Healthy Breakfast Ideas and Recipes

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It’s better for your health (and your weight) to eat vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Get your grains at breakfast by having one of these:

  • Hot oatmeal (or another hot whole-grain cereal).
  • Cold whole-grain cereal.
  • 100% whole-wheat bread, small bagel, English muffin, or tortilla
  • Pancakes and waffles made with at least half whole-wheat flour (you can also add oats, oat bran, or ground Nutrition Information per serving: 214 calories, 8 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 8.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 196 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 35%.

    Strawberry Summer Muffins

    These muffins are delicious fresh from the oven. If you’re in the habit of using butter or margarine on your muffins, try some light cream cheese on these instead.

    Ingredients:

    1 1/3 cup sliced fresh strawberries (or use frozen)

    1/4 cup low-fat milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/2 teaspoon strawberry or raspberry extract (optional)

    1/2 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

    1/4 cup less-fat margarine with the least amount of saturated/trans fat you can find (with about 8 grams of fat per tablespoon)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (add 1/4 cup more sugar or Splenda if you prefer it sweeter)

1 large egg, room temperature (use a higher omega-3 brand, if available)

1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting the tops (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. Make sure you have 2/3 cup of puree.
  2. In small bowl, combine 2/3 cup strawberry puree with low-fat milk, vanilla extract, strawberry extract and red food coloring (if desired); set aside.
  3. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream margarine and sugar on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the egg and egg substitute or egg white, beating just until blended. Scrape the side and bottom of bowl well halfway through.
  4. With mixer turned off, in medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt; then add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with margarine mixture, beating just until blended. Pour in the strawberry mixture and beat on LOW just until blended, scraping sides of bowl with spatula midway. Add in the remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended and scraping down sides of the bowl.
  5. Add 1/4-cup of muffin batter to each prepared muffin cup. Bake until tops are just dry to the touch (about 22 minutes). Let cool completely in tin before dusting with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: Makes 11 muffins (5.5 servings of 2 muffins each)

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 2 pieces “pancake, waffle, French toast” + 2 teaspoons sugar/honey OR 1 small muffin + 1/2 cup “unsweetened canned fruit in juice or unsweetened pureed fruit”

Nutrition Information per 2-muffin serving: 258 calories, 8 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 260 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 20%.

Honey Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup less-fat margarine or whipped butter

1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or coat with canola cooking spray).
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine flours, salt, and baking powder beating on low speed until blended. Add honey and margarine or butter; beat on low until crumbly. Add buttermilk and beat on low just until dough forms.
  3. Dust flat surface with a few tablespoons of unbleached white flour. Press biscuit dough out to about an 8- or 9-inch square (about 1 inch thick). Cut dough using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter and place biscuits on prepared baking sheet. Reroll scraps only once. Bake until golden (about 18 minutes).

Yield: 10-11 biscuits

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 piece “small muffin, coffee cake, biscuit” + 1 teaspoon honey OR 2 pieces “pancake, waffle, French toast”

Nutrition Information per biscuit (if 11 per recipe): 220 calories, 7 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 3.3 g fiber, 447 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 20%.

Veggie Microwave Frittata (for two)

You can make this tasty breakfast dish for two in about 10 minutes. If you like, garnish each serving with fresh chopped tomato or salsa and/or avocado wedges.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup shredded frozen hash browns (the type with 0 fat grams per serving)

2/3 cup shredded or grated carrot

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley flakes)

2 teaspoons olive oil or canola oil

Pinch of salt and pepper (optional)

2 large eggs (use a higher omega-3 brand if available)

1/2 cups egg substitute

1/4 cup low-fat milk or fat-free half-and-half

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Two dashes hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preparation:

  1. In a microwave-safe 1-quart casserole dish, combine potatoes, carrot, onion, parsley, and oil. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 90 seconds. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine eggs, egg substitute, milk, mustard, and hot pepper sauce by beating on medium speed for a minute or two. Pour egg mixture into casserole dish and stir to combine with potato mixture.
  3. Cover dish (waxed paper will work) and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Draw cooked egg toward the middle of dish and the liquid egg toward the edges and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle cheese on top, and microwave until cheese is melted (about 30 seconds more). Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Yield: Makes 2 servings

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 egg alone without added fat + 1 ounce low-fat cheese + 1/2 cup starchy foods with fat OR 1 portion frozen dinner light

Nutrition Information per serving: 280 calories, 20 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 4.3 g saturated fat, 6.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.2 g polyunsaturated fat, 218 mg cholesterol, 2.2 g fiber, 296 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 42%.

Mango Breakfast Parfait

If you want to use plain instead of vanilla yogurt, just stir in 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced frozen mango pieces

1/2 cup diced frozen peaches

1/4 cup sliced banana (optional)

6 ounces low-fat light vanilla yogurt (3/4 cup)

1/4 cup soy milk

1/3 cup low-fat granola

Preparation:

  1. Add mango, peaches, banana, yogurt, and soy milk to small food processor or blender and pulse until smooth (mixture will be thick).
  2. Spoon into serving glass or bowl and top with the granola. Eat with a spoon.

Yield: Makes 1 serving

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: journal as 1 cup low-fat yogurt sweetened with fruit + 1/2 cup unsweetened whole grain cereal

Nutrition Information per serving: 297 calories, 12 g protein, 60 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 0.2 g saturated fat, 1.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1.6 g polyunsaturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 174 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 10%.

Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2008 Elaine Magee

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the “Recipe Doctor” for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.