Thursday, April 9, 2009

No More Cereal

Breakfast...we all know it is the most important meal of the day. So, why are so many of us relying on sweetened cereal in the morning for our first meal of the day? I know if my family only had cereal in the morning they would be very hungry by 10:00 am. Plus, cereal is very expensive compared to other options.

With all our busy schedules, how do we make a good breakfast for our families in record time, without breaking the bank? How do we stop running to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks for a quick breakfast and coffee? Not only is it full of fat and wasted calories, but also very expensive.

Here are some ideas for breakfast that may help you and your family:

French toast: Made with fresh eggs, milk and whole grain bread or sweet bread (my family loves the sweet bread french toast)
Pancakes: There are so many whole wheat mixes or you can make your own mix the night before and just add the wet ingredients. I make the pancakes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook or the whole grain mix from Bob's Red Mill. I sometimes add flax seed meal into the mix.
Muffins: Mix up the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate containers the night before. When you get up in the morning just combine and spoon into muffin pans. These can bake in the oven while you take your morning shower.
Eggs: My kids and husband love an egg in the morning with whole wheat toast. When I make this, the protein in the eggs, keeps them full for the entire morning. If you are particularly ambitious, you can make a breakfast strata with eggs, bread and meat or fruit the night before and just slip it in the oven right when you get up in the morning. There are some great recipes for strata on
Smoothies: I make a smoothie every morning for my daughter. I just mix up a banana or a handful of frozen berries with vanilla yogurt and some type of juice or milk.

Instead of stopping at your favorite coffee chain, why not measure the coffee out the night before and simply flip the switch for the coffee pot when you get up in the morning? You will save yourself at least a couple of dollars each day if you buy a thermos to bring your coffee with you to work.

Finally, I have the best muffin recipe in the world. I know, everyone says that! I always had trouble making muffins. They either came out too sweet or not sweet enough. I did a cooking show about 8 years ago and met a chef. I mentioned to him about my trouble with muffin making. He gave me his recipe for the perfect muffins. Every time I make these muffins for an event, many ask for the recipe. Here it is, I hope Henry does not mind:

Henry's Fabulous Muffins
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yoke
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of milk
1 tsp - 1 tbsp vanilla extract, to suit
Mix with favorite add-on like chocolate chips, blueberries, carrots, squash, coffee cake top, etc. If you decide to add something wetter, adjust the milk amount. Spoon into a muffin pan lined with paper liners or greased. Bake at 400 until done. This makes about 12 muffins.

I make this in the morning and then send the extras in the lunch boxes for a treat. I hope you enjoy these.

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