Next to dessert, breakfast is my favorite meal (yes, I may have just called dessert a meal). It’s a time when I can sit quietly for 15 minutes, read the news, and relax while I eat something delicious. Unfortunately, a lot those delicious things aren’t compatible with weight loss and healthy living. And we all know a good breakfast is important: It jump starts your metabolism, and mentally sets the tone for how you will likely eat the rest of the day. So my compromise? Healthier versions of my more decadent favorites.
Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies: Are you one of those people who skip breakfast? While I’m pretty envious of the fact that you don’t wake up ravenous like I do, cutting calories in the morning will actually hurt your ability to lose weight. These breakfast cookies are the perfect treat—even if you need to eat them on the go. Bonus: Chia is packed with fiber and will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Nutrition per serving (1 cookie): Calories: 79; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 7mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 2g
Buttermilk Pancake Donuts: I have a love/ hate relationship with pancakes. I love eating them, but I haven’t gotten around to buying a griddle so that I can make more than one at time. Here’s the solution: buttermilk pancake donuts. I can make a dozen of these donuts in 30 minutes, but only need to be in front of the stove for 12 minutes. Plus, they are donuts and pancakes! Everything mixes up in 10 minutes. To get the classic donut shape, you need is a donut pan, but this also means that you bake—not fry—the donuts.
Nutrition per serving (1 donut): Calories: 153; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 545mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 16g; Protein: 3g
Chocolate Breakfast Quinoa with Cherries & Pistachios: Need something filling that’s a nutritional powerhouse? Want dessert? Then this is the recipe for you. Warm and filling, the quinoa, fruit and nuts pack plenty of protein and fiber, and the cocoa powder makes it feel like you’re cheating on your diet (but you aren’t).
Nutrition per serving (1 cup): Calories: 425; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 135mg; Carbohydrate: 70g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 23g; Protein: 13g
Tip: Want to save 60 calories per serving (and reduce the sugar)? Skip the agave.
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes: Pancakes tie with waffles for the perfect Sunday breakfast, and the best thing about this recipe (besides being healthy and delicious) is that it substitutes syrup for a delicious fruit compote, which is sweet, sophisticated and better for you. Plus: This recipe is gluten free and Paleo.
Nutrition per serving (2 pancakes): Calories: 220; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 85mg; Sodium: 297mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 11g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 9g
Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Wraps: Just roll and go! The cinnamon french toast wrap by Healthy Hungry Girl transforms thin, whole-wheat tortillas with traditional French-toast-style prep. This convenient, high-fiber breakfast is perfect with a drizzle of nut butter, bananas and your favorite berries.
Nutrition per serving (1 wrap): Calories: 413; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 159mg; Sodium: 434mg; Total Carbohydrate: 49g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 15g
Microwave Berry Breakfast Crumble: Looking for a dessert-like breakfast that’s ready in 6 minutes flat? Ya, we thought so. This Microwave Breakfast Berry Crumble from 24 Carrot Life has enough healthy fiber to keep you full until lunch, while satisfying your morning sweet tooth.
Nutrition per serving (1 bowl): Calories: 332; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 153mg; Carbohydrate: 45g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 25g; Protein: 7g
Do you like to treat yourself at breakfast? Do you use substitutions to make your favorite recipes healthier?
Photo by Jennifer Pantin