Delicious, easy-to-make recipes that also pack a nutritional punch are the dream! – All photographs by the author
Delicious, easy-to-make recipes that also pack a nutritional punch are the dream! – All photographs by the author

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – a healthy meal first thing in the morning gives you enough energy to get through to lunch time and leads to healthier choices during the rest of your day. But if you find yourself rushing out the door every morning, you may end up skipping breakfast or grabbing sugary convenience foods.

These on-the-go recipes are easy to make ahead, so that you don't have to go hungry on those crazy, busy mornings!


Baked Egg Cups

Eggs are a staple breakfast food for a reason – they're light, easy to cook and packed with protein.

Baked egg cups are a good way to add vegetables (and nutrition) to your eggs. Easy to make, this nutritious, low-cal breakfast can be prepared in advance, which makes them perfect for busy mornings.

You can grab some on your way out the door in the morning, pack them in lunch boxes for your little ones and even snack on them if you find yourself wanting to munch on something in the middle of the day!

Ingredients

9 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

A pinch of oregano

1 cup shredded cheese (both parmesan and cheddar work well with this recipe)

1/3 cup onions (measured after chopping)

2 large tomatoes (chopped)

1/2 cup peas

1/3 cup bell peppers (measured after chopping)

1 cup spinach (measured after chopping)

2 green peppers

Directions

Start by chopping all vegetables (except the peas). Preferably, chop them into small pieces to avoid chunks. Feel free to substitute any vegetables with your own favourites, like carrots or corn.

Pre-heat your oven to 360°F/180°C

Grease a 12-cup muffin pan generously with non-stick cooking spray or oil. Egg muffins stick easily, so it is important to grease the pan very well. An easy way to avoid the hassle is to use paper muffin liners.

Mix all the vegetables in a bowl. Toss them together well. Set aside while you prepare the eggs.

In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and beat well with a whisk. Add salt, pepper, red pepper and oregano. Adjust according to your taste.

Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between the each cavity of the pan- each cavity should get about 2-3 loosely piled tablespoons and should be filled to about 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Divide the egg mixture evenly between the 12 cavities- each cavity should get about 2-3 tablespoons and will be about 3/4 full after being topped off with the eggs.

Top each egg cup with a generous helping of cheese, dividing the cheese equally between each cavity.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or unless they are set, cooked through and lightly golden on top. The egg cups will rise as they cook, but will settle once they've been cooled. Check if they are cooked by inserting a toothpick into the cup – if the toothpick comes out clean, your egg cups are ready!

Place the egg cups under a fan to cool for about ten minutes before removing. You will need to use a knife or fork to gently ease the cups from each cavity (if you haven't used paper liners).

You can serve these immediately while warm, or keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, where they'll be good for about a week (although you may have gone through them long before then)!


Overnight Oats a.k.a Bircher Muesli

Overnight oats are a no-cook breakfast item that you can prepare the night before.

The beauty of overnight oats (also known as Bircher Muesli) is that you can come up with new combinations of toppings for every day of the week, so you won't get bored!

Ingredients

1/3 cup rolled oats (steel cut oats will not work for this recipe)

1/2 cup milk*

1/3 cup yogurt (sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your preference)*

1 small banana (mashed)

A pinch of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

*Tip: Vary the amount of milk and yogurt you put in, depending on how creamy you want your oats to be.

Directions

This recipe simply involves mixing the ingredients and refrigerating them overnight.

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Keep refrigerated overnight in a tupperware container.

And that's it! The oats will be ready to eat the next morning. You can microwave them or have them cold. Prepare the base overnight and the next morning you can top them with endless combinations of toppings, which add to the flavour.

Some great combinations are

  • Peanut butter and bananas

  • Crunchy cereal and maple syrup

  • Nuts and honey

  • Walnuts, bananas and honey

  • Berries, fruits, nuts, cereals – the possibilities are endless!

You can also add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, peanut butter and other sweeteners overnight. This recipe is very versatile and can lead to some very interesting results if you decide to experiment with different add-ons and toppings.


Peach Pie Smoothie

Peach pie smoothies are yummy and filling!

Deceptively easy to make and conveniently portable, smoothies are perfect if you're in a rush and don't have anything prepared.

Just pick and choose your favourite fruits and toss them in a blender with some milk and yogurt and you'll have a nutrition-packed drink to keep you going till your next meal!

Ingredients

1/2 cup milk (low-fat milk also works well with this recipe)

1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt

1 cup frozen peaches (measured when chopped)

1 tablespoon honey (add more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of ground nutmeg

A pinch of ground ginger

You can add ice before or after blending, if you like your smoothie to be extra chilled.

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and on medium-high until smooth. Serve immediately and drink while chilled.

This recipe provides you with a healthy dose of protein and vitamins and will guarantee a super-charged start to your day!


Honey and Banana Muffins

These muffins are perfect if you're craving something sweet early in the morning!

Preparation and cooking requires effort, but it is well worth it because not only do you have a quick breakfast to grab the next day, they are also delicious. If you have kids that are fussy about breakfast, muffins are perfect because they're usually the little ones' favourite!

This recipe uses honey and banana as natural sweeteners and cuts down on the calories by avoiding sugar all together!

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1 cup packed, mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling on top)

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

⅓ cup old-fashioned oats (plus more for sprinkling on top)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325°F/165-170°C

Grease a 12-cup muffin pan generously with non-stick cooking spray or oil or line with paper muffin liners.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil and honey and beat together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well.

Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon. Continue to whisk until the mixture is light fluffy.

Add the flour and oats and mix well with a large spatula, just until combined. If the mixture begins to clump, use the whisk to beat lightly. Add the flour gradually and fold it in with the spatula in order to make a smooth mixture and mix the oats in similarly.

Divide the batter evenly between each cavity of the muffin pan, till they are about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of oats and a pinch of cinnamon (or sugar).

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. The batter will rise as it cooks.

Once the muffins are ready, place them under a fan to cool and remove about 10-15 minutes and place on a tray or plate until they have cooled.

If kept in a refrigerated in an air-tight container, these muffins will stay good for about a week. Grab them as a snack to satisfy your sweet-tooth or eat them for breakfast to ensure that your day starts on a happy note!

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