The Best Do-Ahead Breakfast Foods

This June, my husband and I are hosting the highly anticipated reunion of my family. Coming from as far away as New Mexico and British Columbia, my two parents, three siblings, three siblings-in-laws, three nieces and two nephews will join our family of four. If you count it up, that’s seventeen mouths to feed, and I couldn’t be happier.

We haven’t all been together since summer of ’07; three years (and several grandchildren later) is just too long to be apart. Obviously, we have much to celebrate.

Since the countdown is actually weeks (2!) and not months away now, I’ve started the menu planning. Yes, I like to feed people. A lot. And I like to be organized. That means stocking the pantry and freezer, jotting down a loose menu plan, and reserving another side of local beef.

The sudden influx of house guests might leave some people feeling overwhelmed, but with proper planning, it can be quite manageable.

I’ve already outlined several ideas for do-ahead dinners in this post on warm weather batch cooking, and most of our lunches will be picnic-style, so all that is left to think about is breakfast. I love a big breakfast, after all, it’s the most important meal of the day!

Here’s what will be joining the strawberries in the freezer in preparation for our breakfasts…

Do-Ahead Breakfast Ideas for the Freezer

Scones

Scones are a necessity. Blame it on my British half, but if I don’t have scones to serve to overnight guests, I feel my breakfast is second-rate. Plus, we’re going to need something to help transport all the homemade jam.

Three types will do the trick. These recipes all freeze marvelously when raw, which ensures fresh hot scones in the morning as they are baked from frozen.

Fresh Fruit, Frozen

Cubed fruit such as bananas, berries, mango is essential to have in the freezer for the occasional smoothie breakfast on the go or when you just don’t feel like having carbs. This dairy-free, sugar-free Coconut-Milk Raspberry Smoothie is my latest blended breakfast favorite, so you can be sure I am stockpiling cans of coconut milk too.

Pre-Cooked Bacon

I love bacon as much as the next person, but cooking bacon is not always simple as it requires careful attention while cooking and can make a mess in the process.
When I want to turn out a really efficient and easy hot breakfast, I will cook my bacon in advance and freeze it. I bake it at 350°F on a foil-covered baking sheet, where it cooks nice and flat, until crispy.  Then I drain them on paper towels, put them in Ziplock bags and then toss into the freezer for easy, no mess, bacon & eggs (the bacon part, anyhow).

When I’m feeling really celebratory, I’ll glaze the bacon with pure maple syrup during the last few minutes of baking. Oh boy.

Home-made Buckwheat Pancake Mix

Whether you’re cooking for two or twenty-two, it can’t hurt to have homemade pancake mix around. If you store it in the freezer, it can keep for several months, available round-the-clock for whenever the pancake mood strikes – and in our house, that is fairly often.

I can’t think of anyone I’d rather cook stacks of pancakes for than my pre-school aged nieces and nephews, so I’ve made up a huge batch of buckwheat pancake mix. The recipe is large, yielding 12 cup of mix or approximately 84 pancakes, but why not go for it? You can give a few jars away, toss some in the cooler for that weekend camping trip, or invite the extended family over and score some brownie points with your nieces and nephews.

Recipe: Buckwheat Pancake Mix

Makes 12 cups of mix.

  • 4 cups buckwheat flour
  • 4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Turbinado sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using a sturdy wire whisk, mix ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Using a funnel, scoop mix into jars and top with a lid. Label and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

To use:

Mix together:

  • 1 cup buckwheat pancake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk OR 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 egg

Combine well and ladle on to a hot griddle. Flip pancakes when bubbles start to appear.

Yields approximately seven 5-inch round pancakes.
[print_link]

Do-Ahead Breakfast Ideas For the Pantry

Granola

Granola is the closest thing to cold cereal that my brother-in-law will find in my pantry, and we all need a help-yourself, no-cook breakfast once in a while.

Chai-Spiced Granola with Dried Apples and Almonds is in the works for my pantry stash.  A double recipe will make about a gallon and keep for up to a month in an airtight container – if it lasts that long. I somehow doubt mine will.

Muffins

Although this recipe for the best. muffins. ever. is very freezer friendly, I prefer mine fresh from the oven—no matter how hectic the morning. So I won’t be making and freezing any muffins ahead of time, but I’ll be sure to have all the ingredients on hand for my favorite flavor combinations.

Dark chocolate and raspberry? Yes please!

Oats

Not every morning of our reunion will involve maple-glazed bacon, warm currant scones, and berry smoothies, there will also be a small army’s supply of oatmeal to balance out the specialty items over the two-week celebration. Little tummies (and bigger ones, too!) need the fiber and protein that oatmeal offers, not to mention it is practically a comfort food among the little cousins.

I’m partial to my Butter-Toasted Steel Cut Oats, and will be stirring those up by the vat-full.

Coffee

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for coffee. The late nights, the early mornings with the kids; a family reunion promotes burning the candle at both ends, but thankfully, we have coffee.

Not just any coffee, either; one of our favorite companies, Greeley Road Cafe, prides itself on fresh roasted fair trade coffee, organic beans, and slave-free production. They are an exemplary company; read more about their coffee and cause on the Greeley Road Cafe blog.

Q: Do you lean toward letting a traditional breakfast slide over the summer, or will you stockpile some of these suggestions and invite your friends over for brunch?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. I freeze uncooked muffin dough because I don’t like reheated muffins either :) I take my cookie scoop and plop dollops of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop them in the freezer for about thirty minutes and then put them in a freezer bag. Takes a little trial and error, but for me, one scoop makes a mini muffin while two scoops makes a regular-size muffin. No need to thaw; just bake for a bit longer.

    If the dough is too runny to put on a cookie sheet, I’ll put liners in my muffin pan, put the dough in, freeze in the pan, then pop them into a freezer bag for storage.

  2. I love the look of that pancake mix, and I always wish I had something quicker for pancakes, because I always crave them at the last minute. Thanks Aimee!
    .-= Meghan’s last blog: There was absolutely not a single cloud in sight today. =-.

  3. A girl after my own heart! Love this!

  4. I’ve been looking for a good all-purpose muffin mix that used items I had on hand and I think I just found one! Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas.
    .-= Julie’s last blog: Giveaway: Sam’s Club Gift Card & Snacks =-.

  5. Okay, once again, this comes in so handy! Wish it was for a family reunion, but a birth is pretty good, too. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Aimée. Can’t wait to try your cooking in person one day. :)

    • A birth is just as exciting if not more exciting, Tsh! I am thrilled my ideas are getting put to good use.

      Can’t wait to cook dinner for you one day, too!

  6. Great list. Granola is such an easy breakfast and I desperately need to make some. I have been making lots of smoothies lately with the heat – using coconut milk for my dairy-free son. I have a frozen egg nog smoothie made with coconut milk that I need to post the recipe for. Yum!
    .-= Shannon’s last blog: Spring Garden Tour in Photos =-.

    • Shannon, I made a gallon of granola today and I think it’s my best yet!

      I’d love to get that eggnog smoothie recipe…mmm, I love your coconut-raspberry one so much!

  7. Michele says:

    Mmm breakfast! We often have it for dinner.

    One request – could you sent your recipes to print without pictures? I think the print recipe function is great, but not if you want to conserve on ink and paper.

    • We often have breakfast for dinner too…so much so that the other day we had eggs & bacon for breakfast, and my four year old said, “Eggs and bacon? That’s not breakfast!” Oops!

  8. What a delightful post, Aimee, honoring so many things I also love ~ good food, organization, family, anticipation of fun events, scones . . . thanks so much!
    .-= Glenda Childers’s last blog: Remembering Hallie (part two) =-.

  9. Thanks so much for these amazing recipes!! I get a ton of company and the frozen scones and pancake mix are definitely going to become part of my repertoire!

  10. Girl, you sound like you are sure ready for company! How exciting! This all sounds so wonderful and I am sure your family will relish in the deliciousness of your food and appreciate every bite!
    .-= Melissa’s last blog: It’s been that kind of morning…(Chocolate Swirl Sour Cream Coffee Cake) =-.

  11. It sounds like a large crowd to feed, and the breakfast ideas are excellent recommendations. The scone idea is my favorite. It reminds me of baking different flavors of pound cakes in the early spring, and freezing them until ready to serve. I did that a few years ago, and it made a difference in keeping the apartment cool. My summers are all about trying NOT to turn the oven on. And, the Homemade pre-made pancake idea is an excellent idea for a feeding a large crowd in the mornings.

    • I’ve thought about pound cakes, Sanura, and I think you are right. A simple vanilla cake would be lovely paired with fresh berries and cream for a fast dessert.
      Thanks!

  12. I love the idea of baking bacon! I always cook mine on the stove but found a way to bake it so I will be trying that soon. There is nothing like having bacon ready to eat whenever so you can eat it as a snack or sprinkle on a salad!

    I am going to try that raspberry smoothie too! I’ll just add some spinach :)

  13. I love this. I am a huge proponent of stocking my freezer *myself*. Yes, I make use of convenience foods — that I made myself when I had the time! We make big batches of pancakes on the weekend and freeze the extras. Love the frozen pre-cooked bacon idea!

  14. I am craving breakfast foods now:) I could eat breakfast for every meal. So many tasty options. Oatmeal is my staple, but I love trying new things on the weekend. Yogurt parfaits and smoothies are summer favorites.
    .-= Maria’s last blog: 2peas3-0 =-.

  15. Thanks for this great article. I am loving what you guys have. Technology is so great. Had to post your link on my blog! Thanks so much for doing what you do! Have the best day ever!

    http://tinyurl.com/253oe35
    .-= Helpfulsister’s last blog: Hey! Busy Moms and Dads…..Best Do Ahead Breakfasts! =-.

  16. Oh my gosh, Aimee….pre-cooking and freezing bacon is a brilliant idea. I’m totally stealing that one. I must admit that breakfast is the meal I
    most dislike making, but after seeing these ideas
    I truly feel more inspired.

  17. How I would like to be a guest at your breakfast table Aiméé!
    I just love to pamper people, especially when it’s family. Always makes it more special, don’t you think? Lately I have actually been shifting from organizing dinner parties to doing more breakfasts and brunches. It has something more intimate and homely about it. Loving every minute of it.
    .-= Denise @ Femita’s last blog: No Sex, Different City. Why Sex and the City 2 Is Not As Awesome As It Could Have Been =-.

  18. Wow, these are amazing ideas, and I’m so excited to try them. I’ve got family coming (not quite as many as you, but, still!) in July, so there’s still a bit of time to prepare!
    .-= FreeRange Pamela’s last blog: Making Mild, Creamy Yogurt at Home =-.

  19. Great idea to freeze bacon…. but I’m wondering how you heat it up to eat? Do you thaw first? Do you heat in microwave or oven and how long? I would be heating several pieces – perhaps 20 or more….

  20. I love these recipes (and pictures!) so much I reposted them on my blog! Thanks for the inspiration! http://bit.ly/bcd5CY
    .-= Heidi’s last blog: The Best Do-Ahead Breakfast Recipes =-.

  21. Aimee-
    I love this! My husband and I both come from big families, so when everyone is together, it can be stressful feeding everyone…I can’t wait to make those scones and pancakes (we’d probably eat 84 pancakes, after all…) and, I had no idea you could freeze cooked bacon. Thanks for the great ideas!

  22. I’m hungry for breakfast now. :) Breakfast is a must for me.. I never skimp out on breakfast.. so winter or summer I’ll be trying these recipes.

    I’m really loving all these do-ahead, freezable posts because they make all our lives so much easier! :)
    .-= Cheri’s last blog: Baby Blue Monday =-.

  23. Mini stratas. Whatever your quiche recipe is- omit crust, tear up favorite bread and place in buttered muffin tin, pour in egg mixture (I like spinach and feta) and bake 375 until puffy and done. I’ll even make these the night before and bake in the morning.

  24. When making a gallon of granola, I like to freeze the homemade granola in several quart jars so the oats and nuts stay fresh. Great blogs and comments at this site—thanks!

  25. fitness girl says:

    Perfect!!!! that pancake makes me crave to eat it looks delicious im gonna try to make it.Definitely the best recipe for breakfast.

  26. Hi Aimee, was the one cup of pancake mix and one cup of buttermilk or regular milk a misprint? it sounds like it would be too thin for a pancake batter??? Thanks, Frank

    • Frank, I always do one-to-one with my dry and wet ingredients. It is fine for us, although I’ll admit I like my pancakes on the thinner side. Hope you can make it work and thanks for reading!

  27. Oh picnic, just what I and my family need. And look at those yummy homemade recipe you’ve got there..hmm love it!
    Can’t wait to try all of them on Sunday!
    Thanks for sharing!
    kloe’s last post: Where to Find Diaper Coupons

  28. I do make extra muffins to freeze. Then when I want them, I take them from the freezer the night before to thaw. Then in the morning I put them on a baking stone and pop them into a 350 degree over for about 10 minutes and they come out almost as good as fresh. If I want to make just a couple I put them in my toaster oven the same way.
    Suanna’s last post: Working Weekend – Around the House

  29. How do you reheat /refry the bacon the day it’s needed?

    • I know this post is ages old, but I want to know the same thing!

      • Most any way works for the reheat: Sometimes I wrap a few slices in a paper towel and microwave them. This helps them to crisp up nicely. If I’m cooking eggs, I add some bacon to the pan. If the oven is on for scones or whatever, I slip a few slices in on the side. Good luck!

  30. Love the HUGE granola jar! is that a reused one or did you buy it new?

  31. Iraida Blanco says:

    THANK YOU!!!!
    I’m planning on having a little breakfast- and afternoon snacks kiosk in a nice town in Venezuela. I want to open early (7:30 ish), but I was trying to calculate at what time I would have to wake up in order to bake ,and open at 7:30!!! But thanks to you…. i can still open early (I love mornings anyways), but, not kill myself! so THANKS!!
    By the way, do you have any cereal bars recipes? My target audience are people after workouts….

  32. Great post Aimee. Your posts like this one are SO helpful!!
    Becky’s last post: Homemade Oreo Cookie Recipe

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