Thanks so much to Lizann from The Seasoned Spouse for today’s guest post! Thank you for your support of these guest posts as I take time away to focus on my family. In case you missed why I’m taking a couple weeks off from blogging, you can read about it here.
I will admit that mornings are not easy. There’s only one of me, and I have 4 kids who are all ravenous and somewhat unable to get their own food. If I can wake up and get dressed before they are out of their rooms, it’s a good day, but if they beat me to the kitchen, then I find myself going in circles pouring cereal and juice, cleaning up messes, and changing the baby’s diaper. I find myself doing all of these while I am still in my pajamas and trying to figure out what I am going to eat. A tired and hungry mommy does not make for a pleasant morning. I need easy breakfast recipes to get myself nourished.
So, I have learned to strategize: if my food is already prepared, then I can heat it up while getting breakfast for the kids. Then we can all eat at the same time, and I won’t be so cranky and short-tempered while packing their lunches and hustling them out the door! The trick to having quick, healthy breakfasts on the go is to make them ahead of time and store batches in the fridge or freezer that you can use throughout the week. I usually prepare mine at night when the kids are in bed. Just one or two nights of prep per week, and then I wake up each morning knowing that I have a healthy breakfast waiting for me.
Are you not really a breakfast person? I hope you will become one after reading this!
There is something here for everyone: sweet or savory, cold or hot – all with healthy doses of protein and fruit and a low amount of fat!
My favorite easy breakfast recipes
Overnight Oats: This is a new and popular way to enjoy oatmeal. It is basically oatmeal, milk, and yogurt that is simply stirred together with fruit and other flavors and allowed to sit overnight. No need to cook or even heat them up. Overnight oats are creamy and cold and can be topped with fresh fruit, granola, or crunchy cereal. This meal is full of protein from Greek yogurt and good carbs like fruit and oats. Overnight Oats are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Here is an easy breakfast recipe to introduce you to overnight oats. They taste like blueberry muffins! I found it on Creme de la Crumb:
- ½ cup old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
- ½ cup vanilla almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened, up to you)
- 6 ounces blueberry greek yogurt (I prefer dannon or chobani but use your favorite)
- 1-2 drops vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sugar-free dry vanilla pudding mix
- ½-1 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
- ⅓ cup flake cereal of choice (optional)
- fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)
Combine oats, milk, yogurt, vanilla, pudding mix, and cinnamon to a mason jar or other sealable container. Stir contents until well mixed. Top with fresh blueberries and flake cereal if desired. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. This makes 1 generous serving. I usually double it to have enough for 2-3 days.
Breakfast Quesadillas: Are you someone who doesn’t like sweet baked goods in the morning? Then I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding! While I usually love sweet things, I sometimes appreciate a healthy, hearty breakfast, especially if it’s one I can grab and go.
I originally started making breakfast quesadillas for my husband, but I soon fell in love with this recipe. The spinach-garlic-white cheddar flavor combination is great. You can make a batch of these and store them in the freezer. To cook from frozen, just microwave for 2 minutes. Another option is to let them thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat them in a frying pan to get that crispy outside. I found this Spinach/Egg/Bean Quesadilla recipe on Well Plated:
- 8 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for cooking the quesadillas
- 5 cups fresh spinach (I use 1 bag)
- 1 (10-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese: cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, or another similar melty cheese
- 8 medium whole wheat tortillas
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium and heat until it shimmers. Add the spinach and cook stirring often, until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the beans, then carefully pour in the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, just until set, about 3 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt or pepper as desired. Remove from the heat.
- To make the quesadillas: Sprinkle a tortilla with 1/8 of the shredded cheese, leaving a small border all the way around the edge. Spoon 1/8 of the egg mixture on top, then fold in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- To cook, carefully wipe out the skillet, lightly coat with olive oil, then heat over medium. Cook the assembled quesadillas on both sides until golden and the cheese is melted, about 5-6 minutes total. Cut into triangles and serve warm.
Protein Pancakes: You can make any pancakes or waffles ahead of time and then just heat them up to serve. I find that this makes it a lot easier for me to serve all my kids a pancake breakfast with minimal stress. These are from Creme de la Crumb:
- 1½ cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or ½ teaspoon almond extract)
- ¾ cup vanilla or honey greek yogurt
- ¾ cup milk (I used fat free half & half)
- topping suggestions: syrup, powdered sugar, honey, fruit, etc
- Preheat a pan or griddle to 325 (medium heat). Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, mix oil, eggs, vanilla, and greek yogurt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir. Stir in milk until all ingredients are combined – don’t over mix, there should still be a few lumps.
- Grease griddle and pour ¼ – ⅓ cup batter onto the griddle. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes or until edges begin to look “dry” and bubbles form in the batter. Use a thin spatula to flip the pancake over and allow to cook for a mother minute. Transfer to a platter and continue with remaining batter.
- Top pancakes with desired toppings such as syrup, powdered sugar, honey, and fruit.
Crockpot Oatmeal: Using your crockpot to cook your breakfast is brilliant. Fill it up at night, turn it on low, and wake up to a house that smells like maple cinnamon! What could be easier than a breakfast that is already hot and waiting for you? Again, there are tons of variations on crockpot oatmeal. You can add different flavors and spices, dried fruit like raisins or apricots, and top it with fresh fruit or nuts. I started cooking with steel cut oats when I was breastfeeding because they help improve milk supply. They cook longer and come out thicker than traditional oats, so experiment with adding liquid or syrup to get your favorite texture. This is a great, simple recipe for Maple-Cinnamon Steel-cut Oats from Fit Foodie Finds:
- 1.5 cups steel cut oats
- 6 cups almond milk, unsweetened
- ⅓ – ½ cup maple syrup
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a crock-pot.
- Turn to high and cook for 4 hours or turn to low and cook for 8 hours.
- Once your oatmeal is done cooking, stir with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes thick and well-combined.
Muscle Muffins: Muffins are a simple breakfast-to-go that is healthy for both me and my kids. Now, there are a zillion kinds of muffin recipes. Most of them are basically cupcakes in disguise, cooked with white sugar, flour, butter, and fruit. And I confess that I make those kinds occasionally! BUT, if I am trying to make a healthy protein-packed easy breakfast for myself, then I sometimes make a batch of muscle muffins, which have whey protein added. Many women think whey protein is that giant canister their husband uses when working out, but it can be a good source of protein for women, too. I like the IdealLean brand because it is formulated specifically for women with lean protein and no extra carbs or sugars (that are often present in the men’s formulas). It tastes great as a shake and can be used in muffins and pancakes, too! Here is the IdealLean recipe for Blueberry Muscle Muffins:
- 1 ½ c oats
- 8 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- ½ c Splenda
- ½ c cottage cheese
- ½ c applesauce OR 1 banana
- 1 scoop IdealLean Protein French Vanilla
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ c fresh or frozen blueberries
Place the oats in the blender, and pulse until they have turned into a powder. Add the other dry ingredients to the blender and pulse to mix. Combine all wet ingredients except the blueberries in a bowl, then add the dry mixture from the blender. Pour into well-greased muffin tins. Press berries into the muffin batter, spreading the blueberries evenly between all muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
Resurrection Rolls: Finally, I have to share the make-ahead treat we prepare each year to enjoy on Easter morning. Resurrection rolls help teach the Easter story to kids, demonstrate the surprise of the empty tomb, and they taste great, too–like a cinnamon roll! Easter morning is too rushed and exciting for a teachable moment like this, so we prefer to make them the day ahead, then heat for a few seconds in the microwave on Easter. I wrote about them a few years ago on my other blog, so here is my own recipe from Adventures in Spain:
- tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls
large marshmallows (1 per roll)
melted butter (I used 1 Tbls. for 16 rolls)
cinnamon (I used 1-2 teaspoons)
For each roll, take 1 marshmallow (which represents Jesus in His purity and innocence from sin) and roll it in melted butter, then cinnamon. These represent the embalming oil and spices used for the burial. Then wrap the spiced marshmallow in a triangle of crescent roll dough, making sure to seal all the edges. This represents the tomb, with the stone sealing the entrance. Once they were all wrapped, the kids said goodbye, just as Jesus’s friends said farewell to Him, and we put them in the oven: 350 degrees for 10 minutes. While they baked, we read the second part of the Easter story: the account of Sunday morning. I told the children this was the part with the surprise. Jesus was not in the tomb because He had risen from the dead! When the rolls came out of the oven, they were golden, and still had the same shape of the tomb. But the marshmallows had melted into sugar, so when the rolls are cracked open, they reveal… an empty tomb! Jesus has risen!
Do you already make your breakfast ahead of time? I would love to hear your ideas. If not, I hope you will try these out. Let me know which is your favorite!
Thanks again Lizann for these fabulous breakfast ideas!