By Lindsay Moyer & Jennifer Urban

There’s nothing wrong with a low-sugar whole-grain cereal for breakfast. Or oatmeal. Or yogurt and fruit. But sometimes you want a break from the routine, whether you fancy something savory (eggs, a sandwich, a burrito) or sweet (pancakes, waffles). A few companies have made those staples healthier and more convenient. Here’s a look.

Bonus: Most of these items can wait patiently in the freezer, pantry, or fridge until you’re ready to change up your a.m. meal.

Burreakfast, Anyone?

“Expect more from breakfast,” say Sweet Earth Breakfast Burritos. Got that right.

The six burrito varieties are stuffed with enough tofu or eggs plus beans, peas, seasoned seitan (wheat protein), and/or “benevolent” (veggie) bacon to reach 10 to 20 grams of protein apiece. Not bad for 200 to 360 calories.

Our favorites: the zesty Lighten Up! (tofu, spinach, salsa, black-eyed peas, peppers) and the meaty-tasting Protein Lover’s (eggs, quinoa, cheese, veggie bacon and “grounds”).

Most come in wraps that are at least half whole-grain. (We didn’t find any 100-percent whole-grain breakfast burritos.) And none top 4 grams of saturated fat—1 gram for the cheese-less flavors—or 500 milligrams of sodium.

Tip: Some of Sweet Earth’s claims go too far. A case in point: if you need to “defog your morning brain,” don’t rely on a “functional breakfast burrito” called Get Focused!

McMuffin Makeover

Need a quick breakfast sandwich that doesn’t involve a drive-thru?

Good Food Made Simple makes it, ahem, simple to pull off without so much as cracking an egg or washing a skillet.

The company’s perfectly sized frozen Egg White Patties (with 6 grams of protein each) go from microwave to toasted whole-wheat English muffin in 80 seconds flat. (A large egg has 6 grams of protein.)

With a mere 35 calories and 140 milligrams of sodium per patty, there’s room to toss on some avocado or a thin slice of cheese. Or, if you can spare another 30 seconds, add a handful of baby spinach or a few slices of ripe tomato.

Tip: Want to toss your entire heat-and-eat breakfast sammie into the microwave, bread and all? Try frozen Evol Lean & Fit Egg White, Kale, Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese. (Its “multi-grain” flatbread isn’t all whole grain, but at least it’s more than half.) Instead of microwaving it inside its package, wrap it in a paper towel and put it on a plate to lower the odds that any chemicals in the package end up in your food.

Near-Perfect Pancakes

“Inspired by the heirloom flapjack recipes that sustained frontiersmen and women, we perfected this recipe for modern tastes and needs,” says Kodiak Cakes about its Flapjack & Waffle Mix.

No kidding. For starters, Kodiak’s mixes are 100% whole grain. That’s a find.

And they’re foolproof. Just add one cup of water to one cup of mix. That makes two 200-calorie servings of about three 4-inch pancakes each.

You can choose from:

Frontier Cakes. With just a teaspoon of total sugar per serving, the Whole Wheat Oat & Honey and the Buttermilk & Honey are subtly sweet.

Power Cakes. Kodiak adds wheat protein isolate and whey and milk protein concentrates to boost the protein from 8 grams per serving (in the Frontier Cakes) to 14 grams (in the Power Cakes). The Buttermilk have just half a teaspoon of sugar. Most flavors, like the fabulous Dark Chocolate, hover around 2 teaspoons, so they’re plenty sweet without syrup.

Energy Cakes. Energy, shmenergy. You’ll get energy— that is, calories—from any of Kodiak’s cakes. So ignore the added “B-vitamins for a natural source of clean energy” and “superfood ingredients” claims for the Pumpkin Flax and Buttermilk & Chia, and just enjoy them.

Superior Sausage

Want to enjoy sausage without worrying that processed meats have been linked to cancer?

Or without fretting over the fatty pork in a typical breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean Original, which squeezes 140 calories and 4½ grams of saturated fat into a paltry 1.2 oz. patty.

Then go meatless. Mouthwatering MorningStar Farms Original and Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties taste darn close to the real thing...with no sat fat. Each 1.3 oz. patty hovers around 80 calories, 8 grams of protein (from wheat, soy, and egg whites), and 250 milligrams of sodium.

Our tasters’ runner-up: Field Roast Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage wheat-protein links.

Easy Eggs

A vegetable-packed egg scramble, frittata, or omelet makes a fine breakfast that’s free of refined flour.

But for your heart’s sake, it’s best to stick to no more than four or five yolks a week (see June 2015, "Unscrambling Eggs").

What’s an egg-a-day eater to do? Pick up a refrigerated carton like All Whites or Egg Beaters 100% Egg Whites, and sidestep the egg-cracking entirely.

Tip: Go heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese. Try your egg whites with chopped broccoli, scallions, and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar. Or bell pepper, mushroom, and onion. Or tomato, spinach, and freshly grated parmesan. Mmm.

Bowled Over

“Each ingredient matters,” say Healthy Choice’s four Power Bowls. “Our recipes provide the right combination of ingredients such as whole grains, mixed greens, vegetables and egg whites to fuel your day.”

They’re being modest. Many Power Bowl ingredients break new ground in the freezer case:

Whole grains. The base of each bowl is a nutty mix of steel cut oats, farro, buckwheat, and quinoa.

Beans. Beans for breakfast? Believe it. The Pesto & Egg White Scramble is mixed with white beans, while the Unwrapped Burrito Scramble goes with black.

Vegetables. Healthy Choice tosses in tomatoes plus a smattering of dark greens (chard, kale, and spinach).

Thanks to those impressive ingredients, you get 3 to 5 grams of unprocessed, intact fiber and 10 to 15 grams of protein, all for no more than 200 calories and 1½ grams of saturated fat (there’s little or no cheese).

The sodium—which ranges from 430 milligrams in the Pesto & Egg White Scramble to 600 mg in the Turkey Sausage & Egg White Scramble—beats many bowls.

Another good bet: Dr. Praeger’s. Two out of its three Breakfast Bowls—the Egg Whites & Kale (our favorite) and the Huevos Rancheros—sport numbers and ingredients like Healthy Choice’s.

Time to give your cereal bowl the day off.

Winning Waffles

Kellogg’s Eggo Nutri-Grain toaster waffles are “made with 8g whole grain.” True, but they have more white flour than whole wheat.

L’Eggo of ’em. Today, it’s easier than ever to get wholegrain waffles in the freezer case. Try Kashi. Or Good Food Made Simple. Or Kodiak Cakes Power Waffles.

And who needs syrup? Try yours with nut butter and bananas, buttery spread and berries, or yogurt and fruit.

Jolene Mafnas helped compile the information for this article.

Photos: Jennifer Urban/CSPI.