Tuesday, 23 October 2012

{Thriving this Winter} Day 23: Warm

When it is so warm out and the sun is still shining at 5:15 am, it just doesn't feel like morning to me! But when the morning is dark and crisp and the shower feels so wonderful, and you have to hop and move quickly into your days clothes, well that is morning. And a warm breakfast just makes the time so much more delicious.

For a few years I have made it my personal mission not to serve boxed cereal for breakfast. The reason for this is two-fold. First of all, boxed cereal is actually one of the most expensive foods to serve, especially when you think about its relative nutrition. It is also, generally, pretty low in protein, to the point where if I eat boxed cereal before going to work I might as well not have eaten anything because I will get ridiculously starving way before break time.

So today I want to share with you 3 make-ahead breakfast recipes and 2 ideas, so that you can enjoy a hot breakfast.

The first thing to talk about is the components of your breakfast. For breakfast I always like to include some form of protein (which is 99% hard-boiled eggs for us), fruit (generally a banana) and milk. Then for sustenance I include a grain product. For our hectic days this will be simply toast with peanut butter & jam. Bonus points if the bread is homemade. Ours usually isn't. I have a kitchen gadget called a "Boily" (that's it in the picture), but sometimes if I want to make more than one at a time I use the stove-top method. Much less effort than any other kind of egg or breakfast meat. By having a general plan of all the components of breakfast it is much easier to plan, and once you start incorporating protein into breakfast you will wonder why you ever did without. It makes that much of a difference.

The other idea is to make ahead muffins or other baked goods batter (but try to make healthy ones!) and freeze them in sandwich bags. This way you don't have to eat stale muffins, and you can just make a new batch every few days, or a couple times through the month. Freezing the batter in a ziploc just lets you snip off the corner and squeeze your muffins into your pan. No mess. Pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes and you have fresh muffins. Easy enough to do in the morning.

I love oatmeal on a cold morning, but my husband doesn't like it without some flavouring. Since the boxes of instant oatmeal always have flavours we don't like there are alway some stragglers, plus they are also kind of expensive (yeah, its basically all about the money for me). So instead I will make up big batches of this oatmeal and store it in a big tupperware container. Add my oatmeal and water to the bowl and into the microwave it goes. You can adjust the flavourings and sweetness to taste and the batch will last us at least a month.

We both love McDonald's breakfasts, and get them as a treat when we play music on Sunday morning. My husband's favourite is the 2 breakfast burrito meal. So when I found this recipe for freezer breakfast burritos, I knew he would love them. They are such a hit! I like to make 1 or 2 batches at a time (1-2 dozen eggs) and roll them while I watch a favourite TV show. It takes me about 1 hour in an afternoon and then will last me about a month, especially if I also have the oatmeal. They are so tasty, and awesome to take to work for a coffee break.

And since you now know about our love for McDonald's breakfast maybe you will get excited about freezer egg mcmuffins. For this one you have to buy (or you could make!) english muffins, so they are a little more expensive than the last 2 option, so we don't make them as much. Also if you are going to cook your eggs in the muffin tin make sure you really really greased the muffin cups. This helps get the eggs out and prevents them leaving behind bits that are virtually impossible to get rid of. Instead of the oven method in the post, I like to wrap these muffins in wax paper or parchment paper, which I leave them in when reheating, so that the cheese stays on the bun for the most part and the muffin gets a good texture.

I love using my freezer to make those chilly mornings seem just a bit warmer, and keep my tummy going, even when I am tired from an early morning.

What do you like to have for breakfast?