Breakfast seems to be that one meal where we all struggle to be creative. It’s so easy to get into a rut of eating the same thing day in day out or skipping it all together.
And whilst gone are the days where we believed that breakfast was THE most important meal of the day, for many people it can still be the best way to get their day off to a great start.
When I work with clients, especially those who struggle with sugar cravings and mid-morning snacking, one of the first things I do is get them to switch their usually high carb breakfast for a more protein and fat based one.
This invariably has an almost immediate effect of not only keeping them fuller for longer, but also stopping them reaching for the biscuits and cake at 10 o’clock and getting that mid-afternoon slump.
Often the result is so quick, literally a day or two, that they think it’s some kind of magic!
In reality, it’s simply that fats and proteins are more satiating, keeping you feeling satisfied for much longer.
They also have much less effect on the release of insulin than carbohydrates and therefore reduce the blood sugar highs and lows associated with sugary cereals and processed carbs.
So I’ve put together my Top 10 favourite breakfast ideas to share with you. They’re quick, easy, tasty and some can be even be prepared in advance to save you more time.
Often people think they don’t have time to cook breakfast or eat better in the morning, but I promise some of these recipes are ready in less time than you think.
1. Make Ahead Baked Omelette
This has got to be my absolute favourite because it is just so versatile. You can prepare ahead, it lasts for a few days and you can pretty much pack it with whatever veggies you’ve got hanging around in the fridge.
I use 6 eggs, beaten, and add whatever I have to hand.
This usually includes things like asparagus, spring onions, red onion, spinach, feta cheese, chorizo, ham, mushrooms, garden peas, broccoli – honestly just chop them up and mix them through with the eggs.
Pour the whole lot into a lined or greased 2lb loaf tin and bake in the oven (about 180 degrees celcius) for approximately 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
The beauty of this breakfast is that you can cook it in advance, stick it in a food container and take it with you if you’re in a rush as it’s great hot or just as lovely cold.
Slice it up, and it should last about 4 days if you keep it in the fridge. You’ve got all your protein, fats and veggies in one, portable and very tasty little package!
2. Mixed Berry Smoothie
Another favourite of mine if I need to grab breakfast and go, is a good protein smoothie.
Whey protein powders can be a great whey (see what I did there!!) to get extra protein in if you find you struggle.
There are many different manufacturers out there, so try them and see which flavours you like. In this one I used The Protein Works Banana Smooth flavour.
I just love the rich, deep, pink colour of this Mixed Berry Smoothie and it is surprisingly filling.
I’ve used almond milk and water about 400ml in total. Half a banana. A handful of frozen mixed berries. A dash of lime juice and a tiny squint of runny honey. A handful of spinach. a scoop of whey protein powder and then simply blitzed up in a blender.
Gorgeous and very filling.
3. Boiled Eggs and Soldiers
Alright, I know it’s a bit childish, but hey who wants to have to ‘adult’ all the time anyway!
The trick to getting this perfect is to make sure that the eggs are at room temperature before they go into the water. If you keep your eggs in the fridge (that’s a whole other discussion!) take out what you need the night before.
Bring a pan of water to a rolling simmer (that means just bubbling on a low to medium heat if you’re not sure) and then add the eggs and time them for between 4 to 6 minutes depending on how well done you like the whites and the yolk, and also how big the eggs are. You might have to play around a few times to find out what timing gets you your perfect boiled egg.
Toast a piece of sourdough or multiseed bread to dunk into your golden beauties, spread with a thin layer of proper butter (avoid the highly processed fake butter spreads) and enjoy.
Here’s my dad’s top tip – tap the top of the egg that you’re eating last, so that it just breaks the shell, to stop the egg from continuing to cook.
I have absolutely no scientific proof that this actually works, but my dad said to do it so it must be true!
4. Skyr Yoghurt with Honey and Walnuts
I don’t quite recall when I first discovered Icelandic Skyr yoghurt, although in reality it’s not yoghurt it’s cheese, but I’m really glad I did.
It has a fatty, creamy texture but is totally fat free which is great if you’re watching your calories, and it’s packed full of protein.
I prefer the flavour to Greek yoghurt, although there’s no reason in the world why you couldn’t swap the Skyr for Greek yoghurt if you choose. Remember though if you use full fat Greek yoghurt the calories will be significantly higher.
Here I’ve simply topped a couple of tablespoons of Skyr with about 15g of broken walnuts and drizzled a little runny honey over it. You could use agave syrup if you preferred.
This really has got to be the quickest breakfast ever, plus, it kind of feels like you’re eating dessert for breakfast so it’s an absolute winner!
5. Perfect Poached Eggs on Toast
Nothing seems to cause as much debate as the question of how to poach an egg.
Do you need a special poaching pan? Should you prick the yolk? Do you need to wrap them in clingfilm? To vinegar or not to vinegar, that is the question?
OK I have to say that, at the risk of sounding big headed, poached eggs are definitely my thing.
I have to give credit, once again, to my old dad. He may not have spent much of his time in the kitchen, (being a proper Northern bloke who spent his adult life working in the ship yards!!) however he did know his way around these little ovoid gems, and he taught me well.
So, here’s my fool-proof guide to perfect poached eggs.
First, and this is pretty crucial, make sure they’re the freshest eggs you can find. The fresher the better. If you’ve got a neighbour ‘round the corner who sells eggs, go and get to know her (better still if you can keep a couple of chucks yourself you’ll have a constant supply).
Next is to bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling simmer (see above!!).
Add 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar. You can use any vinegar but I find that white wine doesn’t add any taste to the eggs.
Get a wooden spoon and slowly stir the water to create a small whirlpool (you do not need to whisk so hard you cause a small cyclone!).
Once the water is spinning break your egg straight into the water, getting as close to the surface of the water as you can without scalding your fingers. (If you feel more comfortable you can crack the egg into a teacup and pour from the cup, but that just seems like extra washing up to me).
Let the egg cook for about 3-4 minutes, and then gently use a slotted spoon to ease the egg away from the bottom of the pan (assuming it has stuck slightly). If the egg floats upwards, gently take it out of the water and check that the white is cooked to your liking. If not, place it back into the water for another 30 seconds and check again. Repeat until the white is cooked (the time it takes to cook will depend on the size of the egg and whether it was straight from the fridge or at room temperature).
Once cooked, drain onto a piece of kitchen paper and then serve on top of a piece of buttered wholemeal or sourdough toast.
If you want to get really ‘chefy’, stick a sprig of flat leaf parsley on the top!!
6. Waffley Good Pancakes!
My daughter bought me a waffle iron for Christmas a couple of years ago so I could make protein pancakes look fancier. What she didn’t realise when she bought it was that it also makes them so much easier to make too.
You can pick an electric waffle maker up off Amazon for under £30 and they’re brilliant.
Now this really is like having dessert for breakfast but don’t be fooled, it’s still really good for you!
For my waffles I put 1 egg, 1 scoop of whey protein (any flavour you choose, I used Chocolate Silk by The Protein Works), 1 tbsp of rolled oats, half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda, a tiny splash of almond milk and half a frozen banana, into a high speed blender. I have a Nutri Ninja, 1000w and I love it.
Put the waffle maker on to heat and lightly brush the plates with a little olive oil.
When the ready light goes out, pour in your waffle batter and cook for a few minutes (usually about 4).
I’ve topped these with Skyr yoghurt, some strawberries and a squirt of Sweet Freedom Choc Shots to make it feel a bit more indulgent.
If you don’t have a waffle maker you can easily use the batter to make pancakes in a skillet or frying pan and they’ll be just as good.
7. Super Simple Banana Omelette
This has got to be the easiest omelette ever. I used just one egg (but you could use two if you’re hungry). I’ve whisked the egg with a fork, and added half a mushed up banana.
Heat a small knob of butter in a small frying pan and pour in the banana/egg mixture.
Cook for about 2 minutes each side until it’s lovely and golden.
Serve alongside some Greek or Skyr yoghurt and fresh fruit. I’ve topped mine off with some Omega Seed Mix or you could use flax seeds, chopped nuts or sesame seeds. Yum!
8. Smoked Haddock and Poached Egg on Toast
This breakfast not only packs a huge protein punch but also has the most amazing flavour.
It takes a little longer to prepare but it’s great for a Sunday brunch or weekend treat.
Using a deepish frying pan, bring a mix of milk and water (to about 2/3rds full,) to a simmer.
Add half an onion, 2 cloves, half a dozen peppercorns and a bayleaf to the milk and let it simmer for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse.
Meanwhile bring a small pan of water to the boil ready to poach the egg (as per the instructions above).
Slide a piece of smoked haddock into the milk and let it cook for about 5 minutes until the flesh starts to lose its translucent appearance.
While the fish is cooking, cook your perfect poached egg.
When they’re both ready, place them on top of a piece of toast, sprinkle with some chopped up baby spinach leaves and top with some ground black pepper.
TIP: Try to buy undyed smoked haddock. The bright fluorescent yellow stuff is full of unnecessary added colours, naturally smoked fish doesn’t glow!
9. Spinach and Red Onion Omelette with Avocado
Another great brunch or weekend breakfast recipe, this spinach and red onion Omelette is paired with half an avocado for some healthy fat to help keep you full.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a shallow frying pan and gently cook the red onion until just soft. Add a big handful of spinach leaves and let them wilt down in the heat of the oil.
Whisk 2 or 3 eggs together (depending on how hungry you are!) and season with black pepper.
Pour the eggs over the onion/spinach mix and use a spatula to move the eggs around as they start to set.
Cook on the hob for a couple of minutes to brown the bottom of the omelette and then place the pan under the grill (broiler) to cook the top.
Serve, folded in half, alongside half an avocado.
10. Broccoli For Breakfast – Honest!
A few years ago the idea of having broccoli for breakfast would have been absurd, but now I think, why not? It’s packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals not to mention protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Honestly it’s one of nature’s great all-rounders.
What I love about this breakfast is that I can make most of it in the microwave in next to no time.
The scrambled eggs are literally just whisked together in a bowl (I used 2 eggs here) and ‘nuked’ for about 60-90 seconds (I do mine in 30 seconds blasts, then whisk and repeat).
The broccoli and mushrooms also get cooked in the microwave. I put them into a small bowl, cover with boiling water and blast them for about 4 minutes.
The bacon is simply dry fried in a non-stick skillet.
So much healthier than a standard full English breakfast.
Hopefully this has given you a little bit of inspiration to try a few new ideas for breakfast.
My final top tip would be to try and make time to enjoy your breakfast. So often we’re rushing out of the door with a grab and go slice of toast and starving again an hour later.
Make breakfast just as big a deal as your evening meal. Sit down, enjoy it. Savour it. Take is slowly and enjoy the flavours.
Not only will it help your digestion, but I guarantee it’ll keep the stress levels down too.
For more help with eating well, visit me at www.florescofitness.co.uk or find me on Facebook at Floresco Health and Lifestyle Coaching or you might want to join my Facebook Group, Fifty, Fit and Fabulous, a fabulous community full of information, motivation and inspiration for anyone heading towards, through or beyond midlife.
Bev Thorogood is owner and founder of Floresco Health and Lifestyle Coaching (formerly Fitness and Fat Loss Coaching). She’s a PN1 Certified Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, a personal trainer, exercise instructor, wife, mum and Nan!