Monday, August 16, 2010

Quick Healthy Breakfasts!

With back-to-school time here, it's important to get our families good, healthy breakfasts in record time.  This is a daunting task for the unprepared, but with a little preparation, it's really quite easy and rewarding!  Here's a sample list for an entire week's breakfasts, with shopping list!  This is what I do with my family.

Buy (on Saturday before the week begins):
Healthy, whole-grain cereal (ie Multigrain Cheerios)
Gallon of milk
Old-fashioned (NOT INSTANT) oatmeal
Light Margarine
Sugar-free preserves (your favorite flavor)
2 Dozen Eggs
Whole-wheat flour (PANTRY STAPLE)
All-purpose flour (PANTRY STAPLE)
Pancake mix (buckwheat is healthier)
Ground turkey breast
Pure Maple Syrup
Poultry Seasoning
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (PANTRY STAPLE)
Black Pepper (PANTRY STAPLE)
Whole Wheat English Muffins
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
8 McIntosh Apples
Baking Powder (PANTRY STAPLE)

SATURDAY NIGHT (Prepare Make-Ahead Waffles & Oatmeal):
Whisk together in a large bowl:
* 1 cup whole-wheat flour
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk together in another bowl:
* 3 eggs, well beaten
* 1 cup applesauce
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients.  Gently whisk together until batter looks pebbled.  Spoon 1/2 cup batter onto well-greased hot waffle iron.  Spread evenly, and cook (closed) until waffle is golden brown.  Repeat with rest of batter.  Let waffles cool, and seal in freezer-safe ziploc bags (the big ones).
* 3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (NOT INSTANT)
* 3 cups milk
* 4 cups water
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup craisins
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the oatmeal, milk, and water in a large, deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  When it boils, quickly turn the heat down to very low.  Stir in the brown sugar, dried fruits, and salt and cook at a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until very thick and creamy.  Stir often to prevent the bottom from scorching.  Cool completely and refrigerate in individual re-sealable containers to reheat on Tuesday.

Sunday is usually a calmer morning around here, so I make a good breakfast then.  This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe.
* 2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 pound ground turkey breast
* 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
* 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
* Salt and Pepper
* 8 eggs (or use just the whites for a healthier meal)
* 1/4 cup milk
* 4 whole-wheat English muffins
* 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional Toppers:
* Thinly sliced apple
* Tomato slices
* Sliced Dill pickles
Preheat the broiler.  Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, once around the pan.  In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, maple syrup, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Form 4 large, thin patties and cook 10-12 minutes, turning once.  Remove and reserve.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.  Beat the eggs with milk, salt, and pepper.  Pop the split English muffins under the broiler to toast when you add the eggs to the skillet.  Scramble the eggs until they are done to your taste, and remove the muffins from the oven when nicely browned.  Top each muffin bottom with a sausage patty, one fourth of the eggs, and 1/4 cup of the cheese.  Place the sammies without their tops under the broiler for 1 minute to melt the cheese.  Top with any toppers you would like, or just set the tops in place and serve.  Serves 4.

Cereal is the quintessential go-to quick breakfast, and the whole grains give a great start to the day.  Just watch your portion sizes!

For instant, healthy oatmeal quickly, get the pre-made oatmeal that has already been refrigerated in individual portions out of the fridge.  Warm in the microwave, and serve with extra milk.

Get the whole-wheat apple cinnamon waffles out of the freezer and toast them.  Spread fruit preserves over them or drizzle with maple syrup to serve.

Preheat skillet over medium-high heat with some light margarine to just coat the skillet.  Beat as many eggs as your family will eat with some milk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour eggs into skillet, and scramble.  Once eggs are almost set, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.  Serve warm with ketchup or salsa.

It's great to end the week the same way you began the week--with a quick, whole-grain breakfast of cereal.

I grew up having pancakes for breakfast on Saturdays.  I love the tradition, and found this healthier version from Rachael Ray, which I have adapted here.
* 8 medium McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and diced
* 1/2 cup apple sauce
* 1/4 cup water
* Cinnamon
* 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
* Nonstick cooking spray (as needed)
* Pancake Mix (Buckwheat is healthy and great here)
Preheat oven to 150*.  Combine the apples, applesauce, and water in a medium sauce pot.  Add cinnamon to taste, and cook until the apples break down and become a chunky sauce, 12 to 15 minutes.  Stir in the maple syrup and reserve over low heat.  While the apples are simmering, preheat a griddle or large nonstick skillet and coat with cooking spray.  Mix up the pancake batter and make 8 pancakes, keeping the finished pancakes warm in the oven.  When the pancakes are ready to serve, layer two flapjacks with lots of homemade apple-maple sauce on each plate.  Serves 4.

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