Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Breakfast Ideas


Quick, clever, healthy breakfast ideas are something I'm always excited to discover. I'm talking about preparations you can make at home, in the morning, when you're often crunched for time. Nobody loves a leisurely brunch more than I do, but most mornings that's just not in the cards for me, nor, I suspect, for many of you. I landed on what I think of as a new healthy breakfast favorite this week, and instead of simply sharing that recipe, I thought I'd list it off with a handful of other feel-good day starters that are in regular rotation here - with an emphasis on the quick ones. I really love a savory breakfast, but savory or not, I try to make sure whatever I make has a good amount of protein, fresh ingredients, and some fruit or vegetables, and/or greens if possible. For example:

Five-minute Breakfast Tacos: If you plan ahead just a bit, these come together in minutes. This is what I've been eating for breakfast most of this week. Peel a hard-boiled egg*, smash it in a small bowl with a bit of yogurt or drizzle of olive oil. Heat a tortilla by throwing it down directly on a very low burner or gas flame. Flip it once or twice, until it is hot, and blistered a bit. Remove and top with the smashed egg, shredded greens, sprouts, micro greens, or chopped herbs. Add a drizzle of hot sauce or salsa. Done. Pictured above and below.

*I hard-boil eggs once or twice a week 6-12 at a time, and then place them back in the carton, so they're ready first thing in the morning.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Miso Soup: It's a traditional way to start the day in Japan, and I love how it makes me feel - warm, calm, cozy. Also, it can be as quick to make as a cup of tea. I put a dollop of good miso in the bottom of a cup or mason jar along with anything else I want, pour a splash of just-shy-of-boiling water in, stir to break up the miso, then add more and more water until the taste is the strength I'm after. I tend to add whatever is in the refrigerator to make it a bit more substantial and filling - a scoop of cooked barley grains, tiny cubes of tofu, cooked mung beans, etc. I did a post on miso soup a while back as well.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Crepes: Don't roll your eyes yet ;) I know it sounds time intensive, but crepes really aren't if you have the batter ready. I sometimes make a jar of crepe batter on a Sunday, and it's good until Thursday or Friday. Just give it a good stir, and into the pan it goes. A favorite version is as follows: make the crepe, when it is nearly done, pour one well-beaten egg on top of the crepe while it is still in the pan (less if you're using a small pan), allowing it to form a thin coating, then cook until the egg is set. Add whatever else you like after that - herbs, a little swirl of sauce or pesto, some chopped spinach, or a bit of cheese, or avocado. Fold and go. Here's the rye crepe recipe I use often.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Yogurt Bowls: (photo above) I think the key with yogurt bowls is to start with the best, plain yogurt you can get your hands on. Then add other ingredients. I'm always shocked at just how much sugar is in some of the pre-flavored yogurts out there. I had a vanilla yogurt the other day that was like melted ice cream - delicious, but not the best way to start my morning. I decide if I'm going to take a yogurt bowl sweet or savory and go from there. Some favorite combinations:

- Plain Yogurt + seasonal fruit + honey + something crunchy - for example: this Pluot & Poppy Yogurt Bowl,

- Plain Yogurt + pinch of salt + brown rice or barley + lots of chopped herbs + a pinch of turmeric + olive oil drizzle

- Plain yogurt + toasted walnuts + some crumbled toasted seaweed +and a bit of granola that is on the spicy/un-sweet side of the spectrum.

That's just a quick brainstorm - if nothing else, try the tacos. Curious about what your go-to healthy breakfast ideas are as well! -h

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Comments


I love to prepare my breakfast the night before. Usually overnight oats - oats + plant based milk + dried fruits as figs or mulberries - to be topped with fresh fruit and yogurt in the morning or chia seed pudding ^_^

April 28, 2015
 

What a great doable breakfast list. I like your add-ins for miso soup. It's as easy to make as oatmeal, assuming some prepared items are on stand-by in the fridge. I must make this for breakfast more often!

April 28, 2015
 

Each one looks like a good idea

April 28, 2015
 

C.B.

Great list. I must say Miso soup and rice for breakfast was my favorite dish when I was in Japan last June. In fact, I'm a big fan of Tamagoyaki (rolled omellette). I'm gonna have to try that tortilla thing though (I also prefer savory in the morning).

April 28, 2015
 

Mary

Thank you so much for this Heidi. I've been needing a bit of inspiration in the breakfast department for a while. I love a fresh scone (sweet or savoury) or some homemade soda bread and scrambled egg and smoked salmon for a treat (sorry non-meat eaters!) x

April 28, 2015
 

Love these breakfast ideas - especially the make-ahead crepe batter! Quite different from what I normally make for weekday breakfasts but I am intrigued by the idea of miso soup in the morning for the way you say it makes you feel - what a great way to start the day! A quick healthy breakfast at my house is probably a smoothie - blueberry + soymilk or raspberry + soymilk + mint.

April 28, 2015
 

Sarah G

I love your recipe for a tortilla and egg done unda-style! I use that one often, it's so quick!

April 28, 2015
 

I also enjoy having miso soup for breakfast. My version is more Korean, and the base is dried anchovies and I use daenjang (darker miso). My kids like to throw leftover rice into the broth, and I enjoy watching them eat baby spinach and tofu for breakfast.

April 28, 2015
 

Kat

What's your go-to plain yogurt? So many differences between brands and types.

HS: HI Kat - I switch it up - there are a good number of local yogurts I like, and I usually go for one of those.

April 28, 2015
 

I always welcome breakfast ideas, thank you! My husband came up years ago with a great simple breakfast dish, which is a bowl of yogurt, diced apple (preferably firm and tarty) and chopped walnuts (or any nut of your choice), with a quick short drizzle of honey and even without. Just a suggestion if you're interested :)

April 28, 2015
 

Dana

Love these ideas (especially the taco)! Most mornings, I have some of the overnight Bircher Muesli ( I make enough for 3 breakfasts) and add some fresh fruit. That, along with the oats, seeds, maple syrup and almond milk, makes a delicious and filling meal.

April 28, 2015
 

I definitely eat leftovers for breakfast. I'm so not a morning person so I eat my leftovers from dinner for breakfast and then try and find something to make for lunch (I'm fully awake by then). I would love to try overnight oats like some previous commenters have said! All done by morning so I can zombie over to the fridge and slurp it up.

April 28, 2015
 

Jamie B

Thanks for these recipes! I have been looking for new breakfast ideas since I gave up eating processed sugar a few months ago. I realized that all my go-to breakfast foods were sugar, sugar and more sugar. I can't wait to try the tacos and miso!

April 28, 2015
 

The idea of ready made crepe batter reminds me of dosas in Southern India, which are basically savoury crepes but made with a batter based on fermented lentils. They are often breakfast foods, and the process to make the batter is rather long so there are bags of batter available in grocery stores. You could do something similar for a quick breakfast but with different flavours.

April 28, 2015
 

Erin

Sounds good! Except for the yogurt, I have a weird aversion to yogurt with anything in it. I sometimes do a similar breakfast burrito except with one scrambled egg. My normal quick breakfast is a small cup of cottage cheese, half and avocado with sea salt on it and toast with butter or cheese. Never fully analyzed the nutrition but it seems to me it has some good protein, fats and carbs (whole grain).

April 28, 2015
 

Molly Kellogg

Quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, toasted walnuts and goat cheese. I make a batch of the sweet potatoes one night (spices, olive oil, onions, garlic) and a lot of quinoa on the stove so I can pull it out in the morning. Today I had it with ricotta and then a slice of raisin toast spread with avocado and a pinch of coarse salt - delicious! My almost 1 year old shared with me and loved it!

April 28, 2015
 

michelle

One thing that changed dramatically when I went vegan was breakfast. I have really enjoyed transforming breakfast into "anything goes" territory. Some of our fave go-to breakfasts are a tempeh stir fry with lot of veggies (I often use frozen veggie stir fry mixes) and roasted sweet potato tacos with black beans, salsa and avocado. Green smoothies are a must accompany.

April 28, 2015
 

this is a great post, always good to have breakfast choices, especially quick options like the ones here.

April 28, 2015
 

Shannon Murphy

I really enjoy making savory grain-bowls with whatever grain I have cooked and ready in the fridge--quinoa, polenta, brown rice, etc. My favorite, favorite version, for the way it makes me feel as well as how delicious it is, is simply: the grains, some greens quickly sautéed or water-steamed in a pan, and then an egg fried in the same pan after the greens are done. A few dollops of pesto, harissa, hot sauce, or whatever finishes it. Maybe a sprinkle of feta or etc. It really takes about five minutes, maybe ten, but it's such a charger-upper for the day to come!

April 28, 2015
 

These are excellent brunch selections! I especially like the miso soup idea which so many times is reserved for dinner. Beautiful photos make these recipes even more enticing!

April 28, 2015
 

Susan

I love, love the taco idea! I also like the miso soup idea (it is still cold here in NYC, even in late April!) but due to celiac, am not sure what types or brands of miso are safe to use. Heidi, would you have any suggestions? PS--my Rancho Gordo Corona beans are waiting to be made into a pot of your veggie soup! :)

HS: Hi Susan, I buy a lot of Aedan miso here in SF, also like the South River organic chickpea miso. I'd just read labels carefully or talk to producers if you have the opportunity (of check their sites).

April 28, 2015
 

Sylvia

Taco breakfast is my favourite too! Nice idea with the microgreens will have to try that :) I usually have hampseeds on my scrambled egg taco, adds a nutty flavour.

April 28, 2015
 

I love the idea of the breakfast tacos! I wouldn't have thought of anything like that! Honestly, my go-to breakfast is a smoothie, if I have ingredients in the house. I don't do any one smoothie in particular; I'll just throw together what sounds good, adding spinach & yogurt for protein and other good things... then blend it all together. I tend to do this at night so that I can take it on my way to the bus stop in the morning. I usually won't drink it until I'm at work. Such is life. I've been having fun doing smoothies; it has allowed me to be creative and discover new flavor combinations.

Loved this post! Breakfast is one of my favourite meals!

April 28, 2015
 

LOVE breakfast - quick ones and long ones. I get black coffee from the same place every day on the way to the train. At home, I usually have a variation of toast (I love bread so so much but I try to limit it to once a day): with salted butter and an egg on top, almond butter and honey and a sprinkle of sea salt, cheese and jam (does anyone else do that?) and for a special treat...mascarpone and lemon curd. If I can break my toast addiction, I'll try some of your ideas! Thanks!

April 28, 2015
 

I exercise early in the morning so I make grab-n-go breakfast bowls ahead of time twice a week - pull one from the fridge in the morning and eat. There are 2 on high rotation: (1) baked beans, boiled egg, greens and tomato; (2) oats, nuts and seeds, chia, fruit, honey, coconut water and yogurt. Good warm or cold. So easy and quick.

April 28, 2015
 

Taryn

I really like unsweetened whole fat Greek yogurt mixed with chopped toasted almonds and unsweetened applesauce. Other days I'll have cottage cheese with assorted fruits and nuts. Or the usual toasted whole wheat with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon. Always looking for new ideas though!

April 28, 2015
 

Priya

Love the ideas- especially for my 10 yr old girl, who loves to vary and re-invent favourites. Thanks Heidi!
Dosas are a long-time fav as long as there is some batter in the fridge :). We love cherry tomatoes and mashed avocado on lovely pumpkin seed and chia brown toast...we usually skip the butter for this one. Going to try your ideas for the remainder of the week - it's Wednesday now in NZ.

April 28, 2015
 

Kelsey

I love to cook your recipe of an egg with a tortilla on top. I also frequently have a bowl of rice with some type of dal and either cilantro or scallions.

April 28, 2015
 

as I'm in the midst of grad school finals week, I've been trying to practice that habit you mentioned of being nice to my future self, even though it feels inconvenient. breakfast is one of those. thanks for these, as always.

April 28, 2015
 

I love reading about what you eat for breakfast! I'm so with you on plain yogurt. The sugar in vanilla yogurt is crazy. I'll eat it for dessert sometimes, but not breakfast!
My go-to breakfast is always homemade bread with nut butter or avocado. So boring. But my absolute favorite breakfast is leftover white beans with salsa. Oh! Wait! I love leftover brown rice with a fried egg + cilantro + scallions.

April 28, 2015
 

Donna Johnson

PBJ
homemade or a good store bought peanut butter; homemade or good organic preserves
and homemade or good store bought artisean multi grain bread. Toast and eat. Yummy.

April 28, 2015
 

jan canyon

I pre-make the crepes and store between squares of wax paper. Heat in a pan briefly and fill with cottage cheese, fresh fruit or smashed egg, something green and savory. Fast and delicious!

April 28, 2015
 

niketa

Heidi do try chickpea batter crepes , once you have a batch they taste great with any pesto drizzled on or a simple mint salsa. They taste even more awesome when stuffed with scallions , micro greens etc and the best part they keep well. Make a large batch and reheat the next day like a tortilla still delicious.

HS: Hi Niketa - I LOVE chickpea crepes. I make them a lot - there's a recipe for them (also a quinoa flour version) in my next book.

April 28, 2015
 

Amelia

My current favourite is rolled oats cooked with water, until creamy, then topped with about 2tsps of tahini, and about the same of soy. Would be even better with some toasted sesame seeds on top or a little spring onion, but I eat at work so I usually keep it at it's most basic.

April 28, 2015
 

Every morning I take healthy food and every time I like to try some new things. This time, sure I will try your recipe and the ingredient, which you mentioned in the post can I add some more things to make it more tasty.

April 29, 2015
 

kim

Know what you mean about reassuring quick but yummy savoury breakfast ideas. Thanks for the idea for the crepes, I will definitely try that. My go-to is a whole meal tortilla wrapped around cottage cheese, fresh pineapple and lashings of sriracha...super quick, fairly healthy and I never tire of it.

April 29, 2015
 

Mmmm you turn all of these dishes into something that could be rattled up in no time, and they look completely gourmet :D Mum would always boil a good few eggs at a time and store them in the fridge as well, such an easy go-to meal when you're in a hurry! :D
Thanks for the inspiration always :) x

April 29, 2015
 

Chelsea

The last bit about yogurt is really great. I didn't get started on plain yogurt until moving to Germany and now I am hooked. Some other nice tips to mix it up: mix plain yogurt and milk for more liquid (e.g. when you want to add drier cereals on top), buttermilk is also a really yummy kick! My boyfriend loves a big bowl of Müsli and sliced apples and bananas with buttermilk.
For the toppings, I like to make my own Müsli. I use high-quality, freshly rolled oats or grains (if it's not fresh it doesn't taste!) and nuts and seeds and dried and/or fresh fruits. And then sometimes I also throw a few cornflakes in for a crunch and a bit of honey if I want it a bit sweeter.
Granola is also OK, but I prefer getting my fat from seeds and nuts (and the yogurt!), and the sugar from fruit rather than the oil+sugar mix that is the base for almost all granola.

April 29, 2015
 

Klemen

I usually eat oatmeal toped with flax seeds, homemade granola, honey etc. for breakfast or plain yogurt with the same toppings.

Heidi, I was wondering how much sugar in a plain yogurt is still considered healthy? Lately I've been eating this organic sheeps milk yogurt that has 3,5 g sugar in 190 g total, that's not so bad is it?

April 29, 2015
 

Amy

Love the breakfast ideas! You used to have a post of your favorite places/restaurants in San Francisco. Do you still have that posted anywhere on your site?

HS: Hi Amy, yes! I'm doing some work on the site nav, the travel links will be reintroduced soon - in the meantime here's the link. Also need to update that page!

April 29, 2015
 

cashew yoghurt

Soak two cups raw cashews then rinse and place in high speed blender. Add water to cover and the contents of a few non-dairy probiotic capsules. Blend until hand hot and smooth. Store in clean glass jar somewhere warm for 24 hours, at which stage it should smell yoghurty. Store in fridge. Serve with lemon zest and\or lemon juice, seasonal fruit, a TSP of maple syrup or other sweetener and home made granola. A different breakfast every day...

April 29, 2015
 

Jacquelyn

Dear Ms Heidi, you've inspired me once again! Your lovely post was a great reminder that a little bit of forethought and prep makes for a quick and nutritious meal. Your blog is one that I continue to come back to again and again.

April 29, 2015
 

We love your little quinoa patties for breakfast! And I've made numerous variations on them. I also have a recipe for fast and easy quinoa pancakes made with quinoa flakes. I've got creative with variations on those too, both sweet and savoury.

April 29, 2015
 

great post heidi! like you read my mind as i've been revamping my breakfasts of late. i'm vegan, so i do tofu scramble tacos (love your suggested toppings), chia pudding topped with with fresh fruit and maple syrup, sea salt pecans, raw granola with almond milk, fresh and dried fruits, or multigrain and seed porridge topped with fresh fruit and nuts. look forward to the chickpea crepe recipe. thanks for the inspiration. xo

April 30, 2015
 

marisa

Breakfast is SO hard. Food is not appealing in the morning and I can't eat eggs or gluten so a lot of breakfast options are out. I really appreciate this post. There's also a response above from someone named Molly that makes me think about inviting myself to a stranger's house for breakfast. ... This sounds so good:
Quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, toasted walnuts and goat cheese.

Wow!

May 1, 2015
 

Jessica

Lovely!! Breakfast tacos are pretty standard around my house with smashed avocados, a little sauerkraut, egg, micro greens, etc. Lately, I've been cooking up whatever grain is leftover in the fridge. A saute in coconut oil until the rice or quinoa gets puffy, add a freid or poached egg, some quick sauteed greens, avo and sea salt. A dollop of tahini makes it even better.

May 2, 2015
 

Ooh, these sound like great ideas! I especially love the yogurt mix-ins. I usually make a pot of steel cut oats on Sunday evening so that I have breakfast ready to go for most of the week, and I think your yogurt toppings would work well in my oatmeal.

May 2, 2015
 

Julie

I take plain greek yogurt and stir in a little mango (sweet) or coriander (spicy) chutney and then add some quinoa and amaranth that I soak in water overnight, drain the water (fairly well but not completely) and toast in a cast iron pan (with a sieve over it so that they can pop but I can also keep an eye on it. Depending on my mood I'll add some toasted nuts (if I have cashews leftover from making cashew butter!) or raisins. Good protein. Very low in carbs, no added sugar. Holds me well the 6 hours until lunch.

May 2, 2015
 

R

I go through cycles of being good about breakfast— recently it's been half a pita, toasted over a flame, with little bowls of olive oil and za'atar for dipping (and labneh, if we're feeling fancy) is a quick breakfast, and so delicious. The other thing I've been doing a lot lately is plopping plain yogurt into a mason jar, adding water to thin, a little glug of olive oil, salt, and various combinations of other tasty savory things—mincedn mint, chives, ramps, other herbs; nutritional yeast; paprika; lemon juice and zest; finely grated cucumber; microplaned garlic or garlic powder if I'm feeling lazy. Shake until combined. A savory smoothie, essentially, filling and delicious.

May 3, 2015
 

Susan

I make quick-cooking steel cut oats, put them into half-cup containers and take them all to work on Monday (sometimes I double the recipe and freeze ahead for use the next week if I have a busy weekend planned). When I get to work, I un-mold them into a larger bowl, add unsweetened, unflavored coconut milk to the bowl and heat all for two minutes in the work microwave. Then I slice five or six strawberries on top and add liquid Stevia if the strawberries aren't very sweet. For added protein, I have hard-boiled eggs at the ready. I make our plain yogurt using vintage (at this point) quart yogurt makers. To this yogurt I add fresh blackberries, mango or peaches when they're in season. The yogurt is either breakfast or a mid-morning snack on weekends. I also love breakfast tacos, but usually only have them on weekends.

May 4, 2015
 

I love savory breakfasts as well. Who says you must have sweet muffins or oatmeal? Often I have tomato/cucumber/olive salad. Miso soup with tofu sounds perfect to me.

May 4, 2015
 

Laura

Heidi -
Re: your April 28 reply to Kat, I'm a bit surprised that you don't make your own yogurt. I had you pegged as a skilled yogurt-maker, for sure ;) The results are superlative to store bought, it's a huge budget-saver, and most of the process is hands off. I recommend everybody give it a go, stay with it if your first couple batches don't turn out, and add the fine-tuned results to your breakfast arsenal - though we all know that yogurt doesn't have to live only in our breakfasts.

For those interested, I find it much easier to have consistent results with a "yogurt maker" (really, just an incubator), though no special equipment is needed. Compared to purchasing equivalent, or even inferior yogurt, I've saved literally hundreds of dollars making our own yogurt since I purchased the Yogourmet multi in 2005; it's the only one I found with a 2 quart capacity. It's still going strong, often cranking out 4 quarts/week!

HS: Hi Laura - we go through periods where we make our own, actually Wayne is the more frequent sourdough baker, and yogurt maker in this relationship - years ago he wrote this primer on homemade yogurt - and agreed(!) there is something incredibly satisfying about making your own. That said, sometimes the minutiae of life gets in the way of my yogurt making aspirations ;)

May 6, 2015
 

Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite

Love the miso soup idea! So yummy :)

May 6, 2015
 

I only have coconut oil and fish oil in the mornings usually, as I find it gets me going and keeps me there until midday. However, this list is great for days off/ weekends. I especially like the yoghurt idea. I'm lactose intolerant so I tend to go for goat's yoghurt instead. Thanks for the great ideas!!!!

May 12, 2015