You may have heard about it on the news. The Mediterranean Diet has numerous health benefits. The best part is that it isn’t a restrictive plan, just simple guidelines to live a healthier lifestyle.
Most people think of feta cheese and tomatoes when they think of Mediterranean food. And it’s true, a lot of the recipes include these ingredients. I’ve found breakfast to be the hardest meal to prepare throughout my time on the Mediterranean diet. Most of the ideas are omelets, and that’s just not feasible for most mornings. But I have found some alternative recipes, including ones that work for busy mornings or when you are on the go.
Want some Mediterranean diet breakfast ideas?
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What Is The Mediterranean Diet?
If you need a primer on this diet, check out our Mediterranean Diet for Beginners. It will catch you up on all of the basics.
The Mediterranean diet incorporates foods from the countries surrounding the sea, including Italy and Greece. The diet is a bit of a misnomer because it isn’t a strict plan but instead, recommendations that will lead to a healthier life.
The diet suggests eating mostly plant-based food (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes). Although it’s not a vegan or vegetarian diet by any means. The guidelines suggest consuming fish 2-3 times a week, poultry is suggested in moderate amounts, and red meat is ok but only a few times a month.
Healthy fats are ok to consume on the Mediterranean diet, including olive oils, avocado, seeds, fatty fish, and eggs. While nothing is restricted, you should limit your intake of processed foods and sweets.
The approach is holistic and includes your mental health. Meals are to be eaten and enjoyed with family and friends, and physical activity is to be plentiful.
Benefits of The Mediterranean Diet
Voted the number one diet for Overall Health several years in a row by U.S. News and World Report, the Mediterranean Diet is not so much of a dietary regime as it is a broad outline of how to eat.
Countless studies have touted its benefits. It’s known to increase good cholesterol, decrease bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower triglycerides.
According to Harvard Medical School, “past research has shown that this type of eating pattern can help lower cholesterol, help with weight loss, improve rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.”
Mediterranean Diet Breakfast
Here’s the thing with most Mediterranean breakfasts. When you search for recipes, they are all eggs with feta.
Don’t get me wrong that sounds delicious, but it just isn’t feasible for weekdays. Not to mention there is only so much feta one can eat! If you make only so-called Mediterranean diet recipes, you will quickly get bored.
The recipes below go well beyond omelets. They may not mention the Mediterranean, but the ingredients fit within the guidelines. Each recipe isn’t too complicated and includes items you are likely to have in your pantry or should be able to get at a local grocery store without issue.
Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Ideas
These quinoa pancakes from Rhian’s Recipes taste different than your typical pancakes, but don’t let that deter you. These are worth a try — they freeze well.
Oatmeal, Porridge, and Grain Bowls
Whole grains are a big part of the Mediterranean diet, translating well to breakfast. Oatmeal is a great option, but the packets are not. Flavored oatmeals contain added lots of sugars and processed ingredients. Steel-cut oats with added toppings are a better bet.
Traditional oats aren’t the only option. Ancient grains make great breakfasts, too. It’s time to add wheatberries, farro, and bulgur to your morning meal. Millet is also an option, but I found it has an aftertaste that I just couldn’t get past.
Part of the diet is low to moderate consumption of dairy products. You may not want to make milk-based porridge daily with that in mind. Also, when you do consume them, it’s recommended that you choose the low-fat version.
Make these wheatberries from Farm Fresh Wheat in the Instapot and eat them all week. They are toothsome, similar to steel oats if you haven’t tried wheatberries before. Add some Greek yogurt and blueberries, and you have a quick breakfast. You could even put the ingredients together in a mason jar for breakfast on the go.
Everyday Dishes uses wheatberries as the base of this breakfast, including brown sugar and blueberries.
Inspired by this recipe by Running To The Kitchen, add some blueberry jam and Greek yogurt to farro for a delicious breakfast bowl.
Even though guidelines suggest that you limit sweets, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some yummy baked goods for breakfast! These recipes are delicious and a great addition to your morning. They also make great use of any leftover grains.
Live Eat Learn’s Berry Bulgur Breakfast Bake may not make it all week since it is delicious.
Baked goods can be savory, too! Try these Vegetable Quinoa Egg Muffins by Good For You Gluten Free.
Legumes aren’t only for the dinner table. Try these protein-rich breakfasts to change up your usual breakfast.
Sub parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast and use sriracha instead of the powder in this Spicy Chickpea Scramble from Create Mindfully. Smoked paprika would also be a great substitute.
Darn Good Veggies makes a different Chickpea Scramble that incorporates other vegetables. Try it on whole-wheat toast.
Cannellini beans can be for breakfast, too! Try this Tuscan Farmers Breakfast from Feasting At Home.
Eggs are a great source of protein, and with these recipes, you can easily incorporate vegetables.
The salty component of the Mediterranean Dish’s Omelet makes it a must-try.
Are you looking for a simpler version? Try Bakers Royale’s omelet that comes together in a snap.
Eggs are more than just omelets. This recipe by Cookie and Kate for Shakshuka is excellent for leftover tomato sauce.
There is also a green version where eggs are poached in pesto. Art From My Table makes a great Green Shakshuka. If you have lots of herbs in your garden or leftover pesto, this is a great way to use it up.
Learn more about Mediterranean Diet basics and how to stick with it. Read our Complete Guide.
If you need portable options for Mediterranean diet breakfasts, nuts and seed bars are worth trying.
The Healthy Foodie’s Homemade KIND Bars are pretty easy to make. You can omit the buckwheat groats if you can’t find them.
Bon Appetit’s Granola Bars are yummy and versatile. You can use almond butter instead and various nuts and dried fruits.
Not a big fan of peanut butter? These Sesame Honey Bars from Melanie Cooks are a great alternative with no refined sugar.
Afraid a bar isn’t enough? Try these Protein Bars from Minimalist Baker that feature amaranth, an ancient grain. They are easy to put together and will keep you full until lunch.
The Mediterranean diet encourages you to eat lots of vegetables, and hash is a great way to have them for breakfast. Feel free to use chopped frozen potatoes; it is a big time-saver.
Food With Feeling makes an excellent Breakfast Hash incorporating chickpeas for the protein that will keep you full until lunch.
For a new take on breakfast, we love this Baby Kale Breakfast Salad. It’s a savory and sweet take on breakfast, and it’s not fussy, meaning it’s excellent for a weekday morning.
An article on Mediterranean Diet breakfasts would be incomplete without some suggestions for Greek yogurt. It is full of protein, versatile, and a great ingredient for your morning meal.
Greek Yogurt Parfaits sound so fancy, right? But they are just yogurt with granola and fruit. So family-friendly and straightforward. My family loves Kashi Go Lean Cereal.
Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and spread some Greek yogurt. Top it with fruit and granola and freeze for a simple Greek Yogurt Bark.
Really in a time crunch? Add some honey and fruit to Greek yogurt in a bowl. You can’t get simpler than that!
Get your favorite whole grain bread and top it with nut butter and fruit or mash an avocado and top it with tomato and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Another option is a take on a caprese salad. Heat grape tomatoes in a pan until starting to break down. Put on top of whole grain toast and top with your favorite pesto.
What Do You Think?
Have you followed this diet before? Have you found any Mediterranean diet breakfast recipes you love? If so, share them below. I would love to hear!
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