Summer can mean sleeping in for some people and rising early for others. For others yet, it’s business as usual. If your family’s schedule is hectic, there are lots of fuss-free breakfast solutions that are easy on your wallet, waistline and conscience.
Money-saving tips for whoever-whenever breakfasts The key to breakfast savings this summer is being prepared with nutritious ingredients that will come together easily as each person rises and shines. Here are a few of our favorite breezy breakfast solutions sure to make your summer a bit simpler, whenever you wake up.
Go nuts. Set out chopped nuts, dried fruit, coconut shreds, seeds and trail mix for ease of topping yogurt, fruit, granola, cereal or pancakes. Shop the bulk aisle to save!
Fruit's on first. Toss together a fresh fruit salad and place it front and center in the refrigerator to make it easy for everyone to get their nutrients. (A fresh mixed berry salad of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with a sprinkle of brown sugar and fresh mint also makes for a good morning granola topping.)
Batter up! Mix up pancake or waffle batter the night before and store in the fridge, ready to pour on the griddle as each person rises to meet the summer day.
Grab and go. Store a supply of pre-made wholesome muffins in the freezer. Thaw overnight or warm in the microwave.
Overnight oats. Cook steel-cut or rolled oats the night before and refrigerate. Add your liquid of choice before briefly reheating.
Parfait perfect. Pre-make yogurt cups in reusable containers with add-ins like jam, nuts, fruit and granola. (Separate the granola from the yogurt with plastic wrap to avoid sogginess.)
Magic muesli. Scoop yogurt and uncooked oats into a bowl and let sit overnight in the fridge. Top with fruit, seeds and honey or maple syrup if desired.
Breakfast's in the bagel. The evening prior, arrange smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, red onion and lettuce leaves on a platter and wrap securely to be ready for quick bageling in the morning.
Taco to the bank. Keep tortillas and fillings — scrambled eggs, cooked potato and bacon, shredded cheese, beans — in containers in the fridge. Stuff breakfast tacos and heat as needed.
Roll with it. Keep rolls or English muffins along with prepared fillings (eggs, cheese, cooked spinach, ham or Canadian bacon) on hand for heating and eating on the run.
Smoothie and easy. Stock up on fresh and frozen fruits for tasty, filling and no-fuss smoothies. Try fruit, low-fat vanilla yogurt and a spoonful of green powder or protein powder; a Blueberry Muffin Smoothie or a vegan lassi. (Seeking to save on smoothies? Check out these money-saving tips.)
Eat with ease Do you want to keep breakfast prep time low while keeping your values high? To comfort your conscious in the kitchen, here are a few things to remember about three breakfast staples— fruit, eggs and milk—when you’re at the market. Organic Milk and Eggs. Have you ever wondered what’s needed to earn the “organic” seal on your carton of milk or eggs? According to USDA National Organic Program Standards, all organic livestock are required to:
Have access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air and direct sunlight suitable to the species, the climate and the environment
Be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent
Be provided feed that is certified organic
Not be treated with antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones*
Ruminant animals, such as dairy cows, must be raised in pasture-based systems with a significant portion of their diet coming from grass
Have sufficient space to fulfill their natural behaviors
*Rest (and rise and shine) easy knowing that all of our store brand dairy products — both organic and non-organic — are required by our own standards to be made with milk from cows not given synthetic growth hormones. Eggs and Label Claims. Can’t crack the egg labeling code? Here’s a quick guide. (For more egg tips and recipes, see our online Guide to Eggs.)
Cage-free – These are eggs from cage-free hens. (Every whole egg we sell is cage-free, so you don’t have to scramble all over town to find them!)
Free-range – The hens have access to the outdoors
Pasture-raised/Outdoor-based – The hens live outdoors with access to housing
Organic – Organic eggs come from hens fed a diet supplemented with omega-3 EFAs
Fertile – These eggs come from hens that live with roosters and can engage in natural mating behaviors
Fruits. Plan ahead and keep frozen fruits stocked in the freezer to ensure that you are getting the highest quality produce year round. Not only is it budget friendly, it’s also extremely convenient. When purchasing frozen fruit, here are two earth-friendly buys to look for:
Organic – Yes, frozen organic fruit meets all USDA organic standards too
What’s your recipe for simple breakfast success in the kitchen this summer? I’d love to hear it.