8 Seriously Easy Make-Ahead Breakfasts That Go Way Beyond Overnight Oats
Conventional wisdom — backed by nutritional science — suggests that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, giving you energy, regulating your blood sugar, and generally setting the tone for the day. Busy lifestyles and hectic schedules, however, often mean that breakfast is also the most frequently skipped meal of the day, and your body misses out on the many benefits that a nutritious, balanced breakfast can provide.
Here’s some good news: meal prepping isn’t only for lunch and dinner. And more good news: make-ahead breakfasts amount to way more than just overnight oats. (With no offense to overnight oats, which are awesome. We just might crave more variety in the morning routine.) Meal prepping is honestly one of the best things you can do for both your physical and mental health. Making time later in your day (when you might actually have time) helps out your future self by setting you up for breakfast success. To that end, here are some seriously easy make-ahead breakfasts to consider that go way beyond overnight oats.
For an easy, handheld breakfast option, breakfast burritos are great fun to assemble in advance, wrap, and store. Whole grain wraps are key here to avoid an unnecessary blood sugar spike, and you can change up the vegetables and cheese option for each individual burrito to give yourself variety throughout the week. This recipe provides perfect instructions on how to best wrap and store your burritos for easy handling. For a vegan option on the same theme, try these Vegan Tofu Breakfast Burritos.
Here’s a great, make-ahead breakfast option if you’re someone who tends to grab a muffin out with your coffee order on the way to work. While picking up a muffin is convenient, it’s probably going to lead to a sugar crash well before lunchtime. Instead, make up a batch of these oatmeal muffins which get a needed protein assist from natural whey powder, and are lightly sweetened with natural maple syrup rather than refined sugar. You can cut the sugar even further by sweetening it up with a little shredded apple in place of some of the syrup. Now you have a grab-and-go breakfast that will keep you alert until lunch.
There’s something about the word “parfait” that makes us think that we’re treating ourselves with dessert for breakfast, and why shouldn’t we? Protein-packed Greek yogurt and fresh berries are a rockstar breakfast on their own merit. Layered together and packaged with low-sugar, homemade granola makes it all akin to overnight oats — but with a serious crunch factor.
The truth is, a regular-sized vegetable frittata is also a great way to make a delicious, reheatable breakfast ahead of time, so you don’t have to make individual portions in a muffin tin, but honestly? They’re just so fun, and it’s really easy to grab one or two, pop them in the microwave, and head out the door. These terrific mini frittatas are loaded with vegetables like spinach, tomato, and red pepper, with a little flavor and texture assist from herby cream cheese. Of course, you can swap in any vegetables you like, opt for part-skim mozzarella and toss in whichever fresh herbs instead — or amp up the protein even further with turkey breakfast sausage.
We love chili: it’s easy to make in a large batch, loaded with nutritional benefits, naturally low in fat, freezes well, etc. We potentially love it even more when it’s modified for breakfast purposes, however. Here, breakfast sausage lends a little of that flavor to the proceedings. Look for turkey sausage for an even better nutritional swap. This is a great choice for those who really crave something savory in the morning. Come the weekend, it’s a brunch-worthy treat, especially if you top it with a poached egg and a few slices of avocado, or serve it piled over air-fried hash browns.
Sometimes the only thing that will satisfy a breakfast craving is a great breakfast sandwich. Takeout breakfast sandwiches can be decent options for grab-and-go breakfasts, but on a regular basis, you may be taking chances with sodium and sugar content first thing in the morning, and few commercially available breakfast sandwiches bother much with vegetables. That doesn’t mean you have to rule them out entirely, however — especially not when you make them yourself. This recipe employs sheet pan eggs with spinach and a little bacon for easy assembly. Whole wheat english muffins would be a great option here, as well as any other vegetables that suit. Pro tip? Swap out bacon for a little smoked mozzarella or gouda cheese for a vegetarian option that has a similar flavor profile and fewer calories.
There’s no rule that says you have to bust out the blender every morning to enjoy a smoothie for breakfast. The color here alone is enough to put some pep in your step first thing: these smoothies call for almond milk, berries, spinach, chia seeds, and protein powder, but the sky’s the limit in terms of how you want to make these your own (we love adding a little organic yogurt, kale, and a dab of almond butter). Smoothies can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days, and can freeze even longer.
Sweet potato is an underutilized breakfast ingredient, in our opinion. We love that this recipe asks you to roast the vegetables beforehand, which is the best method for teasing out as much flavor as possible not only from the sweet potatoes, but also from the mushrooms, broccoli, and peppers. Eggs, skim milk, and part-skim ricotta hold it all together in a vegetable-packed protein powerhouse. This bake is a great breakfast — we’d serve with some seasonal fruit — but it would also make a great light dinner alongside a simple green salad. There you have it: two freezer-friendly meals prepped for the price of one.
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