ABOVE PHOTO: Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
It happens: You hit the snooze button once, twice, then three times, so when you’re finally showered, dressed and ready to tackle the day, you’re already behind schedule. Oftentimes that causes you to skip breakfast completely.
Turns out, your breakfast habit is one time-saving step that should not be skipped. First off, eating a nutritious, high-protein, balanced breakfast every morning is a proven way to kick-start your brain, improving concentration and performance. Plus breakfast is linked to better weight control, as it provides your body energy and may reduce hunger later in the day.
Change up how you approach your morning meal and test some of these chef-inspired time-saving tricks and shortcuts in the kitchen.
Put away the knife and grater: Grocery stores are waking up to the fact that customers love preparing delicious foods at home, but they don’t love the time it takes to chop and peel. Let the grocery store take on the “sous chef” role, and explore your produce section for inspiration. Pick up a container of sliced fruit and peeled eggs, and you’ll have a grab-and-go breakfast. When you have extra time, pre-chopped veggies and grated cheeses will complete your omelet station in no time.
Pull out your slow cooker: The slow cooker is a must-have tool for anyone wanting to save time in the morning. Just pop in some oats, measure the water and add a cinnamon stick, and you’ll wake up to the sweetly scented aroma of a hot, comforting breakfast. Otherwise, hop online and discover other surprisingly easy overnight breakfast ideas, including egg casseroles and quick breads.
Find ways to consolidate: One of the frustrations of cooking is how recipes sometimes layer in multiple steps that leave you with a sink full of dirty pans and utensils to scrub. Minimize the mess and look for one-pot recipe options. Do all the sauteing and simmering in one Dutch oven or stockpot, setting aside the cooked ingredients as needed.
Keep it real: A photo-worthy homemade breakfast is always a treat, but all you need are a handful of simple ingredients to create an inspired breakfast, with minimal prep and cooking time. For example, apples, quinoa and a few warm spices are all you need to make an unexpected but protein- and fiber-packed breakfast entree. Even better, opting for a boil-in-bag option like Success Tri-Color Quinoa gives you amazing cooked quinoa that’s ready for the apple topping in just 10 minutes. Not to mention, Success Quinoa is gluten-free and 100 percent whole grain.
Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
1 bag Success Tri-Color Quinoa
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large apple, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup walnuts, optional
1 cup vanilla yogurt, optional
Prepare quinoa according to package directions, adding apple juice to water.
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar, apple, maple syrup, dried cranberries and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in nuts, if desired. Serve quinoa topped with apple mixture and yogurt, if desired.