5 Easy Breakfast Ideas Healthier Than a Blueberry Muffin
The Muffin Mistake
Muffins may sound like a healthier breakfast option than doughnuts, but the truth is they're far from it. Case in point: A reduced-fat blueberry muffin from a popular chain clocks in at 410 calories, with 10g fat (2g saturated), 75g carbs, and 39g sugar. Also worth noting: Though blueberries are technically an ingredient, the muffin doesn't actually provide any vitamin C.
When you consider that a standard serving of carbs is 15g (about the equivalent of a slice of bread), one of these muffins is comparable to having five slices of toast. And since there are 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon, this one muffin has roughly 10 teaspoons. That's almost double what the American Heart Association recommends women consume in an entire day.
Here are some easy breakfast ideas that will actually fuel you for your day by providing a balance of protein, good fats (as opposed to artificial butter and hydrogenated whatever-the-heck), fiber, and complex carbs.
Blueberry Flax Oatmeal with Walnuts
Cook 1/2 cup rolled oats with 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Top it with 3/4 cup of blueberries and 2 tablespoons of walnuts.
This meal will clock in at 350 calories with 14.5g of heart-healthy fat (1.5g saturated), only 13mg sodium, 48g carbs (only 12g sugar naturally occurring in the berries), 10g fiber, and 12g of plant-based protein. It's vegan too! (While you're at it, check out 10 New Ways to Eat Oatmeal.)
Celebrate Toast Tuesday with two slices of whole-wheat or sprouted-grain toast topped with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of blueberries.
This 368-calorie meal provides 18g fat (just 3g saturated), 412mg sodium, 40g carbs (13g sugar and 8g fiber), and 16g protein. You'll be satisfied through lunchtime.
Blueberry Greek Yogurt Bowl
Stir together 6 ounces of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Top it off with 3/4 cup of blueberries, 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds, and 1/2 teaspoon of honey.
For 296 calories you're getting 10g fat (3.5g saturated), 68mg sodium, 30g carbs, 22g sugar (3g added sugar, from the honey), 6g fiber, and 23g protein—a well-rounded meal. Greek yogurt can lighten up plenty of other recipes, too.
Cereal with Staying Power
Put 1 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded wheat cereal into a bowl and add 1 cup of 1% milk and 3/4 cup of blueberries. The high-fiber berries and whole grain cereal will keep you satisfied until lunch.
For 363 calories, you'll enjoy a satisfying breakfast that contains just 4g fat (1.5g saturated), 108mg sodium, 74g carbs, 23g sugar (0g added sugar), 10g fiber, and 15g protein.
Blueberry Green Smoothie
In a blender, combine 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 cup frozen spinach, 1 cup water, and 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder.
The whole shake will run you 2.5g fat (0.6g saturated), 106mg sodium, 27g carbs, 4g fiber, 16g sugar, and 24g protein—all for under 220 calories. Sip from a tall glass or pour into a bowl and add a tablespoon each of chia seeds and sliced almonds for an additional 100 calories, 8g heart-healthy fats, 5g fiber, and 4g protein.
Related: Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes