We all have those hectic mornings when it feels like you’re running around trying to do multiple things at once. And on these mornings, eating a healthy breakfast often falls by the wayside. You either wind up grabbing a breakfast that leaves you feeling hungry an hour later or skipping breakfast altogether.
Starting your day with a nutrient-dense meal is a great habit for long-term health. This is especially true when your morning includes heart-healthy recipes that incorporate fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s.
While heart disease is the cause of death among both American men and women, your diet can act as one lifestyle choice to help decrease your risk.
So, how do you ensure you’re looking after your heart while getting through those chaotic mornings? To give you some ideas, I’ve put together four quick, heart-healthy recipes, some of which you can prepare ahead of time.
Warm Papaya Breakfast Cereal
This recipe is a filling choice! Papaya and rolled oats contain heart-healthy fiber, minerals, and a small amount of plant-based protein. Not to mention papaya is rich in vitamin C. You can also make multiple batches of this to have breakfast ready to go for the entire week.
Serving size: 1
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2–1 cup hot water (depending on how thick you want your cereal to be)
- dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh papaya
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1 scoop of vanilla plant-based protein (optional)
- Combine rolled oats, cinnamon, and hot water in saucepan.
- Cook on the stove for 5–10 minutes, or until thickened.
- In a serving bowl, add coconut yogurt, fresh papaya, and granola.
Blueberry and Cacao Chiaseed Pudding
Chiaseed puddings are a great breakfast option because they’re easy to throw together the night before and keep in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go meal in the morning.
Chia seeds are a great source of soluble fiber and omega-3s and contain a small amount of plant-based protein. Cacao nibs are rich in magnesium, an important mineral that plays a role in more than 300 enzymes used in important processes like synthesizing DNA, RNA, and proteins.
As a side note, chiaseed pudding can be kept in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to one week.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (try almond, cashew, or coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
- sweetener to taste, like maple syrup or local honey (optional)
- Mix together the chia seeds, non-dairy milk, and optional sweetener and let sit in the refrigerator the for at least 20 minutes until gel forms. Stir occasionally during this time.
- Note: You can make your chiaseed pudding thicker by reducing the liquid. Add less liquid to make it thinner. If you’re using full-fat coconut milk, the pudding will be very thick.
- Top with fresh blueberries and cacao nibs.
Coconut and Berry Quinoa Porridge
Think quinoa is just for savory dishes? Think again! Quinoa is technically a seed, but it acts like a grain. It’s rich in fiber, protein, and minerals. The benefit of making a morning porridge using quinoa is that it can be made the night before, and then you can simply reheat it the next morning.
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
- Mix water and quinoa flakes in saucepan. Cook on medium heat until flakes soften. Add the coconut milk and cook until porridge thickens.
- Stir in maple syrup, hemp seeds, and lemon juice.
- Again, depending on which type you’re using, cooking time can take anywhere from 90 seconds to 5 minutes.
- Top with ground cinnamon, fresh raspberries, and shredded coconut flakes.
Smoked Salmon Sweet Potato Toast
Smoked salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3s. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides and blood pressure, which can lower the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce inflammation and improve overall cardiovascular health and brain health.
Cooking time: 15–20 minutes
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tbsp. plain hummus
- 4 oz. smoked salmon
- Dijon mustard to taste
- fresh parsley to garnish
- Slice the sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Place the sweet potato slices in a toaster on high for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. You may need to toast multiple times depending on the length of your toaster settings.
- Top with hummus and Dijon mustard. Layer the smoked salmon on top and finish with fresh parsley.
McKel Hill, MS, RD, is the founder ofNutrition Stripped, a healthy living website dedicated to optimizing the well-being of women all over the globe through recipes, nutrition advice, fitness, and more. Her cookbook, “Nutrition Stripped,” was a national best-seller, and she’s been featured in Fitness Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine.