Breakfast can be fun! Start your day with these make-ahead and quick meals

Breakfast can be anything, as long as it's nutritious.

Breakfast can be fun! Start your day with these make-ahead and quick meals

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It's time to get rid of those breakfast ideas that you might associate with the word "breakfast" - such as large plates of bacon, eggs, pancakes or omelets - which are either too heavy or time consuming to prepare regularly.

Instead of relying on the same old breakfast favorites or cereal boxes, allow yourself to be creative.

By redefining breakfast as the first meal of each day, rather than as a meal which must include 'breakfast food', we can eat whatever we like as long as it meets certain nutritional requirements.

When I feel like I am stuck in a rut with breakfast, I try to think about other foods that I crave. I've had pasta, tacos, burritos or French-inspired fruit and cheese tartines for breakfast, depending on the time of year and my mood.

In my world, eggs are not just for breakfast. I can eat an egg and cheese sandwich any time. Ask my husband who has seen many quick sandwiches from convenience stores on road trips.

You may not be inspired by your morning routine. Try these quick meals or those that can be made ahead. There are also a few treats to make your day delicious.

Breakfasts you can prepare in advance when time is short

There's a versatile alternative if the texture of scrambled eggs in muffin tins doesn't appeal. You can bake whole eggs in the wells of a greased muffin tin, and then refrigerate them or freeze them to use for meals throughout the week.

Is it just a coincidence that a carton of eggs contains 12 muffin wells? It could be fate urging us to make a large batch. You can also bake a few at once if your schedule allows. Add chopped vegetables to each egg before adding the yolk.

These baked eggs can be used as a base for English Muffin sandwiches or wraps. You can also eat them on their own, just like hardboiled eggs.

Overnight oats are traditionally breakfast food, but there are so many different ways to make them that it's worth incorporating into your daily routine. These are my favorite breakfasts for road trips and camping excursions because of their versatility and the fact that they don't require any hands-on preparation. They also work well for busy mornings at home.

Overnight oats are a simple concept. You need to soak the flakes overnight for 8 hours or more. Oats aren’t the only grain that can be soaked overnight. Add some precooked millet or quinoa to give the dish a chewy texture.

Add these ingredients to your favorite flavors for a new flavor experience.

You can also choose from rice, macadamia, or cashew milks.

  • Dried fruit or frozen berries

  • toasted coconut flakes

  • Chopped nuts or flaxseed

Sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup

If you love smoothies, then make them in advance. It's not necessary to use your blender every morning in order to enjoy a portable, drinkable breakfast. You can make your favorite smoothie flavor. I like to use frozen Maine blueberries, spinach or avocado. Pour it into ice-pop molds to make frozen pops you can grab in seconds.

Breakfasts that are easy to assemble for those times when you don't have time to cook.

You can easily assemble breakfasts if you do not have pre-made meals in your fridge or freezer. The best way to do this is to think about what you'd want to put in a breakfast sandwich.

Tartines (also known as open-faced sandwich or, as I prefer to call them "things on toast") are a broad category of breakfast items that can be savory or sugary. To add fiber, start with whole grain or sprouted breads like bagels and English muffins. Toast and top with ingredients such as the following:

  • Smashed avocado with sesame seeds

  • Nut butter and fruit (bonus: Make your own sweet or savory maple-nut butter).

  • Cream cheese and Berries

  • Kimchi and marinated baked tofu

  • Brie, Camembert and jam (try figs or raspberries)

The same strategy works for those who are no-carb. Simply swap the bread out for a thick Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) instead. My summer breakfast of choice is plain European yogurt with peaches or watermelon cubes and honey, along with a drizzle of balsamic and honey. Try this if you like watermelon and feta salad.

When you want to spoil yourself, try multi-step meals

There's more you can do with eggs if you enjoy savory food than just scramble, fry or fold them into an omelet. If I'm feeling hungry and have some time, my first choice is to grab tortillas and eggs for breakfast burritos or tacos.

Both are easy to make, and the possibilities for fillings are endless. I dress my breakfast tacos using leftovers, and follow Jackie Alpers' recipe for a burrito filled with scrambled egg, beans, cheese, and spicy salsa.

When I'm craving hot and fresh noodles in the morning I cook a carbonara-inspired one-pot breakfast. Spaghetti, creamy eggs, peas and spinach are stirred together to create a satisfying, hearty bowl of carbs and protein.

You'll probably order pancakes or waffles for your weekend brunch if you like sweets. Yes, it takes more time than you want to spend on a typical weekday to make them, so they are more of a "special occasion" meal.

You can play with the flavor when you want to eat a pile of fluffy carbs. Add grains such as buckwheat and cornmeal to boost the fiber and protein. Top your creation with yogurt whipped cream and quick-roasted fruits.

Tip: If you still have leftover pancakes or waffles that you cannot eat all in one meal, you can freeze them in a single-layer on a sheet tray. Once they are frozen, place them in a freezer bag. When you are ready to eat again, pop them into your toaster. Homemade Eggos are possible!