Quick Low-Carb Breakfasts

Ideas and recipes

strawberry protein shake
High-Protein Strawberry Shake. Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

With our busy lives, having quick breakfasts available is essential to getting the day started right. Since we are no longer grabbing bagels and doughnuts (which provide lots of starch but little nutrition anyway), we need ways to speed up the process of getting a healthy low-carb breakfast in a small amount of time. Here are some ideas and tips for getting a quick low-carb breakfast.

1. Leftovers

Simply reheating the leftovers from last night's dinner is one of the easiest ways to prepare a nutritious breakfast. One of the advantages is that it is likely to contain a good portion of protein. Protein is important for getting our bodies off to a good start but is not always easy to prepare with great speed. I try to make an extra portion or two at every dinner so that I have enough for breakfast and/or lunch the next day. I also make extra vegetables when I'm cooking them since they so easily can be put in a breakfast scramble or omelet.

2. Have the Ingredients Ready to Go

Planning a protein shake? Measure everything out the night before so you just have to throw it into the blender. Having hot cereal, such as Instant Flax Meal Cereal? Put the flax meal, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl on the counter, so you just have to add the hot water and peanut butter. You can have bacon or sausage cooked and ready to zap in the microwave.

3. Make Ahead

Many breakfast items can be made in a batch and then refrigerated or frozen. For example:

  • Eggs - Scramble a large batch (with vegetables if you wish) and then divide into portions. They can be refrigerated for 2-3 days, and frozen for longer. The consistency will suffer a bit, but they will taste fine. Something that works even better is to make a frittata. Frittatas can use up any leftover vegetables or meats you have on hand, and leftover pieces can be refrigerated or frozen. A similar option is "mini-frittatas" made in a muffin pan instead of making one large one. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or so. Use a non-stick muffin pan AND butter it well! You can even bake eggs in buttered muffin pans by just breaking an egg into each cup. Add cheese if desired. Bake as for the mini-frittatas.
  • Flax bread - It makes good toast, or try this: Melt cheese over it, sprinkle with bacon, then cover with two fried eggs (see the quick method for eggs below).
  • Muffins - Make low-carb muffins and have them in the morning, with perhaps some cottage cheese for protein (sprinkle cinnamon on the cottage cheese - yum).  The muffins freeze well.
  • Pancakes - Make a large batch of pancakes and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve with sugar-free syrup or homemade berry syrup. Or spread with peanut butter and/or sugar-free jam and eat as a sandwich or toast on the run.

4. Fast Cooking

It's not so much of a burden to cook if you can do it super-fast.

Learn to Flip Fried Eggs in the Pan: One of my favorite (and fun) time-saving tricks is to make fried eggs in a small non-stick pan, flipping them in the air without utensils (you still need to add oil or butter for this to work). It takes surprisingly little practice to do this. I practiced over the sink at first, and I think I only missed the pan once. If I know I'm going to be pressed for time, I leave the frying pan on the stove with a pat of butter or a glob of coconut oil it in. I walk into the kitchen, turn on the stove, get the eggs, and two minutes later, breakfast is ready. I like to plop them on top of some warmed-up vegetables.

Microwave Eggs: When you make scrambled eggs in the microwave, you can be doing other things at the same time. ​Learn about cooking eggs for beginners.

5. Wraps, Burritos, and Rollups

Heading out the door? Scoop your eggs, chicken, sausage, etc, into a low-carb tortilla and add veggies and condiments suit your taste.

6. No-Cook Breakfasts

Spoonable dairy products such as yogurt, ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese can be combined with fruit such as frozen berries, and nuts or flax seed to make a quick breakfast.

Shakes - Any of the above, or soft tofu, can be used to make a shake with protein powder and fruit or flavorings. Or the shake can be made with just the protein powder and unsweetened soy or almond milk, kefir, or water. Some recipes to get you started:

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