Mornings are hectic even on the best of days. Whether you have to get the kids to school, rush to an early morning meeting or squeeze in a quick breakfast after a sunrise run, your healthy morning meal is often the first thing to get sacrificed. Try one of these five easy breakfast ideas for runners to make next week your best week ever!
Frozen Smoothie Blends
Nobody has time to wash and chop fresh fruit on a busy weekday morning. The good news is that you can make your own custom smoothie packs on the weekend by preparing and freezing your favorite fruits and vegetables in zip-top plastic bags. Then, you can add your custom smoothie pack to your blender along with the liquid of your choice, and voila!
In each bag, combine 1 ½ cups washed, chopped frozen fruit with up to 2 cups of washed, chopped leafy greens. In the morning, add 1 ½ cups of liquid and blend for one minute. For a tropical smoothie, use a mixture of banana, mango, papaya and pineapple, then blend with equal parts vanilla almond milk and orange juice in the morning. If berries are more your thing, combine equal parts strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and blend with apple juice. The best leafy greens are romaine lettuce hearts and spinach, as they are both packed with nutrients but mild in flavor.
Overnight oats are one of the most popular breakfasts among runners. They love how you can incorporate all of your favorite breakfast flavors into an easy, personalized, make-ahead meal. You can prepare most of your overnight oats on the weekend, and then spend sixty seconds the night before finishing the final steps.
To make a full week’s worth of overnight oats in advance, start by mixing 2 ½ cups of rolled oats (not steel-cut oats!) with 2/3 of a cup of extra add-ins, such as chia seeds, chopped nuts, toasted seeds, shredded coconut or chopped dried fruit. Stir in a generous pinch of salt and a sprinkle of your favorite spices (try cinnamon, cardamom or even dried ginger!). Then, divide the mixture equally into five sealable containers. The night before you want to eat your oats, stir in one cup of liquid (milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk or even water will work), reseal and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, give it another stir and dig in!
A frittata is basically a quiche without a crust. It’s an ideal make-ahead breakfast for anyone who wants a savory, protein-packed morning meal. You can choose your favorite combination of vegetables, proteins and cheese to design a breakfast that you’ll be excited about eating in the morning.
To make your frittata, start by cooking your fillings in an oven-safe frying pan while you preheat the oven’s broiler. Then, add in your beaten eggs (use between six and ten eggs, depending on the size of the frying pan) and a handful of grated or crumbled cheese. Stir the mixture gently, and allow it to cook until the bottom is set. Then, place the frittata under the broiler until the top begins to turn golden brown. Remove the frittata from the heat, allow it to cool then slice into five pieces. You can store the slices in a cold fridge for up to five days.
Need frittata filling ideas? Try an Italian version with Italian sausage, kale and ricotta cheese. Or go southwestern with roasted sweet potato, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes and asiago cheese. If you love green breakfasts, try red onions, chopped broccoli and cheddar cheese.
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
There’s no need to stop at the drive-through in the morning when you can enjoy a delectable homemade breakfast burrito in less than five minutes. Start with a ten- or twelve-inch wheat tortilla (they freeze better than corn tortillas) and then top it with your favorite cooled, cooked fillings. Carefully roll the burrito as tightly as possible, and then wrap it in aluminum foil. Place all of the wrapped burritos in a single layer on a baking sheet, and then freeze them for two hours. Now they’re ready to be thrown into a large zip-top plastic bag. When you want to enjoy one of your burritos, unwrap it and cook it in the microwave for two minutes, flipping after one minute.
You can fill breakfast burritos with anything you’d like. For protein, scrambled eggs, black beans, bacon or ground beef are great. Roasted potatoes or brown rice add healthy carbohydrates. You can also add in grilled, roasted or sautéed vegetables, and sauces like pesto or salsa.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
For a sweeter treat in the morning, you can pre-mix fruit, yogurt and other toppings into a yummy breakfast parfait. Start with five cups of your favorite fat-free Greek yogurt. In a separate bowl, mix ½ cup toasted seeds, ¼ cup chopped nuts, ¼ cup chia seeds, ¼ cup ground flax seeds and ¼ teaspoon salt. In a third bowl, combine 2 ½ cups of mixed berries. To create the parfaits, find five mason jars or other lidded containers. Place ¼ cup of the yogurt in the bottom of each jar, top with two tablespoons of nuts and seeds, follow with two tablespoons of berries, and repeat the layers until you’ve used up all of the toppings.
Try using toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, along with pistachios, toasted almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts (nuts are great for runners) . If you only have plain yogurt in your fridge, you can stir in some honey or maple syrup to make it a little bit tastier.
So there you have it! Five easy, make-ahead breakfast ideas for runners ranging from sweet to savory and back again. Serve one of these recipes to your friends and family and everyone will have a good morning!