Written by UConn Dietetics Student Elizabeth White
You’ve seen it all over Instagram or in magazines: vibrant fruit and vegetable bowls lined with bananas, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, topped with granola- you name it. I’ve seen it too, and I am over it. Social media has made us think that we totally need to buy this-or-that expensive food or that if we don’t add pricey chia seeds to our over-night oats, then what’s the point? Breakfast should not have to be this stressful! You can still enjoy a cost-friendly breakfast that is packed with important nutrients to keep energized. Just follow these simple tips!
You can start your day super healthy with a simple egg scramble! At just 17 cents an egg, you can really make eating healthy affordable. And for those 17 cents here’s what you get: 6 grams of protein, 5 g of healthy fats, Vitamin D, B6, and B12! Dress up your egg scramble by adding colorful vegetables such as red or green peppers, mushrooms, avocado, spinach, whatever you like! Toss your favorite cheese into the mix, and you have a breakfast full of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins to keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal!
–Tip: Keep chopped or diced peppers or onions in the fridge in plastic containers. You’ll use it for other cooking too!
Don’t worry vegans, I have you covered too! Substitute eggs with scrambled tofu and vegan cheese so you also can reap in the benefits of a quick n’ easy protein-packed breakfast! A protein-packed breakfast will keep you full until lunch! It may help you avoid snacking on empty calorie foods mid-morning!
Another cheap and easy breakfast is oatmeal! No, I’m not talking about those pricey packets of sugar-coated oats, but oatmeal you make yourself from scratch. One serving is only $0.13 and full of important nutrients such as fiber, iron, protein, and vitamin A! But the most important point: no sugar unless you add your own white or brown sugar, honey, or fruits. You can even sprinkle a bit of cinnamon to jazz it up! Full easy directions are on the container and you can quickly make in the microwave or on the stove top!
Ever buy fruit or vegetables and not get around to eating them? I too know the feeling of guilt as I watch my bananas or spinach slowly go past their prime. Here’s one way to prevent food waste and protect your wallet: Smoothies! Grab your blender or mixing stick and throw in those brown spotted bananas, limp spinach, bruised apples, and whatever your forgotten refrigerator produce drawer allows! Add in your choice of yogurt, milk, milk replacement beverage like almond milk, or juice and boom! You got yourself a delicious smoothie crammed with vitamins and minerals that will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but also your stomach!
(*I would not recommend using any dairy products that are past the expiration date!)
Here’s a recipe for a super simple savory smoothie!
- 1 Banana (frozen works great!)
- ½ c nonfat Greek yogurt (or yogurt of your choice)
- 1-2 c spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1 c strawberries, washed and trimmed
- 1 c milk or milk substitute
Place ingredients in a high-speed blender or container if using a mixing stick. Blend until you reach your desired consistency! Yes, it’s that easy!
Get Creative with your smoothie combinations: Swap out fruits and veggie in your smoothies using the “Golden Ratio”:
2:2:2 Two cups greens, 2 cups fruit, 2 cups liquid
Real life doesn’t look like Instagram or magazine pictures. Real life is chaotic, fast-paced, and over-stimulating. Perhaps your breakfast time can be simple and healthy by trying these easy breakfast tips. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
This material is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.