Breakfast is the most essential part of my day. Without it I feel sluggish and cranky. A healthy meal in the morning fuels your body with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. And it revs up your metabolism, giving you energy to expend throughout the day. Breakfast has been associated with many health benefits such as weight control, increased energy, concentration, athletic performance, and mood.
The real question is: what breakfast foods are considered healthy? The Poptart box says it’s made with “Real Fruit” and the Lucky Charm’s box says it’s made with “Whole Grains.” These slogans are called health claims, which can be extremely deceiving because they often times make an unhealthy product seem healthy.
Pro Tip: It’s not what’s on the front of the box, it’s what on the nutrition label.
When choosing breakfast ingredients I look for foods that are least processed, whole, and fresh such as whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and fresh fruits/vegetables. By eating unprocessed foods, I can ensure that I stay away from added trans fats and sugars. Making your own breakfast is healthier and cheaper!
My favorite breakfast food is oatmeal. Oatmeal is a whole grain, high in fiber, low calorie, and helps stabilize blood sugars. It’s also extremely inexpensive. When purchasing in bulk, the cost of oatmeal can be close to $0.10/serving. During the work week, when I don’t have a lot of time in the morning, I like to make an oatmeal bake to have throughout the week. I add fresh fruit for sweetness, milk for vitamins and minerals, an egg for extra protein, and nuts for healthy fats.
Berry Oatmeal Bake
Makes 6 servings
- 2C Rolled Oatmeal
- 2 Large Bananas
- 1.5C milk (almond, soy, nonfat cow’s)
- 1C Berries, fresh or frozen
- 1.5C Water
- 1/4C Honey (to taste)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/4C Walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Line the bottom of your pan with sliced banana.
- Then, evenly spread on 2C rolled oatmeal.
- Next, sprinkle on 1C of berries.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1.5C milk, 1.5C water, 1/4C honey, and 1 egg. Then, pour on top of oats.
- Finally, garnish the top with chopped walnuts.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the oatmeal bake begins to firm up. (If you are using a glass pan, a good indicator that it is finished cooking is that the sides will be bubbling.)
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Total Fat: 6g