Fruit and Hemp Seed MuesliFall is often linked with a return to routine. This can mean adopting time-and money-saving strategies or embracing healthier eating habits. In both cases, the Whole Story blog is here to help. Through mid-September we’re sharing our favorite pointers for mealtimes (including snacks!) from how to shop to how to prep, so you can get back on track with ease.
With two kids under five, a dog that needs a walk, high hopes of serving a nutritious meal and an ever-present sense of urgency that clings to each morning, the breakfast routine at my house is steadily getting better. We’ve learned to shop with convenience, taste and nutrition in mind and prep what we can ahead of time. Here’s how:
Always pressed for time in the morning? Here are a few of my favorite time-saving tips.
Chill out. Freeze homemade waffles or pancakes in airtight containers or bags. Just toast and top. Or grab two and make a breakfast sandwich.
- Kiss the cooker. Prepare steel-cut oats in the slow-cooker overnight and then top with fresh berries or chopped apples in the morning.
- Make magic muesli. Fill a jar or container with uncooked oats, seeds and dried fruit; add yogurt or milk and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with fresh fruit and go.
- Homemade convenience. Store a batch of wholesome muffins in the freezer. Thaw individual muffins overnight in the fridge for the morning grab.
- Batch & stash. Prepare more staple ingredients — whole grains or roasted veggies — than you need at dinnertime then incorporate them into breakfast dishes like wraps and grain bowls throughout the week.
- Work ahead. On Sunday, scoop servings of oats into five individual containers. Add spices, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Each night add milk (or alternative) to one and pop it in the fridge. Grab and go in the morning.
- A toast. Hooray to planning ahead and toasting nuts — sliced almonds or walnuts — for cereal toppings throughout the week.
- Stock up. Have shelf-stable unsweetened nondairy milk alternatives at the ready to avoid last-minute dashes to the store.
Beat Breakfast Boredom
Cold cereal, toast, coffee, repeat. Do your mornings all taste the same? Here are three easy ways to add some spice…or at least nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies to your morning.
Bulk up. Keep on hand a variety of chopped nuts, dried fruit and seeds for topping yogurt, cereal and pancakes. (Money-saving tip: Shop the bulk aisle and buy only what you need.)
- Drink your cereal. Adding 1/2 cup of oats to a smoothie as a thickener also adds nutrients and helps keep you full ’til lunch. (Try this simply delicious Sunrise Breakfast Smoothie that packs in fruit, veggies, yogurt and whole grains.)
- Go green. Fresh baby spinach and baby kale are great to have on hand because they take little to no cooking and can be added to almost anything — scrambled eggs, breakfast sandwiches or smoothies. (Time-saving tip: Use last night’s cooked greens and give leftovers a new life.)
Start Your Day with Veggies
If you’re guilty of trying to get in all your veggies into the last meal of the day, these seven tasty tips might help.
- Carrot Cashew Spread on toasted whole wheat English muffins
- Roasted butternut squash on whole grain hot cereal
- Mashed avocado on toast with a sprinkle of sea salt
- Slightly sweet adzuki beans over quinoa or a sweet potato
- Mushroom Potato Hash
- Beans and rice with salsa
- Roasted sweet potato cubes over millet; top with shredded coconut
What are your favorite tips or recipes for weekday breakfasts? Share them in the comments section below.