Breakfast Recipes for People in a Hurry

These healthy muffins, cookies, and scones are easy to grab and go.

From the WebMD Archives

Some days, everything else takes priority over breakfast -- checking email, putting on makeup, grabbing an extra 10 minutes of sleep. Before you know it, it's time to go and not a minute to spare.

But you don't want to skip breakfast. If you do, your blood sugar is sure to drop a couple hours into your morning. And without a balanced, high-fiber breakfast, your energy level (and perhaps, your ability to concentrate) will be compromised. Skipping breakfast can also lead to weight gain because you're likely to eat and drink more overall calories by the end of the day.

Even among people who do eat breakfast, many go wrong by eating a morning meal made up mostly of refined carbohydrates -- like a refined-flour bagel, a muffin made with plenty of sugar and white flour, or a sugary, low-fiber breakfast cereal -- and very little fiber and protein .

These breakfast foods may seem convenient when you're rushed for time. But with a little planning, you can bake a batch of healthy, higher-fiber breakfast cookies, scones, muffins, or granola bars ahead of time and have them handy for quick getaways on weekday mornings. Here are four healthy breakfast recipes you can whip up on the weekends and keep on hand for those manic mornings.

Healthy Breakfast Recipes: Cookies, Muffins, and Scones

For a satisfying "grab and go" breakfast treat, each recipe below contains:

  • Quality carbohydrates to fuel your morning activities
  • Protein and a little smart fat to help stave off hunger until lunch
  • Fiber, which works with the protein to help control appetite

And the best news? While they taste decadent, all have less than 300 calories.

Oatmeal Chocolate Pecan Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup reduced-fat canola margarine (8 grams fat per tablespoon), with plant sterols, if desired

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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

1/4 cup egg substitute

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Continued

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground clove

1 1/2 cup 100% whole grain rolled oats

3/4 cup walnut or pecan pieces (coarsely chopped can also be used)

1 cup high-cocoa bittersweet or semisweet mini or regular chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or coat nonstick cookie sheets with canola cooking spray.

2. In large mixing bowl, beat margarine, brown sugar, salt (if desired), and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended and fluffy (about 2 minutes), scraping side of bowl halfway. Beat in egg, then egg substitute.

3. In medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Add flour mixture all at once to margarine mixture and beat on low speed just until mixed. With wooden spoon, stir in oats, nuts, and chocolate chips.

4. Use a slightly heaping cookie scoop to drop dough balls (about 3 tablespoons) onto prepared cookie sheets; press down on the balls slightly if you want flatter cookies.

5. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove cookies from oven, cool on wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 22 breakfast cookies

Nutrition Information: Per serving:194 calories, 5 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 7.5 g fat, 2.6 g saturated fat, 2.2 g monounsaturated fat, 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 98 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.4 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.7 grams.

Honey Wheat Bran Muffins

Along with wheat bran and raisins, this muffin has a little something extra -- canola oil, which is high in monounsaturated fat and high in plant omega-3s.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups wheat bran

1 1/8 cup low-fat buttermilk

3 tablespoons canola oil

4 tablespoons honey

1 large egg (use a brand higher in omega-3s, if possible)

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Continued

1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil muffin liners.

2. Add wheat bran and buttermilk to mixing bowl; let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Add oil, honey, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract to bran mixture; beat on low to blend well. Scrape sides of bowl halfway through mixing.

4. Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to medium-sized bowl; blend well with whisk or fork. Add flour mixture all at once to mixing bowl with wheat bran mixture. Beat on low to blend, scraping sides of bowl halfway through mixing.

5. Fold in raisins. Spoon batter (about 1/4 cup) into each muffin cup.

6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Yield: Makes 12 muffins (6 servings)

Nutrition Information: Per 2-muffin serving: 316 calories, 8 g protein, 56 g carbohydrate, 8.2 g fat, 1.2 g saturated fat, 4.6 g monounsaturated fat, 2.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 8.5 g fiber, 368 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.7 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.7 grams.

Lemon Blueberry Streusel Muffin Tops

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream (or substitute low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt)

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 large egg (use a brand higher in omega 3s, if available)

2 tablespoons egg substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest (2 medium lemons), zest from 1 orange can be substituted

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if berries are smaller, use 1 1/2 cups)

Topping:

1 tablespoon reduced-fat margarine (with 8 grams fat per tablespoon)

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat muffin top pan or regular muffin pan with canola cooking spray or line regular muffin pan with foil or paper baking cups.

Continued

2. In mixing bowl, combine oil, sour cream, milk, egg, egg substitute, vanilla, and lemon zest, beating on medium speed until well blended.

3. In medium bowl, whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt (if desired). Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries.

4. Using a cookie scoop or measure, add 1/8 cup batter to each muffin cup. (If you're using a regular muffin pan, the muffins will be small.) Press down on the muffin batter to create a level top for the crumb topping.

5. For topping, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon margarine, 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over batter in muffin cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon per muffin top).

6. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in center of muffin top comes out clean.

Yield: 18 muffin tops (9 servings)

Nutrition Information: Per 2-muffin top serving: 200 calories, 5 g protein, 31.5 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 3.4 g monounsaturated fat, 1.6 g polyunsaturated fat, 24 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 133 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 27%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.5 gram, Omega-6 fatty acid = 1.1 grams.

Not Your Grandma's Scones

To make 8 scones, use half of the amount of ingredients, form into a smaller circle, 3/4-inch thick, then cut into 8 wedges. Cooking time should be the same.

Ingredients:

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar (use Splenda to replace 1/4 cup of the sugar, if desired)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup reduced-fat margarine or whipped butter (if soft, chill in freezer, then cut into small pieces)

1/2 cup light or Neufchatel cream cheese (block), cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half (or low-fat milk)

1 large egg (use a brand higher in omega-3s, if available) or 1/4 cup egg substitute

Continued

3/4 cup dried fruit of your choice (blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raisins, currants, chopped dates, or dried apricots)

2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon or orange zest (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with canola cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

2. In small bowl, blend sour cream with baking soda; set aside.

3. In food processor bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt (if desired), and cream of tartar by pulsing for about 5 seconds. Add margarine or whipped butter pieces and cream cheese; pulse to cut them in to the flour mixture (you can use a pastry blender or electric mixer with a paddle attachment if you don't have a food processor).

4. In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter mixture with the sour cream mixture, fat-free half-and-half, and egg. Blend on low speed just until dough forms. Fold in dried fruits and lemon or orange zest (if desired) by hand.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of wax paper and knead a couple of times. Roll or pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round. Cut this into 16 wedges; place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.

Yield: 16 scones

Nutrition Information Per scone: 220 calories, 6 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.7 g polyunsaturated fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 202 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 24%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.2 gram, omega-6 fatty acids = 1.5 grams.

WebMD Expert Column

Sources

SOURCE:

Timlin, M.T. Pediatrics, March 2008.

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