3 easy and healthy breakfasts for busy women
Updated: Jun 14
I am the biggest breakfast enthusiast. It goes even that far that when I stay at a hotel, I’m already thinking about breakfast on my way there. I really can’t think of any type of breakfast that I don’t like. Honestly? I can talk about breakfast at any given moment throughout the day.
My philosophy regarding breakfast is to make it into something so delicious that you will start your day in the best mood. As I have a huge sweet tooth, my breakfasts are mostly sweet. I challenge myself to turn my breakfast into a dessert-worthy meal that is both filling and nourishing.
And I would love to share three of these breakfasts I could eat three meals a day. You can eat them at home or take them to work/school with you in the morning. For the latter, I will give some tips on how to prepare this the night before, so even the sleepiest among us can have a healthy breakfast with them.
The green protein machine breakfast smoothie
Yes, I am starting this off with a green smoothie. They’re delicious, healthy, so easy on the go and I want to break with the prejudice that green smoothies taste like their colour. It’s both sweet, creamy and is the perfect balance of all macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates.
I have made this smoothie especially high in protein because not only does the protein powder give the smoothie a nice and fluffy texture, it is an easy way to incorporate a lot of clean protein in only one meal. This smoothie can be either vegetarian or vegan, depending on the type of protein powder you use. You really don’t have to eat a ten-pound steak or ten cans of tuna to have a lot of protein in one meal. If you’re wondering why I’m focusing so much on protein, read more about this in the article on the importance of protein, specifically for those who don’t eat meat, fish, animal dairy or any animal produced foods at all.
You blend up:
100 grams of fresh spinach
50 grams of banana (ripe bananas add more sweetness and flavour)
75 grams of fresh or frozen blueberries
40 grams of unflavored protein powder (chocolate might be nice too)
300 ml of unsweetened almond milk
Optional: Cinnamon, cardamom and all-spice (Dutch: “koek & speculaaskruiden”)
You can choose any type of (plant-based) milk that you like, but do mind that there are big differences between plant-based milk brands and the type of plant-based milk when it comes to the amounts of sugar and artificial additives. You need some help? Read the article all about plant-based milk and what the healthier choices are.
As for the protein powder, you are free to use whatever type you prefer, but just like the plant-based milk, you will find there are a lot of differences between different powder types and brands. If you want to know more about how to make a conscious choice in protein powder, go to the article about protein and the power of protein powder.
Based on your own diet, you can vary in the different ingredients. The avocado and almond milk add to the overall amount of healthy fats while the banana and blueberries are the carb source of this meal. You can leave them out or swap them for other types of fruits and vegetables to make the smoothie lower in fat or carbs.
Swap the spinach for any other leafy vegetable such as kale or frozen cauliflower. Cauliflower won’t give the smoothie that beautiful green colour and it won’t make your smoothie taste like cauliflower, but it does make it into a nice and thick consistency.
Carrot cake (overnight) oatmeal
I don’t know about you, but I adore freshly baked carrot cake. Not too much cream cheese but loaded with raisins and nuts. Trust me when I say that I would seriously have this for breakfast every day of the week without getting tired of it. That it was pretty clear it had to become one of my purposes in life to recreate it into a healthy breakfast, “oatmeal style”.
You can easily prep this oatmeal the night before by assembling all ingredients in a container, give it a good stir and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning it’s only a quick grab-and-go. If you have access to a microwave at work/school, you can heat it up for one minute or so if you prefer to eat it warm.
For one bowl of heavenly oats you use:
40 - 50 grams of (gluten-free) oats
15 grams of raisins
30 grams of grated carrot
75 - 100 grams of apple
15 grams of 100% nut butter
200 ml of unsweetened plant-based milk
A big heap of cinnamon and/or all-spice/“koek -en speculaaskruiden”
Optional: Vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius
Cut the apple into small pieces, put them into a heat resistant ramekin and sprinkle over the preferred spices and vanilla extract. Shake it a bit so that all apples are covered in all spices and place them in the oven for 10 minutes.
If you’re prepping the oats the night before, either prep the apple beforehand so it can cool off before you add it to your to-go container. Otherwise, you can skip this step and use un-cooked apple (but don’t forget the spices!)
Grate the carrot with a cheese grater. If you don’t have a cheese grater, you can cut it into tiny pieces or even put the carrot through a spiral slicer and cut the strands into small pieces. Grating is the easiest and quickest.
Put the oats in a little pan, add the milk and the spices on medium heat until slow “blobs” (this really covers best how it looks and sounds…) appear. Lower the heat and let it simmer with an occasional “blob”. Add the carrot and the raisins and keep on stirring until it has the consistency you like. You could add some water once the oats have absorbed all milk if you don’t like it that thick.
Pour the oatmeal into a bowl, add the apple and finish it with the peanut butter. If you are a cinnamon freak like me, you can sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top.
Take a look at the article about plant-based milk, if you’re not sure which one to use.
Even though you are absolutely free in how you choose to have your breakfast, I wouldn’t recommend adding more raisins to your oatmeal, as these contain mostly fast carbohydrates. This causes your blood sugar level to peak high and dip low.
You can swap the peanut butter for any other type of nut butter or just regular nuts. If you like to add just some nuts, I recommend walnuts or pecans. If you don’t like the nutty flavour whatsoever, you can add some fat by adding a tablespoon of chia seeds.
Add protein powder to your oats to make this meal richer in protein. In this case, I recommend first mixing the protein powder with the milk and give it a good shake. This prevents the oatmeal from getting a sandy structure. Take a look at the article on protein powder to choose your powder wisely.
Not too keen on oats? You can easily swap it for quinoa, bulgur or even rice.
Heart-warming, savoury breakfast bowl
Most of the time I have something sweet for breakfast, but when I choose to go for something savoury, this is my way to go. You can take it on the go with you, but I do have to admit that this one does taste slightly better when made fresh and eaten while it’s still warm. Something to consider for your weekend brunch.
I don’t want to be the bread police, but this breaky does make for a great alternative for the widely loved avocado on toast with a poached egg. Not a big fan of savoury breakfast but you like this recipe? There’s no one holding you back from eating this for lunch!
40 - 50 grams of quinoa or bulgur
10 cherry tomatoes
75 grams of spinach
2 eggs & one egg white or 100 grams of tofu
One teaspoon of coconut oil
20 grams of feta cheese or goat’s cheese or your go-to vegan cheese option
Half a shallot
Salt, pepper, paprika powder, curry powder and cumin powder
Cook the quinoa or bulgur just how you like it or follow instructions on the package.
Heat up a frying pan and add the oil. Then add the shallot and fry until translucent.
Add the spinach and tomatoes and fry until it has the texture you like best.
Remove the spinach and tomatoes from the pan and into a bowl or other container. Add the eggs to fry or scramble them. Add pepper, salt, paprika powder, cumin powder and curry powder.
If you’re using tofu, crumble the tofu with your hands in the frying pan and add the same spices.
Grab a bowl: add the quinoa or bulgur, the tomatoes and spinach, the eggs, sliced avocado and crumble the feta/goat’s cheese/vegan cheese on top.
Optional: Sprinkle some dried chilli seeds on top and some extra pepper if you’re a spicy kinda gal.
This recipe is rather high in healthy fats. If you prefer to limit your daily intake of fats (after having done your own thorough research or in agreement with your nutritionist or personal trainer), you can use egg whites only, swap the cheese for sundried tomatoes and/or leave out the coconut oil.
Based on your dietary wishes, you can add more or less of every ingredient. Please note that this will affect the overall nutritional value of this meal.