Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Breakfast on the Go

Before I was a mom, I rarely ate breakfast. I would rush off to work and end up snacking on junk food mid-morning to hold me over until lunch. But just like so many other aspects of my life, my sweet peanut (a.k.a. my darling 13 month old daughter) changed my routine. So skipping breakfast is never an option anymore - and if she's going to eat, you can bet I’m going to eat too!

I still work outside the home two days a week and on those mornings breakfast is always hit-or-miss. We just recently moved into a new house with a large kitchen, so I have run out of excuses for not making a healthy breakfast. Here are two of my favorite quick, healthy breakfast ideas for the days when you just don't have time to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen.

Bake ahead. Most muffins freeze really well and they are an easy option for busy mornings. I pop a couple frozen muffins in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and presto! Breakfast!

This is one of my favorite muffin recipes, an online mom friend shared it while I was pregnant with Peanut and I froze a whole batch to have on hand for after her birth. I ate them for months! They are very low in sugar and packed with fiber! Add some nuts for some extra protein and raisins or dried fruit to suit your taste. Yum!

Bran Muffins

Notes: Makes 5-6 dozen muffins. The batter keeps covered in the fridge for up to 6 weeks if you prefer to make fresh muffins, but they keeps frozen for up to 3 months.

1/2 c. old fashioned oatmeal

2 c. bran cereal

2 c. shredded wheat

2 c. boiling water

2/3 c. canola or olive oil

1 c. light brown sugar

1 c. sugar

4 eggs

2 c. all purpose flour

3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

5 tsp. baking soda

1 TB ground cinnamon

1 quart reduced fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400f. Line muffin tin as desired.

In one bowl, combine oatmeal, bran cereal and shredded wheat. Add boiling water and stir, set aside to cool.
In another bowl mix the oil, brown sugar and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the cereal mixture (once cool enough NOT to cook the eggs).
In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to the oatmeal mixture alternately w/ buttermilk, stirring only until combined. Pour batter into muffin tins.
Bake 20 min or until lightly browned.

Smoothies. Actually, when you consider the time it takes blend a smoothie, it's not THAT fast, but the bonus is that you can actually take it "to go". I like to whip up a smoothie with the fruit I have on hand and stick it in the fridge until I'm ready to walk out the door. Peanut even gets her smoothie in a sippy (try a Nuby brand cup, they have a wider holes in the spout) to drink in her carseat.

My favorite smoothie recipe is very simple:

2 or 3 frozen bananas (freeze them when they are almost over-ripened for a sweeter taste)

1/2 cup of frozen strawberries

1 cup of plain yogurt

Add milk or water for desired consistency

What are some of your favorite on-the-go breakfasts?


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