Five Ingredients or Less: Quick, Healthy Breakfasts

16 Apr

A spin on our traditional recipe post this week. I thought you all might appreciate knowing some of the simple ways of reforming your eating into a whole foods diet. This doesn’t always have to require a complete overhaul, as some things are incredibly easy to make at home.

So let’s start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast.

Despite all my efforts over the last few years towards eating better, some of my breakfast staples still relied on premade stuff, especially oatmeal and cereal. These meals are so fast and easy, I always just thought it would make more sense to buy them.

But then I started to think about what was really in all those foods, and where they came from.

My go-to oatmeal is Quaker Oats individual instant packages which contains several preservative ingredients. My favorite healthy cereals are all Kashi-brand — better than Frosted Flakes, for sure, but still a subsidiary brand of Kellogg’s (who makes Frosted Flakes) and still containing GMO-soy products and synthetic processing.

I decided to try and find a way to make my own cereal and oatmeal at home. To make it taste just as good, to keep it easy, and to keep it whole.


Here are my secrets…

Marissa’s Fruit & Nut Cereal

  • About a cup of naked granola (I use Back to Nature brand, but Bear Naked also makes some flavored varieties. Your local co-op may even make their own and sell it in bulk.*)
  • A handful of whole or slivered raw almonds (raw is important so you don’t get salt in your cereal — yuck!)
  • A few tablespoons of dried cranberries

*You could even go the extra step and make your own granola –it’s just rolled oats baked with some sweetener to crisp them up.

That’s it! I eat this almost every day now. It’s easy, delicious, and completely customizable. Switch out the nuts and fruits, add flax seed or puffed rice or bran flakes. Whatever you like best!

Homemade Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal

  • One serving’s worth of quick rolled oats, water and salt (cook according to package directions)
  • One heaping teaspoon of brown sugar
  • A liberal sprinkling of cinnamon
  • A swirl of maple syrup

Like my technical directions there? I recommend microwaving the oatmeal and then mixing in the spices for maximum flavor. Cinnamon spice is my favorite oatmeal flavor, but it’s super easy to figure out the Quaker recipes. I’ve also tried a teaspoon of honey, mixed with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and a splash of vanilla almond milk for “chai spice” oatmeal; or a tablespoon of cocoa powder and chunky peanut butter for mocha-nut oatmeal. Add chopped apples, bananas, berries, etc.

Both of these are delicious and incredibly easy, plus made with ingredients you can buy in bulk, so likely even cheaper than buying boxes. An added and unexpected bonus? These servings keep me fuller much longer into the morning than store-bought versions! Suffice it to say, I’m never going back.

Now I just have to tackle homemade English muffins…

What are your favorite easy, whole food breakfasts? Have you figured out your own versions of store-bought meals? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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9 Responses to “Five Ingredients or Less: Quick, Healthy Breakfasts”

  1. languagesofmastery April 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM #

    Fun things! I make my own granola fairly often (1-2x a month, depending on the time of year), because if I make a lot then I have it for a long time and that’s a lot cheaper than buying it. I’ve been eating salad for breakfast lately, since greens are coming into season here and it’s a pleasant way to start the day (and I can do a lot of prep at dinner the night before). My roommate likes to eat local goat cheese on local bread with local jam — or homemade jam, when we have it.

    Another fun breakfast idea that isn’t necessarily five or fewer ingredients, but could be: smoothies. I’ve been making tasty minty-green smoothies lately which make a nice breakfast or lunch and can go to work with fairly easily. As an added bonus, it disgusts my co-workers that I’m drinking something green. That smoothie is five ingredients (or less). I’ll post it on my food blog soon. :)

    • Marissa of We*Meat*Again April 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

      Oh, I love goat cheese and jam — why would I have never thought of that,or salads for breakfast? Great ideas!

  2. Liz April 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM #

    Argh, I just left a comment and it didn’t like me. Oh well, trying again. These are all fun things! I usually do make my own granola because I generally can find about 90 minutes when I’ll be home (usually on the weekend or after work) and if I make a lot of it then I have it for a few weeks to a month. It’s a lot cheaper than buying granola and I can control everything about it, which is nice. I know exactly what and how much is going into my food.

    Simple breakfasts:

    Lately, I’ve been eating salad for breakfast because greens are coming in already here. That’s been fun. My roommate likes to eat local goat cheese on local bread with local (or homemade, when we have it) jam.

    I’m also a fan of smoothies for a quick and simple breakfast. I’ve been taking a green smoothie to work on and off for the past few weeks, which absolutely disgusts my co-workers, which just seems like an added bonus.

    • Cristina @ An Organic Wife April 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM #

      I love taking green smoothies to work too, and grossing out my co-workers! :) :)

    • Marissa of We*Meat*Again April 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM #

      The only green smoothie I’ve tried is this one from my friend Ashley, which I LOVE. It tastes exactly like a chocolate milkshake, with no hint of spinach flavor. But I don’t know how real green smoothies work. Are they supposed to “taste” green, or do you add enough fruit/nut butter to mask the greens?

  3. Andrew Scott April 16, 2012 at 10:39 AM #

    Nearly every day, my wife and I eat this for breakfast, based on a meal we had a few times in Puerto Rico during a recent getaway:

    Fruit (usually some combination of bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raisins, currants — some combinations are better than others) with a little low-fat vanilla yogurt from a local creamery (, topped with naked granola and a spoonful of honey from Brendle Honey Farm here in Indianapolis. It’s a nearly perfect breakfast.

    • Marissa of We*Meat*Again April 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM #

      That sounds divine. I absolutely love yogurt with honey, and what a great way to make breakfast seasonal, by switching out the fruit!

  4. Cristina @ An Organic Wife April 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM #

    I’ve been making pancakes on the weekends (now I’ve graduated to Sourdough Pancakes) anyways – I’ll make a big batch and then it will last me several days. In the morning I just pop them in the toaster oven while I’m getting ready for work.

    Some days I have oatmeal too, my favorite it just oats, peanut butter, and a tiny bit of raw honey.

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