Weekday breakfasts can be rough. You grab your coffee and a breakfast bar, rush out the door, and hope you don’t hit traffic on your way to work. Either that, or you’re skipping it altogether.
But your mom really meant it when she said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when it comes to losing weight, says Amanda Baker Lemein, R.D.
Why? Because it’s best to front-load your caloric intake by eating more food in the first half of your day. This way, you have plenty of time to burn off some of those calories before hitting the hay (your metabolism slows down while you sleep). Skipping breakfast also ups your chances of snacking later in the day to make up for those missed morning calories.
So yeah, eating breakfast is important, but what you eat for breakfast matters too.“For a breakfast to be sustaining and healthy it needs to be balanced with some protein, fat, and fiber,” says Lemein. (Think: a veggie omelet with cheese, and a side of fruit or toast.)
Variety will also help you stick to a morning meal schedule (I can’t be the only one who’s ever gone to bed thinking of a new breakfast in the morning). It’s awesome to experiment, but until you get the hang of your newfound taste for breakfast, here are 18 recipes to get you started.
1. Chocolate Chia Overnight Oats
Cocoa powder is a great way to get a low-cal chocolate fix, especially when you combine it with filling Greek yogurt and chia seeds.
Per serving: 272 cal, 8 g fat, 48 g carbs, 11 g protein, 9 g fiber
2. Banana and Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal Cups
These baked oatmeal cups combine mashed banana with rolled oats and a few yummy spices to warm up your morning. The chocolate chips are optional, obviously…but you know you want to leave ‘em in.
Per serving: 202 cal, 13 g fat, 25 g carbs, 4 g protein, 6 g fiber
3. Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes
Making these pancakes—using rolled oats and protein-rich Greek yogurt—couldn’t be easier: throw all the ingredients in a blender, then pour. Toss in a handful of ripe blueberries and you’ll be leaving your blender out on your counter for another batch tomorrow morning, too.
Per serving: 208 cal, 3.8 g fat, 30 g carbs, 13.6 g protein, 3.3 g fiber
4. Breakfast Baked Sweet Potatoes
Baked sweet potatoes? For breakfast? By the time you bake up these sweet potatoes and top them with almond butter, banana slices, and chia seeds, you might never go back to eggs and toast again.
Per serving: 273 cal, 9.4 g fat, 44.7 g carbs, 7.7 g protein, 9.4 g fiber
5. Breakfast Acorn Squash
Squash isn’t only reserved for boring Thanksgiving side dishes. Use acorn squash for breakfast by slicing one in half, baking until tender, then stuffing it with tasty (breakfast-y) items like Greek yogurt, pecans, and cinnamon.
Per serving: 255 cal, 7.5 g fat, 37 g carbs, 14 g protein, 4.3 g fiber
6. Spinach Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
If you don’t have time to cook a veggie omelet every morning, a quiche is a great make-ahead way to fill up on protein and fiber. With a sweet potato crust and savory veggies mixed with goat cheese, you can make this quiche once and slice it up for a healthy breakfast all week. Meal prep, anyone?
Per serving: 143 cal, 11.3 g fat, 25 g carbs, 10.5 g protein, 2.3 g fiber
7. Rainbow Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls
Taste the rainbow with this beautiful breakfast bowl packed with protein-rich cottage cheese and fiber-loaded fresh fruit. Sprinkle on a handful of granola and chia seeds, and you’ve got a breakfast that’s colorful and well-rounded.
Per serving: 387 cal, 9 g fat, 60 g carbs, 21 g protein, 11 g fiber
8. 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Everyone needs a little energy boost in the a.m. Pair one or two of these energy bites—loaded with healthy fats and protein—with a serving of plain Greek yogurt and you’ll have no problem being a boss all the way until lunchtime.
Per serving: 229 cal, 16 g fat, 19 g carbs, 7 g protein, 4 g fiber
9. Healthy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Made with whole wheat and flaxseed, these chocolate chip pancakes will satisfy your sweet tooth and your appetite. Add a little fruit on the side and it’s two thumbs up for guilt-free indulging, right?
Per serving: 121 cal, 3 g fat, 18 g carbs, 7 g protein, 3 g fiber
10. Greek Yogurt Waffles
Leggo your Eggos and whip up a batch of these super-filling waffles, which swap the usual oil for protein-packed Greek yogurt. Pile on some fresh berries for a fiber-boost. Oh, and here’s another tip: Don’t skip the cornstarch in these, since that’s what makes them crispy, not soggy.
Per serving: 286 cal, 3 g fat, 52 g carbs, 10 g protein, 1 g fiber
11. Very Berry Spinach Smoothie
If you prefer to drink your meals instead of eating them with a fork and spoon, this healthy breakfast recipe is for you. You get loads of fiber and vitamins from the spinach and berries, plus protein from Greek yogurt.
Per serving: 141 cal, 2 g fat, 29 g carbs, 6 g protein, 6 g fiber
12. Savory Oatmeal with Fried Egg
Isn’t oatmeal is supposed to be sweet? Not always. You’ll be singing the praises of savory oatmeal after one cheesy bite of this recipe, which combines heart-healthy steel cut oats with diced red peppers and a runny-yolk fried egg. Try it and thank me later.
Per serving: 262 cal, 16 g fat, 18 g carbs, 13 g protein, 3 g fiber
13. Grown-Up PB&J Toast
Admit it: You still secretly love PB & J, right? Whip up this grown-up version of the lunchbox classic for a hearty and healthy breakfast toast that will make all the cool kids in your office super jealous.
Per serving: 404 cal, 13 g fat, 64 g carbs, 12 g protein, 9.5 g fiber
14. Citrus & Honey Power Breakfast
It’s not always easy to find flavorful fruit at the grocery store in the winter, but this breakfast bowl capitalizes on cold-weather favorites like grapefruit and blood orange to give you a breakfast sky high in protein and fiber. Plus, if it’s winter you need the vitamin C, so power up.
Per serving: 343 cal, 12 g fat, 53 g carbs, 11 g protein, 6 g fiber
Heck yes, you can eat Mexican food for breakfast. Warm up your broiler, scramble some eggs, and mash some black beans to assemble this yummy and satisfying morning tostada. Did I mention it’s topped with cheese and bacon?
Per serving: 327 cal, 17 g fat, 28 g carbs, 16 g protein, 6 g fiber
16. Apple Cinnamon Peanut Butter Breakfast Toast
Choosing a sprouted grain bread for this breakfast toast means that it’s a super smart pick, especially once you top it with healthy fats (peanut butter and nuts) and fiber-high fruit (a juicy apple). Now you have one more way to use up those farm-fresh orchard apples every fall.
Per serving: 386 cal, 21 g fat, 43 g carbs, 10 g protein, 6 g fiber
17. Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oats
Remember those strawberries and cream instant oatmeal pouches from your childhood? This recipe is kind of like that, only way healthier. Combine vanilla protein powder with rolled oats, Greek yogurt, and unsweetened almond milk before going to bed, then wake up to a ready-made breakfast just begging for a handful of fresh strawberries.
Per serving: 347 cal, 8 g fat, 56 g carbs, 15 g protein, 6.5 g fiber
18. Healthier Carrot Cake Muffins
You know you’ve called carrot cake a “health food” before (because carrots), but it’s not even a stretch with these muffins. There’s loads of shredded veg and heart-healthy walnuts, plus an applesauce/Greek yogurt combo that reduces the amount of oil you need. Pair with some fresh fruit for a fiber boost.
Per serving: 216 cal, 12 g fat, 24 g carbs, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber
This content was originally published here.