THE FRESH BEET: How to Make Breakfast in Less Than Five Minutes + 3 Simple Recipes
By Ashley Galloway Thomas, MS, RD // June 25, 2017
what A decent breakfast looks like
THE FRESH BEET — So…you’ve been wanting to eat a decent breakfast more often but you don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare said meal.
Also, you’re not quite sure what a decent breakfast even looks like, but you’re pretty sure there’s no way it can be done in less than five minutes so bring on the granola bar and the coffee to-go!
Well, I’m here to show you that you CAN enjoy a decent breakfast on the daily, even when you feel like you have no time. Let’s talk about what this decent breakfast looks like and how to crank it out in less than five minutes.
What a Decent Breakfast Looks Like
In my professional opinion, a decent breakfast is one that contains three of the five major food groups. Can you name these five food groups?? Take a minute to think……………….Did you guess these?
This seems very basic, yes, but knowing how to put nutritious meals together requires that you first know your major food groups. Knowing how to pair them allows you to craft balanced meals that provide you the nutrition and energy you need to be your healthiest self.
Check out the breakfast below – you can see that three of the five major food groups are plated: grain (toast), dairy (yogurt – which also counts as a protein), and fruit (peaches and blueberries).
GRAIN + DAIRY + FRUIT
Oatmeal cooked in milk and topped with banana slices (you could also add peanut butter or a handful of almonds to hit your PROTEIN group)
Whole grain waffles or pancakes topped with yogurt and
Whole grain cereal with milk topped with bananas
Smoothie Bowl made with yogurt, bananas, and frozen berries topped with granola
PROTEIN + GRAIN + FRUIT
Yogurt on whole wheat toast with an orange on the side
Peanut Butter on whole grain toast topped with strawberries and bananas
Get the idea? You can, of course, include all the food groups at breakfast but three is the minimum to shoot for to get that sustained energy you need to be productive and feel good until lunch time.
Let’s move on…
How to Crank Out These Breakfasts in Less Than Five Minutes
Know your kitchen and everything in it. You know you’ve got cinnamon, but it’s buried in the spice drawer and it takes at least 1 minute to fish around and find it. You’ve also got a blender but it’s kept in the back of the lower cabinet with all the other appliances that are sporadically used so that takes about another 90 seconds to retrieve.
And you’re sure you bought almonds last week but you can’t seem to find them amongst all the other half-eaten bags of nuts piled in the pantry. All the while, another minute has gone by. Before you know it, you’re roughly four minutes deep into making breakfast and you’ve got nothing to show for it.
If you have what you need at your fingertips you immediately cut down on the time (and stress!) it takes to get breakfast ready.
Here is my set-up. I removed the cabinet doors and placed (most of) my breakfast ingredients on the open shelves right above the counter space I use most often to prep. I’ve got oats, nuts, and seeds on the left in jars, and oil, honey, and spices on the right. My fridge is right next to the stove which makes it easy to grab the milk and yogurt I need.
And the blender we use five times a week is on another open shelf (below) just across from this one.
On this same shelf, I have the pots and pans I use most often to make cooking dinner another speedy process.
I’m not saying that your kitchen has to be set-up like this, I’m just showing you how it works for me and encouraging you to move those items that you’ll be using on a daily basis closer to where you normally set-up shop. And trust me, if I can make this work in our ramshackle of a rental kitchen, so can you.
Practice prepping one type of breakfast for five consecutive days. This will give you the practice you need to successfully prep breakfast in under five minutes. If you don’t typically fix an oatmeal mug breakfast, it may take a time or two of prepping it before the process starts to feel more natural and lightening fast.
And since you’ll be making and eating this one breakfast for five days, for heaven’s sake, pick one that you like.
Here are my top three go-to breakfasts when I need something in under 5 minutes:
Microwave Mug Oats:
In a large coffee mug (the biggest you have) place in it a handful of rolled oats, 2 pinches of raisins (or other dried fruit), a handful of frozen berries, a hearty dash of cinnamon, and enough milk just to cover everything. Cook in the microwave for 1:10 minutes (may need to add or reduce a few seconds depending on how well your mug transfers heat). Top with chia seeds and honey if you have on hand.
Simple Smoothie Bowl
In a blender or ninja place a large handful of frozen berries, a small banana, two large spoonfuls of yogurt, a hearty dash of cinnamon, and enough milk to cover everything by about an inch. Blend it up – you may need to add a little extra milk to keep things blending. Pour smoothie into bowl and top with the following: a handful of granola or whole grain cereal (try to choose a cereal with at least 5g of fiber per serving), a spoonful of peanut butter, and some seeds (chia, sesame, sunflower, whatever).
Place two slices of whole wheat/whole grain bread into a toaster. While toasting, get out your peanut butter and fruit (if you’re slicing apples or thawing frozen berries, this is the time to do it). When the toast is done, layer on a large tablespoon of peanut butter per slice and top with fruit. Use whatever fruit you have – berries, bananas, sliced apples, orange slices, raisins, etc.
You could also use yogurt in place of (or in addition to!) the peanut butter, as shown in the first photo of this post.
Ready to do this?! Good! Now off with your bad 5-minute-breakfast-makin-self!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Galloway Thomas, an Indialantic native who graduated from Holy Trinity Academy, received her Master’s degree in Nutrition from Florida State University and has since worked as a clinical dietitian in a variety of settings from pediatrics to adult kidney transplant to nutrition research. She currently works on the frontline of preventative care as the campus Dietitian for the College of Charleston in South Carolina and a nutrition Instructor at the Medical University of South Carolina. Ashley started a food blog called The Fresh Beet, which is a space she uses to share healthy recipes and nutrition information designed to help her readers achieve optimal health.
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