If your house is anything like mine, then mornings are awfully busy. And, despite the fact that they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s easy for making a morning meal to get pushed down on the to-do list. That’s why easy breakfasts that you can make ahead of time are so smart. With prepared food already on hand, it’s much easier to grab a quick bite to eat and start your day off right.
Forget grocery-store frozen pancakes that come in a cardboard box. Your own homemade pancakes will freeze even better. Just leave the pancakes in a single layer until frozen through, and then stack them in a zip-top storage bag. Reheat them in the microwave, the toaster, or the oven. Any favorite pancake recipe will do the trick, but for a hearty, protein-packed, and gluten-free breakfast, try the Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes from Good Life Eats.
In college, fast food breakfast burritos were a little indulgence of mine. These days, I know I can make even better ones at home. The backbone of this meal is scrambled eggs wrapped in tortillas. Once you’ve got that down, the sky’s the limit on additional fillings. Think cheese, diced jalapenos, sausage, and more. For a vegetarian option that can easily be made meaty, try Gimme Some Oven’s recipe with diced potatoes and black beans. To freeze, wrap burritos individually in plastic wrap. To serve, replace the plastic wrap with a paper towel for a quick blast in the microwave.
Soft and sweet, muffins are an easy-to-grab breakfast food. Their paper wrappers make them easy to eat on the go; it’s pretty much a built-in plate, after all. Baking your muffins with an extra boost of protein will help you stay full all morning. A scoop or two of protein powder is an easy way to supplement your muffins, such as in the Chocolate Protein Muffins recipe from Chelsea’s Choices.
If you’re a sucker for fast-food breakfast sandwiches, save time and money in the mornings by keeping a batch of homemade ones in your freezer. Cook the eggs in ramekins or extra-large muffin tins to get that familiar egg patty shape. Place the egg between the two halves of an English muffin, then add cheese, sausage, or bacon as desired. Wrap the sandwiches in foil for freezing. To eat, replace the foil with a paper towel before microwaving for one minute.
Making your own granola bars allows you to customize the recipe to your liking. This is especially important when you’re counting on the granola bars to serve as your morning meal. You need them to be packed with hearty, good-for-you ingredients that will get your day started right. Almonds and dried cranberries beef up the recipe from Inspired Taste, and a handful of mini chocolate chips adds a bit of fun to the mix.
Banana bread is a frugal way to use up browning bananas, and it makes an easy slice-and-go breakfast. A cream cheese swirl through the middle of the loaf adds a little bit of protein and a whole lot of flavor to each slice. To really speed your morning along, pre-slice individual portions. Individually wrap each in parchment or waxed paper and store them in the refrigerator.
Start oatmeal in the slow cooker before bed, and wake up to a hot and delicious breakfast. If you want the finished product to still have a bit of bite to it, use steel cut oats. If you’d rather that the oats turn into a creamy porridge, use regular rolled oats. If you like your oatmeal cold, try leaving the oats to soak overnight in the fridge.
There’s something fun about a bite-sized breakfast. It’s even better when you know that each little ball is packed with nutrition from dried fruits and seeds. Energy Balls are endlessly customizable to match your tastes, but The Healthy Maven has a no-bake recipe to get you started.
Granola with Milk
For a versatile make-ahead breakfast item, look for further than granola. If you have time to eat at home, splash in some milk and eat it like cereal. For breakfast on the go, sprinkle it atop a container of yogurt or simply eat it plain out of a zip-top bag. Making granola is simply a matter of covering dry goods, such as oats, seeds, and nuts, with sweet liquids, like honey, and baking them low and slow until the mixture is crisp and crunchy.
Lock in the goodness of fresh produce and simplify your morning smoothie routine by assembling the ingredients ahead of time in freezer-friendly single-serving bags. In the morning, just pop the contents in the blender with your liquid of choice, and you’ll have sweet, blended goodness in no time. Use your favorite smoothie recipe or try the Very Berry Smoothie Pack from xoxoBella.
Are you hungry yet? I know I am! It’s about time to get my day started, so I’m off to the kitchen to grab a quick but hearty breakfast. I’m always looking for new ideas, so leave your own tips on easy breakfasts that you can make ahead of time below. Or, try out my suggestions and comment with your favorite.