Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School Morning Breakfasts

All three of my kids love breakfast. It was easy to provide them with a hot, hearty breakfast on homeschool mornings. Now we need to be out the door by 7:30, making it a whole new kind of morning. But even with the early departure, we're unwilling to skimp on breakfast.

For my youngest and most selective eater, it's a meal he really needs. Lunches are being returned to me uneaten, so I want to make sure he at least has breakfast in his body. Peter's class is nut-free and that is proving to be an obstacle to my trail-mix-munching/peanut-butter-ball-snacking/PB&J lover/kid who declared the last week of summer "Peanut Butter and Jelly Week." I think it's good for him!... pretty soon he is going to get hungry and will be needing to embrace some variety. But back to breakfast...

Because my kids eat so much breakfast, I avoid boxed cereal. It's expensive and it doesn't stick with them. We do always keep a box handy for weekends in case they need and appetizer before I'm out of bed.

Here are our weekday morning favorites.

Blueberry-Oat or Apple-Cinnamon or Banana-Oat Muffins
  • 1 1/3 C flour
  • 3/4 C oats
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C buttermilk or sour milk (add 2 tsp white vinegar to milk to equal 3/4 C - let sit 5 min.)
  • 1/4 C melted butter
Blueberry-Oat variation
  • add 1/2 C to 1 C depending on your preference - fresh or frozen blueberries
Apple-Cinnamon variation
  • increase cinnamon to 1 tsp and add one finely diced (or grated) apple
Banana-Oat variation
  • add 3/4 C mashed banana and decrease butter/sour milk to 1/2 C
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients (and banana if using) in a small bowl, combine thoroughly, then add to dry ingredients. Gently fold in blueberries (if using) into batter. Use an ice cream scoop to fill 12 greased muffin cups (or paper lined). Bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back when pressed.

Egg Sandwiches
Just a fried egg on and whole wheat English muffin. The kids like butter and jelly on the muffin. I like cheese. Cheese always wins with me.

Power Pancakes
These really stick with you. The batter is so simple and can be made the night before in the blender with a quick remix in the morning.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola/other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
In a blender combine all ingredients. Process on highest speed for one minute. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto greased hot griddle. Flip when bubbles form on top; cook until other side is golden brown. We serve them just like regular pancakes - with warmed maple syrup.
There is one issue with smoothies and breakfast - they make my kids cold. So, it's a warm weather only breakfast in our house. I don't have a smoothie recipe, and what goes in changes all the time. For breakfast I add oats for a little heft. (Martha has a recipe.) My kids would need some scrambled eggs, too.

Baked Oatmeal (tweaked slightly recipe from Simple Bites)
SO easy and can be made the night before. It's in the oven for 30 minutes... enough time to make lunches! I love to make this when my husband will be out at an early breakfast meeting and I'm on my own.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar, or combination of both)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I sometimes omit the cinnamon and toss in a handful of chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
Grease a 2 quart baking dish. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, except oats. Add oats and stir to combine. Transfer mixture into baking dish, spread evenly. 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. It can go from the fridge to the oven - please remove the plastic wrap! Bake for about 30 minutes or until set.

My kids eat it on a plate with a fork. I sometimes put it in a bowl and pour milk on top.
Homemade Granola (with yogurt or milk) my recipe is here
I began with this recipe and tweaked it. Pam Anderson offers several variations.

Challah French Toast
It's just that. French Toast made with Challah bread. We don't have this often as I think it is pretty indulgent for a weekday breakfast. I buy the bread at Trader Joe's, cut the loaf in half and freeze it. Half a loaf will feed us all. The night before, take the bread out and mix up the egg mixture (eggs, milk, vanilla, a dash of nutmeg). In the morning all I have to do is heat up the griddle and slice and dip the bread and heat up the griddle. I do add cinnamon sugar to the tops while the first side cooks. Yum.

There are of course days we have just a big pot of oatmeal. With butter and cinnamon and maple syrup and milk... mmm....

Hearing "What smells so good, Mom?" as they bound down the stairs. Music to my ears.


  1. Thanks for sharing these. I'm going to make the blueberry oat muffins today.

  2. Thank you Jen! I have very picky eaters (already!) so i love these ideas. Love your blog :) xxoo



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