My lazy summer mornings are about to come to an end. Oh, how I have enjoyed not having to hustle my kindergartner out the door with a lunch and a school bag during these summer months.
I’ve been pregnant for the entire summer and mornings have not been my forte. The kids come and jump on me and we snuggle and read in bed until their tummies start rumbling. Yes, summer has been sweet.
However, as I slowly move out of the first trimester (can I get a high five?!) I feel my strength returning, just in time for fall, school, and those action-packed school-day mornings.
Energetic or not, pregnant or not, I need to have a morning plan. In this post I’ll show you my strategy for providing nourishing breakfasts this fall and throughout the winter. It’s simple, organized, and cost effective, perfect for the next installment of our Eat Well, Spend Less series.
Here’s the honest truth: we eat a hot breakfast every day. Cold cereal only shows up on the occasional camping trip or when Mama is out of town (as I have frequently been this year).We eat hot cereal because we genuinely prefer it over cold. Hot cereal is also far more nourishing, keeps us feeling fuller longer, and is much more affordable!
My boys eat a large breakfast, usually a bowl of oatmeal, polenta with maple syrup, or Red River/ 7-Grain cereal. A jar collection on the table holds our favorite toppings:
- wheat germ
- ground flax
- coconut flakes, unsweetened
- dried cranberries
- chopped nuts
One or twice a week, I’ll alternate hot cereal with one of the following quick meals:
Granola & Yogurt. Sometime the yogurt is homemade and sometimes it isn’t, but the granola is always from scratch. We love our chai-spiced granola, but have also been playing around with Mark Bittman’s Crunchy Granola.
Muffins, made ahead and frozen. Why use any recipe other than my Best Ever Muffins, with their many variations? As these muffins freeze well, I’ll often make a batch on the weekend and freeze eight or so for a weekday morning.
Pancakes, made from my mix. If I’m lucky I’ll have a jar of our favorite Buckwheat Pancake Mix in the freezer. It’s perfect for turning out pancakes on Friday morning for a special someone.
Quick Egg Sandwich, with ham and cheese. Also known as a ‘non-supper’, this fast eggy sandwich keeps you going until lunch. Add bacon strips and a sliced tomato to round out the breakfast.
Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits, with or without cottage cheese. Cheri’s got a healthy breakfast wrapped up with this idea for breakfast parfaits. Add in any fruit you like, as well as chopped nuts and seeds.
Smoothies, usually with a handful or two of quick oats blended in for fiber. They’re a fast way to get dairy, fruit and fiber in the morning.
Baked Oatmeal (recipe below), a favorite of my children, this hearty breakfast can be mixed up the evening before and baked off fresh and warm in the morning. Drizzle with cream and top with fresh fruit for the perfect start to the day.
|Overnight Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal||
Applesauce cuts down on the fat in the recipe and also adds more flavor. If maple syrup is scarce, substitute honey or agave syrup in its place.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 small apple, grated
- 1 1/4 cups organic milk
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except the oats.
- Fold in oats and combine well.
- Transfer mixture into the buttered baking dish and spread evenly around. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly on top of the oat mixture. Refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 375°F (I have Danny do this when he gets up to shower). Unwrap oatmeal and place in oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until oatmeal is set and browned on top.
- Serve hot with more milk or cream.
Be sure to check out the other participating bloggers in our Eat Well, Spend Less series. For the duration of the week they will be adding their take on the back to school season.
- Alyssa from Kingdom First Mom :: Quick Suppers
- Carrie from Denver Bargains :: Quick Snack Ideas for a Busy School Year
- Jessica from LifeasMOM :: Tips for Packing Affordable School Lunches
- Katie from Good Life Eats :: Easy Recipes for Homemade Snacks
- Katie from Kitchen Stewardship :: Back to School with Food Allergies
- Mandi from Life Your Way :: Preparing for Busy School Weeks
- Shaina from Food for My Family :: The Art of Back to School Lunches
- Tammy from Tammy’s Recipes.
How do you start your school mornings?