5-Minute Breakfasts: Healthy Meals for Busy Mornings

5-Minute Breakfasts: Healthy Meals for Busy Mornings

For most, breakfast is an important meal to get right–a healthy breakfast can work wonders for waking you up, providing lasting energy for a productive morning, curbing cravings and hunger (and consequent bingeing), and offering a yummy, pleasurable thing to look forward to each morning.

But when we’re busy, breakfast can be an easy thing to neglect–many will resort to convenient, unhealthy options, and some might leave breakfast out entirely.

If you’d like to eat better in the morning but struggle to do so, this guide is for you. Here, I’ll share formulas and recipes for my go-to, 5-minute breakfasts: smoothies and overnight oats.

Why smoothies and overnight oats? There are plenty of healthy breakfast options out there, but I focus on these two for the following reasons:

  • They take minimal time to prepare (they truly are 5-minute breakfasts).
  • They can be prepped ahead of time.
  • They can easily be taken on the go.
  • They are inexpensive.
  • They are convenient vehicles for loading up on fruits and veggies (and other whole, plant-based foods).
  • They can be spiced up for virtually endless variety.

Before we begin, keep in mind the following:

  • This is a general guide; adjust as needed to suit your needs, goals, and lifestyle.
  • I focus on whole foods, plant-based meals. If you need some animal protein to feel your best, adjust as needed.
  • Sample recipes serve 1 person.

Option 1: 5-Min Breakfast Smoothies

5-minute breakfast smoothie example

The Formula

INGREDIENTS:

  • Liquid base: 8-12 ounces of water, dairy-free milk, or tea
  • Fruit: 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit Berries, peaches, mangoes, and apples are all good options
  • Vegetables: 1-2 cups (packed) of fresh leafy greens, or 1/2-1 cup of frozen leafy greens
    • Milder options include spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, and baby kale
    • More bitter options include arugula, carrot tops, bok choy, collard greens, and dandelion greens
    • Other, non-leafy veggies, such as zucchini and cauliflower, can also be good smoothie additions if you want more options!
  • Sweetener: 1 medjool date or 1/2-1 banana
  • Bulk: 1/4-1/2c rolled oats
  • Optional additions: 1/4c protein powder (see NOTES); 1-2T nut/seed butter or 2-4T nuts/seeds; spices, such as cinnamon or cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend on high for about 45 seconds, or until smooth.

NOTES:

  • Protein powder: Though not technically a whole food, flavored protein powder can be a worthwhile addition to smoothies, making them a bit more palatable to individuals new to the “green smoothie” game. Whatever you choose, make sure the ingredient list is minimal and contains no artificial ingredients. I personally like Vega Vanilla Sport protein powder, especially if I’m craving a protein boost after a hard workout!

Sample Smoothie Recipes

Mixed Berry Vanilla Smoothie

5-minute breakfast inspiration: mixed berry smoothie
  • 1c water
  • 1c frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2c frozen spinach
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1/4c Vega Sport vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4c rolled oats

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

chocolate cherry tarts
  • 1c water
  • 1c frozen dark cherries
  • 1/2c frozen spinach
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4c Vega Sport chocolate protein powder
  • 2T cocoa powder
  • 1/4c rolled oats

Creamy Mango Smoothie

mangoes
  • 1c almond milk
  • 1c frozen mango
  • 3/4c frozen spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4c Vega Sport vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4c rolled oats
  • 1/4c, shy, raw cashews (soaked in warm water for 30 min, unless you have a strong blender)



Option 2: 5-Minute Breakfast Oats

5-minute breakfast oats example

The Formula

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water, plant-based milk, or tea
  • Optional toppings:
    • nuts and nut butters
    • seeds and seed butters
    • dried, fresh, or frozen fruits
    • yogurt or milk (can be dairy-free)
    • cacao nibs
    • ground flaxseeds
    • jam
    • spices (vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder)
    • maple syrup, honey
    • protein powder
    • whatever else you can think of…

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place oats in a bowl, cup, or tupperware (something that you can cover, ideally with a reusable lid).
  2. Pour in liquid over the oats.
  3. Soak in fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Serve with toppings of choice.

Sample Oat Recipes

PB&J Oats

5-minute breakfast inspiration: PB&J oats
  • 1/2c rolled oats
  • 1/3c water
  • 1 medjool date, pitted and chopped
  • 1-2T peanut butter
  • Fresh (or thawed frozen) strawberries
  • Optional: 1t strawberry jam

Berry Vanilla Oats

mixed berries
  • 1/2c rolled oats
  • 1/3c water
  • 1T sunflower seed butter
  • 2T Vega Sport Vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2c fresh (or thawed frozen) mixed berries

Creamy Cashew Oats

cashew milk
  • 1/2c rolled oats
  • 1/2c cashew milk (can be made by blending 1/4c cashews with 1/4c water until smooth)
  • 1/2c fresh (or thawed frozen) mixed berries
  • Cinnamon to taste

Trail Mix Oats

trail mix
  • 1/2c rolled oats
  • 1/2c almond milk
  • 1/4c trail mix of choice (I like almonds, walnuts, unsweetened dried cherries, and dark chocolate)
  • Cinnamon, to taste

Tips & Tricks: Meal Planning and Prep

Meal Planning

Every week, take a few minutes to pick your 5-minute breakfast recipe for the week. If you prefer simplicity, just pick one recipe; if you prefer variety, pick two recipes and alternate day to day. Feel free to use the recipes provided, or to brainstorm some ideas yourself.

I personally prefer simplicity over variety, so I keep things pretty consistent week to week. I do alternate between smoothies and overnight oats, but I just switch up the produce and leave the rest of the ingredients the same (my go-to smoothie is the Mixed Berry Vanilla Smoothie, and my go-to overnight oats recipe is the Berry Vanilla Oats, though I occasionally swap berries for other fruit).

Meal Prepping

Take 20 minutes or so on the weekend to prepare your breakfasts for the coming week. This is a great way to optimize your time (by batching tasks) and will make weekday prep much easier.

Examples of what to prepare:

Smoothies:
Place all ingredients–minus the liquid–in a jar, and place in the freezer. During the week, simply dump the ingredients in the blender, add liquid, and blend until smooth.

Overnight Oats:
Place all ingredients–minus the liquid–in a jar, and place in freezer. During the weekly, take out a jar, pour in the liquid, and let soak overnight to have the next morning. (Note that some toppings, like chopped apples, do better fresh, while others, like berries, can be frozen with the oats no problem. Tweak your meal prep to account for that!)

. . .

Everyone has time for a 5-minute breakfast; it’s just a matter of planning and prioritizing to make it happen. I hope you enjoy the above recipes, and that you add to the list of possibilities with your own creative ideas!

Leave a Comment