat, which lacks both nutrients and satiety value.

In the same way that I pack my lunch the night before work, I prepare a breakfast to take with me as well. It’s amazing how a little bit of pre-planning can make healthier choices effortless. For some early morning inspiration, I’ve listed my go-to breakfasts below, ending with my absolute number one favorite! For more breakfast inspiration, don’t miss these 17 Breakfast Ideas Diet Experts Love.

1

Mashed Peas on Toast

Mashed pea feta toast Shutterstock
390 calories, 4 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 900 mg sodium, 65 g carbs (6 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 18 g protein

There’s nothing like a fresh, local sourdough bread. Typically, ingredient lists are short (meaning they are less processed), and some studies suggest that gluten-sensitive individuals may do better with sourdough, due to the degradation of gluten during the fermentation process. Note, sourdough products still may not be safe for celiacs! This breakfast has a super fresh flavor, packs a plant-based protein punch, and supplies a serving of veggies before noon! Read up on which other plants provide a solid dose of protein with these 26 Best Vegetarian Sources of Protein.

INGREDIENTS


2 small slices sourdough toast- from the farmer’s market or local bakery (260 calories)
½ cup cooked green peas (60 calories)
2 tbsp Organic Valley Feta Cheese (70 calories)
Lemon juice to taste
Optional: sprinkle of shredded mint leaves

HOW TO MAKE IT

While bread is toasting, mash the peas in a bowl with the back of a fork and stir in a squeeze of lemon juice. Spread the peas on toast, top with cheese, and mint leaves if desired.
2

Southwest-Inspired Breakfast Salad

Salad with beans tomatoes Shutterstock
440 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (7 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 14 g protein

I don’t do it often, but I love the idea of having a salad for breakfast. It’s an ideal way to get in vegetables on busy days when I know I will need to eat something more convenient and less cumbersome later in the day, like a sandwich at my desk or a granola bar in the car.

INGREDIENTS


1 C greens of choice, I love arugula because it’s so flavorful! (5 calories)
¼ medium avocado (60 calories)
¼ C cherry tomatoes, halved (10 calories)
¼ yellow yellow pepper, diced (10 calories)
½ cup black beans (105 calories)
1 egg, poached (70 calories)
1 tbsp honey (60 calories)
1 tbsp olive oil (120 calories)
Cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, squeeze of lime juice to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

Whisk together olive oil, honey, salt, spices, and lime juice in a small bowl, set aside. Top arugula with diced vegetables and beans. Dress and toss salad with mixture set aside earlier. Poach egg and add to bowl.
3

Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Coconut Butter and Crumbled Pecans

Baked sweet potato pecans @leedav/Flickr
380 calories, 30 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (10 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 6 g protein

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a type of Vitamin A that is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin A maintains the function of key organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs, while also playing a role in immune function, eyesight, and reproduction. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), increasing consumption of foods rich in beta-carotene may decrease the risk of some kinds of cancers. Due to its fat solubility, Vitamin A-rich foods like sweet potatoes should be consumed with a healthy source of fat, like coconut butter and nuts, to enhance its absorption.

INGREDIENTS


1 medium sweet potato (100 calories)
1 tbsp Artisana Coconut Butter (100 calories)
Sprinkle of cinnamon + sea salt (if nuts are unsalted) (0 calories)
2 tbsp pecans (180 calories)

HOW TO MAKE IT

Start by rinsing sweet potatoes well, patting them dry, and piercing with a fork. Oven roasted sweet potatoes caramelize in the most heavenly, sugar-dripping way. For optimal flavor definitely go that route. However, for convenience sake, I usually rely on the microwave. About 3 ½ minutes, stopping halfway through to flip the potato usually works well.
Let the potato rest for a few minutes wrapped in foil or a paper towel or foil for further softening. While the potato rests, heat coconut butter until it is spreadable or able to be drizzled over potato. Sprinkle potato with cinnamon and salt as desired, then top with crumbled pecans.
4

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Quesadilla

Banana peanut butter tortilla

Photo by Personal Creations via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

385 calories, 16 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 575 mg sodium, 65 g carbs (9 g fiber, 18 g sugar) 12 g protein

Melt in your mouth, ooey-gooey chocolate chip peanut butter hug for your taste buds. Oh, and this recipe also provides a serving of fruit, whole grains, fiber, healthy fats, and protein. A winning move for mornings when that sweet tooth is rearing.

INGREDIENTS


1 Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Tortilla (150 calories)
½ medium banana, sliced (55 calories)
1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate chips (90 calories)
1 tbsp Adam’s Creamy Peanut Butter (90 calories)

HOW TO MAKE IT

Spread peanut butter over tortilla, place tortilla in a large non-stick skillet. Add sliced banana to half the tortilla. Sprinkle the same half of the tortilla with chocolate chips. Fold tortilla over fillings.
Heat on medium heat until chocolate melts and tortilla becomes crisp. Slice and serve.
5

Teff & Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin pancakes coconut flakes berries mint @chrumo/Unsplash
Per serving (⅕ of recipe): 320 calories, 6.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 55 g carbs (8 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 12 g protein

Teff is a little-known grain with an impressive nutritional profile. (It’s also one of the 43 Best Foods for Fiber.) It is often used in Ethiopia to make a traditional bread called Injera. Because teff is a great source of iron, fiber, and protein, it enhances a classic breakfast item like pancakes by replaces nutrient-devoid refined flour. I stole this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Run Fast, Eat Slow ($15.70 on Amazon.com).

INGREDIENTS


1 ½ C teff flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C pumpkin puree
1 ¾ C whole milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
Oil or butter for greasing pan
Optional toppings: Greek yogurt, maple syrup, almond butter, raisins

HOW TO MAKE IT

Mix together dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until combined.
Grease skillet with oil or butter. Ladle batter into skillet.
Flip pancakes once they begin to bubble, solidify and brown. Repeat until batter runs out.
6

Quinoa Breakfast Cereal with Tahini, Honey, and Salted Pistachios

Oats chia quinoa pistachio Shutterstock
400 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 105 g sodium, 53 g carbs (6 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 11 g protein

Warm and comforting like a bowl of oatmeal, this breakfast provides the perfect blend of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein. I love finding unique products like this to change up my morning routine. Instead of always falling back on peanut butter, using a variety of nut and seed butters, like the tahini in this recipe is a great way to add nutrient variety.

INGREDIENTS


½ cup I Heart Keenwah Toasted Quinoa Flakes + 1 ¼ C water (170 calories)
1 tbsp tahini (90 calories)
1 tbsp honey (60 calories)
2 tbsp shelled and crushed salted pistachios (80 calories)

HOW TO MAKE IT

Make quinoa cereal according to package directions. Drizzle with tahini and honey, then top with nuts.
7

Yogurt and Frozen Fruit

Yogurt dragonfruit @brookelark/Unsplash
345 calories, 17 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (7 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 19 g protein

Yogurt with frozen fruit is my absolute favorite breakfast go-to. The frozen fruit makes the yogurt start to freeze a bit so I feel like I’m getting a frozen yogurt treat for breakfast. I usually opt for plain, whole milk, Greek yogurts, which are low in sugar, high in protein, and 10x more satisfying than non-fat versions. You’ll stay full until lunch with this stuff—I promise! Looking to see how your go-to yogurt stacks up to the competition? Don’t miss these 17 Yogurt Branks—Ranked!

INGREDIENTS


¾ C Straus Family Creamery Plain Greek Yogurt (180 calories)
¾ C frozen fruit of choice (Pitaya Plus Frozen Dragon Fruit Cubes are my current favorite) (65 calories)
1 heaping tbsp Nature’s Path Original Qi’a Superfood Breakfast Cereal (70 calories)
Optional: 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes or 1 tsp cacao nibs (25 calories)

HOW TO MAKE IT

Spoon yogurt into bowl or to-go container of choice. Stir in frozen fruit. Sprinkle with superfood cereal and toppings of choice.

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