We’ve all heard it before – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But for me, morning is also one of the busiest times of the day. Admittedly, I wake up as late as possible, so I end up rushing to shower, get dressed and prepare my lunch and gym bags for the day. I imagine the morning ritual is even more challenging for people with children. Suffice to say, if your morning is as busy as mine, you’re not likely to have the time to make breakfast.
That’s why I love prepping my breakfast in advance. This protein-loaded sweet potato and oatmeal mini-casserole is one of my morning favorites. I can pop them in the microwave or eat them cold on the way to my morning destination. They are a nutritious, satisfying way to start the day!
I like incorporating hearty, complex carbohydrates like oatmeal and sweet potato into my diet in order to give me lasting energy throughout the day. Also, if your focus is on muscle building, then you definitely need to ensure that your breakfast includes carbohydrates in order to avoid muscle catabolism, where your body begins to use muscle tissue as a source of energy instead of glycogen and your body’s fat stores.
To make the meal even more filling, I like to add lean protein sources like eggs, Greek yogurt and isolate protein powder. I know this may be a concern for many women, so let me allay your fears – you’re not going to get bulky by eating something rich in protein. You are simply feeding your muscles so you can be stronger and more dynamic in your daily tasks and workouts. For men and women wishing to bulk up, increase the amount of calories you consume daily – maintaining a healthy ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats – while lifting really heavy weight with good form and intensity.
Ingredients for 6 – 12 muffin casseroles:
- 3 cups instant (rolled) oats
- 375g sweet potato (raw)
- 2 scoops vanilla ISO protein powder (I like using Labrada ISO Lean Pro protein powder because it has 25g protein per scoop and it is gluten-free, sugar-free, carb-free, and lactose-free. Also, it tastes like a milkshake so it makes it easy to incorporate in baking recipes.)
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or flax milk)
- 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Optional: 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (to sprinkle on the tops of the casseroles before baking)
Approximate macros for 1 of 7 mini-casseroles: 270 calories, 16g protein, 37g carbs, 7g fat
Set oven to 350F.
Grate a raw sweet potato into a bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, add all of your dry ingredients: oatmeal, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and flax seeds. Mix together very well. Then add eggs, Greek yogurt and almond milk to the dry ingredients and mix together using a spatula.
Slowly add the grated sweet potato and stir thoroughly to ensure it is mixed together.
Pour the batter into the individual muffin cup holders or your muffin pan. For heartier muffins, use muffin pans or individual cups with deeper wells. If desired, sprinkle a little coconut sugar on top of the casseroles right before you place them in the oven.
Bake in the oven for about 27-30 minutes at 350 degreees F or until you insert a toothpick in the batter and it comes out clean. Note: be careful not to over cook these since they will be eaten throughout the week and you do not want to dry them out when they are reheated.
Tip: Store these in airtight containers in the refrigerator and freeze uneaten portions. You can defrost them in the refrigerator the night before you intend to eat them. Boom!
Photo credit: Kevin Curry