Have we been doing it wrong? All this time, we've been treating breakfast as a mere afterthought, as something to tide us over until the more serious and substantial meals at noonish time and in the evening.
It's an eating pattern that looks like this: We start with a small breakfast, transition to a larger lunch, and finish with an even bigger dinner.
But this habit of eating incrementally larger meals as the day progresses may have it backwards. New research is showing that the better way to avoid obesity and to lead a healthy lifestyle might be to turn that paradigm on its head. Instead, start with a big breakfast, then eat a light lunch, and finish off with a small dinner. Or as Roni Caryn Rabin reports in The New York Times, the latest evidence suggests "we should front-load our calories early in the day to jump-start our metabolisms and prevent obesity."
The American Heart Association is taking notice. Recently, the organization released an American Heart Association Scientific Statement supporting the concept of timing meals so that the majority of calories come earlier in the day as a way to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Well, we love a big breakfast. And we're always down for a culture shift. So we gathered some of our favorite breakfast recipes -- they go big and hearty with wholesome ingredients that will keep you powered up the healthy way. Give these healthy breakfast ideas a try!
Eggs and black beans pack in the protein while avocado and salsa round out this healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast. "This recipe has everything in it I love," says Sherri. "Easy to make, healthy, and it will keep you satisfied all day long."
This filling porridge features rolled oats, quinoa, flax meal, walnuts, and almond meal simmered with apples, shredded coconut, and raisins. As Anthony explains it, this recipe is "an energy-packed slow-release breakfast. "This recipe makes enough for a week."
Sunnyside-up eggs perch atop potatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, fried bacon, and shredded cheese. It's a great recipe for personalizing. “I poured beaten eggs over the potatoes, covered and cooked until almost firm,” says Holly. “Then I topped with sliced tomatoes and cheese. Served the leftovers rolled up in flour tortillas.”
This one is like a Mediterranean version of huevos rancheros. It features eggs poached in a flavorful sauce of tomatoes, onion, chile pepper, and spices. "Absolutely awesome," raves Tuesday. "It is so filling and delicious."
These morning muffins are loaded with good stuff: Zucchini, bananas, carrots, yogurt, rolled oats, shredded coconut, nuts, and dried cherries. "Moist, chewy, and not overly dense, these healthy muffins have a lightly sweet flavor and lots of wholesome ingredients," says KatieTries2Cook. "Customize with your favorite nuts or seeds, zucchini or squash, cooked sweet potato, raisins or cranberries, etc."
This hearty breakfast casserole features hashbrowns, ham, cheese, diced green chilies all rolled up in flour tortillas and baked. TINYANT1 gives it 5 Stars: " Yummy! I actually added eggs to the tortillas. Great tasting. I think I will try pouring eggs over the whole thing too to make a casserole."
Tofu scrambles up just like eggs here. You'll mix them up with sauteed onions, jalapenos, garlic, and tomatoes. To assemble, you'll spoon some hash browns into a bowl, add a scoop of beans, and a scoop of scramble, and then top with avocado and hot sauce. "This was an amazing recipe," says Joanne. "Great flavor and the tofu cooks deliciously. Really great for starting vegans!
Sometimes healthy ideas for breakfast start with dinner. In this case, make extra brown rice for dinner and use the leftovers for this healthy breakfast recipe. You'll simmer the brown rice with milk, honey, and dried blueberries. It's great with any combination of dried fruit. "This recipe is wonderful, hearty, healthy and satisfying," says Cathy. "I've adapted it to make my own version of instant porridge."
A hearty breakfast bake with eggs, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, kale, mushrooms, and sausage. "Very delicious," says RonGoings. "Something uniquely different for breakfast."
Here's a hearty, healthy whole-grain twist on a breakfast favorite. "Delicious," says Traveling_Chef. "I was wanting to use buckwheat because of its high protein content, and it worked great in these pancakes! Very light and fluffy. I added blueberries."