Breakfast has long been said to be the most important meal of the day, but it’s easy to get into the habit of skipping it if you roll out of bed at the last minute. Instead of skipping breakfast, try filling up on something healthy so that you won’t be ravenous by lunch time. There are plenty of healthy recipes that won’t take up too much of your time.
When you’re on a tight budget, you may think that your only food options are unhealthy, prepackaged food that will leave you feeling bloated and slow. As a college student, you need all your faculties at your disposal and you don’t want to be carrying extra weight around at the end of the semester. Before you start cooking, make sure you have the basic necessities to make these dishes.
Here are a few healthy recipes and food items for college students that will help keep your appetite on track without breaking the bank.
Oatmeal is a healthy, filling grain that will stretch a long way. As an added bonus, the big containers of oatmeal (as opposed to the individual packets) are a lot cheaper than even energy bars, but pack a nutritional punch that can’t be denied. Mix up a bowl in the morning and head out the door knowing that you’re off to a great start. Worried that you won’t have time to throw everything together before you head to your first class? Try an overnight oatmeal recipe that can be eaten cold, straight out of the fridge or even taken with you and munched during your first class–assuming that your professors don’t mind.
Overnight Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oatmeal
- Mason jar
- 1 cup old fashioned oats (quick oats work okay, but old fashioned will stick with you longer)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or honey (honey is the healthier option; brown sugar is cheaper)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips
Put the oatmeal, brown sugar, vanilla and peanut butter (preferably in that order, but if you’re in a hurry, just toss all of the items in there as you grab them) in a mason jar. Add milk until it’s an inch over the oatmeal. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top; add lid, then place in refrigerator until the next morning. These can be prepared several days in advance, so you can mix up a week’s worth of dough on Sunday night and grab them on your way out the door every morning if you like.
Don’t like peanut butter? Feel free to substitute another nut butter or go without it. The peanut butter just adds an extra protein punch that will keep you feeling full longer.
Eggs are another great protein source and one that will stretch your budget a long way. In most locations, a dozen eggs will cost you less than $2 and you only need two or three of them to make a meal. Scramble them up in the morning or hard boil them for another grab and go choice, or turn them into an egg casserole for an easy breakfast all week. You might not think it’s worth making a whole egg casserole just for you, but remember, it’s not just about the first meal: it’s about the leftovers!
Easy Egg Casserole
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- turkey sausage crumbles (it’s cheaper to make your own sausage crumbles than it’s to buy a ready-cooked bag of them–just cook up a tube of sausage like you would ground beef!)
- handful of kale, shredded (or freeze it, then just crumble it in your hands)
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk eggs and milk together until frothy. Add sausage, shredded kale, and salt and pepper. Mix, then place in a 9×9 casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (may vary depending on your oven), making sure that the center is set. Slice and reheat for several days.
Other easy breakfast concoctions include smoothies (make up your own smoothie packets with your favorite fruit and freeze them to make the morning prep easier), a banana dipped in peanut butter or a piece of toast spread with your favorite nut butter.
Getting in the habit of eating breakfast can make a huge difference in your day, improving your mood and stamina.
If you’re looking for some more recipes that are quick, easy and affordable, here are a few lunch recipes you can use to keep your energy up throughout the day.
What are your favorite breakfast recipes? Let us know about them in the comment section below.