Okay, so it's probably not the most important meal of the day, but still, breakfast is a thing. Most of the time it's a thing you kind of want but don't really have time for. For long, leisurely breakfasts that involve sitting down and using multiple pieces of silverware, see the brunch section. Here is the place for breakfasts that can either be prepared in bulk and frozen in advance for a quick microwaving, or things that can easily be done in under 5 minutes and without full cognitive functioning.
A couple things to bear in mind: rather than eating some kind of greasy pastry that will make you feel sick, this is a great chance to get some of the nutrition you need for the day in, and that will help keep you full until lunch. Nutrition basically breaks down into proteins (meat, cheese, dairy, nuts, beans) vitamins (fruit and vegetables) and carbs (if you want this to have nutritional value and keep you full, it has to be whole wheat, grain, oatmeal, flax seed, or some other substance that isn't just white bread a.k.a. nutritionally irrelevant). It's also generally said that if you eat breakfast your metabolism 'turns on' for the day, actually helping you maintain a healthier body weight. That said I can in no way substantiate those claims, I just wake up hungry, and that seems like a good excuse to eat.
Quick, cheap, 5 minute breakfasts:
- Cereal. I'm assuming you know how to add milk. If you'd like to make it extra nutritious but still cheap, get on of your servings of fruit in. Try slicing a banana into the mix. Or, before you add cereal or milk, put some frozen blueberries in the bowl (infinitely cheaper than fresh), cover them with water, microwave for about 20 seconds, so that they are still very cold but not rocks, then pour off the water and add cereal and milk like normal.
- Whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Again, you can put sliced banana, or any fruit you'd like (bananas are just really cheap) on top. I like this one because you can put bread in the toaster while you're getting dressed, spread something on top, then walk out the door and eat it on your way to work/class so it costs you all of 30 seconds in the morning. Don't have a toaster? Throw the bread in the oven, right on the metal racks, turn your oven on (any temperature will work) and it'll toast up just fine. A whole wheat bagel is a perfectly good substitution if you want a bigger breakfast.
- Cheesy toast. Just what it sounds like, put cheese on top of bread, and lie it flat in the oven. Finish getting ready, and 5 minutes later: breakfast is served. For bonus points throw some sliced apple under the cheese. It adds moisture, sweetness, crunch, and nutritional value.
- Oatmeal: get the just add hot water stuff. If you need more instruction, you probably shouldn't be playing around with hot water anyway.
Make it in advance:
**Some of these, like muffins, may require special tools, like muffin tins. Keep an eye out for sales, or see if you have a grandparent or someone who's accumulated a ton of stuff and is willing to part with some of the extras.
Low Fat, Whole Wheat, yet yummy banana-oatmeal muffins
- these are remarkably good, and the oatmeal really helps them keep you full. That said, you'll need muffin tins, a measuring cup, and either a whisk or electric mixer to make them. The upside is you can make a bunch (Even double the recipe if you want), freeze them individually wrapped in plastic, then microwave or oven-warm them as desired. You can also just leave them out the night before and breakfast will be ready and waiting in the morning. There are oversized muffin tins, if you prefer your muffins big-- just remember to cook them a little longer.
- A few tips about the bananas: when baking with bananas you want to use the gross, old, smushy, has black spots bananas that you'd otherwise throw out. This is a great way to use up fruit that's gotten old. If you don't have 4 old bananas, freeze the ones you do have, and once you have enough just let them come to room temperature again and you're good to go.
What You'll Need
½ cup applesauce
¾ cup sugar
4 black (or spotted) bananas (b-a-n-a-n-a-s)
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup oatmeal
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Mix ½ cup applesauce with ¾ cup sugar. Then mix in 2 eggs.
- Next add 4 (squishy, over ripe) bananas and a teaspoon of vanilla. If you're working with a whisk, put the bananas in a bowl and mash them with it a ton first. When they're thoroughly disgusting, they're all set to be mixed in.
- Then stir in 1½ cups of whole wheat flour (you can substitute white, but whole wheat flavor is very masked here, and it will keep you full better) ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.
- Lastly, stir in 2/3 cup oatmeal, (optional, add ½ cup chopped walnuts)
- Fill greased (spray oil, or rub oil or butter around the tins with a paper towel) muffin tins ¾ full, and bake at 350 for 15-25 mins, until you can stick a toothpick in and it comes out dry.
- If you really like sweet in the morning, melt a little butter, mix it with cinnamon sugar, and pour/spoon a little over each muffin like a glaze.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
- You'll need muffin tins, a measuring cup, and either a whisk or electric mixer to make these. The upside is you can make a bunch (Even double the recipe if you want), freeze them individually wrapped in plastic, then microwave or oven-warm them as desired. You can also just leave them out the night before and breakfast will be ready and waiting in the morning. There are oversized muffin tins, if you prefer your muffins big-- just remember to cook them a little longer.
What You'll Need:
1 large egg
1 cup of sugar
½ stick butter
1 ¼ cup sour cream
2 cups flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (frozen) blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350
- beat/whisk one large egg until everything is the same color
- add 1 cup of sugar and mix until the whole thing has the same consistency
- add 4 tbs (½ stick) of melted butter (you can melt it in the microwave) and mix until, again, everything has the same consistency. Add 1¼ cups of fat free sour cream (you can use full fat, but why eat unhealthy fats when you don't have to). Its easier to mix in half then once its combined add the other half.
- Mix 2 cups of flour (whole wheat, if you'd like), 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and ½ tsp salt. (if you have a large measuring cup you can do it all in here
- gently stir 1½ cups blueberries (frozen is cheap and fine) into the flour mixture so that the outside of the blueberries is dusty. This will keep them from getting squished.
- Gently mix the flour/blueberries into the bowl of wet ingredients
- spoon the batter into greased (spray oil, or rub oil or butter around the tins with a paper towel) muffin tins filling them about ¾ of the way. Bake 25-30 minutes.