Yield: 12 muffins | Prep: 15 minutes | Ready In: 30-35 minutes
It's not just one of your mother's sayings — breakfast really is an important meal of the day. Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast. In fact, that's where its name originates: breaking the fast! Without breakfast, you are effectively running on empty, like trying to start a car with an empty gasoline tank.
Benefits of eating a healthy breakfast include:
» A jump-start to your metabolism after a long fast.
» Better cognitive function (performance and memory), since glucose levels needed by the brain to function well are restored early in the day.
» Less chance of being overweight since your appetite was satisfied early in the day, decreasing your chance of reaching for high-sugar and -fat vending options later in the day.
» Higher daily total intake of calcium, fiber, fruits and veggies and a lower intake of fats — depending on the breakfast's ingredients.
A healthy breakfast contains:
1. Fiber and carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and/or veggies.
2. Protein from lean meats, eggs and/or low-fat dairy.
3. A small amount of healthy fat.
Here's an easy recipe that checks all the boxes. This recipe came from a friend, and is even toddler-, teen- and adult-friendly!
What you need:
» 1 cups whole-wheat flour
» 1 cups oats
» 1 teaspoon baking powder
» teaspoon baking soda
» teaspoon salt
» teaspoon cinnamon
» 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
» cup Greek yogurt
» cup firmly packed brown sugar
» 2 tablespoons canola oil
» 1 large egg, lightly beaten
» 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
» cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)*
What you need:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, yogurt, brown sugar, canola oil, egg and lemon zest.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the applesauce mixture, then stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries.
5. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups, filling to about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin from the middle of the tray comes out clean.
7. To freeze muffins for use later, allow muffins to cool. Then, place them in a freezer bag or tightly sealed container and freeze. Simply pull out and microwave to defrost when ready to eat!
A quick tip for keeping your morning meal balanced: “Strive for Five.” Include at least 5 grams fiber and 5 grams protein in every breakfast.