If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you might crave something sugary for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While everything—even sugar—is fine in moderation, research shows that Americans are eating too much sugar, both in their food and beverages. Oftentimes, most of us don’t realize just how much sugar we’re consuming, since many packaged and restaurant-prepared foods contain added sweeteners we can hardly taste.
“It’s quite concerning because, not only do these additional calories contribute to weight gain, but sugar is also known to cause inflammation in the body, that has been linked to most chronic diseases, including cancer, stroke and heart disease,” warns Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., nutrition expert, and author of Eating in Color. “Therefore, lowering your sugar intake and eating foods that fight inflammations (fruits, veggies, omega-3 fats, etc.) can go a long way toward improving your overall health.” Put down the pastries and start your day (and diet) on the right foot. Here are six sugar-free breakfast recipes that contain zero added grams of the stuff.
Sugar-Free Breakfast Recipes
Walnut and Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Oats have a ton of fiber, but walnuts and blueberries add even more. “Though there is a small amount of [natural] sugar in this recipe from the blueberries and the applesauce, the fiber from the oats and the protein from the eggs and walnuts offset that,” says Lisa Samuels, R.D., founder of The Happie House. “The walnuts also contain polyunsaturated fats which are important for brain development and heart health.”
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl leaving the fruit for last.
- Scoop into greased muffin tins.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until tops turn golden brown.
Avocado and Egg on an English Muffin
This quick, easy-to-eat breakfast contains the trifecta: protein, fat, and fiber. “The fiber in the English muffin has less sugar than refined or white bread, so it will keep blood sugar stabilized and energy levels maintained throughout the morning,” says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, registered dietitian and founder of TLB Nutrition in New York City. “Plus, even though you won’t be able to taste the Greek yogurt, your gut will reap the benefits from the probiotics!”
- ¼ avocado
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 2 tablespoon plain 1 or 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 whole grain sprouted English muffin
- Mash together avocado, yogurt, and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix until combined.
- Add the hard-boiled egg to the bowl and mix.
- Serve on top of an English muffin.
Dragon Fruit-Wild Blueberries Overnight Oats
“Overnight oats are perfect for a morning win—just make them the night before and you have breakfast for the whole week!” says Largeman-Roth. “The dragon fruit and wild blueberries add a boost of antioxidants, while the oats provide soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.”
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon thawed, frozen dragon fruit puree
- ¼ cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1 tablespoon toasted coconut
- Toast shredded unsweetened coconut in the oven at 325 for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix and transfer 1/2 cup to each of 4 jars.
- Pour the milk over the oats in each jar.
- Spoon the thawed frozen dragon fruit puree over the oats and top with the frozen wild blueberries and toasted coconut.
- Refrigerate overnight, stir, and enjoy!
This might not be the most suspecting vegetable to toss in your breakfast smoothie but just trust us. “Broccoli not only has belly-filling fiber, but it contains chromium, which is an element shown to decrease glucose buildup in the bloodstream,” Lockwood adds. “This smoothie is very low in sugar, which won’t cause your insulin to spike. So you can consider it a win-win situation for not only your taste buds but for your health too.”
- 1 cup kale
- ½ banana
- 1 cup raw broccoli
- 12 almonds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Blend all of the ingredients together with ice if you prefer it cold.
Black Bean Wrap
“Black beans are an ideal ingredient for those looking to keep their sugar intake low and their energy levels high since they’re packed with fiber and protein, which help keep us fuller longer,” says Lockwood. “They are also rich in antioxidants to help keep our immunity in check.”
- 1/4 salsa
- 2 scrambled eggs
- ¼ cup black beans
- 1 whole grain sprouted wrap
- Combine scrambled eggs, black beans, and cubed avocado in a bowl, fold in desired seasoning (salt, pepper, cumin, paprika)
- Fill center of wrap with the mixture and fold wrap tightly
Savory takes the cake with this recipe created by Largeman-Roth. “The asparagus and kale are both nutrient-rich,” she says. “Asparagus contains folate, which is a vital nutrient for pregnant moms, and kale contains sight-saving beta-carotene and vitamin K, which are great for bone health.”
- Whole wheat pie shell
- Grated parmesan
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup 2% milk
- ½ cup grated manchego cheese
- ½ tablespoon chopped onion
- ½ lb chopped asparagus
- ¼ cup baby kale
- Olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375
- Sprinkle parmesan over the bottom of a premade, whole wheat pie shell.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2% milk, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup grated manchego cheese and set aside.
- Saute chopped onion in olive oil for 4-5 minutes
- Add the chopped asparagus and saute for another 5 minutes.
- Cool a little, then add to the egg mixture.
- Add the baby kale to the pie shell, then pour the egg mixture in.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Cut into 6 wedges and serve.