Whipping up a healthy morning meal can be a struggle when you’re half-asleep and already running late. (So we meet again, Dunkin Donuts drive-thru…) To take the guesswork out of the ‘most important meal of the day,’ we asked top nutritionists to share their personal, protein-packed—and delicious—breakfast picks.
Coconut Berry Yogurt Smoothie
“This breakfast is so filling!” says Lisa Mikus, R.D., L.D., author of the upcoming book, Everyday Diabetes Cooking for One or Two. “The balance of carbs, protein, and fats helps fuel busy mornings.”
Make It: Combine 2/3 cup coconut-flavored (2%) Greek yogurt, ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons natural almond butter, and 1 cup frozen mixed berries. Blend until smooth.
Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal With Streusel Topping
“This is a great make-ahead breakfast that you can prepare once and eat for a few days,” says Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS. “Full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, the oatmeal keeps me full until lunch.” For extra protein, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, says Rumsey.
Make It: Combine 2 ½ cups oats, 3/4 cup milk or plant-based milk, 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread mixture into baking dish. For streusel topping, stir together 1/3 cup finely-chopped pecans, 1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon melted butter, and 1 tablespoon flour in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle your streusel mixture over oatmeal and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until set.
Poached Eggs With Gluten-Free Toast And Sliced Tomatoes
“This breakfast is done in less than 10 minutes and very easy to clean up—great for when you’re on the go,” says Nora Minno, RD, CDN. “The protein from the eggs and fiber from the bread keep me full all morning, plus the tomatoes pack loads of antioxidants.” (Poaching your eggs is also good for the calorie-conscious, since it requires no butter or cooking oil, Minno says.)
Make It: Toast one slice of gluten-free bread and top with tomato slices and two poached eggs.
Steel-Cut Oats With Apples
“The soluble fiber in this breakfast can help promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels,” says Kara Lydon, R.D., L.D.N. “I sprinkle walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds on top for extra protein.”
Make It: Cook up a bowl of steel-cut oats in coconut or almond milk. Chop up an apple, toss separately with a few pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg, and microwave for two minutes. Top oatmeal with warm apples and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.
Creamy Pumpkin Smoothie
“Swap pumpkin in for berries in your morning smoothie for your fix of cold-weather flavor and a good dose of beta-carotene, which supports your immune system,” says Stacey Antine, M.S., R.D. “Greek yogurt adds extra protein and creates a creamy PSL-like smoothie, without the excess artificial flavoring and sugar.”
Make It: Combine 3/4 cup frozen pumpkin puree, ½ frozen banana, 1 ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt, ½ cup apple cider, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger spice, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Add a pinch each of ground cardamom and cloves, if desired. Blend until smooth. (Makes 4 one-cup servings.)
Veggie Egg Muffins
“I make a batch of these muffins each week,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., C.D.E., author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “They’re packed with protein and the veggies boost your fiber and antioxidant intake.”
Make It: Whisk 6 large eggs, mixing in ½ cup low-fat shredded cheese and 2 slices cubed whole grain bread. Fill a muffin tray halfway with this egg mixture. Then fill the rest of each muffin with diced vegetables of your choice. (We love mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach.) Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cooked throughout.