Waking up and getting your day going in the morning isn't easy. Add in the colder weather and darker days and you've got yourself a recipe for a challenging start to your day. That's why we want to help you find a way to get excited about waking up—and warming up. So, we decided some energizing, cozy breakfasts were just the ticket. These mouthwatering morning meals are packed with flavor and loaded with all the necessary nutrients to get your energy flowing and mind going. (Psst! Find out What Happens to Your Body When You Skip Breakfast while you're at it!)
Oh, the sweet smell of gingerbread! While this winter favorite may have that wonderful holiday smell and bring back the childhood memories of making mini houses, gingerbread cookies and cakes tend to be packed with overwhelming amounts of sugar that will make you feel anything but warm inside. So, skip the sugar crash and make a bowl of steel cut oats with vanilla protein powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, and a teaspoon of maple syrup. Oats are packed with belly busting carbohydrates that will keep you awake and refreshed. And if you love oats, then you've gotta try overnight oats! We've pulled together a ton of tasty options with our list of 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes for Weight Loss.
APPLE PIE GRANOLA BARS
Homemade granola bars are the perfect on-the-go breakfast—and even better when they're also loaded with nutrients. The store-bought kind may seem like a healthy option, but you should be aware of the false labeling by checking out the ingredients list. Instead, make bars using oats, freshly diced apples, cinnamon, Greek yogurt, and honey.
HONEY RICOTTA AND FIG TOAST
Toast has been in the limelight ever since the avocado toast made its grand appearance a couple years ago. Although that's an awesome way to enjoy a healthy slice, there are so many other routes to go down, too! Try mixing honey and ricotta and layering it on a piece of low sugar whole wheat or Ezekiel bread with sliced figs. This sweet treat will satisfy those cravings without any later day crashes. Ricotta is a high protein cheese that will boost your energy and provide many of those necessary vitamins for an active body.
CHOCOLATE WALNUT YOGURT PARFAIT
This breakfast is more like dessert, minus the icky things that cause belly bloat. Make it by using a plain full-fat Greek or Icelandic yogurt (like Siggi's), add in cacao powder, half a tablespoon of maple syrup, and crushed walnuts, and then stir. Top with raspberries or banana and cacao nibs. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate that's rich in antioxidants and packing in some of the most important vitamins. If you don't have cacao, go for a 100% cocoa powder.
PALEO BANANA PANCAKES
Pancakes with just three ingredients? Is this real life? These protein packed flapjacks are made with one egg, a scoop of protein powder, and a ripe banana. All you do is mix them together until it forms a batter-like consistency and pour it over a low-heat pan that's been greased with coconut oil. Drizzle with natural maple syrup and you have yourself a decadent breakfast with a healthy twist!
MAPLE WALNUT BREAKFAST QUINOA
You may be used to quinoa in savory dishes for lunch and dinner but you can indulge in this protein powerhouse as a sweeter breakfast, too! Instead of broth or water, cook the quinoa in almond or coconut milk. Add the warming flavors of maple and walnuts and top with fruit to bring this hot bowl some sweetness—without any of the fake ingredients that you find in the quick stuff. Plus, quinoa is one of the only foods that contain all nine amino acids and is sure to aid in your weight loss efforts! Check out these 26 Vegetarian Sources of Protein for more great foods like quinoa!
SWEET POTATO HASH
If you're sick and tired of your same ol' scrambled eggs for breakfast, try out a sweet potato hash. Dice up sweet potatoes finely and cook them along with extra virgin olive oil and a handful of spinach. Top with a sunny side up egg and sprinkle of salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Yum!
CARROT CAKE IN A MUG
Cake for breakfast might seem like an obvious diet no-no, but when you make it using wholesome nutrient dense ingredients, there's no reason to say no. In a greased mug, combine 3 tablespoons of almond flour, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, ⅛ tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of grated carrots, 1 tablespoon raisins and 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Cook in a microwave for 2-4 minutes.
STUFFED BAKED APPLE
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" isn't just some silly old saying. Apples are packed with dietary fiber and antioxidants that can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. But why have just an apple when you can make it with so much more? Slice off the top of a large apple and scoop out the core. In a separate bowl combine oatmeal, maple syrup, cinnamon and coconut oil. Fill the apple with the mixture and place in a baking pan with ½ inch of water. Bake at 370 degrees covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Bake for another 20 minutes uncovered. And for more ideas on how to get more fiber, check out the 30 Foods with More Fiber Than an Apple!
PEANUT BUTTER BANANA PORRIDGE
Don't let a word like "porridge" scare you away from this dish! You may have only heard of it in a childhood fairy tale, but porridge is simply made by boiling crushed oats with water or milk to a creamy consistency. This dish is one that's best served warm and can pack in some yummy flavors with its classic texture, especially when you add in a classic combo like peanut butter and banana. Get your healthy fats and loads of potassium from the duo that's sure to fill your bowl with both nutrients and deliciousness.
HEALTHY FRENCH TOAST
There's no breakfast more indulgent than French toast. But it's actually comforting, too, when you know it's also benefiting your waistline! While this breaky typically uses heavy ingredients like cream and sugar, there's an easy way to swap them out and still feel satisfied. Use almond or coconut milk (in replacement of the cream), egg whites, whole grain bread and a drizzle of maple syrup. This version cuts out anything artificial and adds in plenty of diet-friendly additions.
HIGH PROTEIN BLUEBERRY WAFFLES
Cottage cheese is a high protein ingredient that you should be adding to your batter to get a perfectly fluffy-yet-crisp waffle. If you're not a fan, use Greek yogurt instead! Combine 4 eggs, 1 cup of cottage cheese (or yogurt), 1 cup of almond or oat flour, and vanilla extract. Fold in blueberries and bake in a waffle maker. This batch has zero artificial ingredients and is loaded with good carbs and antioxidant rich foods.
DON'T MISS: The 10 Best Carbs for Breakfast
GRAIN-FREE GRANOLA AND ALMOND MILK
Substitute those sugary boxes of cereal that you find at the supermarket and enjoy a bowl of grain-free granola with almond milk instead. This is a seriously tasty way to pack in healthy fats, omega-3s, and protein that come straight from nuts and seeds. Combine all of our favorites like walnuts, pecans, almonds, chia seeds, and flax seeds with coconut flakes, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Pour milk over and enjoy—without any sugar crashes!
ZUCCHINI AND TURKEY EGG MUFFINS
Muffins are a great on-the-run breakfast because you can just grab them and go. By using vegetables like zucchini to make the dish more hearty and tons of spices for flavor, you get some memorable muffins without all the added carbs or calories. Bake up a few dozen of these and bring 2 or 3 to the office in the morning. They're easily kept good in the fridge or freezer and can be reheated simply in a microwave.
POMEGRANATE AND COCONUT CHIA PUDDING
If you haven't tapped into the superpowers of chia seeds, you're really missing out. These little seeds have become the talk of the town when it comes to superfoods. They're loaded with omegas, fiber, protein, and vitamins. Marry the benefits of coconut and chia seeds by making a thick and creamy coconut pudding with the sweet and fruity flavor of pomegranates.
PUMPKIN BANANA MINI MUFFINS
When your bananas are starting to get too ripe, don't toss them into the wastebasket! Instead, bake up a batch of comforting muffins. If the taste and smell of pumpkin make you feel warm inside, try out the combo of pumpkin and banana.
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH A POACHED EGG
Brussels sprouts are bland and boring when they're not made the right way. Skip the snooze and cook your brussels sprouts in ghee until they're slightly wilted. Add a poached egg to the top for that deliciously gooey yolk to break over. Not only does yolk taste amazing, it's a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins, minerals, and belly-fat-fighting choline.
PEAR AND AVOCADO BREAKFAST SALAD
Transform a cold bowl of greens into a breakfast favorite by incorporating pear and avocado. It's a simple way to get your daily dose of leafy greens right at the start of your day! Adding in avocado brings a creamy texture while pear creates a nice balance of sweetness.
KALE, PEPPER AND TOMATO OMELET
The basic recipe for an omelet is extremely simple and suitable to any time constrictions. Just mix up eggs and add in veggies like kale, peppers, and tomato to get a savory breakfast that's super satisfying. The options to fill an omelet are endless, but winter crops like kale are also raving with nutrients that make this nutritious and delicious.
CINNAMON AND RAISIN OATMEAL BAKE
Sure, oatmeal is a quick way to get your healthy breakfast in. But if you've got a little extra time on your hands in the morning, don't shy from trying an oatmeal bake. Naturally flavor it up with warming spices like cinnamon and fruit or raisins. Combine oats, spices, and baking powder in one bowl. In another combine coconut oil, almond milk, maple syrup, and eggs. Add the two mixes together and bake for 40 to 45 minutes in a baking dish in the oven at 375 degrees. Ta-da! And if this sounds like your kind of breakfast, make sure you find out our 20 Tips and Tricks for Better Breakfast Casseroles, too!