There’s nothing quite like a gourmet breakfast to welcome in the day, and weekends are prime territory for those late-morning, hearty brunches. But when you’re watching your weight, those plates of decadent pancakes, waffles, bacon, and buttery biscuits seem far removed from what you’re allowed to eat.
What if you really could have your (pan)cake and eat it too? With a few tweaks, you can enjoy your favorite breakfast foods – without all the fat and calories.
Here are ten almost too-good-to-be-true breakfast recipes that will get you excited about breakfast all over again. You’ll find that many of them are also gluten-free and vegan!
1. Flourless Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
Who says pancakes need flour to be delectable? Mash one large, ripe banana with a fork, then add 2 eggs. Mix in ⅛ of a teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of cinnamon. Cook and flip as normal.
2. Chocolate Breakfast Bowl
This recipe incorporates nutritious quinoa and yes, chocolate! Cook ½ cup of quinoa, then turn the heat to low, and add your choice of nut milk (around one cup). Simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 oz of dark chocolate, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Top with fruit if desired. This recipe serves two.
3. Fluffy Protein Muffins
These hearty, savory protein muffins cook up just like a regular muffin. In a six-muffin pan, add an assortment of your favorite healthy ingredients: spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, turkey bacon, and low-fat cheese are all good choices. Mix 6 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk and the ingredients you’ve chosen, and then fill each of the muffin pan holes. Bake for around 15 minutes at 375F.
4. Zucchini Bread Bowl
Zucchini bread is always great, and you can add so many wonderful ingredients to it. Here’s one idea for a hearty “bread bowl”: In a pot, combine ½ cup oats, 1 cup of nut milk, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add in ½ cup grated zucchini and ½ banana (sliced), and simmer until the oatmeal begins to thicken. Stir in ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Top oatmeal with chopped walnuts and/or raisins, and drizzle with nut butter.
5. Brownie Breakfast Smoothie
More chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please! In your blender, combine these ingredients: 1 cup of your favorite nut milk, ½ an avocado, 1 small banana, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of honey, and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. Throw in a couple of ice cubes (to instantly chill your drink), and blend until smooth.
6. Avocado Cauliflower Toast
Cauliflower’s chameleon-like abilities are at it again. Cut a head of cauliflower into slices around ½ inch thick (try to keep these to around the size of a small piece of toast). Drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400F for around 30 minutes. Mash avocado with a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and spread atop your new “toast.” You can also throw on a poached egg, if you’re feeling it.
7. Lemon Poppy Seed Breakfast “Cheesecake”
Because everyone should be able to eat cheesecake for breakfast.
Crust: Blend 2 Medjool dates, ¼ cup of nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon shredded coconut. You can keep this quite chunky if you prefer. Scoop the mixture into a glass or jar.
Cheesecake: Blend 1 small avocado, 2/3 cup coconut milk, 1 small banana, 2 tablespoons plain low-sugar Greek yogurt, 4 Tablespoons lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds. Top your crust with the cheesecake mixture, and sprinkle with lemon zest and some extra shaved coconut. Serves two.
8. French Toast
Healthy French toast?! Yep. Mash one ripe banana, and add 1 ¼ cups of your favorite nut milk, ½ teaspoon of flaxseed (this will help bind in place of eggs), ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg. Dip slices of whole wheat or sourdough bread for about 10 seconds each side, and then throw the slices into a piping hot pan for about 3 minutes on each side. Enjoy a slice or two, but don’t go too overboard on the bread consumption.
9. Raspberry Banana Mug Muffin
Mug muffins are not only healthy, but they take mere minutes to cook! Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray, then add ½ cup rolled oats, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1 egg, ½ cup nut milk, ½ small banana (mashed), 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, ⅓ cup raspberries, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Microwave on high for about 2 ½ minutes, until fluffy and cake-like.
10. Guilt-Free Hash Browns
Ditch the potatoes for a healthy spin on this breakfast staple – spaghetti squash! Pre-cook a spaghetti squash, and flake the spaghetti strands into a bowl. Toss with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ cup of chives, and pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and cook the “hash” over medium heat until it’s golden brown (around 10 minutes), flipping several times.
Sustain Your Good Morning
As with any meal, don’t forget to keep your eye on portion size, and don’t go overboard with any add-ons, like butter and maple syrup. If you track calories as part of your dietary plan, you’ll be able to decide the portion size that best suits you. Bon appetit!