Five easy to make breakfasts for the rushed mornings

For those who don't have the time to make traditional breakfasts, finding quick meals with nutritional value is a must.

The start of the semester usually means busy mornings and rushing out the door to make 10 a.m. classes, but all the hustle and bustle shouldn’t replace a well balanced and delicious breakfast. If time in the mornings is limited, preparing refrigerator and freezer-friendly breakfasts ahead of time can ease daily stress without compromising nutrition. Try any of these five quick and healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes for a burst of energy and flavor.


Frozen Yogurt Bites

Breakfast is always better when it looks and tastes like a dessert, and these frozen yogurt bites are the perfect amount of flavor to sweeten any busy morning.

  1. Line a muffin tin with reusable baking cups and drop 1 ½ tablespoons of yogurt in each bottom. Every yogurt freezes well, but vanilla or plain Greek yogurt works best for a more healthy treat.

  2. Sprinkle fresh blueberries or raspberries for the next layer and follow with another tablespoon of yogurt.

  3. Toss a thin layer of granola on top and lightly press into the yogurt with a spoon so it will stick.

  4. Pop the tin in the freezer uncovered for about three hours while they freeze. Store in an airtight container for up to three months after freezing; the consistency of the frozen yogurt makes them great straight from the freezer.

Adding additional fruit such as cup strawberries, blackberries or boysenberries gives the bites a flavorful antioxidant punch. Frozen yogurt bites are completely customizable based on the flavor and nutrition preferences of the eater. Chunky monkey bites with sliced banana, mini chocolate chips and peanut butter provide a protein-packed snack, while pomegranate kiwi bites are a tropical departure from traditional yogurt experiences.


Breakfast Bowls

Microwavable and customizable, these breakfast bowls are easy to prepare and take two minutes to reheat.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  2. Chop two pounds of Yukon gold potatoes into 1 inch cubes and slice one large green pepper into small pieces.

  3. Dice one yellow onion and spread the potatoes, peppers and onions on a large baking sheet.

  4. Drizzle with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until the contents are evenly coated.

  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Stir with rubber spatula at the 20-minute mark to ensure even roasting.

  6. While the potatoes, peppers and onions are roasting, crack 12 eggs into a bowl and whisk until they’re smooth. For creamy scrambled eggs, add a splash of milk.

  7. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until barely cooked through and set aside to cool on a plate.

  8. Divide the cooked potatoes, peppers, onions and eggs into small containers and leave open to cool.

  9. Once cool, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chopped green onions.

  10. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days; freeze bowls for up the three months for later. To reheat from their frozen state, microwave uncovered for up to two minutes and stir in between 30 second intervals. Top with toppings such as salsa, sour cream, hot sauce or sliced avocado.

The recipe makes about six servings with each serving containing approximately 400 calories and 24 grams of protein. While this original recipe is vegetarian, meats such as breakfast sausage, bacon or cubed ham can be added or more vegetables for nutrients. Cook eggs with tomato, spinach or kale, or substitute potatoes for quinoa for a lower carbohydrate option.


Hearty Breakfast Smoothies

Smoothies give a burst of get-up-and-go energy with only three minutes of prep time in the morning. To prep a breakfast smoothie, store ingredients in the freezer in a large quart Ziploc bag.

Combine 1 cup quartered strawberries, one sliced banana, ¼ raw almonds, ½ cup old fashioned oats, 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt and 1 teaspoon maple syrup for a hearty fruit and oat smoothie.

Adding handfuls of spinach, 2 cups frozen sliced peaches, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons honey and 1 ¼ water make a delicious green smoothie packed with nutrients. Kale also works as a healthy substitute for spinach or additional vegetables. Make-ahead smoothies ensure fresh produce won’t spoil, and containing ingredients in Ziplocs makes for easy preparation. If there’s no time in the morning to blend smoothies, blend them ahead of time and store frozen in Mason jars.

Being adventurous in smoothie creation by mixing all sorts of ingredients together is encouraged, but make sure there is fruit, vegetable, protein and a base in every smoothie. Spinach, blueberries and peaches are loaded with vitamins, while pineapple, banana and coconut milk make a tropical pina colada.


Baked Granola

Vegetarian and gluten free, baked granola cups keep stomachs full and dishes clean with one-pan preparation.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and mix together 4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats, 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 ⅓ cups unsweetened almond milk, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and ⅓ cup pure maple syrup.

  2. Line muffin tins with reusable baking cups, or spray with nonstick cooking spray, and scoop ¼ cup portions of mixture into each cup.

  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

This basic recipe can be altered for endless combinations; before baking, add blueberries and fresh almonds, lemon zest and poppy seeds or banana and peanut butter.

Granola cups can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for up to three months. Adding in 1 to 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds gives granola a burst of omega-3, fiber, antioxidants and protein. Adding protein powder or Hemp Hearts makes them a power snack before or after workouts. These sweet breakfast treats can be transformed into savory sensations by slightly altering the recipe; add pesto and chopped tomato, chopped bell pepper and cheddar cheese or spinach and feta cheese crumbles.


English Muffin Sandwiches

The key to make-ahead breakfasts is making sure they are full of flavor and will satisfy for hours until a lunch break. Freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches containing staple breakfast foods like eggs, bacon and cheese hit nutritional goals and are a tasty meal on the go. Six sandwiches can be prepared for the upcoming week on a weekend in about 30 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray six ramekin containers or a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

  2. Crack one egg into each container, or combine all six, and whisk lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until just cooked through.

  3. Toast white or whole grain english muffins and place one egg round on the bottom of each muffin. Top egg with cooked bacon, sliced ham or turkey, or spinach leaves.

  4. Finish with a slice of cheddar, swiss or pepper jack cheese and top with the remaining muffin. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap, or use a damp paper towel and wax paper, and seal in a quart plastic bag. Label each sandwich with the date and place all sandwiches in a freezer size plastic bag. To reheat, remove plastic wrap and place one sandwich in a paper towel. Microwave for one to two minutes and serve immediately.

For vegetarian options, skip the meat and load the eggs with spinach, roasted red peppers and broccoli before cooking. For vegan options, eggs can be substituted with tofu and vegan cheese slices instead of regular cheese. Vegan sandwiches can also incorporate sliced avocado, fresh tomato slices and lettuce.