People often talk about being stuck in a rut of making the same things for dinner. It’s in these discussions we often realize how big that rut is, and that we just needed a little spark to poke our head out and remember the things we already know how to do or have done before or have been meaning to try.
This week I’m ready to pull out of the cereal, bananas, toast, bagels and eggs a million ways breakfast rut. Here is a brainstorm of some make ahead, quick or easy prep, or quick to eat ideas. Hopefully, there are a few sparks in here for your house too.
Bake hearty and healthy muffins [or their mama (quick breads) or close cousins (breakfast cookies)] that are filling: apple oatmeal, whole wheat zucchini, cranberry date, blueberry cornbread, carrot with raisins, bran and dates. Make the night before and/or freeze some (pull out the night before to thaw, put frozen in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, or slice frozen and toast). Freeze a few batches of different flavored mini-muffins for morning variety. These also make a great lunchbox snack.
- Smoothies & Shakes.
My husband makes smoothies using Alton Brown’s method – frozen fruit, soy milk, yogurt and juice goes into the blender/Magic Bullet cup before bed, put in the refrigerator to half thaw overnight, and gets blended in the morning. But even if your kids aren’t huge fruit smoothie fans, they might enjoy something like a chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie, or a shake (using a base of Carnation Instant Breakfast, protein powder or Kids SuperFood supplement).
This isn’t an original idea, but there are so many ways of preparing eggs, it’s worth mentioning. Scrambled, over easy, hard up with cheese, hard boiled, soft boiled, omelets. Egg sandwiches on toast, english muffin, rolls, biscuits, fresh bread, waffles, tortillas, bagels or pitas. We’ve served them up on hot dog buns. Mix scrambled eggs with different cheese and vegetables and serve them them as wraps, burritos, quesadilla, taco shells, pita pockets or pizzas (I’ve used store bought naan as a pre-made crust). Frittatas, quiche, crepes, breakfast casseroles. Try something like egg cups or frittatas in muffin tins.
- Traditional Breakfast Food.
Change it up. Creatively top pancakes and waffles with fresh fruit, jams or butters, or use them as the “bread” to make sandwiches. Mix in “healthy” ingredients to pancake or waffle batter – whole wheat, bran, oatmeal, applesauce or fruit and vegetable purees (pumpkin!). If you grated and froze your zucchini surplus this summer, pull it out for zucchini pancakes. Try a french toast bake with fruit (peaches or apples). Or one of the recipe for filled french toast that seem to be in all of the magazines recently. Hash browns, breakfast pizza, grits, steel cut oatmeal, or cream of wheat. Fruit salad. For a treat: homemade cinnamon rolls freeze well, monkey bread can be prepped the night before, and we made our own pop-tarts a few times this summer (with “real” ingredients) with huge success.
- Make your own yogurt parfaits bar.
Set out yogurt, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, granola/cereals/wheat germ, jam, honey and maybe a few chocolate chips and let the kids take it from there.
What are some breakfast ideas or little sparks from your house?